A website tracking my attempt to publish my own book, "Brighton's Best Pubs". This is a locally produced guide to every pubs and bar in Brighton, the book is a comprehensive guide covering an amazing 300 pubs and bars within the city, utilising a unique pub rating system. Atmosphere, Beer, Barstaff, Food, Entertainment, Decor/Garden and Talent are all rated for each pub/bar. It also features maps, a Club guide and suggested pub crawls.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm cycling from Brighton to Paris, raising money for the local community. My target is to raise £1000! JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Now available as an e-book on Kindle

So after having a few people offer to do this for me and not actually deliver, I worked out how to publish an e-book version for Kindles/Kindle apps myself. As the book has aged somewhat now (though actually still remarkably accurate) the e-book price is much cheaper than the paperback.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Pubs that have function rooms available for free....

So who knows of some? What days are they available for free?

Yesterday I saw that the Freemasons can offer its upstairs bar for free, but I couldn't tell what days this was.

The Caroline of Brunswick has an upstairs room that can be available for free. Again I don't know what days.

The Pub With No Name has an upstairs room that can be had for free. Again no idea of days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Been a bit quiet

Life has been hectic recently hence the lack of posts, but life goes on at www.pubjury.com

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year to All!

So which pubs had a great New Year's Eve do?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Brighton Pub Photos Needed

I'd like to have every Brighton & Hove pubs on www.pubjury.com to have an image. It would be great if people can log into the website and check their local(s) have an image. If not, go and take a snap of it (outside and inside if you like) and upload them to the site!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Another terrible summer...

Well it won't do anything for my book sales with less tourists coming to Brighton.
Plus apparently its been a bad year for pubs, though whether you blame that on the smoking ban, credit crunch, England not being in Euro 2008, cheap supermarket booze or tax is up to you.
Well the main website is still doing well:
Why not drop in there now and make sure your local is on the site (if not add it) then upload a photo of the place, the bar - or you in there!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brighton & Hove Argus Article

A new article covering the book in The Argus:
A reporter goes around the book's Top 5 pubs and finds that he broadly agrees with the Pub Jury.
Sounds like he plans another trip, but this time around the best pubs in Sussex!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Save The Boozer Campaign

"An appreciation society for Britain's last-remaining old-man pubs: say no to gastro!"
Save the Boozer: the alternative pub awards
is YOUR local a winner? Check it out at http://savetheboozer.blogspot.com/.

Yes, it’s true – and VERY exciting. Save the Boozer is hosting its very own national awards event – and we need YOU to help celebrate everything brilliant about old-school pubs. Voting categories include ‘most legendary landlord or landlady’ ‘authentic pub fayre’ (pork scratchings, anyone?) and that illustrious interiors accolade: the ‘sticky carpet award’. Make your beloved local (in)famous! NOMINATE YOUR PUB

Intriguing Review by Brighton Journalism Student

This was an interestingly different review, asking a group of drinkers and a couple of landlords what they thought of the book, pretty amusing stuff!, here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pub Jury Website - More Stuff!

Quite a lot of new functionality has been added to the site which I hope you'll enjoy.

Here's a quick summary:

1. Added the ability to search for specific facilities on the search page (http://www.pubjury.com/search). Facilities will be hidden by default (to not make the form too confusing) but can be shown by clicking on the 'Show Facilities' link
2. Added a natural text explaination on the Search Results page of what exactly is being searched for. E.g. "Searched for pubs & bars called "Dolphin" in London with Bar Billiards, a 24 Hour Licence & Air Conditioning with a rating of 3 or higher"
3. Added the ability to search for pubs within 5 miles of a motorway junction/service station (see http://www.pubjury.com/search?stype=motorway)
4. Added the ability to search for pubs within 5 miles of a train station or 1 mile from a tube station e.g. http://www.pubjury.com/search?find=1&station=648
5. You can now sort search results by distance too
6. Added the new search options to the sidebar on the right (under Advanced Search)
7. Various enhancements to the search engine to make it faster with the increased traffic the site is receiving
8. Added an 'Activity Stream', which is based on the Facebook Newsfeed concept. It will show all recent activity (new members, new photos, comments and ratings) on the site within the last day/week/fortnight/month in the style of news items.You can use this to checkup on new content that is added to the site. See the latest month's activity here: http://www.pubjury.com/activity-stream?period=month

Hope you like it!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Doggie Pubs!

Doggie friendly pubs, the rules:
1. Where good wines and beer are well kept
2. Where you can eat well
3. Where your well-behaved dog is welcome to be with you while you eat.

Where Can You Get The Book?

We've been rationalising the book supply = simplifying our lives.

