With spring fast approaching, yours truly has taken a vow to travel a little further afield to bring you some of the best and worst pubs outside our great city.

So it was I found myself at the Crown and Anchor in Shoreham with time to kill one Sunday lunchtime.

It’s a big old place and once I’d established they were still serving food after 2.30pm I had plenty of choice where to sit.

The front end is darker and more homely but the back opens out into an airy, bright, spacious section with plenty of seating.

There are a stack more wooden benches outside where, if the weather had been just a little kinder, I might have ventured.

I bet the view over the river means it’s packed in summer.

We took a seat near the fire door under one end of the massive rowing boat slung up in the ceiling. It was a good choice as the sunshine on the glass meant the conservatory area was very warm.

I was surprised to find the radiators were still turned on full but we got a very pleasant breeze every time a smoker popped out for a fag – fortunately there were a fair few fagsters in and they all very politely apologised for coming and going.

I was in the mood for a light start and so opted for a pint of Whitstable Blond. This paler offering was well presented and proved an extremely refreshing choice.

There’s very little aftertaste and it’s almost floral – a good fresh lunchtime option if you want to avoid the sofa later.

The menu was varied and extensive and following our choices I can vouch for both the Sunday roast and the burger – tasty, fresh and swiftly delivered.

The food was good but for some reason I couldn’t help thinking back to my days in the school canteen. Strange as I, for once, brought the average age down.

Maybe it was something about the women who were serving tables that reminded me of dinner ladies, as we used to call them.

In this case the uniform was obviously black from head to toe. Having a dress code for waiting staff is a positive as far as I’m concerned but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one thing noticed by Mrs PubSpy.

I want to say right now the waitresses were all extremely good and efficient and I reiterate this was Mrs P’s observation. But the fact is, tight back leggings with visible G strings is not the look for Sunday lunch.

And, she couldn’t help this obviously, but a hole in the black leggings was only ever going to highlight the fashion faux par further – right, I’ll leave that one there.

Averting our view to look out across the water instead we spotted a row of beached houseboats which look like they’ve been in situ for many, many years.

This is a pub on many levels literally and the darker, front end does open out surprisingly.

In fact, there’s a door at the back of the bar which takes you directly to the raised floor at the back, otherwise you need to take the steps on the right which lead you through a middle bar area – the only place I could see which had a TV screen.

This was showing BBC news but had been muted so it didn’t annoy diners.

There are many nice touches in this Shepherd Neame house, the driftwood draped around all the candles and the aforementioned rowing boat centrepiece all add to the seafaring theme.

This is very much a pub designed for a quiet pint with a mate and either eating out or “taking the air” at the back.

There are no darts, no pool table, no quiz machine and, apart from the small screen in the middle bar, no televised events or blaring music.

As a pub for a brief meeting with friends or a pleasant enough lunch with a reasonable view I can recommend it.

However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention what I found when I walked around the corner. I happened upon The Old Star Ale and Cider House – now, this looks exactly the sort of micro pub I need to return to for a proper visit.

Decor: Three stars. Sticks solidly to its nautical theme and is light and airy out the back.

Drink: Four stars. The Whitstable Blond was well kept and well served – a nice change.

Price: Three stars. The burger was worth £11.95 and all the drinks were priced reasonably.

Atmosphere: Three stars. There was a gentle buzz but it felt a little low-key.

Staff: Three stars. Attentive and pleasant.

Email pubspy@theargus.co.uk and find me on social media, Facebook/Pubspy Argus and Twitter @ PubSpyArgus.