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The Lewes Arms, Lewes

Mount Place
Lewes
BN7 1YH
Phone: 01273473152

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Pub Type

Fuller's
Page: 1 2

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Moby Duck left this review about The Lewes Arms

A little difficult to find if you don't know the town, which I didn't, but well worth the effort. A fine looking pub with a curved exterior, traditional and multi-roomed inside. Its a Fullers owned but the beers were reasonably varied, London Pride, Gales HSB and the affiliated Darkstar Hophead, along with Adnams Ghost Ship and the almost obligatory (in Lewes) Harveys Sussex Best leaving two vacant handles. A very nice pub indeed.

On 17th July 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1354 recommendations about 1340 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


BRUMMIE STEVE left this review about The Lewes Arms

Not the easiest of pubs to find but when'ever I decide to have a crawl around Lewes I always start off here. Very quirky pub once inside with several rooms in which the bar is proberly the smallest of the rooms.Always a good selection of beers on offer plus they sell a selection of Fullers bottled beers including one of my favourites Bengal Lancer. I've not tried the food but it seems very popular. One of the better pubs in Lewes.

On 20th November 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 39 recommendations about 39 pubs]


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John Bonser left this review about The Lewes Arms

In a narrow back street near Lewes Castle is The Lewes Arms, a pub which, according to a sign outside, dates back to circa 1798.

A striking curved frontage, on the bend in the road, leads into a compact three roomed pub with a small basic locals bar – imaginatively named “The Front Bar” – as you come in on the right hand side which features several bar stools and a fixed wooden bench seat under the window. On the wall a display cabinet features several small pipes found during excavations in 1989 and which are believed to date back to the 1830’s. The wall also features a prominent painting of the Lewes Coat of Arms. Several framed photographs show Lewes racecourse, which closed back in 1964.

Behind this room, but served from the same bar, is a slightly larger room which features traditional benches, circular tables and stools packed as close together as is reasonably possible. In this room is the usual large Fuller Smith and Turner mirror over a fireplace. Of interest in this room is the crest of H M S Lewes, a 4 stack destroyer which saw active service during the World Wars. Note also the large collection of whiskies on the back window ledge.

The largest room is on the left of the central corridor and service to this room is from a hatch in this corridor to the main bar. In this room are standard tables and chairs. The walls are decorated with some people playing pub games outside the pub and also some photos of the famed Bonfire Night festivities. Note also the painting of The Basketmakers Arms, a former Gales pub in Brighton. This room is popular with diners, but room is still found for a dartboard and a Toad in the Hole game.

In overall terms, it’s a fine traditional pub, pleasingly free of games machines and music, although I did feel that, principally due to the cream coloured walls, the interior felt a bit bright. There’s further seating upstairs in a room which doubles up as a function room. Here we see part of the riding tackle used by the former Beards Brewery dray horses. On the same level, at the back, is a pleasant roof terrace set flush against the castle walls.

Formerly a Greene King pub, it’s now owned by Fullers, although, pleasingly, in this historic part of town, the external branding is discreet and there’s a notable absence of any “corporate” pub feel. As part of a reciprocal trading agreement between Fullers and Harveys, The Lewes Arms stocks Harveys Best and The Royal Oak in Borough – Harvey’s first London pub – stocks a Fullers beer.

On my recent visit, as well as the Fullers brews and Harveys Best, Adnams Ghostship and Castle Rock Harvest Pale Ale were on. The Harveys Best was in good form and the pub is a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular. Probably because it’s in Lewes, the Harveys Best was easily the best seller, with the one pump working overtime to keep up with demand, with several of the Fullers pumps virtually redundant.

Staff are keen and enthusiastic with, on my visit, one youngish lad going way beyond the call of duty in recommending other Lewes pubs to visiting Wednesday fans coming back from Brighton

It’s a fine pub this, striking a fine balance between catering for the numerous visitors to Lewes, yet still appealing to the traditional pub goer.

This is one pub definitely not to miss on any Lewes crawl.

On 11th August 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about Lewes Arms

