Evening Star Pub

Sure, it may have been Christmas Eve when we last visited, but we suspect any visit to Brighton’s historic Evening Star Pub will be as fun and festive as ours was.

Housed under the multi-award winning Dark Star Brewing Company umbrella, the Evening Star is the kind of place that makes quick friends out of both “Foodie” beer snobs and locals alike.  In fact, your Set of Drifters lay down a challenge:  Just try and avoid striking up a conversation with those from the next table after downing a couple of the menu’s celebrated micro-brew pints.  Set of Drifters tip:  The Evening Star’s cellar is where the real action once was.  Converted in 1994 from its original 19th century construction, the space held Dark Star’s original microbrewery!  Back upstairs, be on the lookout for a rotating roster of home brews and imports from Germany, Belgium and the United States.  Perrys and ciders are also available.

Our friends Lorraine and Kevin brought us here in 2006 for a kick-off to the Eve’s festivities.  It was not long before we found ourselves embroiled in local pub song debauchery.  Dare we mention that a blonde shag wig was, oddly, also involved?  The faux follicles were transferred from one head to the next throughout the evening.

Evening Star is open Sunday through Thursday from 12:00 PM until 11:00 PM, and Fridays and Saturdays from noon until midnight.  Be on the lookout for live music, particularly in the summer months when outdoor seating is also available.

Evening Star Pub - 55/56 Surrey Street, Brighton, East Sussex  BN1 3PB, (011) 44 01273-328931


Queens Arms

This place is a hoot, perhaps even two.  Long the crown jewel of Brighton’s gay scene, the Queens Arms is the kind of place you can absolutely count on to have a swell time - no matter who you are, or where you come from!  In fact, the proprietors promise this on their website, so just try to stump them!

A self-proclaimed “campy cabaret,” the vibe at Queens Arms is distinctively not so.  In other words, while most stereotypical cabarets would scare away those not already inclined to enjoy them, the Queens Arms provides enough warmth, laughter and friendliness to charm even the most kitsch-adverse tourist out there!

The Queens Arms is open Sunday through Thursday until 12:00 AM, and Fridays and Saturdays until 2:00 AM.  A “Happy Hour” offers drink and food specials during the week until 8:00 PM.  (This is typical English bar food with little frills, though the “Jacket Potato” options sound interesting.)  Check their website for current events.  Weekly dance parties, karaoke events and emcee-hosted shows pop up most nights.  Set of Drifters tip:  Look for “Super Duper” cabaret shows at 6:00 PM and 9:30 PM on Sundays.  Our favorite performer is the aptly named “Betty Swollocks.”  You’ll either love her - or loathe her - and isn’t that always the best kind of performer?

Queens Arms - 7 George Street, Brighton, East Sussex  BN2 1RH, (011) 44 01273-696873