Words by Megan De Meo
The Geese Have Gone Over The Water, the self-styled “bangers and mash pub of Brighton,” lives up to its reputation. Not only does it offer the beloved comfort food with a remarkable number of variations, the character of the venue itself reflects what we most love about the dish. The pub, in the heart of Hanover, is filled to the brim with music, conversation and laughter. Punters sit side by, on benches lining the walls or stalls at the bar. The room is decorated with bunting, empty gin bottles and (I was delighted to notice) ordnance survey maps lining the walls.
There is a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells. Indeed, the moment you enter the pub you are greeted with a heavenly umami scent so thick that it is as though your meal starts with your first breath.
Overall, the experience of eating at The Geese is reminiscent of winter evenings at your Mums. The days are growing dark, but inside is warm and familiar. A perfect evening for any homesick student.
The menu at The Geese goes above and beyond. There were no less than 10 varieties of sausages, 10 again of mash, and 6 distinct gravies. All of these can be mixed and matched according to whatever takes your fancy on the day.
This before even considering the sides, sharing plates and desserts. It would be remiss not to mention the Yorkshire puddings: crisp and golden, soft and delicious. Perfect for dunking in gravy.
The sausages are served in a wide brimmed dish, on a mound of mashed potatoes surrounded by a moat of dark, steaming gravy. The wild boar sausages are the ultimate banger. So thick that they almost burst open as your knife cuts into them. Sweet, dark browning on the outside and a rich, savoury filling. These go perfectly with the red wine gravy, the acidity and aromas of which cut through the gamey nature of the wild boar meat. The addition of horseradish and chive mash (which, on its own terms, is nothing short of delicious) may have been one step too far.
A person more sensible than I might decide not to opt for a pint of Guinness with wild boar sausage, red wine gravy, and horseradish mash. The combination was, unsurprisingly, a bit rich. Then again, the atmosphere is so inviting and the choice of food so exciting (Marmite mash, anyone?) that the temptation to indulge yourself may be too great. With any luck, you won’t be trying to make it up the hill on your way home.