These are shops that we supply directly (i.e. buying in these doesn't mean giving most of your money to the retailer & distributor):

Cardome (St James Street)
The Basketmakers Arms (North Laine)
The Hartington (Whippingham Road, off Elm Grove)

Then the other bricks & mortar retailers:

Waterstones - Clock Tower
Borders - Churchill Square (apparently has a whole shelf of the books - must get a photo of that)
City Books - Western Road (possibly has some)

Then Online:


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Going Well

Well after a terrible Summer (bad weather = no tourists in Brighton = less sales) it seemed that the book sold well in the run up to Christmas.

In addition the main website www.pubjury.com had its most hits ever yesterday.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Neo Toys

Found these funky new Neo tools for the blog. So I have a counter again (just add 14,000 to the number of hits to get about the right amount) and much more, even a message board.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Brighton Web Awards: Finalist!

Hey, the website got nominated for the Brighton & Hove web awards as "Best Site for a Night Out" and has got through as a finalist!
If you want to vote for us go to http://brightonwebawards.co.uk/votenow and you'll find "pub jury" right down at the bottom of the page!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Updating Blog Headaches

So when I upgraded my blog I lost my counter (with nearly 14,000 hits), my Amazon ads, my google ads, and my other fancy clickable links which I've accumulated.
Headache. Computers. The Internet. Blogs. Who needs them?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Messing about with the blog

Well I've done a few things to this blog today. I upgraded to a new version of Blogger which unfortunately deleted many of the fancy links I'd set up.
I've added some Text Link Ads and some different Google Ads too.

If you have a website and want to sell some Text Link Ads then click on the banner in the right hand column.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Now YOU can be a Pub Juror!

Yes, finally, the Pub Jury website is live! You can browse pub scores, become a juror yourself and then rate pubs, upload photos and much more!
Functionality and content is still being added, but most of the main functions are there - you can add pubs, rate them, upload photos, flag pubs as closed/renamed, etc.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Review in the North Laine Runner

"You can't go wrong with this one."
A great review in the latest edition of the Brighton Community Magazine "The North Laine Runner":

"Some people manage to carve out the best jobs in the world and my first reaction when asked to review this book was 'why didn't I think of this?'
An anonymous group of Brightonians calling themselves The Pub Jury has got together to try out (sorry I mean research) our local pubs, all 300 of them, and rate them accordingly.
The result: The Definitive Guide to Brighton's Best Pubs. ArAnd it's pretty much what it says on the tin: 'An A-Z of all 300 pubs and bars in Brighton, independently tested'.

The North Laine has 38 drinking holes and it's easy to find out where and who they are thanks to a thoughtful selection of maps within the first few pages. Each pub is numbered and cross-referenced to the list of names on each map."

The review goes on and is pretty extensive (2 full A4 pages!), but here is the summary at the end:

"You get the impression that the Jury has, hand on heart, done its best to be honest and equivocal, with credit and criticism given where it is due.
For Christmas or birthday presents, sending your offspring off to study in the town, or just spending that £10 book token you didn't know what to do with, you can't go wrong with this one. And you could have just as much fun as The Pub Jury did researching it."
- by Lizzie Deane

Well, what can we say? Thank you very much Lizzie and the North Laine Runner!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Magazine Coverage!

The following magazines have said that they are going to cover Brighton's Best Pubs book in either an article or a review, this month or soon!

-> This will be the first London magazine to cover the book that we know of!

-> Brighton's coolest 'lifestyle' mag!

-> North Laine community magazine

-> Preston Pages community magazine

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Saint James

Sign outside the St James Tavern on St James Street. And we agree - the Thai food sure is tasty there!

Kemptown Rag

We missed it, but the Kemptown Rag ran an article on the book and The Pub Jury! Thanks for your support guys!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Smoking Ban is Coming.....

In July smoking in public places, including pubs, will be illegal. Find out what this means for Brighton on the link below:

The Smoking Spotlight Campaign is the Brighton& Hove online smoke ban countdown web-site. We endorse the 'no smoking inpublic places' legislation soon to introduced in July this year. We aim to help our trade partners, and the public, in the run up towards the smoking ban with discounts and up-to-date information on all things Brighton & Hove before and after the smoking ban has come into force.

The Smoking Spotlight: Links & Info for Brighton & Hove - Features link's, discounts & up-to-date local info on Brighton's best bar's, club's,restaurant's and theatre's. Online now... http://thesmokingspotlight.co.uk/

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What a nice email we got....

"Bored on this Friday afternoon, willing the hours and minutes away until drinking time I thought I’d have a mooch on the net to see what’s new in Brighton and what can us girlies busy ourselves with this weekend…….

