Lewes Arms

Mount Place Lewes East Sussex BN7 1YH

The small county town of Lewes – home to Sussex’s oldest brewery, Harveys – isn’t short of a good pub or two (there are 19, to be precise), but the Lewes Arms is one of the best. What’s not to love, after all, about a pub that hosts an annual dwyle flunking shindig and the World Pea Throwing Championship? Behind the handsome curved-brick exterior there are three small rooms centred around a tiny bar, with old black-and-white photos and prints of the town on the walls, and a toad-in-the-hole table in the largest room (the game, which involves throwing brass coins, or ‘'toads’, into the hole in the top of the table, is played competitively in East Sussex, which has the only league in the country). Food is excellent, well-priced and refreshingly free of gastro pretentions (there's plenty under the £9 mark), and there’s a good selection of Fullers ales on tap, as well as the local Harveys; when previous landlord Greene King replaced Harveys with its own beers in 2006 it led to a 133-day boycott by Lewes locals which made the national news and led to a humiliating climb down by Greene King – a success that speaks volumes about the affection Lewes locals have for this backstreet boozer.

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