The ‘night before we go away’ rush is a familiar one, but normally we’re scraping together a mish mash meal of whatever is left in the fridge, but not this time! As a reward for finally finishing the packing we headed off to The Sportsman in Brighton for a meal together before an early night in preparation for a 5am alarm!
Located next to the old football stadium (how was that ever Brighton & Hove Albion’s home ground? It’s tiny!) The Sporstman Crown Carvery is a large pub with a traditional feel. The decor is quite dark inside and not very modern, but suits the feel of the pub. Everything was clean (including the toilets!) and there is a separate bar area for people who just want a drink.
Throughout our visit tables around us were cleared quickly, and our plates were taken away promptly after each course. The highchairs were clean, and had a removable table section so perfect for Athena so she could be at the right height to eat at from the table. Arlo was happy with at selection of food from our plates and merrily sat nibbling away. The children’s menu arrived with crayons too as it had some kids activities on which is always welcomed! On each table there is a little bucket with clean cutlery and napkins in, though there were only four napkins, we needed a lot more though as we had three courses and two kids, so it would have been nice if they were already on the table.
For a starter we chose a sharing platter (A selection of things like onion rings, chicken goujons and breaded mushrooms etc) and hunters gammon and cheese melt (melted cheese, sliced bacon and bbq sauce on garlic bread) and Athena’s macaroni cheese was brought out at the same time. This was a nice touch as we normally ask for this but hadn’t remembered to this time. We weren’t offered side plates with our sharing platter which would have been helpful.
A standard carvery meal is only £4.39, and you can ‘go large’ for an extra £1.50 adding extra meat, a sausage and a giant yorkshire pudding. Obviously I went large. There is also a range of pub classics such as Half roast chicken, pie of the day and Battered fish & Chips, and there is a ‘go large’ option for these too. With all main meals you help yourself to veg, gravy and sauces and can eat as much as you like of these! We’re not vegetarians but I did want to mention that there are four veggie options or a ‘veggie carvery’ with everything but the meat for a cheaper price.
We both opted a large Carvery meal, so a choice of 3 meats and unlimited veg, stuffing & sauces. You go up to the servery and a chef cuts the meat for you off the joints, and then you help yourself to everything else. The only point I’d mention is that the stuffing was pretty dry, and that a couple of the plastic serving tongs were really hot, though when the chef saw me struggling with them she quickly swapped them for new cold ones! All the other veg and potatoes were fresh and hot. Sam managed to eat all of his meal, however I couldn’t manage it, even though I was sharing with Arlo.
The kids menu is a little on the small side, with two options (chicken nuggets or macaroni cheese) or a kids portion of carvery, however as both our kids could inhale macaroni cheese all day this was fine for us but those with pickier eaters might have a problem! Athena was able to have unlimited veg too including chips & beans with her meal too.
The dessert range is wide, varied and impressed me! I really love pudding and tend to look at the pudding menu before deciding what I want for a main so I know how much room I need to leave! With cheesecake, pies, trifles and sundaes I reckon there would be something for everyone’s tastes! I had a Chocolate and cookie dough tower (divine, and obviously I saved room for it all!) Sam had a Banana split (that he shared with Arlo) and Athena was presented with a gigantic bowl of jelly and ice cream, although there is an option for both adults and kids to have unlimited ice cream from an ice cream machine!
We had a lovely meal, the atmosphere was relaxed and there were a lot of other families out enjoying themselves too. The team on duty were all friendly, including the chef serving the carvery! I’d definitely recommend a visit for an affordable family meal, and perfect for those of us with kids with a short attention span as no waiting for your main to be cooked, it’s ready when you are!
There is a large, free car park on site, free wifi and apparently there is a quiz on Tuesdays and Thursdays too! They serve an unlimited breakfast from 8 – 11.30am, and then the carvery is served until 9.30pm daily. Kids eat free on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays (with an adult who buys a meal, obviously) and The Sportsman offers a 10% discount on food for serving personnel like armed forces, police force etc which I think is brilliant!
The Sportsman is on Tongdean Lane, telephone 01273 330055.
We were invited along to review The Sportsman and our meal was complimentary however all opinions are my own and unbiased.