Came across your blog.

And what a fantastic blog it is. Although I started arse about face with the end being at the top I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it…

What a journey and experience it was to read. From the beginning part about the conception of the idea, the trial and tribulations (and the crawl of course!) that you and your ‘jurors’ have endured right through to the bit where your almost at break even point.

I am totally behind you on this quest. I do not think there is enough awareness about the pubs/bars etc in Brighton to do it a fair justice. All these boring ‘Best Pub in Sussex’ and ‘The South’s guide to Pubs’ crap is just not on for us youngsters who want to know what is cool, atmospheric and decent beer/vodka.

I think you have hit the nail on the head with this little belter of a book and I haven’t even read it!

Where to buy this little gem please??????



Well, our answer to Romany and anyone else interested is that you can currently get the book in Borders, Waterstones, City Books or on Amazon. If you want to buy it from a more friendly local shop (where we get more of a share of the money) then buy it from Custard in the Lanes (oppositte Font n Firkin) or in Dave's Books on Syndey St. Or in the Basketmakers or Hartington pubs. You can probably get it in other places too, but we've forgotten where!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Book Update....?

These pubs aren't in the first edition of the book, but we are looking to update it and expand the area covered. Please give your view on any of the following. Ideally rate them 1-5 stars on Atmosphere, Beer, Barstaff, Food, Entertainment, Decor/Garden, Talent:

Bali Brasserie (should this count as a pub/bar?)
Lansdowne Place Hotel (rated as a cocktail bar by the Observer - should we include it?)
Cosmopolitan Bar (another hotel bar - should it count?)
Jamaica Inn (Portland Road)
Stanley Arms (raved about real ale pub in Portslade)

New Pubs in Brighton

Change is a constant in Brighton and since the book has been published a few new pubs have appeared. Can anyone tell us what these pubs are like? And maybe give them scores from 1-5 stars for each of the following: Atmosphere, Beer, Barstaff, Food, Decor/Garden, Entertainment, Talent.

The Fountain Head
The Vault
St George
The Chimney House

Some of these were already pubs and have just been refurbed + renamed, so we'd be interested to know if you like the change or not....?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Guestbook Entry

Got a nice post today in the guestbook on the old website from a guy called Paul:

"I spent two years in Brighton as part of my OE from NZ. Visiting many of its amazing pubs in my spare time was a great hobby. Gotta say a book like this does great justice to them. Some of my favs were the Lion and Lobster, Mash Tun, Open House, Enginee"

Looks like either the guestbook character limit cut him off or he accidentally clicked OK. I'd guess the last one was going to be Engineer, but no telling what else he likes....Paul?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Brighton & Hove Life Article

This month we have collaborated with Brighton & Hove Life magazine to produce a guide to "50 Great City Pubs & Bars":

"As Brighton & Hove Life readers, we know you demand high standards from your chosen drinkeries. You want places for quiet drinks in opulent surroundings, places to go for a big night out without having to face hoards of alcopop guzzling clubbers, somewhere for a proper Sunday roast, places to meet for a light lunch and places to go when you’re feeling naughty and want exotic cocktails to get you in a party mood. Here are our some of our favourite places for a great time… "


You can buy the march issue of Brighton & Hove Life on the website or in various newsagents around town.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sussex Beer Festival

The book will be for sale at the Sussex Beer Festival (Hove Town Hall, 8-10 March 2007). 50% of the profits of sales will go to the Martlets Hospice charity.

There are 4,000 people expected to go to the beer festival over the 3 days, so it could be a good result for both the book and for the charity.

For more info check out http://www.sussexbeerfestival.co.uk/

Monday, January 29, 2007


Sign outside the Mash Tun pub:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Book Retailers Update

Borders have finally cracked and are now stocking the book. They had to come to their senses sooner or later.
City Books now have a load in stock, all signed copies!
Sussex Stationers/British Bookshops have in theory ordered 100 copies of the book, but I'm yet to see them with it for sale anywhere. So they may be lost in their warehouse. If you see it, give us a shout!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Book Sales

The book sales figures are a mystery. This is for numerous reasons which I will try to explain:

1. It is being sold by the publisher directly, the publisher through a distributor (to retailers), directly by me and by retailers who I am supplying. These four sales methods have varying degrees of transparency.

2. Publisher Direct Sales: presumeably they know how many they have sold, but they haven't told me. I'll find out the combined number the publisher has sold when I get the first 6-monthly sales report, which is due in February.

