The Sunday Reader

A Taste of St Leonards – The Horse and Groom

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Posh St Leonards, still full of Victorian and Edwardian grandeur. Those dreams that occupied the rich and famous have been largely replaced by a more pragmatic approach to urban living. The big houses still command Burton St Leonards but many have been converted to flats. The little terraced cottages, that housed the tradesmen and the washerwomen, now possess a chic that is more appealing and far more affordable.

Burton St Leonards was the first new seaside resort for the wealthy and became instantly popular with royalty and aristocracy. There were service areas for the new town; Mercatoria for shopping, and Lavatoria for laundry.

It was said ‘We should look in vain on any other coast in England for such a range of buildings as those he (James Burton) has raised below St Leonards Cliff; of a superior order, though not so ornamented as some of his previous structures. None but the unrivalled crescents of Bath and Bristol is superior to the Marina of St Leonards’. (Spas of England and Principal Sea-Bathing Places A.B. Granville, 1841).’

The Horse and Groom’ was St Leonards’ first pub, built and licensed in 1829 for the benefit of the workforce busy constructing the new town of St Leonards. It is on record that they were so thirsty that the pub opened before the windows were installed. Workers also came to the Horse and Groom on Saturday nights to be paid their wages and were called in from the street one by one. They came again on Sundays to quench another thirst, this time to listen to the newspapers being read aloud. Edward Thebay was ‘Sunday reader’ at the Horse and Groom for many years. (Hastings Pub History).

Thirsty workers/walkers still seek out The Horse and Groom. Warm and friendly, the two rooms are separated by a horseshoe bar and a back room for larger groups. The beers, Harvey’s Best and one or two guests, are always good and you get the feeling of a proper pub with no taped music, no food (just cobs on the bar, if you are lucky) and eclectic decoration. A quiet, atmospheric, dog friendly pub where you can enjoy good conversation and when I visited, the guests were Young’s Winterwarmer, Longman Long Blade and a fine Green King Abbot that slipped down a treat.

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information, Hastings Pier and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order.

For a full list of stockists visit www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

CAMRA WhatPub

 

 

Old Settles, Wooden Floors

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards – Walk 3

A Taste of St Leonards – The St Leonard

At first glance, there is nothing to London Road except a mishmash of shop fronts, infills and traffic and that can often offend those more used to gleaming shopping centres and pedestrianised streets but you must look further into the character of both the shops and the people who belong to London Road.

My wife and I grew up in Nottingham and we both remember similar streets, indeed, my father had a thriving pharmacy on one such street now demolished. Everyone knew my father and so everyone knew me. St Anns Wells Road, Alfred Street and Arkwright Street all provided everything that you needed from sweet shops and cake shops, milliners, butchers and bakers, green grocers and grocers, a Home and Colonial, a Dewhurst’s, book shops and cafes, a pub on every corner and almost as many churches. To me, London Road is the same.

St Leonards PosterA pint in the CAMRA award winning St Leonard, creaking with atmosphere, old settles, wooden floors and life, helps the musings for ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’ and the forthcoming ‘Pub Walks in 1066 Country’.

The St Leonard is not some country pub but a warm and friendly town pub, refurbished in 2012, (it was formerly known as The Warrior Gate a corruption of the original 1833 name Warhouse Gate, taken from the name of an old lime kiln).

Now its wooden floors, mismatched tables and chairs, local art work and three regularly changing guest beers create a busy urban chic.

There is popcorn served with drinks and a food tasting menu available that includes sausage rolls, scotch eggs, charcuterie plate and pork pies and pizzas can be delivered to your table.

On one visit, I tried Brighton Bier South Coast IPA 5%, St Austell Trelawny 3.8%, Hogs Back TEA 4.2% and a taste of Prehistoric Amber 4.5%. All were well conditioned and well-kept but on the next visit, they are likely to have changed. Another time, I was impressed with the Franklins St Leonard, Franklins Greedy Guvnor as well as the Hogsback T.E.A.- again!

There is always a welcome and despite the restricted hours (Wednesday to Saturday 5pm -11pm and Sunday 3pm – 9pm) it is one to visit, to drink a pint and to sit and think – after all, they say that there is a book in us all! With such restricted opening hours it may be one to note in that black beer stained notebook to return to later.

If it is closed, there is consolation opposite in The Oak Bakery where money can be invested in their wonderful and moreish ‘Portuguese tarts’!

Check out the walk on clip_image002

Book 6 v2 Cover newPub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy:

Click Here

Links: CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

Blow the Cobwebs Away

History Walks – More than just footsteps on a path

For A Taste of Hastings and St Leonards,

Discover and Explore ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Walk 5

Royal Standard, East Hill, All Saints Street, The Cinque Port Arms

Pub 5

Check out the walk on You Tube 

Walk 1 The General Havelock, The Pier and The America Ground

Walk 2 The North Star and Alexandra Park

Walk 3 The Horse and Groom and St Leonards

Walk 4 The Plough, West Hill, George Street and The Albion

‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is also available as an e-book (Amazon Kindle) and by mail order from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here ​

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links: CAMRA WhatPub,

Timeless Old Town

History Walks – More than just footsteps on a path

For A Taste of Hastings and St Leonards

Discover and Explore ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Walk 4

The Plough, West Hill, George Street and The Albion

Walk 4a

Check out the walk on You Tube

 

Walk 1 The General Havelock, The Pier and The America Ground

Walk 2 The North Star and Alexandra Park

Walk 3 The Horse and Groom and St Leonards

Walk 5 The Royal Standard, East Hill, All Saints Street and the Cinque Port Arms

‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is also available as an e-book (Amazon Kindle) and by mail order from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here ​

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links: CAMRA WhatPub,

You’ll be AMAZED at what you find!

History Walks – More than just footsteps on a path

For A Taste of Hastings and St Leonards

Discover and Explore ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Walk 3 The Horse and Groom and St Leonards

 

Walk 3

Check out the walk on You Tube

 

Walk 1 The General Havelock, The Pier and The America Ground

Walk 2 The North Star and Alexandra Park

Walk 4 The Plough, West Hill, George Street and The Albion

Walk 5 The Royal Standard, East Hill, All Saints Street and the Cinque Port Arms

 

‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is also available as an e-book (Amazon Kindle) and by mail order from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here ​

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links: CAMRA WhatPub,

A Dream of a Winter’s Walk

History Walks – More than just footsteps on a path

For A Taste of Hastings and St Leonards

Discover and Explore ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Walk 2 The North Star and Alexandra Park

 

Walk 2

Check out the walk on You Tube

 

Walk 1 The General Havelock, The Pier and The America Ground

Walk 3 The Horse and Groom and St Leonards

Walk 4 The Plough, West Hill, George Street and The Albion

Walk 5 The Royal Standard, East Hill, All Saints Street and the Cinque Port Arms

 

‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is also available as an e-book (Amazon Kindle) and by mail order from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here ​

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links: CAMRA WhatPub,

A Little Something for the Weekend

History Walks – More than just footsteps on a path

 

For a Taste of Hastings and St Leonards,

Discover and Explore ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Walk 1 The General Havelock, The Pier and The America Ground

Walk 1

Check out the walk on

You Tube 

 

‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’ is available as an e-book (Amazon Kindle) and by mail order from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here

Web: http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

CAMRA WhatPub,