The Lewes Arms is a compact, multi-roomed back street pub, with an attractive curved façade and a convenient location close to the castle. The pub gained a bit of notoriety back in 2006-07 when the locals took on the Greene King brewery, to whom the pub was then tied, after Greene King’s bizarre decision to stop selling Harvey’s Best. A boycott of the pub was arranged, which saw the pub’s sales fall by 90% and a lot of negative publicity generated in the media, eventually forcing the Suffolk brewers into a U-turn. The pub has since been taken over by Fuller’s and is run by the former landlord of the Basketmakers Arms in Brighton.
You enter into a corridor, with a small bar area immediately to your right. This is a very basic space without tables – just a few bar stools and a bench seat under the front window. The Lewes coat of arms, which can also be found on the pub’s sign, has been painted on the end wall to quite good effect. The bar also serves a second room behind, which has some padded benches and low stools in a wooden floored space. There is a fireplace with a burner in it on one wall, a large collection of whisky boxes and a shelving unit in the corner which holds a mix of books and trophies, including one which is presented to the Lewes Arms Pea Throwing Champion – an annual event held at the pub. To the left of the corridor there is the largest room which, on my visit, was full of people enjoying their lunch from the reasonable menu. The seating is mainly standard tables and chairs, with a nice fireplace on the back wall, more whisky boxes and a dartboard and toad in the hole table. There are pump clips dotted all over the pub, but no single coherent collection seems to have been assembled yet.
On the bar, Harvey’s Best is still very much present and, based on my observations, still selling well. This was available alongside Fuller’s London Pride and Bengal Lancer, Gales HSB and Seafarers, Butcombe Bitter and Moles Best. I was a bit disappointed with the latter, although the conditioning was fine. I also enjoyed a nice, well filled bacon and brie sandwich for around a fiver.
This pub might be tied to a major brewery, but it has managed to retain its own sense of identity, much like the aforementioned Basketmakers Arms, I suppose. I really enjoyed this one and would mark it out as one of the essential stop off points on a visit to Lewes.

On 24th November 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]


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Mark Davey left this review about Lewes Arms

The Lewes Arms is a small but perfectly formed corner boozer. We were in just after lunch and the 6 of us managed to find seats in the tiny front bar. There was a good selection of brews on the bar and as I had already tried offerings from Harveys, I went for the London Pride, which whilst perfectly drinkable could have done with being a bit clearer. Nice locals and bar staff made us welcome, chatting about beer and the pub.

as we finished our pints, we decided on a quick game of toad in the Hole and although we didn't know the rules, an enjoyable half hour was spent making up our own rules and chucking the brass discs into the hole in the lead.

A must do beer location in Lewes, would call again if in town.

On 30th August 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 276 pubs]


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paulof horsham left this review about Lewes Arms

Having been a couple of times, I can advise that lunchtimes are fairly quiet, and you'll be hard-pressed to know what all the fuss is about in this well-regarded back-street pub. You'll get a table to yourself to contemplate your beer from the Fuller's range, Harvey's Sussex or occasional guest. Evenings are a different matter, however, when the place really comes alive with a real buzz of locals coming and going. Seats are at a bit of a premium, but the whole atmosphere is good-natured and lively. Food will still be served till 8.30 or 9.00, which is a bonus in a picturesque town low on nationwide chains.

If you're in Lewes for beer, you'll probably have it on your list, and rightly so.

On 28th August 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 282 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Graham Coombs left this review about Lewes Arms

Excellent little traditional locals' pub tucked round the back streets, next to the old Beard's brewery (now a craft centre). Nicely unspoilt and good to escape to for a quiet pint. Good range of Fullers group beers, plus Harveys Best, in good nick.

On 19th July 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2268 recommendations about 2216 pubs]


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Quinno _ left this review about Lewes Arms

This place made the headlines a few years ago when Greene King, in a fit of pig-headed arrogance, tried to remove the Harveys Best from the pub. So of course a visit here was nailed-on. It’s up the hill just behind the castle and the attractive curved exterior (it sits on a narrow backstreet corner) gives way to a corridor and rambling multi-room layout off it. There’s an upstairs room up some creaky stairs with a stage and nicely decked sun terrace. These days the pub is owned by Fullers and in the front bar there were seven pumps dispensing six ales, two clipped with Harveys Best, four from Fullers and an Okells guest. I tried an Okells (sacrilege!) which was OK but I’ve had better. Rooms are decorated with pictures old Lewes, beer mats and pump clips. One of the rooms houses a dart board and the local’s favourite game, Toad in the Hole. In the theatre room upstairs previous productions put on here are documented on the walls. There’s a bawdy panto every year I understand.

Just a brief visit due to time constraints but there was enough beer and character to bring me back again.

On 4th September 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4042 recommendations about 4030 pubs]


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Steve C left this review about Lewes Arms

This is not the biggest pub and the small front and back bar areas were taken up with locals so my wife and I decided to find a table in the quieter side room that also houses a dartboard and toad-in-the-hole table.

Harveys Best and a range of Fullers beers were available alongside Staropramen, Amstel and nicely kept Guinness.

This place is ok, but there are plenty of great pubs in Lewes and in my opinion this one doesn't really stand out from the crowd.

On 3rd November 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


paulof horsham left this review about Lewes Arms

A Fullers pub these days, but still offering Harveys Sussex Best as well as a guest ale - in my case Butcombe Bitter.

Clean and comfortable inside but, apart from its recent history, it didn't strike me as being any more or less interesting than so many other pubs.

On 8th July 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 282 pubs]

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