WELCOME to a whole new set of readers down here on the beautiful South Coast in Brighton.

An old editor of mine, who frankly should have been pensioned off years ago, contacted me recently to say he required someone with my specific undercover skills to deliver the truth about drinking establishments in the area.

So it was I found myself wandering along Marlborough Place.

The dark wooden exterior looked interesting enough and it certainly seemed to be a pub so I thought: “This’ll do for a virgin Brighton PubSpy.”

Having made my decision I strode boldly through the large wooden door to begin my mission… Once I’d climbed out of what appeared to be a broom cupboard I tried one of the many other doors I’d since noticed and fell into the pub.

And, what a pub it is, the thing is absolutely cavernous – no wonder it claims to be the city’s biggest.

I bought a pint of the recommended Harvey’s Gold and joined the hubbub up the central stairs.

This turned out to be a separate area with a detached feel and its own Heineken bar.

Judging by the number of students dominating the two pool tables it’s an unofficial union building.

The music wasn’t overbearing but the squealing students were so I beat a retreat and headed back to the main area.

Independently owned, presumably by people with millions and an interest in anything weird, it must be a monster money earner.

Apparently it opened as a farmhouse in 1779 and is linked with King George III and Charlotte.

I approached what looked like a friendly local sitting by the bar and sporting a set of big whiskers.

Introducing himself as David he advised me to try the Lazy Lizard next as it comes in under the £4 mark.

He advised me pubs overlooking the sea definitely “see” the punters coming with many hike prices toward and beyond the fiver mark (I’ll check on this another day).

There’s no doubting how this pub makes its cash.

There are TV screens everywhere, even outside, and they’re massive.

When games are on it’s a sport fan’s idea of heaven.

I’m told that apart from Brighton games there are a good deal of local Liverpool fans who make a beeline here, he wasn’t sure why.

When I say why, I think he meant why they go, not why they are Liverpool fans.

By this stage even downstairs was littered with students.

The line-up of four consecutive flashing fruit machines made for one very bright wall but the students were all too poor or too savvy to stray anywhere near them.

Interestingly there was a fifth machine in the line-up, an ATM, so you didn’t even need to move to thrust more cash from your account straight into someone else’s coffers – ingenious.

I didn’t stay to eat but the menu looked like it would fit right in at the union – a burger for £7.95, a jacket potato for £3.95 and a spaghetti bolognese for £7.95.

The toilets are worth a mention – double entranced and downstairs, they are by far the most modern part of the building and the cleanest.

So to sum up, a tangy, decent tasting pint at a reasonable price, a squadron of squawking students rattling round a cavernous building where if you chose to “call up to yonder window” there were plenty of opportunities.

A pretty good starting point for yours truly in my mission to discover the very best and worst Brighton has to offer.

Ye Olde King and Queen, Marlborough Place, Brighton  

Decor: ★★★★ Incredible, bordering on the bizarre

Drink: ★★★ A tasty pint of Harvey’s Gold, well served

Price: ★★★ I reckon £4 a pint probably isn’t bad here, better than the seafront anyway

Atmosphere: ★★★ Welcoming and lively in the way a student union would be

Staff: ★★★★ Eager to serve, knowledgeable and friendly