A very happy New Year to all my PubSpy fans, I’m sure you will be as delighted as I was to hear the illustrious Argus Ed has extended my contract into 2018.

There are so many more fascinating drinking venues I still have to visit in this fantastic city.

When I first heard the name of this week’s target I wasn’t sure whether it was a statement or the name of a pub, but on both counts its correct, Brighton Rocks.

This one is hidden away and certainly isn’t on the beaten track, so unless you’re told about it then it’s not the sort of bar you’re likely to happen across accidentally.

Once through the door you could be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into a French café – the place was besieged by our foreign cousins. So much so I’m convinced the Rocks must have launched a successful advertising campaign on the other side of La Manche.

A group of five particularly French people had found themselves a table on the bar’s lower level and were enjoying the open fire. Just in case there was any doubt about their nationality, one was wearing a beret, one a stripy blue and white jumper, another had parked an old black bike outside and a fourth had a string of onions around his neck.

Oh alright, I made the onions up, but the others were all exactly as I describe I promise – a sort of live cartoon just as you’d imagine a group of French folk would be.

Once they’d ordered their red wine, finished kissing the barman and taken the best seats it was my turn at the bar.

This is clearly a venue keen to offer drinks that are a little bit different. There are, for example, a large number of very appetising looking cocktails on offer for £12 a go – I’ll let you decide if you think that’s expensive.

I opted for a pint of Krombacher, which at £5 dead I’d definitely describe as a little on the pricy side. However, as my dear old dad used to say, you get what you pay for and this was a beautifully balanced and clean tasting pint served in a large, chunky beer glass befitting its origin. I can certainly see why this has been a big hit in Germany for so many years. It came in at 4.8 per cent and was crisp and moreish, yes my dad was right.

I selected a seat close to the French and, whilst there was no coal or logs for the open fire, the barman obligingly kept it roaring with ever-larger handfuls of kindling – it was warm and cheery enough, even if it did crackle a fair bit. Mind you, it can’t be cost-effective, maybe that explains the price of the drinks.

Just as coming across Brighton Rocks down its little side road is a pleasant surprise, so is discovering the energetic way the interior is decorated.

When you first walk in you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled across some strange sort of upmarket delicatessen. The chalkboards and the counter, containing a bizarre concoction of unassociated items, give the impression of a deli.

PubSpy’s drinking buddy avoided the German Pilsner and opted instead for a pint of flavoured cider. But this is not somewhere which serves a ready-mixed sweet berry concoction from a bottle.

No, at the Rocks you get a pint of Cornish Orchard Cider and then select your own flavouring to be added – at least it answered my question as to what the weird-looking group of plastic bottles on the counter were for.

I wandered up to the higher bar on the right hand side where I faced a particularly large and scary clown face. I’m told the owner rescued it from the local ghost train and is immensely proud of it.

All around the bar you are surrounded by slightly unusual artwork – one picture of Billy Connolly is only fractionally less disturbing than the clown. And, as for the pink, striped Storm Trooper, I have absolutely no idea.

With its crazily eclectic style I can see why this one proves popular when it comes to hiring a local venue for an evening. If I was holding a hen party then this is where I’d do it. Where else would you find an old bath made into a seat with boots for feet?

Strictly speaking I’d have to say this is more bar than pub, but I can definitely recommend Brighton Rocks – if you haven’t visited as yet, it’s well worth straying off the beaten track.