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Black Jug, Horsham

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user reviews of the Black Jug, Horsham

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

Very friendly welcome. Helped us to find a table. Popular both lunchtime and in the evening which isn't surprising as there's an interesting selection of unusual ales on draft.
Trev - 5 Feb 2022 13:09
3 fairly ubiquitous ales plus a couple of less common ones. Good selection of food, very tasty and good service. Very warm on a warm day, and awkward sized tables for small groups, but definitely worth a visit en route between town centre and station.
Trev - 3 Aug 2018 19:37
£4.50 a pint now. And still plenty of twenty-somethings, and those old enough to know better, paying drink by drink with their debit cards. But the atmosphere in there is always good, the beer always well kept, the wine list has some novel twists, and, whilst it isn't my local, I'll walk the extra distance to visit the Jack Blug for sometime to come.
workhard - 27 Feb 2015 18:51
An atypical gastro pub.Very food orientated and very expensive both for food and beer.Staff were friendly and efficient but this didn't seem to stop the manager coming down and quietly giving out to two of them while I was there.Get the impression he is a 'James Blunt' to work for.If you want a proper pub in Horsham go to the Stout House.
boundsgreenboy - 17 Sep 2014 12:18
The Black Jug has tried hard to provide what the "middle classes" want from a pub these days and it seems to have succeeded.

It is warm and cosy, good range of well kept ales, wines and whiskies. The furniture is hotchpotch of various old chairs and tables as is the vogue. The staff are friendly and efficient.

The food was OK. Again they are trying hard but, judging by our one experience, it is not quite right.

It was nicely busy Friday lunchtime and evening.
thegiant - 6 Oct 2013 09:50
Best pub in Horsham by some distance! However, children are ruining the atmosphere. Could be a great pub again if they would stick to the hours that kids are allowed. It is rarely enforced, changes daily and the management are too weak to deal with the problem, so the problem goes on.
Beerzone - 25 Aug 2013 21:11
Came in after a fine meal in town and a few beers before catching the train home.

Good selection of ales and a nice friendly atmosphere

In my opinion probably the best pub in Horsham.
lezford - 9 Aug 2013 16:54
£4.10 a pint now. It feels like it is starting to price itself of my menu. And the bar service can be very hit and miss, not helped by groups of twenty-somethings buying their own drinks each using a debit card. Buy rounds or stay home people, pur-leeze.

Always call in on a Sunday evening for one or two with the wife. A quiet natter and a read of the broadsheets. I'll probably still be doing so when it is £5.00 a pint!
workhard - 5 Aug 2013 16:07
This pub is nice but the snooty staff think their muck is better than yours,the little girls need to grow up and ths prices are astronomical and the food is crap..

fishyboy - 4 Nov 2012 21:07
The best pub in Horsham for real ale. Always a good choice and good quality.
wa11ace - 12 Feb 2012 10:29
Lunchtime haunt for the Royal Sun Alliance workers. I used to prefer the Bell (long since demolished) as I found the Hurst Arms (as it was) a bit pretentious.
tommo5 - 12 Aug 2011 20:01
This place is 5-10mins walk from Horsham station and it did everything right by me. As I sought refuge on a miserable wet Thursday lunchtime, the charming young lady behind the bar greeted me cheerfully and when I commented on the selection of ales she offered me three tastings of the lighter ones I prefer without me needing to ask - always a plus. I settled for a pint of Everards Sunchaser Blonde which was excellent, as was the Ringwood Fortyniner. The Deuchars IPA was maybe slightly past its best. Harveys best was on tap together with Wychwood Hobgoblin, with Westons Vintage Organic making up the sixth pump.

