Olly welcomes everyone for food, drink and a fun time at The Holly Blue

by Tony Flood

After working for 25 years in hospitality, Olly McTear embarked on his biggest venture in June by taking over The Holly Blue in Pevensey – and he invites everyone of all ages to visit this child-friendly pub and carvery.

The 42-year-old Mr McTear reveals: “I have a tied partnership with Marston’s brewery, which means they own the pub but I own the business that operates within it!

“Nothing beats a classic British carvery. Our food is served fresh and features succulent slow-cooked meats, homemade Yorkies and veg that change to suit the season!

Heather Flood eating her Roast.

“Whether you’re bringing the whole family or enjoying a night off from the kids, we have plenty of options for everyone. How about trying one of our show-stopping burgers? Or, If you fancy a pub classic, tuck into our traditional fish and chips or a roast.

“There is also an extensive choice of drinks. You can relax with a real ale, premium draught beer, or a glass of wine. Or grab a coffee to go with one of our delicious desserts!”

Tony Flood eating a Roast.

The spacious Holly Blue, bordered by farmland in Hailsham Road, Stone Cross, Pevensey, BN24 5BU, provides a beer garden, an LED-lit patio for al fresco eating, and plenty of parking spaces.

Owned by Marston’s since June 2012 and renamed after a now rare indigenous butterfly, the original eighteenth-century building has been greatly extended to give a large bar area divided into sections, all of which are laid for diners.

The new management team has over 50 years of hospitality experience, ranging from cocktail bars to restaurants to five-star hotels! They include managers Anton Mellor and Charlie Gosden, who both followed Olly from the Crown and Anchor, where he was General Manager, popular Sunday carvery chef Paul Taylor and Andy Belfield, a chief from The Grand Hotel. The team provides excellent customer service, while Olly’s wife Soafia helps with social media and interior decorating.

Olly promises: “Whether you need a pub with Wi-Fi for a business lunch or somewhere serving meals for all tastes, the Holly Blue will do you proud. We also focus on fun for families of all ages! Whether it be a quick bite after school for the young ones, or the whole family together for birthdays or even weddings!

“We have introduced live music to the Holly Blue and will continue to do so with bigger bands and events both indoors and outdoors! Entertainment will include quizzes, wine bingo and maybe even karaoke.”

Mr McTear began his hospitality career as a hotel porter at 17 and worked in pubs before switching to the five-star Grand Hotel, becoming their youngest ever bar manager at the time, at the age of 23, then managing the cocktail bar there for 12 years!

After working in Brighton in Stanmer House, he returned to his home town Eastbourne and became General Manager at the Crown and Anchor for almost seven years.

Olly felt a greater challenge was needed and that he should revive The Holly Blue which he fondly remembered as ‘Coopers’ where he visited with his family as a youngster and enjoyed the children’s play area.

The Holly Blue’s wide choice of meals ranges from roast beef and turkey at the carvery to burgers and various grills, served with half a grilled tomato, button mushrooms, garden peas, beer-battered onion rings and chips (unless otherwise stated).

These include hunter’s chicken for £12.59, steak and ale pie for £12.99 and hand-battered fish and chips for £14.29. The kids’ menu is packed with healthy options and tasty treats.

Lighter bites for smaller appetites are available from Monday to Friday, from 12 noon to 3 pm. You can choose a main course and add a starter and/or dessert from just £2.50 each.

Orders for food are taken until 8.45 pm and the pub closes at 10 pm. Reservations can be made by telephoning 01323 763212 or emailing hollybluepubpevensey.co.uk

Picture shows Olly McTear, his wife Soafia, and children, Cyndi, four, and Noah, one, outside The Holly Blue.



  • Tony Flood

    Author Tony Flood, who lives in Eastbourne, has spent most of his working life as a journalist, initially on local and regional papers and then on nationals. He was also editor of 'Football Monthly', Controller of Information at Sky Television and enjoyed a spell with 'The People.' In his celebrity book My Life With The Stars - Sizzling Secrets Spilled', Tony recalls: “My work as a showbiz and leisure writer, critic and editor saw me take on a variety of challenges - learning to dance with Strictly Come Dancing star Erin Boag, becoming a stand-up comedian and playing football with the late George Best and Bobby Moore in charity matches.” My Life With The Stars provides revelations and amusing anecdotes about showbiz and sports personalities including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, George Best, Kylie Minogue, Eric Morecambe and Des O'Connor. Tony also writes in other genres and his crime thrillers have been endorsed by best-selling author Peter James. They are Triple Tease, Stitch Up - Killer or Victim? and Fall Guy - who really killed his wife?, and all feature compassionate copper DCI Harvey Livermore. In addition, there's a fantasy adventure for youngsters called Secret Potion and a book Tony has co-written with wife Heather, aptly titled Laughs and Tears Galore - short stories and poems with twists! Recently, Tony joined The Collective of seven local writers all contributing one character to family saga Driven by Desire, which is full of conflict, fierce ambition and passion as well as a dramatic kidnap. Tony also writes theatre reviews for the Eastbourne Herald, Brighton Argus and BourneFree Live, as well as playing veterans football for Sovereign Harbour Veterans. He is the oldest - and slowest - player in the team.

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