The epitome of a beautiful English pub, tile hung, deep red bricks add the lustre of another age. Originally 15th century, there have been additions and extensions since Queen Elizabeth I’s time but the mellow brick walls remain and possibly the fireplace although those tiles are 19th century and ‘lie over the original beams and plaster for additional weather-proofing’ (Twenty Centuries in Sedlescombe by Beryl Lucey)
A hint of William Morris, creeper covered walls, brick paving and shrubs by the front door invite you to enter. Luckily, this is no pastiche for there is an attention to detail inside this now dining pub with a bar.
Times change, that country pub devoted to beer has long gone, thankfully in the case of The Queen’s Head for a few years ago the pub was doomed, dying on its feet, dark rooms, insipid beer and what food was available was advertised on fluorescent stickers pinned to the wall behind the bar.
Now food is the driver and excellent it is too with fish and chips and prime beef burgers amidst the risottos, sea bass duck breast and the ‘Specials Board’. The fish platter shared was very good and despite the walk from Bodiam Castle I forwent beer for a chilled white wine and a pint of soda water on this hot day sat in the garden – very un-Rambler like.
It has that comfortable air inside with little rooms, old table and odd chairs, fires in winter and this particular July Thursday afternoon, a choir rehearsing in the back room.
Service too is very good, attentive without being demanding.
Increased trade has increased the quality of the beer with Harvey’s Best, Long Man Blonde, Sharpe’s Doom and Fuller’s Oliver Island on offer on my walking day.
Remember before you leave add a few coins to the collecting box on the bar – for the village geese – and be especially careful when you drive away to avoid the noisy birds.
I was walking 1066 Harold’s Way (Bodiam Castle to Battle Abbey via Sedlescombe) inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings.
It is the final section of this long-distance walk, from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey, and with just three miles to go it is worth stopping for a pint.
The Queen’s Head, The Green, Sedlescombe, East Sussex, TN33 0QA Tel. 01424 870228