skip nav  

Stag, Hastings

back to pub details

user reviews of the Stag, Hastings

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

Not quite sure how this can be 'ungentrified' in the area... but I kind of know what they mean. Is a SN pub (and, contrary to others, I am a fan of their beers). When I first visited this in 2013 it was run by a lovely person who gave me a tour. Since then, I have visited and the new owners tried to give me a tour (but knew nothing about the place... not that I asked, but they seemed to want to find out and, for some reason (I suppose being surrounded with such history) were quite apologetic for not knowing... not that I cared). Beer was still well kept. Garden is great. One of the best functional boozers in Hastings.
TinkertyTonk - 18 Jul 2016 18:06
A pleasant, friendly place with well kept beers.
blooms - 8 May 2016 21:58
An ungentrified be cent place.
Good, well kept beer.
Friendly staff.
blooms - 8 May 2016 21:55
This is a great pub. The landlord was very friendly and helpful, even recommending a bottled lager to my wife, which is now her favourite beer.

The menu was varied and we both enjoyed our food and beer. We hope to return next time we are in Hastings.
stoutbill - 2 Sep 2013 18:24
Now has occasional "guest" ales, which is a bonus :) Excellent boozer.
molyneux - 5 Mar 2013 07:24
I went in this pub recently and recalled that I went to school with the girl behind the bar. She didn't recognise me and was very rude. I had a badly presented half of Shepperd Neame Amber Ale. As a brewery the beers are all pretty bad but the Amber was having an off day like the bar maid. I stood at the bar and she proceeded to scowl and be rude to everyone that came to the bar including the local head of CAMRA, he's a nice guy and seemed not to notice she was rude to him. For beer and customer servcie it has to be 0/10 but for being a lovely old building it gets a point.
Badmouth - 28 Jun 2012 12:33
Lovely little pub, friendly welcome and excellent beer. Mummified cats a little startling at first. My local friend tells me they do good food and music nights, but sadly we weren't in town for long enough to sample. I have every plan to go back.
Southerngirl - 22 Jun 2012 11:02
Lovely old pub, log fires, green men, mummified cats and all. Very warm welcome to us non-locals, and very helpful with guiding us through the selection of Shepherd Neame beers.
Food was just what was needed. No airs and graces, just generous portions of decent simply cooked lamb and cod.
Would definitely return and would recommend a visit.
tommoh - 29 Apr 2012 16:43
Absolutely lovely pub early on a Saturday evening.
Excellent, cool pint of Early Bird.
Quiet, no music, and quiet clientele. Very pleasant woody room with nice old oak tables.
Friendly, nice landlord.
AbeC - 11 Mar 2012 20:17
Excellent food, very high quality, well presented and amazing value for money. I really could eat here 7 nights a week.

Apart from that a very friendly pub with locals that are happy to chat to strangers and make them feel welcome. A lot of events such as live music, which is really well done and very intimate, (the players just sit around one of the larger tables).

I really liked this pub, it's a real pub with loads of character and stands in stark contrast to the soulless chain pubs that are all clones of each other.
Triggerhippy - 16 Sep 2011 22:06

I do wonder if we visited the same pub as as our experience was vastly different.

We were on holiday in Hastings for a week and stayed only a few doors away so it became our “local” for the week – it’s definitely one of the best pubs we’ve ever visited. It has a great history and although the mummified cats on the wall aren’t to everyone’s taste, they are part of that history.

Although the drinks aren’t the cheapest (keeps the riff-raff out), this didn’t really matter as everything else was pretty perfect. The pub interior is quite cosy and it’s easy to get chatting with staff and customers alike as everyone was very friendly and welcoming (including the aforementioned barmaid Terry /Terri?). The landlord also acts as chef and there’s a second chef on a Thursday night (he’s a real character – laugh-a-minute) and, not to forget the barman with the ponytail, all are extremely hard working and check regularly that everything’s okay with you.

There are two tiers to the garden (if you fancy a ciggie). We didn’t go up to the upper garden but the lower one was fairly well sheltered which was welcome as the weather wasn’t great).

