I LOVE getting feedback from PubSpy readers, it’s always good to know what people think and most of the time folk have been really upbeat and positive.

I also get quite a few requests to visit particular boozers – I get the impression this is because punters think a particular pub is either an excellent watering hole or a complete pit. Middle of the road places tend to go unnoticed.

It was as a result of one such request that I found myself in Miller and Carter in the London Road in Patcham.

At first I wasn’t sure I’d got the right place as it’s really a steakhouse and I’m not sure it should count as a pub, it’s also a hotel.

But, it’s got a good-sized bar and I was assured they are as keen to welcome punters wanting a pint as they are diners seeking a steak.

It’s a big old lump of a place and has clearly been done up to look impressive – there’s something of a Harvester on steroids about it.

I headed straight for the bar and couldn’t help noticing the stairs creak more than anywhere else I’ve ever been. At first I thought I might need to lose a few pounds, but they creaked just as badly when every waitress walked down them too, whatever their weight.

Anyway, having made it to the bar, and in the absence of having my fancy tickled by anything else, I opted for a pint of gluten-free Estrella.

Perhaps it’s something they put in the drink, but within two sips I’d suddenly decided I needed a steak and ordered the 8oz fillet.

I was served by Lewis who informed me he normally works at the Lancing branch, but he and his team had been drafted in to cover for the usual lot as it was their Christmas party.

The Valentine balloons were still up so talk of festive fun seemed a bit strange but I suppose that’s the way it is in the trade – Christmas for the staff comes later than it does for the rest of us. Apparently they were off enjoying themselves at The Cricketers in Hove.

Lewis assured me they would be returning the favour in a few weeks’ time and his lot were due to set off to a Mexican in Worthing.

I sat back to enjoy my pint and wait for the food. I enjoyed my pint and waited for the food. I had another pint and enjoyed that and waited for the food.

After an hour and 15 minutes the food finally showed up. I assume they had a team covering in the kitchen too – perhaps they couldn’t find the pans?

Most of the place is painted olive green so I already knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but 90 minutes is too long to wait.

It arrived with a compulsory wedge of lettuce, I’m not sure why, but the Stilton sauce it was smothered in was pleasant.

I noticed the waitresses had an elaborate electronic system of red flashing lights on the packs attached to their belts so they were in constant contact with the kitchen – I can therefore only assume a rare steak takes an hour to cook.

The food, when it arrived, was tasty enough, but a little like the decoration, it flattered to deceive.

I noticed a special glass room by the bar that seemed to contain what I can only assume were special bottles of wine. It all seems to be about the appearance.

Against my better judgement I decided to give them a second chance and went for a pudding. However, it took a full further 35 minutes to craft a brownie and get it to the table.

I know the staff were covering for their buddies to enjoy a Christmas knees-up, but this is too long to wait for your grub.

I have to be fair and say those standing in generally made a good effort, but by their own admission they were struggling to cope. I witnessed some great improvisation on the hotel check-in desk but it still left a couple of guys standing around with their cases for far too long.

The place has obviously undergone a fairly recent overhaul and looks well decorated.

For example, in the gents toilet there is a large round leather mirror and some great-smelling hand cream, but the table I was at hadn’t been wiped down after the last customer.

On the plus side there’s a stack of parking and plenty of free seating.

I’m still going to take some convincing this one should be considered a pub, rather than just a restaurant.

The drinks served by a super-efficient Lewis behind the bar arrived a great deal quicker than the food, which I can only assume was being created from scratch in the kitchen.