APPROACHING from the leafy boulevard sitting below the Park View this is a pub that immediately looks imposing and impressive.

By the time you get round to the front door it’s quickly apparent this drinking establishment exists on many levels.

In fact, having investigated the building fully from top to toe I’d like to put this one forward as a leading contender for the Brighton pub with the most steps.

The barman in the Donald Duck T-shirt, I presume Mickey was in the wash, was very efficient and knowledgeable – what’s more he was happy to share his opinions, particularly bemoaning the fact the pub only has terrestrial telly and doesn’t show major sporting events.

PubSpy’s number one fan was accompanying me this particularly fine summer’s eve and he chose to start with a pint of Camden Hells lager, at £4.70, which slipped down a treat – though he did declare it quite a sweet tasting brew.

I too started on the lighter side and chose a pale ale called Mad Goose, at 4.2 per cent, which suited my mood and was easy drinking for a warm evening with a zesty citrus aftertaste – it’s almost like a blond beer.

As I say seating is available all over the place and we chose one of the slightly lower outdoor levels, perfect for the final rays of sunlight.

For those of you with a green-fingered bent there was a delightful looking lavender plant on the table with white flowers, I thought they were supposed to be purple?

It was then suggested this particular vegetation was likely to make me sleepy, so I pushed it aside as I was keen to stay awake for pint number two.

Slipping back into the bar, and having sampled some other choices, I decided we should both try a Proper Job.

This is a 4.5 per cent pale ale from the St Austell Brewery which, at first glance, makes you look as if you’re drinking your own urine. With two pints in my hand the double-denim guy with long flowing grey hair, sat at the table inside the door, accused me of stereo drinking – something he says he’s a strong believer in.

Back in the open air and re-seated on my Rattan-style chair on the industrial-looking decking I realised this was a great choice.

There’s something of the totally tropical about this one, a bit like Lilt, sure, it’s a bit cloudy but the lovely deep taste of lemon and grapefruit powers through and it’s a great pint.

Generally, this seems to be an outside pub with seating on at least four separate levels. And, for once the gents is on the same level as the pub, it’s the ladies who are forced downstairs to powder their noses – quite right too.

Although, with the clear glazed window in the gents I noticed you could still wave to those outside whilst in full flow. Beautifully perfumed and decorated in dark green and white tiles, I chose to stop waving and leave my calling card.

Though, on the subject of being overlooked, the lofty position of the pub means at one point the passengers on the top deck of the Brighton & Hove Buses Route 5 are able to share a smile with those drinking outside.

Whilst there are lovely touches, like the fresh flowers carefully arranged in old gin and vodka bottles and the many strings of lights carefully arranged for when it gets dark, but this isn’t a pretentious place and clearly caters for everyone.

I appear to be attracting scaffolders these days and the guys from Brighton & Hove Scaffolding were on top form.

By now it wasn’t quite as warm, and I was beginning to feel a little more adventurous, so I selected Transmission from North Brewing Company. But, at 6.9 per cent I was informed this pale ale could only be served in a two-thirds of a pint measure (£4.15). This seemed strange as the Old Rosie cider was 7.3 per cent and plenty of pints of that were being sold.

I assume it was called transmission as it looks a little like it might have come out of a sump, at the very least it looks like cooking oil. However, this is where the similarity ends as this had a lovely caramel taste and, whilst incredibly thick, was nevertheless a fine beverage.

Back at my table we’d be joined by another group of fellows who just finished a hard day’s graft and were more than ready to refresh themselves and put the world to rights.

Don’t you think there’s something so much more endearing about someone foreign swearing in English, as opposed to someone from these shores? They put more emphasis on the important words.

The Park View has certainly got its quirks and once you’ve walked around a few times you’re likely to be fitter than went you went in, but it’s a charming stop off on a warm evening and I’d recommend it on many different levels.

Park View

Preston Drove, Brighton BN1 6LD

Decor: Four stars

Drink: Four stars

Price: Three stars

Atmosphere: Four stars

Staff: Three stars

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