3. Publisher through Distributor to Retailers: presumeably the publisher knows how many they have sent to the Distributor, the issue here is with stock. The distributor holds some stock (so that is unsold) and the various retailers are also holding stock (so that is unsold). I will get some information on this when the publisher sends me the sales figures (and cheque!) in February, but I suspect this will just be on the books that have been paid for, rather than sold (some retailers operate 30 day terms, some 60 day terms and I guess the distributor will have 30/60 days terms as well).

4. My direct sales: I've made quite a few, but haven't had a chance to do my paperwork for about 3 months, so actually have only a rough handle on this. Hope to calculate it over Xmas. These sales are to people I know, people I work with and people via Ebay and Amazon marketplace.

5. My sales to retailers: Again I haven't had a chance to do the paperwork recently, plus there is the added issue that the retailers may have unsold stock. Also they don't pay until the stock is sold and they are resupplied, or against their terms (30 or 60 days). Or in HMV's case they don't pay at all, yet, the b@stards.

6. So I guess this was more than you wanted to know, but there wasn't a quick answer, except "I don't know". My estimate is that I have sold about 300 books through #4 and #5. Maybe more, maybe less (given unknown stock levels).

7. Publisher sales: probably less than 300. They haven't really been very good at retailing the book. To my knowledge it is only in a few bookshops, and isn't in some of the ones that I think are essential (WHSmiths in the London to Brighton stations, Sussex Stationers [though they have supposedly ordered 100 copies] & Borders [who have shown interest in including it in their local books section, but don't seem to have, yet]). I know it is consistently selling on Amazon because I keep an eye on the stock levels. Also selling on Tesco, Waterstones and WHSmiths online.

So, if I had to make an estimate, then maybe 500 books sold. Which isn't a major success, but is approaching the break-even point.
The hot news on the Pub Jury front is that I have a web designer working on an international Pub Jury website where people will be able to submit ratings and photos. I'll send you links when its done (expected in January at the moment). I know you've heard this before, but this guy actually is working on it and looks like he will produce something!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Okay, this is just for an experiment, but try this link and watch the little movie:

"Funny" movie

Monday, November 13, 2006

Brighton & Hove Web Awards: Results

Well, we didn't win, which was kind of a relief as it would have meant going up on stage to make an acceptance speech, which I didn't fancy much. The Ocean Rooms won the prize for "Best Site for a Night Out", but it was still great to be in the shortlisted five sites for this category, especially considering the www.pubjury.co.uk website has had so little done to it in the last six months, and is a pretty basic site.

In fact the plan now is to upgrade the PubJury website to an interactive online database which will be able to take scores/reviews for any pub, anywhere! Very excited about that prospect and the hope that the data will then go on to enable the publication of more books: "Britain's Best Pub", "The World's Best Pubs" and possibly books for certain towns/cities if enough data comes in for specific places.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Brighton & Hove Web Awards: Vote for us!

Our site (this blog & www.pubjury.co.uk) has been selected for shortlist for the Brighton & Hove Web Awards 2006, making it one of the top 5 sites in its category! In this the category is "Best Site for a Night Out".

Voting is now open to decide who wins and you can vote for us at this website:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Buy the Book....and Give to Charity

The book is now for sale in the Alzheimer's Society shop in Sydney Street. If you buy your copy there then 30% of the cover price will go to help the Alzheimer's Society in caring for people suffering from dementia. To find out more visit their website:

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Second Chance to Advertise in the Book

The book has now been in print for about 2 months and the first print run of 1000 books has already sold out. The publisher, Pen Press, has just commissioned a 2nd print run, but is looking to do another larger print run in the near future.

The book has recently been featured on TV on ITV's Meridian Tonight (watched by 500,000 viewers), had a 20 minute slot on BBC Southern Counties Radio (100,000 listeners), had a full page feature (p.3) in the Argus and also had reviews in local magazines.

All of this publicity is expected to lead to heavy sales during the Christmas period. The book is also selling in 5 Brighton University retail outlets - with a captive audience of 22,000 students in Brighton University alone.

In addition the recently published guide has already received several accolades, including:
Exhaustive guide to the drinking delights of the most exciting city in the UK” – Attila the Stockbroker
The BBP guide does an excellent job” – Latest 7
This guide offers all you need to know, and for an affordable price! Highly recommended!” – Reviewer on Amazon
It's well worth a look if you see it at a pub, beer festival or bookshop.” – Sussex Drinker
The book is for sale in locations throughout Brighton & Hove and online via Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmiths and Tesco.com.

The price for a full page advert in the main body of the book is £250. All adverts are mono. You have the choice whether to advertise in the various sections of the book: Pubs, Clubs or Breweries. If you are interested in advertising on the website then that is also a possibility.

