“ 10 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AD. tel = 01273 328439 „
There's a lot of pubs in Brighton, so those that look for the big business have to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Smugglers is a relatively new discovery of mine, having only found it early this year by chance. Inside it's spacious, and satisfies all the student's needs for a pub. Pool tables, drinks offers during the week, football, and even games consoles. It's become our new venue of choice for big sports games primarily because of the large pull down screen, and due to the availability of 3D football upstairs - which yes, is a gimmick, but it's cool to watch. The pool tables are of good quality, and there's plenty of room to find seats if you arrive in good time. Perhaps the only gripe is that food is a little expensive, but this can be avoided by getting the nosh in elsewhere before or after, and concentrating on drinking at the pub!
This bar is a only a few minutes walk from most of the main attractions that Brighton city centre has to offer, be that the Palace Pier, the lanes, the nightclubs of West Street or the bars on the seafront. The bar has a fantastic ambience and feel about it and the decor is second to none. Partitions made from nautical ropes and life-rings on the walls give the bar a real 'Sailing' feel whilst stainless steel beer taps and a well presented back bar with great displays of varying alcohol give it a modern edge. This bar has a wide range of spirits beyond the standard Smirnoff and Jack Daniels you find nearly everywhere else and a great deal of point of sale advertising alerts you to an extensive wine list. The Smugglers also presents a wide selection of beers/lagers both on tap and in bottled form and is of generally a good quality. Venturing further into the bar, there is a downstair section with very well maintained pool tables that are reasonably priced at £1 a go. A popular novelty there in the same area is a couple of billiards table which provides worthwhile distraction. The only drawback with this place is the fact that it was one of the first places in Brighton to adopt a rather London-esque pricing strategy and as other bars have caught up, Smugglers has become more expensive. Having said that, you always get timely service even when the bar is busy, the beer is good quality and the wide selection of spirits and wines will keep even the broadest pallette satisfied. All in all, a great bar to go to before venturing forth to sample the rest that Brighton has to offer.
This is the fifth pub in a series opinions telling of my short pub crawl around 5 Brighton pubs / bars. If you wish to read the whole series please read my opinion on the Font and Firkin first. ******************************************** The Smugglers had been recommended to us by the barstaff at The Druids Head. I think that it was also one of the places it’s underground passages lead to. The pub was very big, and the bar was huge. The barman was friendly but not very chatty. Although this would have been difficult with the loud club style music they were playing, there were even ‘disco’ lights around, the only thing that it lacked as a club was anyone dancing and an actual dance floor. This was all in the space in front of the bar, I would imagine if anyone did dance it would pretty much ruin anyone’s chances of getting to the bar. The pub was very dark and with the loud music, the atmosphere wasn’t very relaxing, the tables were high and the stools were limited in numbers and uncomfortable, there were some normal tables and chairs but there were mostly occupied. At the back of the pub up a few steps is a small Chinese restaurant, if you’re having a night out, going from the pub to a restaurant this place is ideal. Downstairs there were 6 pool tables, a billiards table ....and a bouncer keeping an eye on things. The pub is decorated with all sorts of nautical items, a large boat was fixed to the wall along with ropes and things. We were tickled by a mirror on the wall saying “look no cracks!”, other than that, the atmosphere is a bit crap if you are just looking to have a quiet drink. The drinks were quite cheap though; £2.10 for a JD & coke. It could be a nice pub but the atmosphere (in my view) is ruined by the music, the pool hall and the Chinese restaurant.