The atmosphere was friendly, clearly popular at lunchtime with office types, many obviously regulars. Lots of interesting prints and knickknacks on the walls together with a well-stocked bookshelf always another nice feature. The place is much larger than it looks from the street with a pleasant glazed area towards the rear

I cant comment on the food as I dont generally eat in pubs we were booked into the China Brasserie next door, which was also excellent
downsman64 - 4 Aug 2011 22:13
Foodie pub on the way out of town that was very busy on our Saturday evening visit. Wychwood Hobgoblin, Deuchars IPA, Greene King Abbot Ale, Brains SA & Harveys Best were the real ale selections. Westons Vintage Organic was the real cider. Although they also have Aspalls on draught. The spirits selection behind the bar, especially the whiskies is quite impressive. Lots of picture and prints line the walls, but there is no specific theme. Food seemed popular with an enticing menu. Continue around either side of the bar and you come to a further area at the rear, which makes the place far bigger than it initially appears. Good service. Getting a table was difficult. We quickly grabbed a couple of stools at the bar. Certainly one of Horsham's better pubs.
blue_scrumpy - 30 Jan 2011 18:57
Caledonian Nectar, Deuchars IPA, Harveys Sussex, Canterbury Jack and Fullers Summer Ale, one Westons cider. Gastro type pub, attractive outdoor area at the back. OK.
GuideDogSaint - 13 Jun 2010 15:58
Probably my favourite pub in Horsham. Almost always a good selection of beers. Harveys Best and Deuchars IPA are the staples, with four other guests on offer. Best I've had was the Butcombe Brunel but there's normally something interesting, and the turnover is fairly swift. The beers are kept reasonably well - weeks of great pints are marred by occasional tired or rushed beers. Worst I've had was some room temperature Mild, that didn't seem to have been settled for long enough either - pretty grim.

Sometimes tough to get a table, and the food although very good is fairly expensive. Ambience is great - busy, but the right kind of busy. Bar service is good and friendly. Anyway I usually visit twice a week and always feel happy there, so 8/10 from me.
MurkyGrom - 19 Mar 2010 18:54
Easily the best pub in Horsham. Great beer, well kept. Amazing array of wiskeys! (watch out some are very pricey). Can get very busy
bestbeer - 5 Jan 2009 21:17
totally beautiful pint of camerons "strongarm" was quaffed served to the perfect temperature and by very friendly staff,definately deserves its place in the good beer guide, and as 4 the prev comment"child friendly"??? its a nice relaxing pub for adults to unwind and escape, if u want child friendly try the beefeater or wetherspoons!! 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 26 Nov 2008 20:47
Often head to the Black Jug for a meal after a visit to the cinema or theatre and the food is usually excellent. This is made all the better by their attempt to make it a venue for the more mature on friday and saturday evenings. You can enjoy a great pint (several guest ales, Harveys always a winner though) and a lovely meal, in a relaxed but buzzing atmosphere. You're more likely to hear the sound of chinking wine bottles than alcopops! A refreshing change to the usual town pub, no loud music, just people enjoying themselves.
MJL20 - 25 Nov 2008 19:35

