About Hove Place
Hove is much like Hackney, in the sense that finding a pub for a Sunday roast is a competitive sport. Part of me misses living in east London and traipsing between the Marksman, the Hemingway and the Royal Inn on the Park. These days, I’m far more organised but it’s increasingly vital to book ahead or face disappointment. Today, we went for lunch with a couple that we met at NCT. They, like us are former Londoners, new to the coast and trying to navigate the pitfalls of new parenthood, whilst retaining some sense of normality. We met at Hove Place and 2:30, keen to see what might happen and the dining room was already full of hungry patrons, wearing Carhartt and closely cropped beards.
I’d been to Hove Place a few times before but only for drinks. On every previous visit, I’d sat in the garden and wondered if the noise from the drinkers annoyed the neighbours. Having worked and drank in plenty of bars and pubs, I could never live next to one and imagined that those that do lacked the required patience.
Back inside, the staff at Hove Place were friendly and attentive and all seemed to be wearing yoga gear. Our drinks orders were taken but the drinks took a whilst to arrive, turning up in stages. Hove Place had a small but perfectly passable selection of beers, along with some decent gins and I opted for the ever-reliable Moretti.
For lunch, we each had roasts. I ordered the pork belly and there were two lambs, along with a vegetarian Wellington, made from mushroom and butternut squash. Each roast came with roast potatoes, mashed suede, red cabbage, tenderstem broccoli, gravy and a Yorkshire pudding. My pork was wonderfully cooked; the meat was tender and juicy and the crackling was crispy and salty. Each time I go for a roast, I tell myself I’ll try something different but I only ever order pork.
Whilst we ate, we had our two kids in high chairs and there was no screaming. My son shifted his attention between the dog at the table next to ours and my roast dinner. The last few weeks, he’s been eating more and more and so I gave him some roast potato and mashed suede.
As ever with children, we didn’t want to push our luck and so paid up soon after eating. The noise of the dining room was getting to be a little much for the kids and they were both becoming restless. From Hove Place, we walked along the coast as the sun set on an unseasonably warm weekend and felt pleased that we’d made the effort and tried to normalise going out with our young children. As we walked home, I thought about how it would benefit us all in the long run if we get our kids comfortable with being in pubs.