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