Thursday, 20 December 2007
Toad in the Hole at a pub with no food
My sister came to visit us from Wales yesterday, and we were at a bit of a loss as to what to do while the dinner was cooking. So I thought perhaps we would go to a pub. In the past we've been in the habit of going into Lewes for such purposes, usually to the Snowdrop (which I learn with some consternation is now closed, but that's another story). The last pub I went to in Newhaven was probably the Ark down on Riverside, which is OK but a bit trendy (although that is certainly an improvement, and they do serve Directors, which is one of my all time favourites).
But, I thought, when we're off boating we're always ready to try out a new pub, and sometimes we've been pleasantly surprised, and it's very rare that we've had a total failure. So I suggested we try our very nearest pub, which is only about three minutes' walk away. This is the Prince of Wales in South Road, and I haven't been in there for about fifteen years. Sister, son and I went and had a look, and found a nice, old fashioned, street corner local. No food; no jukebox (but nice enough music); no fruit machines. One real ale - but it was Harvey's, so that was fine, and it was in pretty good condition. At six o'clock on a Wednesday night, the place was empty; for quite a while literally, completely empty apart from us.
Other good points included original tiles in the loos (as it was so empty I was able to sneak into the gents for a quick look; very impressively, the copper pipework was polished); parquet floor in the public bar, and green glazed tiles on the floor adjacent to the bar.
And, best of all, Toad in the Hole.
Toad in the Hole is an old Sussex pub game, which involves throwing metal discs at a sloping table top which is covered in lead and has a hole in the middle. You score two points for getting one in the hole and one for it resting on the top, and the first person or team (me in this case) to get down exactly from 31 is the winner.