Fortune of War Pub (Brighton Beach – Brighton)

Set on the bustling beaches of Brighton is this shallow bar, with a spray of pcinic tables out front, grandually eroding from the salt off the shore. The theme inside is sailing and the water, with images of boats about the place. The bar staff are fast, the prices are low and the selection of ciders is impressive. Taking the plastic cups out drinks are served in we make our way out to the beach to basque in the hot sun.

Overall the Fortune of War is somethign of an instituation – no other bar along the beach looks as authentic, well established or with quite the same vibe – 7/10

The Western Front Pub (Brighton Town Centre – Brighton)

Just outside the main shopping centre in Brighton town centre and a short walk up from the beach is the Western Front Pub. This pub is bustling with activity with a sea of outdoor tables and chrome chairs to the rear with large wooden features within from heavy-set coffee tables to the thud of the floorboards on the floor. The service at bars upstairs and down during the day is fast and the food available is pretty hearty. The drinks are also quite well priced. We head up the stairs for a pint after a solid daytime drinking session, the upstairs bar remains closed and we can see into a small grubby looking kitchen but the room is very bright and spacious (all the other punters seem to prefer standing out in the sunshine). The sofas are torn apart soemwhat and sag, but they are comfortable and food arrives promptly as we partake in lunch.

Overall a welcoming and comfortable venue which I imagine gets over crowded at night but after a shopping spree or drinks at neighbouring bars on the beach, the Western Front is, at least, a good spot to stop for lunch – 7/10

The Atlas Pub (Hove – Brighton)

A weird musty smell hits me ad I enter this rather eccentric traditional pub. The place is kitted out with a scattering of heavy tables and only about a third are occupied. Over the fireplace a DVD plays over and over of fish in a virtual fish-tank. Books sit underneath it on a brick shelf and in the corner a stern faced teenager plays bar billiards- a game I have never seen played before. Half-mesmerised by watching bright balls jiggle into hole assembled across a one player green table with a cue, we approach the bar. The bar is stocked with a strange assortment of drinks, tequila rose sits beside an unidentifiable chocolate liquor but we steer clear and order pints from the various taps. I spot a kit kat resting happily in one of the drinks fridges and cigarettes for sale behind the bar and am, somewhat surprised by the community feel of the place. Off to the left of the bar is a quite well done up restaurant area with echoic toilets and I cannot explain why but i feel a little uncomfortable in a quiet local pub that is just so big.

Overall quite the full fledged experience and a good take on the local pub but not epic by any means – 6/10

The Wick Inn Pub (Hove – Brighton)

Away from the hustle and bustle of Brighton pier and its beach front bars is Hove. A town so close to Brighton that you would think they were one in the same. In fact Hove is that little bit more reserved, goes to sleep earlier and is picking up as a favoured location to get away from the student body of Brighton. The Wick Inn is a medium sized corner pub at the end of a commercial strip in Hove. From the outside it has all the trimmings of a traditional pub; a Gothic body, picnic tables for the smokers and a burly bouncer. Once inside I am confronted by a big bar area which fills the middle of the room as drinkers skirt around it, queuing from all sides to get a drink. The selection is not too bad, the bottles all laid out like soldiers behind the bar staff. The service is not particularly fast and odd characters to my left and right order beers and pints of cider. In the corner is a narrow winding staircase which heads up onto the first floor. Up here the banister of the stairs has giant heavy wooden needles at its summit and beyond the Gothic theme continues with booth-like tables and chairs, a plateau with more seating and a second bar which remains unoccupied during the evening. The toilet access is peculiar, there seems to be a second staircase running up and down the back of the pub which leads down to the toilets in the basement. Friendly faces pass you on the stairs, confused as to which floor they are on and how to get back to the top floor.
Overall The Wick Inn is a friendly pub which grows in popularity as the night wears on, unfortuantely there is no late license here and things seem to end without much of a applause as we exit the pub and begin looking and down the street for a decent kebab house – 6/10

Las Iguanas Bar (Brighton Town Centre – Brighton)

Las Iguanas Bar

Las iguanas is a chain of bars which really tries hard to be more of a chain of restaurants. The trouble is that the drinks deals are so good its difficult not to turn up, drink away and watch longingly at some of the food being served up to the diners. On this occasion we hit the bar early afternoon and hit a pitcher of sangria. It turns out that a two for one offer is one so we are left with two pitchers of sangria and with more ice than liquid begin making our way through the drinks. We choose to sit outside and watch an open air band play about 50m away from the chrome table and chairs we choose to sit at. This venue is located in a particularly pedestrianised little spot, the bikes are all stacked next to each other, burly rockers walk by hand in hand, the girlfriend indistinguishable from their boyfriend. Inside the diners tuck into their meals and pretty soon the wind picks up and we head inside, the venue is rather long and quite bright, one whole side of the place being windows which open out onto the lane outside. The decor is a pink red in colour, so a little arty and the toilets are hidden around a servey corner.

Overall the bar is not really much of a party hard veneue, the selection behind the bar is not dramatic and service is pretty slow, the bar itself is pretty sticky as well despite the venue being less than half full. The one thing I cannot knock are drinks prices during happy hour which sees them plummet far beniath anything any rival chain can drum up – 6/10