It's lucky I was forewarned by my quick glance at Beer in the Evening last night. It would have been a bit surreal to come home from the boat to canal free East Sussex* and find myself in a pub surrounded with roses and castles paintings and bedecked with various pieces of not very traditional but nonetheless painted tinware. Very incongruous indeed, round these parts, and quite possibly entirely based on a close study of Rosie and Jim, whose effigies also featured prominently (never having made a close study of this oeuvre myself, I cannot say for sure). The place still lacks horse brasses and sepia prints of horse drawn boats, but it's early days yet.
So it was weird, but nonetheless sort of gratifying to see the canal theme taken on board by a distinctly non-canal (albeit riverside) pub. Anyway, enough of the sniffiness. The Harveys was absolutely excellent, and they had not only Best, but Bonfire Boy (hopefully presaging a regular feature of Harveys' monthly seasonal beer) and Old, plus Dark Star Hophead; and the food was very impressive too. All the main meals were around the eight pound mark which while not cheap, is OK for most of them, and very good value for the rump steak.
The place doesn't have the character it used to (though I was pleased to see that the giant bust of Plato is still lurking in the garden) but hey, you can't go back. And it did seem busy - anyone who serves good local beer and decent food deserves to succeed, even if their decor is a bit naff.
*Except for the little bit of the Royal Military Canal right out on the Kent border.