foodalicious - 10 Nov 2008 22:56
I should like to increase my rating for this pub, and here is why:
Last Thursday I popped in for a quick pint after a cycle ride. I selected the Harveys Sussex Bitter but while the barmaid was pulling the pint, the barrel ran out. She asked me if I would mind waiting and I said I wouldn't. She called the guvnor who went to change the barrel. he then pulled through a quantity of beer before sampling it and holding it up to the light to check the quality. he did this a couple of times.The barmaid then pulled me a completely fresh pint and when I proffered the money she declined to accept it, saying that I had had to wait while they changed the barrel. How refreshingly different from many other pubs I could mention when this happens, where there is no attempt to change the barrel (or it is changed but not pulled through properly)and an alternative is offered, often costing more, with no apology. The beer from the new barrel was excellent by the way. I wasn't there for a meal or to spend lots of money yet I was treated like a valued customer - I will be back on the strength of this ecellent customer service.
Ordinary - 29 Jun 2008 22:58
I have been visiting the Black Jug more over the last few weeks and it definitely seems to be improved. I think this is mainly down to the staff, who seemed more focused on customer service and less focused on having fun with each other.
Ale selection is very good. It is still expensive, but not much more than the Bedford and without the Sky Sports experience.
Much better!
Moses - 23 Apr 2008 14:45
What a great pub....the first one we got to after the sport relief run. Friendly, efficient staff, great food, slightly expensive, mind, but well worth it. Apple crumble was delicious. Wine was fabulous and they seemed to have a huge range of beers on tap.
And a log fire was VERY welcome on such a cold,rainy, miserable day. My first visit to Horsham was worth it.I might well be back if in the area again.
leityij - 16 Mar 2008 20:37
Relatively upmarket, food-oriented pub. Good for what it is, though not really my type of pub. Six ales on handpump with a good variety of brewers featured, ales were in good nick too.
Rich66 - 16 Dec 2007 10:53
Without doubt, THE most expensive pub in Horsham. Normally a good selection of ales, but not all well kept.
Staff can be very snooty, but some are genuinely helpful.
Gets very busy on weekend evenings and can be a nightmare to get served, but on the plus side - you don't get any idiots/oiks un there.
Food is overrated, but better than most pubs in Horsham (that's not saying much!)
I don't think it deserves to be Horsham's (only) entry in the Good Pub Guide. It's OK, but not wonderful.
Did I mention it is expensive???
Moses - 16 Nov 2007 16:09
I went in for a beer after work recently and the place was almost empty, but then so are so many other pubs these days early in the week. I fancy that beer has become too dear for an everyday item.
That said, the Wadworth beer I had (sorry, can't recall the name, it wasn't 6X) was pretty good.I agree with both the earlier comments about the staff. Sometimes they are very good and sometimes they do seem a bit snooty.
Ordinary - 28 Oct 2007 20:41
Can be a little pretensious but nice enviroment! Food overpriced but beer the average price! Nice staff good professional service.
plonker250 - 18 Oct 2007 13:52
I have mixed reviews of this place.
1. Booked a table for dinner for four, arrived and was told our table was in the bar and not the restaurant as I didnt specify where I wanted to sit. It was overcrowded and we couldnt hear ourselvs speak, they wouldnt move us so we left, not good

2. Went in here for a bit of a session last christmas, good beer, friendly locals and had a good night.

My advice drink here eat elsewhere
bigboy69 - 15 Oct 2007 17:04
Great atmosphere, good ales. Friends have recommended the food!
babebeth - 4 Jul 2007 17:42
Non-smoking, overpriced, emphasis on food. Not so much a pub as a restaurant with a small bar. Gets remarkably busy. Could do better
beaverface - 15 Mar 2007 19:38
Not a great pub to go in unless you like all the toofs in suits, went on afriday night left after 1 drink, never used to like this decided to give it ago after many years and has not change, very pricey and smug posh staff, dont bother visiting here. shame could be anice proper old fashioned pub
paul26 - 11 Jan 2007 16:30
overpriced all-round definitly for toffs & oldies, food is terrible when you consider the price. However i do drop in on occashion just to admire the barmaides
maggotq - 14 Dec 2006 17:06
We came here to eat, by chance,not choice, recently; the food was not at all good - the potted prawns contained a jumble of things, including peas and did not taste of prawns! The soup was awful; a faint taste of parsnips, with crushed hazelnuts to the fore, a truly horrible combination. The omlette was OK, but the "chips" turned out to be overdone potato wedges. The pork was dry, with semi-cooked haricots and no potatoes - how mean, you had to pay 3-00p to get a smallish portion of mash on top of the 9 charged for two small pieces of pork. With two large glasses of house wine and a Broadside, well over 40 - outrageous, for very average, meanly presented and overpriced food. The service was patchy as well, some, to be fair, friendly and willing, but forgetting to offer salt or any dressing with the meal, which was served on dirty wooden place mats, and some chap who stood out and appears to match the description by "Rihadan", the "blonde sneerer", who was put out whenever approached for any service and had to be asked to bring a glass of wine to table.
Result, a noticeably damaged wallet, a feeling of being shortchanged and morning indigestion.
I urge you all to go elsewhere, to shake up this establishment's smug complacency and outrageous nerve!.
Quaffer - 12 Dec 2006 14:20
I think the comment posted by the person below is absolutely spot on. The BJ is not at all impressive in its' service, quality of products, pricing strategy, food quality. It does have a huge range of whiskies on sale, but again, ridiculously overpriced. I've eaten and drunk in far better plaves than this in cities around the UK, received far better in all aspects mentioned above, and come home with change in my pocket.
boycee - 9 Nov 2006 20:05
A very mixed bag of reviews for the Black Jug so far. I am not sure that this is such a surprise.
It is a clean, spacious, lively and civilised establishment that has the capacity to appeal to a good cross-section of punters, old and young, foodies and drinkers (basically the typical Horsham mix of people). I think it genuinely attempts to offer a contemporary environment wrapped in a traditional exterior.
But for all this, it is perhaps a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. The food in my experience (not recent; maybe 1-2 years ago) is of a good quality, and offers a varied menu which can appeal to different tastes. However, there is no denying that certain dishes are better than others, and some are dreadfully over-priced. Moreover, it just isn't that convincing as a restaurant.
This brings me to the drinking side. For a town that lacks good freehouses, the ale enthusiast will be heartened by the range of 5 beers on handpump here, and contrary to the disparaging comment below, they have always been well-kept in my experience. However, the prices are ridiculous. This pub was charging 2.80 for John Smith's Cask of all things 2 years ago! They also have a cracking selection of whiskies, but again, don't expect much change out of a tenner for a single single malt.
The bar is served by several lively young things who beaver about, presumably with eager intent, yet it still seems to take some 5-10 minutes to get served at busier times. That is the other thing: the BJ gets so busy it is neither a pleasant place to eat or drink, and after a while, you'll just want to move on.
There is a good blueprint here, but at present it just hasn't quite got the balance right. Maybe having a captive market who are prepared to pay more than they should has rendered the management somewhat blase, and they could do with some healthy competition. You're not quite as good as you think you are!

