Where to Drink in Lewes, East Sussex

Fri, 26 June 2020

Trading Post Coffee Roasters

Sure, Trading Post – an organic, sustainable and fair-trade outfit – has a bigger café in nearby Brighton, but we love getting our single-origin caffeine fix at its Lewes branch as the beans are roasted on site, in full view of customers. Can you taste the freshness? We reckon so. If you need multiple cups o’ joe to keep buzzing all day, hop between here, Le Magasin and Carafe.


Set in a Grade II-listed building near the train station, this independent wine merchant and bijou bar serves vintage plonk and unusual wines (we love a Japanese white) alongside artisanal gins in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. Next door, Erawan Thai bistro has a BYO policy, so Symposium has curated a list of wines that pair well with Asian flavours – drop in ahead of dining and they’ll set aside a chilled bottle for you. 


Harvey’s Brewery

Established in 1790, Harvey’s crafts cask ales from local hops, a 60-year-old yeast strain and water filtered from the Downs. It’s Sussex’s oldest independent brewery – the family-run business is currently in its eighth generation – and has a few quirky traditions to boot: every Tuesday Shire horses pull a dray laden with barrels of beer destined for pubs around Lewes. Chin wag with master brewers as part of a tour (these aren’t always available; contact in advance) or find a perch in the wood-beamed John Harvey Tavern opposite and sup a pint of Harvey’s Best Bitter. Long train journey home? Stock up on a bottle or two from the brewery shop.


Chaula’s Cocktail Lounge

Chaula’s is first and foremost a Gujarati restaurant, though what we think we love most about this place are its quaffable cocktails inspired by the intoxicating scents and flavours of India. The menu is revamped every three months and features a good selection of Sussex wines to boot. Best enjoyed while nibbling your way through platter of pakoras and dahi puri.


Pub-wise, you’re spoiled for choice. The Lewes Arms is ranked among Britain’s best boozers (and, side note, hosts the World Pea-Throwing Championship), while the wood-panelled Rights of Man takes its name from the seminal work of former Lewes lad Thomas Paine. This place is owned by Harvey’s, so serves a good selection of ales alongside 40 gins. The Snowdrop Inn (named after an extraordinary avalanche that killed eight people on the site in 1836) pulls a younger, cool crowd with Sussex-brewed ales and sourdough pizza.

  • +44 1273 471 018
  • Go to Website
  • The Snowdrop Inn
    119 South Street
    BN7 2BU

You May Also Like

City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.


Need some inspiration while working from home? Shop 20% off magazines when bundled together.

Download Suitcase App
Learn More