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Ye Olde Smugglers Inn, Alfriston

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user reviews of Ye Olde Smugglers Inn, Alfriston

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Sorry about the predictive speller stuff by I guess you will get my drift.
persist_artist - 2 Apr 2017 16:25
This is probably the most expensive pub in East Sussex at £5.00 per pint if very indifferent quality beer that has travelled all of 2 miles to get there. Dont get ripped off here, try the Plough and Harrow in Litlington, just diwn the road. Better beer, better prices £3.60 a pint today, better garden, I'm sure the food is better too, it certainly looked it. Its a better outlook with a very large car park, the service is better too.
persist_artist - 2 Apr 2017 16:23
The new landlord (brother of the previous one) has made some improvements including better food. He is also on the right side of the bar serving. The beer range is very good and kept in good condition, with Harveys being always on, including Old during the winter. Very convivial atmosphere on a Saturday evening with locals and visitors. Still my favourite pub in Alfriston, although the competition isn't that great.
Sussexcrawler - 6 Apr 2014 07:07
Very nice pub with friendly staff - had four ales on when visited, there from Harvey's and one from Skinners of Cornwall called Cornish Knocker - opted for the Harvey' was in good condition - wish I could have stayed longer but had already done the rounds by then - recommended.
kernott1 - 8 Dec 2013 20:23
What a relief to find a nice pub in Alfriston after a disastrous time in The Star and discovering The George was shut on a Saturday afternoon in July. The Smugglers has a rally nice interior and the beer and staff were most pleasant. If you have the energy, walk down along the river and up to The White Horse (chalk engraving) for fabulous views.
BiffoBeer - 31 Jul 2012 14:06
I first visited this pub in the summer of 2006. Returning very recently, I noticed that it appeared to have undergone some refurbishment since 2006 (there were previously some odd wall paintings in the back garden, but these have now been removed). Overall I found it a very pleasant, comfortable place, with a nice range of ales (Doom Bar, Harvey's and Heart of Rother, plus one other I don't remember). I also found the service very friendly.
beermann - 9 Sep 2010 20:15
I have some doubts about this place. The beer was good but the staff off hand. The girl behind the bar was moaning about being on her own, moaning about the kitchen, moaning about delays in serving food. She was missing for 2-3 minutes at a time ; I saw punters walk out either because they had got tired waiting to see a person appear behind the bar or put off by her abrupt manner. Seems to be a popular CAMRA pub; not sure why.
GrahamH - 21 Jun 2010 22:21
Friendly pub with a good selection of beer and some good pub food. The bars are comfortable and the large settees very welcome after a walk from Eastbourne.
Room was fine as I was staying on my own but was pretty basic - it did the job though. The staff were great and seem to be really trying hard and I felt very welcome.
Cooked english breakfast was one of the best I have ever had!
chew - 28 May 2010 15:18
Locals bar at the front separated from the dining areas that wind their way out the back to the large conservatory room. Quite pleasant to sink in to one of the two low sofas in front of the roaring fire. Dark Star Hophead, Harveys Best, TT Landlord and Doombar are on offer, the first two were in cracking condition. The Old Rosie cider pump was not in use. Efficient and friendly bar staff.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 17 May 2010 11:42
This used to be THE local to go to in Alfriston, and as such used for many years.
Under the new ownership of the last 2 to 3 years the range of ales and food has improved : sadly the speed of food service has not always kept up. We find this usually to be good at lunchtimes, but of an evening has twice been SO slow.
Still held by many regulars in very high regard, including those travelling in a long way to take in the atmosphere.
Beware the arrival of coach parties in the summer.
Pleasant garden out at the back.
legs2x11 - 17 Jan 2010 22:28
It just occurred to me to give you all a warning (or maybe a nice surprise). Mobile phone signals are virtually no-existent here so don't forget to pre-book a taxi if you need one.

Oh yeah, by the way, I still like this pub; its one of the few places around here that do Dark Star Hophead.
persist_artiste - 10 Nov 2009 14:39
Great pub came here after being treated in a disgusting fashion at the Wingrove down the road and found this to be a welcoming friendly place. Good food and reasonable drinks. Great beer garden(s) and live music.
sussex - 31 Aug 2009 19:21
This pub is in a prime location but there is something about it that doesn't work. The beer is generally good but the service is not the most welcoming. The food is fine for straightforward meals e.g. scampi & chips but anything more adventurous often ends in disaster but it is reasonably cheap. This could be a great pub but has a mixed reputation locally and needs to pull its socks up.
Sussexcrawler - 13 Aug 2009 16:02
Walked here from Seaford a while ago. It was PIE WEEK as regards the menu, when we visited and my wife loved the curried pidgeon pie. My lunch was also very good. The ales were superb, they had Timmy Taylors Landlord on when we were there, one of my favourites and it was spot on. This place seems better value for money than at least one of the other pubs in the town and gets my vote. Quite conveniently there is a bus stop outside; the bus goes to Seaford so it saved us walking. I reckon the other pubs will have to go some to beat this. I might not bother trying them now though.
persist_artist - 7 Jul 2009 17:27
I chose this pub at random when visiting Alfriston with some friends, and it turned out to be an excellent choice. I had the chicken and mushroom pie, which was really nice with large chunks of chicken. The sausage and mash and Thai curry were also good meals. The service was pleasant and friendly.