TWG - 25 Oct 2006 17:40
This is the only place I've ever been where the barstaff have had a worse attitude than me. Sneared at for ordering a non-alcoholic drink and over charged for a terrible meal that took far too long to arrive on such a quiet night.

It will survive though, it has 2 large Royal and Sun Alliance buildings giving it endless business but then again, they can afford to eat there as they all work in insurance.

Nice and simple 1/10
Rihadan - 19 Oct 2006 01:38
It attepmts to give the illusion of quality by charging extortionate prices for what mostly are off ales and mediocre wines. The food is bland, again overpriced and to cap it off they always have enough if not too many staff on doing nothing, but you always see people being served out of turn if served without having to jump and down wavibg at them to gain any eye contact at all. The Sunday roast is one of the worst I've had at that cost for years. Keep walking either to the station to Ln or Brighton to at least get the quality for the lower prices, or into town. Not impressed at all thus never recommend it. For toffs or retires who like to think a little too highly of themselves and have no sense of good taste.
boycee - 8 Oct 2006 20:15
A great range of real ale, and excellent that it is no smoking
GGG - 2 Oct 2006 16:22
My wife's favourite pub in the town but I argue it is aimed more at the restaurant and wine bar trade than a 'proper' pub. Often crowded, but thankfully no longer smokey, and certainly not cheap. I have had several poor quality pints in there some of which should never have made it across the counter top. Some of the staff know good beer, and others don't. They are always rushed off their feet. Good range of reasonable quality wines some of which are hugely overpriced and some of which are surprisingly cheap. Not worth a detour but if you're going past.
workhard - 4 Sep 2006 15:54
A pub that almost gets it right. The food's nice, but a touch too trendy - it's never going to get a Michelin star, so why not stick to honest to goodness bar food? Can't complain about the beer, so mark in its favour there.

