A local community success story
About a year ago, The Horse & Groom pub was sold to a private developer who wanted to turn the historic building into offices. The locals said “NO”.
After the development plans were announced, a group of Hanover residents successfully campaigned to make the building an Asset of Community Value. Now owned by the people behind The Blue Man, the venue is now open as The Village – an all day cafe-bar for everyone in the local community and beyond to enjoy.
What they’ve done with the place is pretty impressive. The Village has a very welcoming, homely feel to it and I’m instantly greeted with a smile as I enter. There’s a coffee shop style bar as you come in and plenty of tables and comfy seating as you head deeper into the room.
It’s 10:30 on a Thursday morning and it’s not busy, but it’s not quiet either. There is a calm atmosphere and several groups of friends of varying ages are chatting, drinking coffee and tucking into tasty looking plates of food. I head over to a table near the back of the room and wait for my friend Sam to arrive – he lives a few roads up from The Village in Hanover but despite hearing only good things, this was our first visit.
Brunch is served from 9am – 4pm every day and local suppliers such as The Real Patisserie & Drury Coffee are used and their eggs, sausages and bacon come from the same local farm as Archers, the organic butcher a few doors up from The Village.
The brunch menu stacks up well against any of the best cafes in Brighton. There are pastries, granola, rarebit, pancakes, eggs any way you want them and a good old fashioned fry up (with a veggie version, of course).
I’d spent the previous evening at The Park Crescent, struggling through their monthly music quiz so was a) tired and b) quite hungover, so on this occasion, the Village Breakfast of two eggs, grilled vine tomatoes, back bacon, sausage, baked beans, potato hash and harissa compote (£9) was the only that was going to cut the mustard.
The breakfast looked pretty mouth-watering and I couldn’t wait to tuck in. The sausage was delicious and the eggs were perfectly poached. I thought the home-made potato hash could have been crispier and the bacon had become a bit dry and tough but aside from that, there wasn’t much to complain about.
The stunning harissa compote deserves a special mention – it had a lovely heat and zing to it which worked especially well with the sausage and bacon. The kind of thing I could put on almost anything – hopefully, they’ll start selling it!
All in all, I’m very impressed by The Village. The friendly staff, laid back, homely feel and quality food make it a great place to meet and spend time. I can see it becoming a regular haunt.