Friday, 15 April 2016

Horse and Groom and the Rose Hill Tavern, Brighton

The fate is now known of two Brighton pubs that were the result of a 1930s remodelling by architect Stavers Hessell Tiltman for the Portsmouth and Brighton United Breweries. Both were listed last year as Assets of Community Value. Although neither has been saved as a real ale pub, the silver lining in the cloud is that they have been retained for community use instead of becoming the offices and flats they were originally destined to be. The Horse and Groom, Islingword Road, Hanover, was taken over by Majid Bensliman, owner and chef of the Blue Man in Queen’s Road, and reopened in December as the Village. It is a community-focused fully-licensed café bar, serving food and drink from 12noon-11pm (midnight Friday and Saturday), including tapas, breakfasts, dinners, coffee, cakes, teas and alcohol, including craft keg and bottled British and Belgian beer with prices ranging from £4 to £5. There is free wi-fi, disabled access and amenities and a changing station for families with babies. Live events will take place on a regular basis such as music, comedy and spoken word, while the soundproofed performance space can also be booked for private events. Those over 65 get a 15% discount while students and NHS staff get 10% off. See

Meanwhile, the Rose Hill Tavern Action Group seemingly did not raise enough capital to purchase this pub in Rose Hill Terrace, off London Road. The Brighton and Hove Independent (Friday 18 December 2015) reports that the property has been bought by an unnamed Brighton couple who aim to turn the closed tavern into a community arts hub. The buyers issued the following statement: “We are keen to set up arts studios and a recording studio in the cellar, and the ground floor space we will keep as flexible space for a variety of creative and community uses, for instance, we run a regular extended artists residency programme in France and would like a space in the UK to run some of those activities. We would like to put on events, exhibitions, performances, live music and community activities. We would run a variety of creative workshops. We belong to an extended local network of artists, musicians, photographers, creative workshop leaders and performers and we would like to set up a space that can help contribute to the configuration of the London Road area.”

The Rose Hill Tavern was rebuilt in 1934 and the Horse and Groom in 1937 after the pubs were acquired from the Rock Brewery. The use of green faïence tiling was a distinctive feature of Tiltman’s work for the Portsmouth and Brighton United Breweries. See also my Blog posts on the Heart and Hand and the attempt to save the Rose Hill Tavern

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