A backstreet pub that harks back to Victorian Brighton and remains popular to this day
The Basketmakers Arms Brighton
A Brighton institution, loaded with history, charm and both cask and lager options
This Fuller’s pub lurks on a side road metres from the busy streets of the North Laine, located in what was Brighton’s basketmaking quarter. In fact we have an enterprising basketmaker from the 1850s to thank for the fact it is now one of Brighton’s most loved pubs.
The corner location and backstreet residential setting allows for some cute alfresco seating, and they seem happy for people to relocate their stools as the sun moves across the street. Inside the pub feels fresh despite its age, the wooden furniture and seating all looks pretty new and the paint on the low ceilings is a bright cream; nevertheless The Basketmakers exudes the traditional charm that a century-and-a-half-old pub should. The floorplan is compact small across the one ground floor; it’s a bit cramped but very cosy and we’d suggest booking your table in advance at peak times.
The walls are decorated with countless articles of memorabilia and signage, in particular a myriad of old tins. These tins are the pub’s niche offering, as they hide hidden treasures which vary widely from witty anecdotes to sage advice, to inane scribbles.
The menu is broad and covers all the expected pub classics at a reasonable £13 a plate, as well as an exciting sounding Fisherman’s Sharing Platter at £23 alongside small plates, sides and desserts a-plenty. Fish seems to be the speciality as on Fishy Fridays you can find loads of great seafood options and on Sundays there are very well regarded roasts.
The Basketmakers Arms is a cask destination with eight pumps across the bar serving all Fuller’s favourites including HSB and ESB. Keg ale fans get a choice of Sierra Nevada’s fine pale or Fuller’s own session pale, and the taps offer an impressive variety of lagers with Asahi, San Miguel, Peroni and Amstel. We hear that the rum here is very reasonably priced.
The pub does lean a little towards cask ale drinkers, who are generally an older generation CAMRA crowd, but in doing so it makes itself a pretty unique destination in Brighton’s city centre.