Entertainment was plentiful: Monday – quiz night (great fun), Tuesday – Folk night (sadly we missed this one), Wednesday – Blue Grass night (superb), Thursday – Shanty singers.

Food: very reasonably priced and large portions – veggie and vegan options were delicious: wild mushroom & ale pie, vegan curry, home-made veggie burger. There were also veggie sausages which I didn’t get round to trying. For meat eaters – the wild boar pie, chicken skewers, chicken curry, mackerel were also superb.

All in all, this is a great pub – the landlord works extremely hard to ensure all of their customers are happy and he’s succeeded! Well done Stag Inn. We’ll be back again for more!

albatross1 - 12 Sep 2011 16:37
We visited 4 pubs in Hastings today and this was definitely the least favourite of them all. The pub was devoid of atmosphere considering it is the oldest in Hastings. This was made any better by the miserable barmaid who really should find alternative employment, i.e not in a customer facing role! The beers were all from Shepherd Neame and lacked the variety of say The Dolphin further down the road. Perhaps this place is better on an evening as we visited mid Saturday afternoon. - 27 Feb 2011 12:07
Popped in for a pint in the summer (Not sure if Stanley below has actually been to the pub as he made no comment about the pub itself) And the pint was OK but they had no Bacardi and didn't seem to know what it was, there must have been a shortage though as 2 other pubs didn't have it that day either! I didn't actually pay attention to the price of the beer but 3.30 in April was pretty steep, the pint was only mediocre so may be a while before I pop back, it is widely thought that this is the oldest "surviving" pub in Hastings but their are other contenders.
real_ale_ade - 24 Aug 2010 15:02
Quite nice inside, friendly staff and good ale. Open fire which was nice as it had got a bit parky but I did end up sweating like a diseased hog after about an hour but a shift of tables solved that. I'll go back again when I'm in the old town.
scrumweasel - 28 Apr 2010 23:53
Popped in on Saturday lunchtime - pretty quiet - lovely atmospheric pub and a great beer garden out at the back set in tiers against a pretty steep hill.

Excellent choice of 5 ales - only problem was the £3.30 per pint for a pub that is by no means centrally located.
mjc - 14 Apr 2010 14:40
The Stag now carries most of the seasonal and trial ales from Shep's 'Pilot' micro-brewery, plus other occasional guest beers.
I can thoroughly recommend the food, especially the Chorizo stew.
A well run pub that is definately worth a visit.
molyneux - 12 Mar 2010 21:20
If you wanted Sunday lunch, why not try a restaurant ? Food in pubs is certainly handy at times, but a pub should be a pub first, and the food side secondry.
Nothing more annoying than popping into a pub for a decent pint, and finding the place packed with families eating, and not a single pint of ale being quaffed.
Stanley - 7 Aug 2009 12:13
Went there for Sunday lunch on 28th June and looked in the bar at just after 1 pm to see all the tables empty and about 5 old men propping up the bar, I didn't stay, I went straight out and lunched in the Jenny Lind.
real_ale_ade - 8 Jul 2009 19:49
Pub changed hands in 2009 (used to be in the Jenny Lind)

You must try the food it is very good.

Did not see any bearns running around so warning not required.

Food 9/10 great portions good selection
Ale 8-9/10 You cannot go wrong with a well kept cellar.

Really is recommended.

pint_o_mild_please - 21 May 2009 13:48
Sorry, forgot to mention the beer garden, which is a very pleasant area, including a kids play area (You have been warned)
zagreb - 1 May 2009 09:10
Shepherd Neame beer was actually nice, Spitfire on draught is usually. Was quite busy, but not with people drinking, dressing the pub up for the annual May day weekend celebrations of 'Jack in the Green'
zagreb - 1 May 2009 09:09
This pub has been pretty dismal for the last couple of years on the whole, with a series of miserable staff and a general lack of concern. However, it's very recently been taken over by the people from the Jenny Lind, who've injected some life and love into the place.