As I was driving, I was sadly unable to try the ales but I was told they were of high quality.
FlyingFinn - 31 May 2009 12:40
This is one of my favourites! The food is always great, the portions generous and excellent value.
lindad - 14 Apr 2009 20:39
Visited this pub whilst out walking on Saturday. 4 Real Ales on and the 2 I tried in very good order. Ate hear as they were having a pie week special. Food was superb, had rabbit pie with proper pastry and vegatables. I will visit here again.
Rudolph - 9 Mar 2009 17:03
Poor pub, 4 real ales, very dark and very empty and very expensive say no more
superseagulls - 25 Feb 2009 17:04
Unfortunately has gone down hill since Maureen and Robbie have left. Tables and floor filthy, no wonder the lighting is very low.
sarahpayne - 23 Nov 2008 11:49
The smugglers is by for the best pub in alfriston i drank there for a good while and now i have move back to newcastle i do miss it say hello to everbody in there and also in the village tell louise harmer i said hello and to get her husband to drop me a line some time good luck keep the harveys at its best
geordiejk - 29 Oct 2008 17:29
Seems as though it has been 3 years since my last visit. Pub frontage restored, Harveys just as good but food prices seem to be standard for the area (10+ mains)
We were doing a pub crawl this time and didn't want a full blown lunch so tried, and can recommend, the hot snacks from the general store a couple of doors to the right (as you exit)
lout_from_the_lane - 3 Oct 2008 15:34
Friendly and unpretentious food-led pub, but with very good Dark Star on my visit. Hepworth was less good (there was a beer fest on). Food was standard pub fayre but pretty good; children welcomed.
mtaylor40 - 29 Aug 2008 22:35
Have visited twice since Robbie and Mo have left.
The first time was in winter where a lovely fire in the inglenook was welcoming, unfortunately the language from the bartender was much to be desired.
The second time in July, thankfully the said bartender was not serving, but unfortunately we waited a long time for the food and the tables and floor needed a good clean.
michelleparker - 1 Aug 2008 17:39
Good food and excellent value with generous portions. Friendly staff. Nice, cosy pub.
lindad - 6 Jul 2008 14:07
enticing village pub all day opening serving delicious food,wines,real ale wonderful friendly staff friendly atmosphere large conservatory leading out to patio and gardens a pub which is full of character
sheena - 29 Feb 2008 12:33
Sadly, Robbie and Maureen are leaving the pub on 13th of July, due to ill health, they'll be missed.
exiledyorkie - 11 Jul 2007 23:14
visited this pub out of curiosity, as with one of the previous comments we found it to be a very closed shop to outsiders. We did eventually get talking to a couple, but they were also outsiders just testing the water.will not be visiting this pub again.
bjork - 8 May 2007 17:54
We went there on a miserable wet winter Saturday.

First impressions were of a warm and inviting local, public bar of happy people enjoying the atmosphere and each others company.

I was served quickly, nice pint of Harvey's best.

Food was pub grub and good though not exceptional. What was exceptional for these days was that the bar staff, the mature waitress who had been working there since Noah and the young waitresses who brought the food were all smiling and gracious people. For that alone, they get 9/10. For the beer, the ambiennce and food-8/10.

It won't be for everyone I know, we however WIll be back soon.
strider77 - 16 Jan 2007 09:03
All pubs in Alfriston are charming in some way, but the Smugglers has the edge not only in terms of character but for ale enthusiasts. It is full or horse-brasses, which is hardly original. But look more closely and it is bedecked with all sorts of curious Victorian gadgetry, amongst other things. There is a huge fireplace, and a friendly buzz around the bar as locals meet to discuss the latest gossip.
The ales are kept perfectly and in addition to 2 Harvey offerings, there can often be an interesting guest as well, from someone like White.
Haven't eaten here although it is a well-run ship so I expect the grub would be decent.
TWG - 18 Oct 2006 17:13
Pleasant enough but could be so much better. Like other pubs in tourist spots I think there is a touch of 'captive audience syndrome' Beer fine and food OK but the menu is almost back to the basket era and everything comes with chips. If you are visiting by coach then you're stuck with it but if you come by car then there are much better establishments a short drive away.
REVERENDBAZ - 15 May 2006 10:02
Great pub, good atmosphere. Pub now restored to former glory as now re built at front. Pub food good and very reasonably priced.
anonymous - 29 Sep 2005 22:41
Lovely village with 3 pubs. We called in the Smugglers as is a regular entry in the Good Beer Guide (Harveys) and the food reasonably priced (for its location). Ale was up to expectations and the food tasty.
Consists of several rooms and a garden area at the back. The main bar area was a bit dark due to the frontage still undergoing restoration after a ram-raid last year wrecked the front of the pub.
lout_from_the_lane - 4 Jul 2005 14:11

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