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Lansdown Arms, Lewes

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user reviews of the Lansdown Arms, Lewes

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

Landlady in the press, about the freeholder's (EI-formerly Enterprise) insurance policy.

It doesn't cover her pub's loss of earnings, due to coronavirus - although she's paid into it for 20 years.

As it's compulsory - by EI. Not good news for her, or those running pubs for the UK's biggest pubco.
tradervic - 17 Mar 2020 11:05
The Lansdown Arms is the first pub you see as you head up the hill from the station. The doors were wide open, which made it rather chilly. There is a small bar area as you enter and a slightly larger area just beyond, with a tree separating the two sections. Timothy Taylor Landlord is a regular ale. There was also Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter & Old Ale. The other guest beer was Gun Extra Pale. The real cider is Old Rosie. Makes for a fairly decent start to a tour of this town.
blue_scrumpy - 31 Dec 2018 18:10
Very friendly pub handy for the station (literally at the top of the station ramp) with several interesting ales.
Trev - 6 Apr 2018 22:12
It was very busy which should be a good sign, BUT the bar man was struggling. 3 or 4 beers including TT Landlord and of course Harveys Sussex. HOWEVER, as he spent the 5 minutes I was waiting to be served (and it was even longer for the person in front of me) looking down at the pump or the floor, he failed to make eye contact, failed to even acknowledge thT we were waiting and turned away to serve others that arrived after us.
First rule of bar man school, LOOK AT YOUR BAR AND YOUR CUSTOMERS.

I left and will not be going back. The licensee needs to train the staff urgently.
TonyMitch - 21 Mar 2018 19:17
It was very busy which should be a good sign, BUT the bar man was struggling. 3 or 4 beers including TT Landlord and of course Harveys Sussex. HOWEVER, as he spent the 5 minutes I was waiting to be served (and it was even longer for the person in front of me) looking down at the pump or the floor, he failed to make eye contact, failed to even acknowledge thT we were waiting and turned away to serve others that arrived after us.
First rule of bar man school, LOOK AT YOUR BAR AND YOUR CUSTOMERS.

I left and will not be going back. The licensee needs to train the staff urgently.
TonyMitch - 21 Mar 2018 19:17
Packed pub of an evening while you sit and wait for Southern Rail to apologise for something and for Chris Grayling's failures to once again impact upon your life.

Beer was alright, atmosphere decent.
terenced - 13 Feb 2018 08:54
Popped in on a Friday evening while waiting for our train home, packed when we arrived with people standing outstanding enjoying the mild evening.

The selection of ales was okay, I opted for a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord.

Music playing but not that intrusive, I still get amused that there’s a tree inside the pub!

Decent enough stop for a beer while waiting for your train.

lezford - 14 Jun 2016 11:00
Its ok for your first pint when getting off the train, but I always move on to somewhere else. The beer is ok, but the person who said it had a student union feel is spot on.
OldandBitter - 12 Feb 2016 23:16
I quite liked this place had a better feel to it than the others in the town and the Harvey's Bitter in here was better than the Harvey's places.
anonymous - 1 Nov 2015 21:41
7.1 / 10 at the time of writing... Surprising as I found this to be just an ordinary pub, nothing wrong with it, but nothing special either.

I stopped for one on a late Friday afternoon, had the obligatory Harvey's Best, which when perfect is an excellent best bitter! But, the beer was just like the pub, not great, but nothing really wrong with it either.

There are far better pubs in Lewes however.......
Ade.The.Raider - 2 Apr 2015 15:37
After a long day in Lewes and a lot of beer there was just enough time to finish off in this pub right by the station.

It was pretty packed around 8.30pm when we dropped in for a quick beer while we waited for the train.

Several ales on offer however the first pint we ordered was flat as a pancake and undrinkable, the barmaid didn't seem bothered about changing it so we spoke to the manager and after testing it disagreed it was ropey but he changed it regardless and we got a fresh pint which was perfect. This was Harvey’s Sussex Best.

Managed to get a seat by the door, the majority of the clientele were young adults…..mostly getting ready for a night on the town.

Not a bad pub for the station and will try again if I need a pint while waiting for a train.
lezford - 5 Jan 2015 16:45
This had some genuine charm in a student union kind of a way a few years ago but it was a little more of a generic by the station kind of pub on a recent visit. Decent enough even though there was an element of funkiness to the Harveys (on the cusp of the turn) but just about drinkable.