Please contact us by email or call 07812 583551 if you are interested.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rocks Magazine Review

"Rocks" magazine gave a short review of the book in their October issue, review extract follows:

"This is a brave and ambitious project considering Brighton has somewhere in the region of 400 places to get pissed. The enthusiasm of the Pub Jury is evident and the time and effort of visiting 300 pubs must be lauded."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Retail Rationalisation

Well, several shops I was selling the book in have sold out and in others it wasn't selling at all, so they were obviously bad places to sell the book. So I did a bit of rationalisation.

The book is no longer for sale in Resident, Wax Factor and Shoppers Paradise Gallery. I transferred the copies to HMV who had sold out. It also isn't for sale in em Space, mainly because it shut down!

Apparently the publisher no longer has any copies of the first print run left and are waiting on a 2nd run from the printer.

So you can now get it in:

The 4 Brighton University Student Union shops,
Blackwells Bookshop (Brighton University, Cockroft building),
The Basketmakers Arms (North Laine),
Both Pussy shops (Kensington Gardens & Bartholomews).

Shops which I am pretty sure still have stock are:
Custard (The Lanes, near the Bath Arms),
Sussex in the City (The Lanes),
Cardome (St James St),
City Books (Western Road),
Barnets Barbers (Old Steine, near St Peters Church),
Tourist Information (next to the Town Hall),
The Pavillion Shop (next to the Pavillion!),
Kemptown Books (Kemptown!),
HMV (Western Road or Churchill Sqr).
Dave's Books (Sydney Street)

I've heard that Waterstones had sold out and ordered more, but not sure if they have them in.
Borders, Sussex Stationers, & WHSmiths haven't stocked it yet, but may be ordering it.

Online you can get it on Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmiths, on various timescales....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Brighton Fans Pub Jury

Here's the votes of the "North Stand Jury", Brighton & Hove Albion Fans, from their chatboard:

I took all the votes cast there and added them up:
11 Votes, Basketmakers
8 Votes, Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson
6 Votes, Great Eastern, Caxton Arms
5 Votes, Evening Star, Lion and Lobster, Robin Hood
4 Votes, Conqueror, Cricketers, Greys,
3 Votes, Constant Service, Dover Castle, Hop Poles, Setting Sun, Sussex, Windmill

Everything else 2 or less votes.

Sussex CAMRA Pub of the Year

Sussex CAMRA named the Evening Star as their pub of the year for 2006. Runner up was the Stanley Arms in Portslade.
Ray Bray, Sussex and Surrey regional director for Camra, said the award was, "for the quality of the beers, the way they dispense it and the clientele.
"They use hand pumps. Being real ale, it is better coming out of a hand pump or straight out of the cask because you don't use CO2 or nitrogen.
"You can enjoy the flavour a lot more. Putting CO2 in there destroys it."
The pub is owned by the Dark Star brewery, in Ansty, near Haywards Heath, which this year has won awards for its espresso coffee beer, available in bottles at The Evening Star.
Last year the pub was awarded the accolade of Camra's Sussex and Surrey Pub of the Year.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

As Seen on TV!

If you missed it you can catch it on http://www.meridiantv.com/ using internet explorer

Select Your Town from the left hand column and select Brighton News from the right hand side of the video window.

Or watch it on YouTube:

Where Can You Buy the Book?

Seems like in the rush of publicity that people are having trouble buying the book, so I thought I'd do an update of where it is now on sale.....
New Additions are: the 4 Brighton University Student Union shops, Blackwells Bookshop (Brighton University, Cockroft building), The Basketmakers Arms (North Laine), both Pussy shops (Kensington Gardens & Bartholomews).
Shops which I am pretty sure still have stock are: Custard (The Lanes, near the Bath Arms), Sussex in the City (The Lanes), Dave's Books (Sydney Street), em space (Sydney St), Wax Factor (Trafalgar St), Cardome (St James St), City Books (Western Road), Resident Records (Kensington Gardens), Shoppers Paradise Gallery (upstairs, Kensington Gardens), Tourist Information (next to the Town Hall), and The Pavillion Shop (next to the Pavillion!).

Shops where there may still be copies are Barnets Barbers (Old Steine, near St Peters Church), Kemptown Books (Kemptown!), and HMV (Western Road or Churchill Sqr).

I've heard that Waterstones have sold out, but have it on order. Borders, Sussex Stationers, & WHSmiths were resisting stocking it, but I'm hoping they've been asked for it enough times over the last few days to get it in.

Online you can get it on Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmiths, on various timescales....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ITV Meridian Tonight TV Interview!

Well, it feels corny to say it, but it seems that media interviews are like buses. I wait 3 months and then 3 come along at once! Yep, it seems that Meridian Tonight saw the Argus article and wanted to do one on the Brighton Pub Jury!

