This weekend we went to The Shakespeare’s Head, which can be found on the corner of Chatham Place and Howard Place, at the top of New England Road. Shakies is well known in Brighton for their sausage and mash, so I had high hopes for the gravy today.
We had booked a table for 2pm, and when we arrived a few minutes early the pub was heaving, with not a free seat or table to be seen. We had to wait a few minutes for some people to vacate our table before sitting down, but that’s never a problem.
Once seated it took all of two seconds for us to agree that we’d be ordering the usual – roast beef and pork.
Considering how busy it was, we didn’t have to wait too long for our food to be served to our table.
Unfortunately, the food itself was a bit hit and miss.
The beef was good, it wasn’t pink, but it was still tender and flavoursome. The pork was really tough and over cooked.
The roast potatoes were ok, nowhere near the best that I’ve had, but not the worse. Not much crispiness on the outside, and not quite soft enough on the inside for my liking.
The parsnips, kale, and broccoli were all good, especially the tenderstem broccoli. There was also a small serving of cauliflower cheese on the plate as well, which was nice. It wasn’t the cheesiest sauce, but I had no complaints about it.
However, not all of the vegetables were that good.
The carrots were almost raw – very tough and hard to cut and then eat. Personally, I don’t mind broccoli or green beans being on the ‘al dente’ side, but I feel carrots should be properly cooked through.
The red cabbage on the plate was plentiful, but unfortunately it was devoid of any flavour whatsoever.
The Yorkshire pudding was really nice. It was big, and had that perfect combination of crispyness on the outside, but still being fluffy and soft on the inside.
My expectations about the gravy were fortunately met, because it was delightful. Thick, rich, and full of flavour. It wasn’t enough to make up for the shortcomings of the meal, but it was really nice, and I expect that it’s great when you have their famous sausage and mash.
All in all, it was a disappointing showing from The Shakespeare’s Head today. Whether it was down to the pub being very busy (it was still heaving when we left after we’d finished our meal, just over an hour after arriving), I don’t know.
I’d definitely like to come back and give them a second chance though, because I don’t like to have one visit or experience from anywhere be my defining opinion.
In recent weeks I’ve been lucky enough to experience some great, high-quality roast dinners elsewhere (The Southern Belle, The Prestonville Arms, The Seven Stars), which is unfortunate for Shakies because it really wasn’t on a par with what we were served at those places.
Six out of ten roast potatoes.
Website – https://www.shakespeareshead.pub/
Phone Number – 01273 329444
Address – 1 Chatham Place, Brighton, BN1 3TP