Not charmless by any means and worth popping your head it while running for an inevitably late running Southern service.
terenced - 1 Jul 2014 13:31
We had just enough time for a quick half each before our train and I plumped for Taylors Landlord which was OK but nothing exciting. This is a lively boozer which makes for a good first or last call bnefore the station. We didn't really get a chance to look round but it appeared more geared up more the younger drinker than our age group.
mcroyal - 11 Jan 2014 11:35
Wandered in here late last Friday and was surprised to find a young student crowd, was crowded and quite lively, staff were friendly, good atmosphere even if I did feel abit old. And of course an excellent pint of Harveys best, the good people of Lewes really are spoilt when it comes to having a fine local brew on tap.
scarr - 16 Mar 2012 23:31
Hugely improved since being re-acquired by former host Ben and Viv. Don't be put off if you have visited in the last few years and didn't "get it". Its now sanitary (without being antiseptic) ,offers some good stodge to soak up the beer , a quirky, bohemian atmosphere, friendly staff and should definitely be on your list if visiting Lewes or waiting for a train.
ghostofcaptain - 18 Aug 2011 10:28
2 out of 4 ales on. Reasonable enough pub that is handy for the station. The Doombar was nice enough. First pub you come to enroute from the station to the town.
anonymous - 17 Apr 2011 11:23
2 out of 4 ales on. Reasonable enough pub that is handy for the station. The Doombar was nice enough.
anonymous - 17 Apr 2011 11:21
Called in between trains.Good to find both Sheppy's cider & Broadoak Perry on tap.Liked the tree, ghost & general decor but does there have to be that very loud music blaring??
jgurney1 - 30 Dec 2009 20:13
Harveys Best, Dark Star, Over the Moon and a couple of random ales were available during my visit along with a standard draught selection from which I had a decent pint of Guinness.

Im glad to hear this is a music venue as I got that feeling whilst there even though nothing much was going on. There was a match football match playing, but the plasma was off and I saw no sport ads so I gather there is no Sky Sports.

I was surprised to see a paper-mache tree in the bar area, but not so surprised to find the smelliest toilet in Lewes festering at the rear of the pub.

I found it hard to get settled in here and if in Lewes again I will walk past to the superior pubs up the steep hill.
Strongers - 4 Nov 2009 22:52
We tried this pub quite a few months ago after a (reliable) friend told us about the excellent live music and good beers; though when we wnt we were disappointed on both fronts (bad techno music blasting out).

However, we have been for the last few Saturday nights and they have had some really good live music acts on, which has attracted a mixed and friendly crowd.

A couple of beers very good (Sharps superb). This is now my favourite local (sorry Gardeners).

gelksy - 29 Jun 2009 20:20
Dropped in quickly on the way back to the station. I found it a bit dreary and the poor ale selection told me not to trust the quality. Probably serves its purpose as a station pub and to avoid the walk up that hill to the decent pubs.

Millay - 14 Jun 2009 10:13
After the improvement in beer range, things seem to have slipped again. It also seems there is quite often no real cider or perry, despite a successful cider festival a month or so ago. I have heard reports that the pub has been put up for sale.
southdown12jack - 29 May 2009 13:50
Very handy for the station for a first or last pint, but rather disappointed yesterday with the limited selection. Popped in early to find just Harveys Best and Flowers on with three pumps reverse clipped. The side snug seems to be the cider bar, where Hecks Farmhouse(6.5%) and Double Vision(7.4%) were on, but again other pumps unused. A music venue with a stage in the corner of the main bar. Partly wooden and partly stone flagged floors, there is also a papier mache tree!
Later visit pre match at the nearby Dripping Pan only to find no real ale left at all, so supped a quick half of cider. Perhaps our small band of travelling fans had drunk the place dry. On reflection, I should've stayed for a few more ciders to anaesthetise me for the dross to follow. I note the current high rating, perhaps I was unlucky choice wise, so I'll try again on another Lewes visit.
Maldenman - 5 Apr 2009 16:28
This pub now has a much improved beer range with Dark Star beers alongside the Harvey's Best. A real draught cider and perry is usually available too. I understand there is to be a cider festival at the end of March.
southdown12jack - 5 Mar 2009 13:28
the bottom of the hill ... in more ways than one ... but sometimes its what you want .
9ooner - 20 Dec 2008 21:27
If your in a flamboyant mood, you have a flamboyant pub here

Maybe not for everyone, but it was an enjoyable visit. The barman had a group of friends in, student types, all having a laugh together, with an ipod connected for some music selection. But they were chatty and friendly enough, making for a welcome 'they could eventually have poured your choice of pint before you've uttered a word on entry' sort of hostelry...
the_original_rawnsleys - 14 May 2007 11:14
A friendly pub serving up a decent pint of Harveys.