What makes the pub utterly disappointing is the overall attitude of the staff. They have no interest whatsoever in being accommodating and give the impression they'd really much rather you just sent the money and didn't bother them by having the temerity to try and eat and drink there.
zwingli - 31 Jul 2006 11:14
Good range and quality of beer but speak to your bank manager before a night out. This pub can best be summed up as the sort of place you would arrange to meet a blind date flash but inoffensive.
minesatreble - 13 May 2006 14:18
This is definitely one of the finer pubs in Horsham.
Good food & atmosphere - would definitely recommend it to any visitor coming into the town.
anonymous - 29 Apr 2006 19:07
Smashing pub, friendly service, great beers always in good nick. Best of all NO SMOKING!
kryten - 9 Apr 2006 17:21
An unusual looking pub from the outside, the interior is smart with a lived-in look, lots of interesting prints and old photographs adorning the walls; wooden floorboards, spacious layout, plants in the rear/dining area. Rather too orientated towards diners and wine drinkers for my personal taste, although there are six handpumps with a good range of ales. I had a Hyde's seasonal beer (HPA?) which was in good condition but grossly overpriced at 2.80 (ABV 4.6%). Worth a visit for the range of ales but I'd resent paying their expensive prices throughut a lengthy session.
Rich66 - 16 Nov 2005 21:20
The Quaffer is wrong, perhaps he needs a sence of humour bypass! This is a fantastic place. True it is a very grown up pub but that is heaven for those of us escaping the usuall alcopop ridden, hellishly loud pubs! Perfect place for ale, wine and lovely food. Lively on the weekends and superb Sunday roasts. Magic
theguzzler - 9 Nov 2005 21:38
Everything overpriced, particularly the ale, to discourage drinkers. There is a very arrogant and churlish, chalked sign by the bar, outlining the types of customer that the owner/s would rather did not frequent their establishment and the sort of behaviour that meets their approval - really sad, really bad!
Quaffer - 8 Nov 2005 16:06
I love this pub.
Great beer, great wine, great food, a great place to go.
Their new totally non smoking policy doesn't seem to have dented the business one little bit - always has had a pleasant atmosphere now it's without the smoke.
I'm really pleased for them, it's a big step to take and it has worked.

One thing to add - If you want to eat they do their best to get you on a table if you just walk in but I'd recommend booking in advance! A great problem to have and it shows how popular this pub is.

PS You might be thinking I must work there to write such a glowing review, actually no, I'm in the trade but in no way associated with the Black Jug (or Brunning and Price), I just keep going back there!
anonymous - 6 Oct 2005 19:59
This is a non-smoking pub. It seems like a nice idea, do not see why they have pipes in their decor. bit of a funny atmosphere overall!
aleman - 13 Sep 2005 00:25
Overpriced by far. This is Horsham. Mind you their pubs in Chester are just as dear
AVFC - 1 Sep 2005 15:36
Cracking place, super food and the best selection of ales I have seen in a long time. Very pleasant rear courtyard with heating. Chatty staff and customers. Massive wine list. Couldn't falt it!
spymaster - 30 Aug 2005 22:36
Went during the day when it was quiet. Very pleasant out the back. Had a reasonable pint of Deuchars. Interesting array of decor.
Muzthing - 5 Aug 2005 15:48
Very nice, especially if you go during the day when it is fairly quiet. Nice area out the back. Small, decent range of beers to choose from.
nellie_uk - 19 Jul 2005 10:21
Very popular. Standing room only.
Ant - 6 Mar 2005 09:22
A nice pub, however a lot of suits during lunch and early evening. A bit lacking on pumps, but does have a good range of local brews.
mitch65 - 14 Jan 2005 12:25
Robin they have now lost the sparklers!
Steve - 2 Sep 2004 18:46
Popular pub adjacent to the HQ of a large insurance company, the emphasis with this pub is certainly on the food! The menu is varied and imaginative, although be prepared to pay upwards of 12 for some dishes. There's plenty of seating either side of the bar, plus a conservatory behind and a small beer 'patio' to the rear, but it does fill up quickly. No car park, but town centre multi-storey's near by. Not the cheapest beer in town, and they could do with losing the sprinklers which aren't meant for southern beers. Still, the beer is tasty despite this.
Robin - 25 Jul 2004 23:17
Known as the Jug to regulars, a proper adults pub with really great ales and wines. Food is the best in Horsham bar none
Nick - 23 Apr 2004 16:23
Really good pub over eighteens only and no kids are. Tables and good food that's not too expensive. Nice garden quite busy at the weekends i give it 9 out of 10 great pub!
hottie - 29 Mar 2004 10:04
Good food, good beer, no fruit machines, no alcopops - a proper pub.
Mikey - 18 Mar 2004 12:22
Excellent all round pub offering a good selection of beers and an even better food menu, only place I know where they have patio heaters for those chilly summer evenings, not to be missed if you are in the area.
Fluff - 6 Feb 2004 21:12

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