Yep, after having had a launch event for the media, where no media people turned up, they are now super-keen. It just goes to show that you shouldn't give up - if I hadn't got a friend to take photos and write the pub crawl article up, then I wouldn't have got any of this.....

So, who am I to say 'no' to the TV? So some of the jury went along and did a TV interview this lunchtime in the Basketmakers pub. The cameraman shot from lots of strange angles to maintain our anonymity, which is either going to look great or really crappy.

Anyway, so we and basically everyone we knew, sat down to watch Meridian Tonight, tonight, and we were rewarded with stories about an escaped bird with a 5 foot wingspan, a family going around the world in a bus (one day - the bus was a long way off moving anywhere!) and a haunted house (that wasn't haunted). Hmm.

Well, it seems that there were some "technical difficulties". Lets hope they get resolved and the article goes on tomorrow night!

According to the ITV Meridian Annual Programme Statement, over half a million people watch Meridian Tonight! Come on!

Argus Article

The book had an awesome feature in today's Argus - a leader photo on the front page and then nearly the whole of page 3 dedicated to the book. As someone told me, "You can't buy publicity like this!" Big thanks to the Argus!

For those interested (me): Argus circulation is about 41,000 per day (data from the web, please tell me if its wrong!)

"Friends crawl around 300 inns to produce definitive guide"
"The jury's in on the best pubs"

Live Radio Interview Result!

Well the interview went great - it seemed like about 15 mins, including a bizarre diversion into talking about chocolate bars. Very exciting being in the studio and talking, with the thought that thousands of people were listening in!

Unfortunately, no-one seems to have recorded it, and the "Listen Again" function doesn't work, so it looks like I will never actually hear the show! Anyone out there hear it? And even better, anyone got a recording?

For anyone interested (like me) BBC SC's audience is:
Reach: It is listened to by 272,000 people (11%) each week.
Hours: Each listener tunes in for 8.6 hours per week - a total of 2,350,000.
Share: In its area, it has a 4.5% market share.
So with any luck about 50 thousand people were listening as it was the early evening slot, which is hopefully one of the peak listening times. wow!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Radio Interview!

I'm going to be on BBC Southern Counties Radio tonight, on a slot about 'local authors'! 6.30pm ish.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hanover Beer Festival

Some of the pub jury took the opportunity to run a stall at the Hanover Community Beer Festival on 29 & 30 September 2006.
We had 2 excellent nights, sampling a wide range of real ales and selling a few books into the bargain.

The Pub Jury also ran the raffle for the Community Centre, raising over £70! The prize - a copy of the book of course! (plus 4 pints of real ale!).

It was good to meet lots of people and talk about the book and lots of pubs, also to meet quite a few off-duty landlords, some of whom were not very happy with the reviews that their pubs received! Oh well, you can't please everyone!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Brighton's Best Pubs: The Movie

Have a gander at the book on You Tube:


BBP Pub Crawl: Pub 1, The Belle Vue

At the invitation of The Pub Jury 30-odd people joined a pub crawl of some of the best pubs in and around the North Laine. It started in the Belle Vue, overlooking the station on Buckingham Place, where Theresa and Kirsty welcomed everyone with free shots of the house spirit, Mad Gold, and got the evening off to a crazy start! Theresa says that her pub is filled with “a collection of irregular regulars”, and she has chosen to decorate it with some of her own paintings.

BBP Pub Crawl: Pub 2, The Battle of Trafalgar

Next stop was the Battle of Trafalgar in Guildford Road, which was already busy before we descended on it in force. Lee and his barstaff were soon pulling pints in a frenzy to keep up with the demand. Here the jurors introduced themselves – there are currently seven - Dave, Dave, Tony, Sandra, John and Tim are Brighton residents, whilst Jonathan lives just outside of town. The jury try to stay anonymous to avoid landlords trying to influence their ratings with special treatment!

BBP Pub Crawl: Pub 3, The Evening Star

We weren’t in the Battle long before it was time to exit – the strict timetable allowed only half an hour in each pub – and off we went around the corner to the Evening Star on Surrey Street. The Star is rated by CAMRA as the best pub for beer in Brighton and it certainly didn’t disappoint with its wide range of real ales, lagers and cider. The landlord, Matt, and his staff are always happy to let you sample some of the beers before you buy and when we showed them the entry for the Star in the book they provided us with free bar snacks as a thank you!