Friendly, chatty bar staff even if the rest of the clientele were off their nut (in a slightly oafish yet somehow charming way) on cider. It could only be cider.

Music remained interesting.

This pub seemed to be getting it right.

Next time in town would definitely re-visit. Terenced gives the thumbs-up.
terenced - 14 May 2007 08:20
I can only assume that the people who rave about this pub either don't drink real ale or don't care whether it's any good. There appears to only be Harvey's Best, which shouldn't be a problem as it's a brilliant beer, but I'm afraid the pint I had on Friday was nothing like as good as it should have been. There are plenty of better places to drink in Lewes.
southdown12jack - 29 Jan 2007 15:13
Good pint of beer, friendly and welcoming (even for away supporters!!) Cracking little pub
darlofan - 12 Nov 2006 18:05
To my mind this is easily the best pub in Lewes. The beer is very well kept, with a good selection. There is a wonderfully eclectic mix of people and everyone seems really welcome. Splendid
Carrot_Cruncher - 4 Nov 2006 00:24
I agree, the Lansdown has really taken over from the snowdrop as the most popular pub in Lewes. They have easily the best entertainment and the best Juke Box. It can get overcrowded on a Friday and Saturday night, but at least it doesnt get full of chavvy knobheads like the lamb. Excellent pub and good beer too.
Leweslive - 3 Nov 2006 14:28
A pleasantly mixed bag of punters, and one can see why: aside from its convenient and prominent presence opposite the station which will bring in some passing trade, it has a nice balance of appealing to the young and the old. It serves well-kept real ale, which to many is a boon, and ensures plenty of entertainment for those less keen on the quality of the ale and the pub, but want a lively night out.
I can't agree that the Lansdown is the town's "best" pub, but I can agree to differ. It doesn't excel in any particular area, but it has the capacity to please most of the people most of the time.
TWG - 18 Oct 2006 18:07
Friendly pub with healthily varied cientele: older regulars, young regulars, workers popping in for a quick one at lunchtime, students from the nearby sixth-form college scraping together silvers and coppers for a pint and all manner of others, not (thankfully) including pugnacious types, whom the eccentrically cluttered interior and cheery ambience have succeeded in not attracting. The staff are always friendly, although neither exemplary in attentiveness nor consistent in pint-pouring, two minor hitches that fail to spoil the place. With the bonus of unexpensive spirits, Harveys Best (the superb local brew) and an impressively well-stocked jukebox which is free in the daytime, the Lansdown is a pub-for-all which loses none of its charm as a result. Mostly, The Lansdown is characterised by its charmingly idiosyncratic assembly of incongruous items scattered about the place (a saxophone on the wall; a detailed mock Angel of Death on the ceiling; miscellaneous pictures; a large, somehow untacky papier mache tree going from floor to ceiling). Whether or not these are to your liking, you can't omit the Lansdown from a pubcrawl in Lewes, and when you reach it, you may not leave, although when it gets packed on nights you'll wish some other people would if you're the sort of person who likes to be served, rather than not even seen. Perhaps Lewes's best pub.
anonymous - 24 Jan 2006 05:15
This pub is without a shadow of a doubt, the best pub in Lewes.
Recently refurbished from its old tempory name, "The White Star", the lansdowon has become established as the most entertaining pub in lewes.
The lansdown attracts like minded interesting people and is very welcoming. It has begun to get a name for itself through the wild nights they throw, and is often the last pub going on a friday/saturday night, but never a fight outside, which is more than can be said for other trendy lewes pubs.

The landlords Ben and Viv deserve the very best from this place, they have brought it from strength to strength, and I hope things keep getting better for them.
organic23 - 27 Nov 2005 12:14

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