They're doing a great job to turn it back into a buzzing Old Town pub, and although it's Shepherd Neame they have a good range of well-kept beers, so I'm looking forward to some merry summer nights in the beer garden!
melita666 - 23 Feb 2009 16:06
New couple just taken over and a more polite welcome assured :)
now even more 'traditional', but also clean. open regular hours with a good food offering.
Probably as good as a Shep's pub can get, well worth a visit

molyneux - 17 Feb 2009 22:21
This is a lovely pub which I spent a glorious summer evening at; listening to a great zydeco band (Jumbo Gumbo) in the back room and generally chilling out after a day on the beach. The beer garden was small but had seating and you couuld always sit on the fountain's wall. Good selection of real ale and the barmaids were really friendly. Prices were good - a pleasing suprise today. Well done girls - you worked so hard in the heat and we had a great time!
Minidriver - 31 Jul 2008 18:24
Visited on a Friday lunchtime and we were the only people there. Seems an interesting old pub though and the Shepherd Neame Porter was excellent.
Floyd - 28 Dec 2007 15:51
What a shame. Excellent pint of beer in a nice old pub.( Except for the fridge freezer stuck in the corner of the back room ) Served by rude and impolite staff. Garden could be wonderful, but is a complete mess, with horrible plastic plants! Dirty ashtrays, and dirty glasses seemed to have been there a few days! Considering it is quite a way from the main pub circuit, you would think they would make more effort. Won't be visiting again.
aliwoo - 12 Jun 2007 20:43
Popped in over the weekend to sample food and ale.

Both were of a decent standard and I would recommend it as a pub on the 'Grand Tour Pub Crawl' for ales and for the Olde Look and feel of the pubbe and buildings as you walk up to it. The mummified cats add to the charm of the place too.

The pub is situated towards the top end of All Saints Street, keep sea behind you and it is on the right.

pint_o_mild_please - 30 May 2007 12:57
A fine pub, and perhaps the most typically "traditional" in Hastings Old Town with its wooden floor, genuine beams and two open fire places (sadly neither appear ever to be in use!).

Other points it The Stag's favour are a good atmosphere, friendly staff, enjoyable regular folk and quiz nights, a decent back room for darts and a good and reasonably priced menu. It is also far away enough from the sea front so as not to allow too much riff raff in even when it is busy over peak times such as the May Day bank holiday.

However, despite the fine building (which is the biggest plus) it does suffer from the rather unavoidable fact that is a Shepherd Neame pub (one of many in the Old Town, and one generally being enough per county). Although the beer is kept very well (probably the best Shepherd Neame in Hastings) it is still Shepherd-bloody-Neame (!) and is not that cheap (which could be avoided!). The other main draw-back is that the back room has also been tarted up in the last year or so to give it a more "contemporary" feel; the leather sofa and cocktail bar style stools do not really suit the place and it was much better and far more unique when it the now disposed of bar billards table was allowed to dominate the area. However, when its not too packed it still makes an excellent place to play darts.

As regards the garden, I have never been a great fan of it. It is open in the summer months and is certainly long and with a fair capacity. Nonetheless, it is a little unkempt and rather too much of a climb which puts you at too great a distance from the pub to enjoy its atmosphere if you happen to be near the top end. Personally, I'd rather stay inside!

All in all, the Stag is a very good pub, but I would only recommend spending an entire evening in there for the live music, or if yopu don't mind Shepherd Neame. Good for a few drinks, but pop across to the FILO and its beer for a full session.
Beerhead1 - 19 Oct 2006 15:22
Came here in the middle of the Jack-in-the-Green celebrations. Given a warm welcome and a perfect pint of Early Bird. For fans of the weird, there are some mummified mammal finds in a case on the wall. For the fresh air fans there is a sloping beer garden.

This place is lovely!
BettyPage - 14 May 2006 11:38
Lovely small old pub - very well looked after.

Serves, by far, the best kept Shepherd Neame beer in the town.

The pub also has a suprisingly nice garden for the old town area of Hastings.
David Gower - 23 Aug 2005 11:56

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.