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Pub Visit - England

Stanley1Thursday 30th June 2016

Bob Thompson

This pub carries the generic name of its older brother, the Stanley Arms at Portslade (nearest station Fishersgate). That pub was acquired by father and son team Steve and Russell Bennett in September 2002.

They then built on its already high reputation that had been created by former owners Roy and Pat Bond. Remarkably this Portslade pub has won CAMRA Brighton & South Downs Pub of the Year eight times!

Steve later bought his son out of the Stanley Arms, yet they got together again for the Stanley Ale House. Fully aware of the march of micropubs across the country they wanted to open one of their own. After looking around the area for a suitable property they settled on a former launderette in a cul-de-sac of shops in Lancing.

Stanley2It opened on 8th October 2014. It was originally presented with the usual micropub ethos: no spirits, no keg beers, no music etc.

However, that seems to have changed and there is no criticism of this, as owners of pubs know their markets better than most. Martyn Hillier, the founder of the very first micropub says that it doesn’t really matter what else they sell, they all serve cask beer, and that’s the important thing.

This example of the genre is a fair size, capable of holding between 30 to 40 drinkers inside. There is a pleasant shaded outside drinking area in front of the pub. Inside I found a traditional pub within a modern building. There is wood panelling up to waist height below the white-painted walls. The floor is made of varnished wood.

Stanley3Looking around the room I could see there was a mixture of furniture with several round wooden tables of various sizes. Most of the chairs are also made of wood and there are some upturned barrels and I used of these to place my beer. There are also some stools. On the walls there are some wartime paintings of aeroplanes, probably a reference to nearby Shoreham Aerodrome. There’s a piano in the corner with a guitar perched upon it. I noticed there were several board games available for customers to indulge in.

There were three cask beers offered: Downlands (Small Dole, Henfield, West Sussex) Honey Porter (5.0%); Langham (Lodsworth, West Sussex) Arapaho APA (4.9%) and Longman (Litlington, East Sussex) Copper Hop (4.2%). For lovers of Cider there was Seacider (Ditchling, East Sussex) Medium (4.6%) and Medium Dry (5.8%); South Downs (Wilmington, East Sussex) Dry (4.5%) and Medium (4.5%), also Thistly Cross (South Belford, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland) Whisky Cask Cider (6.9%).

Stanley4There are many events in this pub. Monday nights host “Ale House Rocks”, an open mic evening. On Tuesdays there’s “Quaff & Scoff”, when they offer cheap beer and free snacks. There is a Quiz Night on Thursday and they have a weekly raffle. There is a Beer Festival over the Easter weekend.

Books and newspapers are provided, as well as free WiFi. The pub also hosts live bands and singers.

The pub is close to Lancing station and local buses so there is no excuse not to visit if you are around here.

Important Information:

The Stanley Ale House, 5 Queensway, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 9YA. Tel: 01903 366820

Hours: Monday 14.00-22.00; Wednesday-Saturday: 12.00-22.00; Sunday 14.00-20.00

Bus routes 7, 7A and 9 stop very close.

To get from Lancing station to the pub. Go to the north side of the railway by the Railway pub, using the level crossing or footbridge if required. Walk past the pub and continue along North Street. You will soon see the sign of the Nationwide Building Society. Queensway and the pub are opposite.

Shoreham railway station is served by trains operated by Southern from London (Victoria), Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton and Portsmouth.