In May Dave Brooker, 47, and Seb Griffiths, 49, plus Seb’s partner Vicki, took over the Foresters Arms in the village of Fairwarp.

They’d both worked for the Co-op and been friends for 30 years. But they never had any family time.

Seb and Vicky have four children, aged 5-15.

The Foresters Arms dates back to 1898 as a pub, although the building is much older.

Anyone who visits the pub gets a warm welcome, both from the landlords, and the locals.

But as they sit down for a drink or a delicious meal, they’re unaware that the Foresters holds a gruesome secret!

Says Seb;

In the early 1900s the landlord’s wife died during child birth and after this the landlord could not take it that she had passed away , so threw himself down the well leaving a couple of children on their own .

It’s been reported that since then bar staff have seen strange things happen like objects jumping off shelves on to the floor, music being turned up with no one near the system, the presence of someone in the pub but no one there, also it is said if you sit at table 7 you can see a female ghost sitting there crying.

Dave told me that the well, in the back of the pub, has an underground stream which links up to all the other wells in the village, and it’s possible to scuba dive around the village.

Well you can count me out! Woo!

One evening, Hubby John and I visited the Foresters for dinner.

Parking was easy, and our table was ready for us.

I chose a bottle of Cotes de Provence Rose and John had a lager shandy.


For starters, John chose pate, which came with ciabatta and chutney.


I had prawns with a chilli sauce. They arrived on skewers, cooked in a home-made tempura batter. And they were gorgeous!

Specials board

John decided to have Hunters’ Chicken off the Specials board, and I had medium rare Sirloin Steak.

Steak is often disappointing, even in expensive restaurants that claim to specialise in steaks. But mine was 100% perfect. Yes, 100%!

Huntsman’s chicken

I asked John how his chicken was, and he said something that sounded like Mm, yummy!

My steak was beautifully presented, with a big mushroom and tomato, and about half a packet of peas! The onion rings were set out in a chain, which looked really good.


As I have food intolerances and frozen chips often disagree with me (They’re often coated in chemicals to stop them turning black) I’d asked if Lorna the Chef could drop some new potatoes in the deep fat fryer to crisp them up.

When they were brought out in a dish, I was horrified to see that there were 9 of them! 9 potatoes!

I couldn’t eat that much for a Christmas dinner when I was a hungry teenager!

After eating as much as I could, I stared at the 7 remaining potatoes and cast a guilty glance towards the kitchen door.

I come from a generation where we were told, You’re not leaving the table until you’ve cleared your plate! There are children in the world starving who would be grateful for that food!

And the reply Well they can have mine then was usually greeted by a clip round the ear’ole.

Now, I didn’t expect Lorna to storm out of the kitchen and slap me round the head, but on the other hand, I could tell some scary Chef stories….

A friend of ours who is an absolutely perfect lady, was having lunch with a group of friends in a Kent pub, and she asked if something was fresh. And the chef burst out of the kitchen and threw them all out! The pub closed down a few weeks later.

And read about our Cruise From Hell;

Lemon tart

For a sweet, John chose Lemon Tart, and I had Caramelised Orange Cheesecake. Perfect endings to a perfect meal.

My cheesecake

Then Chef Lorna DID burst out of the kitchen, but only to sit down and have a chat!

We had a very enjoyable evening and we’ll be going there again quite a lot as they’re having regular music nights.

Seb & Vicki

But if you go there, make sure you take a doggy bag. The meals are HUGE!

The Foresters is just a few miles from Hartfield, which is attracting a lot more tourists than usual due to the new film Goodbye Christopher Robin.

I asked Seb what they both hoped to achieve, and he replied,

Great food, great Customer Service, support of the Community, and a place where individuals can feel comfortable coming in.

Sadly, Sussex has a lot of pubs where people have moved nearby and complained about everything they do. Then they complain even more when the pub is forced to close, and it stands boarded up with graffiti all over it.

But Seb and Dave have been welcomed into the village and enthusiastically backed in everything they’ve done so far.

Well done Fairwarp! And we’ll definitely be using the Foresters as a regular place to visit, especially on Music Nights!

The Foresters Arms is open for food Mondays & Tuesdays 12-2.30, 6-8.30pm & Wed-Saturdays 12-8.30. Sundays 12-4pm.

The Street,



East Sussex

TN22 3BP


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