MY friend Ang reckons this is her favourite pub in Brighton, bar none.

Mind you, she also thinks Pink Floyd are a decent band.

The first thing I noticed about The Druids Head is just how old it is, so maybe Ang just likes old stuff – a special stone set in the floor declares the place is circa 1510.

At first I wondered if I’d become stuck in a time warp myself as a gentleman dressed in a large cape and a top hat approached me at the bar carrying a briefcase and a large bell.

Fortunately I wasn’t as under-dressed as I first thought – it seems tours of the area start from here and he is one of excellent local guides.

Having decided not to take the tour I instead took the advice of the friendly, thin, young, bearded barman and sat down with a quite excellent pint of nice, creamy, smooth Greene King East Coast IPA. It is only four per cent proof but had an aftertaste I really enjoyed.

The barman told me he’d recently secured himself a job working at a Boyzone concert and although he wasn’t a massive fan it was a good gig.

His manageress, by her own admission working her first “big girl shift”, warned if he didn’t swear his dying allegiance to boy bands, in particular Take That, she’d fire him on the spot.

I asked if she had the power to do this and he begrudgingly admitted she might.

I sort of see what Ang means about this place, it’s got a nice homely, welcoming feel – almost like you’ve stepped into a village local just off the green. There are certainly enough dogs around the place to leave you think you’re among walkers.

One very shaggy sheep dog with a waggy tail brought his owner in to make a delivery – they disappeared with their cardboard box and were gone for a good 20 minutes before reappearing – and he used two of the many bowls on the floor, presumably there for doggy visitors.

The music had by now switched to Catfish and The Bottlemen but I don’t think the sheep dog was offended.

I noticed the wallpaper is covered in, among other things, tape measures. In fact the décor, which looks pleasantly haphazard, might actually have been quite carefully thought through. There is a bricked-up fireplace at the front which is a feature in itself and the original stone flags on the floor are lovely.

Dotted around are a number of boards each carrying their own ad for something the pub wants to push. Some are quite clever, a couple even mildly humorous – ‘Let the evening Be Gin’ and ‘Drinking rum before noon makes you a pirate not an alcoholic’.

I stretched my legs and noticed the low ceiling between the front and back bar is exactly the same height as me – 6ft spot on for anyone compiling a profile of PubSpy.

I took the chance to relieve myself and can report the gents is old and traditional with a wooden loo seat and blue/cream tiles. But be careful, the door sticks badly so don’t walk into it.

During my toilet visit the music shifted to Noah and The Whale so I returned to my original vantage point.

By now the boyfriend of the big girl manageress had shown up and they were lovingly holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes at the end of the bar in front of the fruit machine. Another seemingly choreographed music switch saw Rihanna’s Love on the Brain come through the speakers.

They spent several minutes is rapt admiration before the barman delivered the boyfriend an excellent looking plate of food.

This manageress might have only just finished her week’s training but she certainly knows the way to a man’s heart.

I’m not sure Ang is any more right about this one than she is Pink Floyd but it is a darned pleasant boozer and give me love in the air, with craft beer on rotation, any time.


Decor: ★★★★☆

Looks thrown together but clearly isn’t

Drink: ★★★☆☆

A tasty, well-poured pint, recommended

Price: ★★★☆☆

I get grief about prices so you decide – £4.60 for IPA

Atmosphere: ★★★★☆

Excellent, the customers were all happy to chat)

Staff: ★★★★☆

They might be loved up, but they’re happy to share the love