The Hop Poles
The Hop Poles is a great little pub near the seafront and near the Lanes. Occasionally there are lines to get in, usually only on weekends. The wait is usually not too long. There isn't a dress code, but don't come wearing tracky bottoms. On some nights, there is a bouncer checking ID, so make sure you have it on you!
There are sculptures made from car hubcaps in the bar; note the elaborate one on the ceiling.
The bar is often crowded. It can take a little bit of time to get a drink, but the prices are good for the drinks and the crowd is a mix of students, business people and locals. There is a nice outdoor patio that's covered and has heaters, so it's open year round. It can be quieter and less hectic out on the patio, so if you are looking for a night of good conversation with a larger group of people, head to the back of the bar to the tables outside.
It's in the perfect location for a preclub drink - it's right near the seafront and close to a number of other pubs and bars and restaurants.
Oh! And if you have a sweet tooth, you will love the wide selection of sweets and candy on sale at the bar. You can get Cadbury's and Mars Bars among others. It's a bit random, but it's fun. [more]