BBP Pub Crawl: Pub 4, The Caxton Arms

We couldn’t hang around though, there was important ‘research’ to be done elsewhere and we hurried up the street to the Caxton Arms, tucked away in North Gardens. Here landlord James told us he was currently redecorating the place and all the walls were newly painted. We didn’t get the chance to ask him whether the pub’s many trademark black and white movie star pictures were going to go back up or not! The back garden in here is a delight, hidden away below street level giving it a very cosy feel.

BBP Pub Crawl: Pub 5, The Earth & Stars

It wasn’t long though before we had to knock back our drinks and head onwards to the next stop, over the Queens road to the Earth & Stars on Church Street. This pub is eco-friendly, carbon-neutral and has solar panels on the roof to provide its energy! It also has a range of organic drinks on tap, including the very tasty Freedom Lager. Lou and his barstaff gave us all free shots of organic vodka to toast the launch of Brighton’s Best Pubs book with!

BBP Pub Crawl: Pub 6, The Basketmakers Arms

The last official stop was the pub that gets the highest rating in the book, The Basketmakers Arms on Gloucester Road. This put smiles on the faces of all the staff when we told them! The Basketmakers is a solid traditional pub with great beer and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. The décor includes hundreds of different tobacco tins nailed to the wall. These have been filled with messages from drinkers over the years and make some very entertaining reading!

BBP Pub Crawl: Pub 7, The Hobgoblin

Things were going so well that people didn’t want to go home after the Basketmakers, so we headed off to the Hobgoblin for some late night drinking in the huge pub garden. All-in-all the book launch made for an excellent evening with a fun crowd of Brighton pub goers!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Latest 7" Magazine Review

This review was in the 13 Sept issue of Latest 7 magazine:


Time at the bar

As a lover of proper pubs I was intrigued to receive by post a review copy of a new book entitled Brighton’s Best Pubs, written by a band of revellers who call themselves the Pub Jury. It claims to be the definitive guide to drinking in Brighton, an invaluable guide for residents and visitors alike. And it appears that the Pub Jury are aged between 25 and 50 years old and that the book grew out of ‘quiet time’ conversation that three of the jury had when they worked together. How I long for a job that has ‘quiet time’!
They are made up of a rocker, a cider drinker, a real ale fan, an artist, two parents and a nurse – just in case you need to know the demographics.
All that apart, the book is indeed an invaluable guide to Brighton’s potatory establishments, and despite the title it does include Hove. The material has been gathered in a sensible point-based system with marks out of 100 for each of the following; atmosphere, beer, barstaff, food, entertainment, décor/garden and a total percentage overall.
It came as no surprise to me to find that the highest scoring pub in town is, by their judging criteria, The Basketmakers Arms in Gloucester Street. I have been going there for years for the simple reason that it retained its identity as a real pub and sold beer and food. In an era when every pub in town was losing its name and often with it its identity, the Basketmakers was a beacon of sane and unsophisticated charm. I use the word unsophisticated in a qualified sense and by it I mean that the Basketmakers had not been gentrified, ponced up, cocktailed, gastroed or generally buggered up. It was simply a pub that sold grub and beer. Good grub too and well priced. It still does just that and so I applaud them and I applaud the guide for recognising that.
The BBP guide does an excellent job although I note that it omits to give points for child-friendliness, useful for those with kids and equally for those who wish to avoid them, and dog-friendliness is also acknowledged on an ad hoc basis. I would also have liked to see a comparative price factor included.
For fun they have included a series of top five categories which includes food, the vibe and totty which is sub-divided into straight and gay. The A–Z listing works well too but I would love to know who it is that thinks that Brighton Rocks, a favourite haunt of mine, is a ‘traditional pub’ or dated the barstaff at The Crescent in Clifton Hill as the oldest in town – surely a mistake.

The back of the book has quizzes and jokes, all rather jolly stuff and at £9.99 makes it both useful and entertaining.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Amazon Reviews

The book is now properly available via Amazon, as well as through WHSmiths and Waterstones online. Its also now for sale in the Brighton Tourist Information and the Brighton Pavilion Shop.
Heres a couple of reviews from Amazon customers:
"Whether you've lived in Brighton for years or are an exchange student looking for a suitable venue, this guide offers all you need to know, and for an affordable price! Highly recommended!"

"It covers every pub and bar in Brighton and is dead easy to use. The A-Z section means you only need to know the name of the pub and you can turn to it in seconds. Then you get the overall rating (%) and ratings for Beer, Atmosphere, Entertainment, Decor/Garden, Barstaff and Food, plus some comments. There are maps showing the pub locations, suggested pub crawls, a guide to clubs and other sections like jokes, games and puzzles."

