Nine solid months of freezing winter weather, that’s certainly what it felt like we had been suffering when the sun suddenly decided to shine a week ago. Was it really just a week ago all those shirtless, pink ne’er do wells invaded poor old Brighton?

With the change in temperature I, along with the rest of the world and his wife, found myself uncontrollably drawn towards the beach.

And with a chalkboard offering two of my favourite summer dishes, fresh mackerel with Greek salad, I found a seat at Bar de la Mer.

The first challenge was ordering and purchasing a drink. I dutifully queued for 15 minutes, reminding myself the whole time the very fact I was standing in warm sunshine made it worth it.

As I reached third in the queue the barman shouted out he was no longer able to accept card payments – I cared not a jot as I always carry cash. And, to my delight, my position was immediately improved as number two in the queue slunk away card in hand.

I have to say that when the barman was serving he was very efficient. But, the trouble is in between every order he stopped to shake hands effusively with a whole collection of different best mates who came up to the kiosk to say hello.

The choice of beverages on offer was very limited but again I didn’t care as the blazing sunshine meant I was only after lager, and lots of it – the fact it was nothing more exotic than Kronenbourg didn’t matter one iota.

So, with a couple of pints in hand, I ordered my food. There was a debate about the cost as the chalkboard clearly stated £10 and the barman insisted upon charging me £13 but I decided not to let even this faze me and spoil the mood (note to editor, receipt clearly shows £13).

I then went to find a seat on one of the scattered metal chairs surrounding a small selection of matching metal tables.

It was at this point a level of confusion set in as I appeared to have switched from Bar de la Mer to the Café de la Mer. I decided they must be one and the same as the banners all carried the same logo. So, reassured my food would arrive in the right place I took a seat to people watch. Being the aforementioned first sunny day of the season the front was unsurprisingly mobbed and confusion reigned everywhere. It was at this point my mood was inexplicably deflated.

It wasn’t the fact lairy, bare-chested lads had already started smashing glasses or that masses of similarly bare-chested and inappropriately dressed “ladies” were screeching obscenities at each other so early in the evening. No, it was just the fact I felt my beloved Brighton, as I’ve come to think of the city, was being besieged and over-run by swathes of such uncouth individuals.

Such a feeling is, of course, entirely unjustified and I needed to keep reminding myself a deluge of tourists has to be a great thing for everyone and, indirectly, pays my wages.

Fortunately before I had time to think about it too much my food was delivered.

Now, I need to say the mackerel and the salad were beautifully presented and absolutely delicious – but from the moment the plate hit the table I realised I’d paid £13 for a starter and was going to need to find a main course before long. The fish and chips at £11 looked a much better deal.

By this stage the singer at the Brighton Music Hall next door was in full voice and based on her ability alone I realised I wasn’t going to be able to hang around too much longer.

There was a sign advertising additional seating and a great view in an upstairs section of bar/café though it’s difficult to see what more you might view and it was obviously too early in the season for this to be open yet.

In fact several areas felt like it was still a bit too early for opening and the tables nearest the kiosk had plastic chairs.

I know it’s a common enough occurrence in this part of the world and particularly when the sun shines but I don’t think there was a single second while I was in Bar de la Mer when wafts of weed weren’t permeating the air – not that I’m complaining.

I scurried off in a deeper, deserted part of town but I would return to Bar de la Mer for a starter and a pint.

But next time I will definitely select a time when the entire seafront hasn’t been besieged by interlopers.