Situated in the residential Poet’s Corner in Hove, The George Payne is a quirky, family friendly pub with a varied food offering that caters for everyone.
Location and History
Opened in 2012 by tenants Zoe & Steve, the George Payne has been quick to establish itself as a neighbourhood pub that highly values the tight-knit local community. As a result they run a variety of events reflecting this including open mic nights, pub quizzes, street parties and more.
It’s location on Payne Avenue, with close proximity to Aldrington station and bus stops on Portland Road, means that despite it’s residential setting it’s very easy to get to. We drove – there is pay and display parking just outside which becomes free of charge after 8pm.
The George Payne boasts a particularly wide selection of ales and ciders, as well as a good offering of wines. My dining partner sometimes struggles to find a decent session ale in other pubs but here he enjoyed a couple of pints of Camden Pale Ale, which was available on tap. I opted for a glass (or two) of red wine – Spee Wah Deep River Shiraz from Australia – which was very nice. Drink prices are reasonable and what you’d expect in a neighbourhood pub of this kind.
We were kindly invited by the assistant manager Hannah to come and try some of the food on one of their open mic nights. The menu is varied with a decent amount of vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options – it’s also the sort of place where I imagine they would be happy to adapt certain dishes should you have any other dietary requirements. Additionally there is a set menu that runs Monday-Friday from 12pm-7pm, with two courses for £14 and three for £18.
To start I had beef croquettes, served with caramelised onions and lettuce. They were well-made with a crispy coating on the outside, a generous amount of filling and the caramelised onions were soft and not overly-sweet. One of my bug bears about lettuce is when it’s served fridge cold and/or recently washed and therefore leaking water – fortunately neither was the case here and it was a great accompaniment. They were a great little starter and I really enjoyed them – apologies for my naff picture below (I was definitely hungry and rather eager to snaffle them asap).
My dining partner ordered a baked Camembert with chutney and charred Rosemary bread. It was awesome – all the various bits were done well and I particularly liked the drizzle of herb-infused oil on top of the cheese. The Camembert itself was warm but not too hot – so you could dive straight in.
For the main course I decided to go with some classic pub grub and try the Butchers Sausage and Champ mash. I was delighted to see on arrival that the gravy was absolutely loaded with onions, which made it really thick and sumptuous. The sausages were meaty and the champ smooth and creamy. If I had any criticism it would be that there was so much of the mash that I didn’t manage to finish it all (I probably would have if I hadn’t had a starter). I’ve also since found out that this dish is gluten free as well.
My dining partner opted again for a vegetarian option – their garden vegetable and bean burger with aioli, served with fries. I had a taste (for research purposes, obviously) and the burger patty was flavoursome with some nice mild spices running through it, especially tasty with the extras he ordered (hallumi and cheddar cheese). He found it a massive plus that it was served with skinny fries and not chips – these were also seasoned well. And just look at the size of it!
Does the George Payne offer value for money? I would say yes for a pub of this kind. The portion sizes are generous so you could easily feed a hungry person here on a main course alone – their set menu as also a great option if you are looking for a good feed on a budget. You can check out their prices and both types of menu here.
We had a really lovely night here. The open mic acts were varied – including a solo trumpeteer (?) – and the atmosphere is really warm and welcoming. I particularly liked the decor of the pub, with lots of little quirky nik naks around to make it feel homely. There is a real neighbourly, community vibe here which is nice to see when so many of these kinds of pubs are closing. The George Payne is both family and dog friendly, although this is obvious when you see certain touches around the premises, such as jars of sweets available behind the bar. Next time I visit I will definitely be trying their cheese board, which is comprised entirely of local cheeses including the famous Sussex Charmer.
Overall, I would highly recommend a visit here for food to all kinds of parties, be it locals or visitors, couples, friends, families or solo diners. The George Payne’s home-cooked style of food perfect suits the cosy, home-from-home atmosphere in this lovely community pub.
Address: The George Payne, 18 Payne Ave, Hove, BN3 5HB
Phone: 01273 329563
Facebook:The George Payne
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