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Cambridge PuG Crawl, Friday 5th April 2024 with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

The Hole in the Wall, Chichester

1 St Martins Street
PO19 1NP

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

paulof horsham left this review about The Hole in the Wall

A re-visit and, sadly, it's still difficult to totally enthuse about this Big Smoke outpost. It ticks a lot of boxes, with 4/5 cask ales (Harvey's, a 360 and 2 in-house on my visit) plus a long wall of modern keg. There's even 4 cask ciders and it's all listed on A4 for you to peruse at your leisure.

But.... my pint of Solaris was a tricky 20 minutes and a pie and chips approaching £17 didn't really help matters.

Can't help thinking that someone from Head Office needs to pay a visit to up the standards to those closer to home.

On 15th June 2023 - rating: 6
[User has posted 443 recommendations about 415 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Hole in the Wall

Having visited most of the Big Smoke pubs in the South East and having generally enjoyed them, I was looking forward to a visit to the Chichester branch of this ever-expanding chain, as I'd heard a few good things about it.

The street in which the pub stands can initially be difficult to locate from the main East Street shopping thoroughfare. Whether the pub is named after the alleyway you take to enter St Martin's Street, I'm not sure, but the road widens out somewhat by the time you reach the Hole In The Wall.

The interior is fairly dark with lots of wood. We didn't venture much further than the bar, choosing to occupy the table nearest the door. However, the pub did seem to stretch back a fair way with further customers at the bar and beyond.

The strength (and also the weakness) of Big Smoke pubs is its range of beers and ciders. Big Smoke Solaris is the regular real ale. Guests were Tiny Rebel Astro Loaf, Siren Momento, Northern Monk Eternal, Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter & 360° Tacoma. Ciders were SeaCider White Peach Cider, Sandford Orchards Devon Mist & Abrahall's Lily the Pink.

The craft beer selection was a little confusing. They are all served by taps on the back wall of the bar. A list was displayed on a blackboard above. However, on closer inspection, the list did not exactly match the clips on the taps. Either way, breweries represented included Big Smoke, New Town, Electric Bear, Laine's, Partizan, Cassels, Unity, Wander Beyond, Purity, Siren & Tiny Rebel. I also noticed Saxby's Cherry Cider on draft.

I was instantly drawn towards the Tiny Rebel Astro Loaf, billed as a "Double Fudge Chocolate Stout". Having the appearance of muddy dishwater and being fairly insipid, I'm fairly sure I was drinking the dregs from the cask. But the chocolate taste still overrode any vinegary tastes that would have persuaded me that the beer was off. Having since looked at Untappd, I can see that The Hole In The Wall had been selling this beer since June 8th and I was drinking it at least 18 days after it had come on. I may have been doing them a disservice, as they may have had more than one cask, but 18 days would seem too long for a cask ale to survive in a drinkable condition.

Therein lies the problem with many of the Big Smoke pubs (certainly the newer ones). The range of beers is excellent, but the quality of them can be lacking, as they're simply not getting the throughput they need to maintain such a large range. They would be much better reducing the range to just 3 or 4 well-kept real ales.

Rant over. Whilst I really wanted to like this pub, beer quality is lacking. I'd return and give it another try if I happened to be in Chichester again. But overall, this visit was indifferent.

On 27th June 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2438 recommendations about 2437 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Hole in the Wall

I have to go along with Pauls take on this pub, It is undoubtedly one of the better pubs in Chichester as well as probably the busiest on my trip to the city, five beers on from the eight designated ale pumps leaving three turned clips, the remaining four handles were fully loaded with various Ciders. A pleasing pub, but as Paul mentions not a patch on their S.W.London brethren.

On 2nd January 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1845 recommendations about 1819 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

paulof horsham left this review about The Hole in the Wall

A "free house" operated by the expanding Big Smoke Brewery; sufficiently free in fact to have only one of their own ales on the pumps. 4 others were available, including Harvey's, but there were a few unclipped as well on this Saturday afternoon visit. I failed to take note of the keg offerings. Music was being played from a vinyl selection.

While the service at the bar and table was professional and friendly, I thought that The Hole In The Wall fell some way short of the standards set by their homeground pubs in South West London.

On 14th July 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 443 recommendations about 415 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Hole In The Wall

Not sure if this is a GK tied house. The pub sign would certainly indicate that and the four hand pumps were dispensing GK IPA and OSH with fortunately Wadworth 6X on another with the fourth pump unclipped.
As the reviewer below mentioned its tucked away location and pleasant exterior initially sets hope racing of a fine traditional back street pub. Sadly what you find is a modern sports bar lurking inside. There is a panel which tells that this is actually an 18th Century building which is believed to be a debtor’s prison and the name comes from a hole in the wall where visitors could pass food to prisoners. But apart from a small section of the original wattle and daub walling encased behind a glass panel, any history has long been swept away under modern décor makeovers.
The front bar area is more set up as a lounge and the back bar area is set up as a sports bar with pool table, dart boards and large flat screen teles for the advertised constantly available two sky channels. I actually counted six flat screens dotted throughout the two room interior, and although the ones in the front bar are smaller and less obtrusive it is very difficult in this pub to find a spot where you are not in full view of a screen.
I guess this place would be perfectly fine if you wanted to watch some sporting occasion whilst having a pint, but there are a lot better places in town for a quiet , relaxing beer.

On 19th June 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2094 recommendations about 1985 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Hole In The Wall

Tucked away down a narrow alley just off the pedestrianised shopping precinct, this at first glance looks as though it could be a hidden gem of a quaint old pub. That's not quite what we found though, although there is some exposed brickwork and a couple of old leather sofa's just inside the door.

Essentially it's a sports bar with five plasma's dotted around the place, a pool table and a darts board.

Beers on offer were Timothy Taylor Landlord, Greene King IPA and Abbot Ale. The only cider was Strongbow unfortunately.

On 1st April 2010 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1936 recommendations about 1850 pubs]