Good stuff!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"The Best Available" - Sussex Drinker Review (extract)

In the Autumn 2006 issue of CAMRA's "Sussex Drinker" magazine, by Pete Coppard:

"One could not review this book without first commenting on the great effort that has been spent in tracking down some of the drinking establishments therein. The layout is very clear and the good quality photographs break up the text, making for an easy read."

"I think this would be a valuable document for new residents in the city wishing to find their way around and, given the lack of an up-to-date local real ale guide, probably the best available."

"A Foreword by Atilla the Stockbroker extolls the virtues of our Sussex Pub of the Year, The Evening Star!"

"It's well worth a look if you see it at a pub, beer festival or bookshop."

The Big Time

The book is now on sale in HMV (both Brighton branches). It should also be for sale in the Tourist Information office and the Pavilion Shop.

It should also soon be available in Waterstones, who have ordered it.

With any luck it will also soon be for sale in Borders, Virgin, WHSmiths and British Bookshops (Sussex Stationers).

If you want to do me a favour, go into one of the last ones and ask if they have it/order it there!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Other places the book is available....

Also now available in Resident record shop and the Shopper's Paradise Gallery, both in Kengsington Gardens. And in City Books on Western Road.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Books Selling....

Okay so the book is now also available in Barnet's barbers on the Old Steine (near the bottom of Trafalgar Street).

It seems to be selling fairly well, at least in "Custard" in the Lanes, where I re-supplied the shop after they sold out!

Otherwise, I am waiting to hear from City Books, whose managers are on holiday, and got favourable responses from HMV and Virgin, who might stock the book. Also awaiting responses from the head offices of Birthdays and Clinton Cards shops.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Books on Sale in Brighton Shops!

Well theres been no time for blogging since I got the books. First I had to send all the contributors a copy, then get the book on Amazon and Ebay. Since then I've been doing some things I should probably have got done while I was waiting for the books: getting business cards (with the book cover on) printed, getting posters printed, getting display stands for posters/books, finding out about events that I can go to to sell/promote the book, etc.

Then this week I went out to some non-bookshops and non-mainstream bookshops to try to get them to sell the book. The mainstream bookshops will only sell it when it has gone through the book systems (Nielsen, then their own systems) and then they can stock it. Pen Press are supposed to take care of promoting it to them. Anyway, so I had quite a lot of success getting shops to take the books and they are now available in the following shops: Dave's Books (Sydney Street), em space (Sydney St), Wax Factor (Trafalgar St), Sussex in the City (Lanes), Custard (Lanes), Kemptown Books (Kemptown!) and Cardome (St James St). Hopefully they will also be sold out of some other shops too, but I have to speak to the managers/owners first.

Since all this had eaten into my initial allocation of books I nipped down to Pen Press and got another 100-odd books to sell. I'm hoping to shift a lot of these on Sunday on a stall in the Hanover Day mini-festival. If you want to come along and meet me and buy a copy then I'll be on the end of Coleman Street, near the Geese pub. Cheers!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Book Now Available to Buy!

Wow! Yesterday the publisher contacted me and told me the book had arrived. I rushed down there and it looks great. I picked up 100 copies which I will be giving to the contibutors, friends and family. Some will be left for sale. If you are interested you can buy it here:


or here:


The book will probably be available in the shops sometime during September (it has to go through various book sales processes, ISBN number, register with Nielsens, into the retailer systems, etc)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Still Waiting 2....

Still waiting for the first print run of the book.
Pen Press are good at a lot of things, but keeping authors updated on progress and keeping to promised timescales are not two of them.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Proof Read

Woo-hoo! I got the proof. And wow....it was amazing to hold the book in my hands. It was just so exciting.....it didn't seem real. I've been messing around with this project for I don't know how many years....maybe 5, maybe 7......and to hold an actual book was just incredible.

Anyway, there were a couple of minor issues with the proof, but I have addressed them with the publisher (Pen Press are giving really good service - they are definately earning their money so far!) and printing should be go soon! They say the first print run should be completed in a week or so....so after that the book will be available to buy.... can't quite believe it....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Still Waiting.....

Still waiting for the proof to appear.......(drums fingers impatiently).....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Latest Cover Draft

From my latest conversation with Pen Press, publication may be as soon as within 2 weeks!
Above is the latest cover design!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Attila the Stockbroker

Attila has written a short foreword for the book, and for free too! What a nice man! The best thing is that he has never met me or heard of me, but he responded to an unsolicited letter via his favourite pub (pubmail....hmmmm!) almost straight away, and then abided by my ridiculous timescale of needing something "tomorrow if possible".

You can find out more about this anarchic political musician/poet/comedian at his website:
and then on myspace you can hear some of his songs for free:

Just don't call him a celebrity!