SOMETIMES you come across a “blink and you’ll miss it” pub and so it is with the Blue Anchor in Portslade.

Situated at the “port end” of Station Road, I came across it quite by accident on a rare midweek day off while out with a friend at lunchtime.

As it was that time of day and we were both hungry, it was a huge bonus to note that it also served an array of Thai dishes both during the day and evening.

It would have been rude not to have given them a whirl while also enjoying a convivial drink or two.

The Blue Anchor is divided into two, with a light and airy restaurant space adjacent to a more traditional bar.

First impressions invariably make or break a bar for me and on this occasion, it could hardly have been better.

The pub and restaurant are immaculately decorated with well spaced tables, chairs and bar stools and, thank God, there was no loud music nor blaring televisions showing endless coverage of Sky Sports News.

There was a television on the wall in the corner of the restaurant section, but it was mercifully switched off, therefore making conversation possible without having to shout at the top of your lungs.

First up a drink and as PubSpy regulars are no doubt aware, that invariably entails a pint or two.

A beer to start then while perusing the extensive menu and I opted for the 4 per cent strength Sussex Best from Harvey’s Brewery (a snip at £4.10), while my dining companion went for a bottle of flavoured cider (£4.70) rather than anything on tap.

The pint went down a treat as indeed did the cider while we decided on what to eat, although the menu had to be deciphered for me as I had forgotten my glasses and am as blind as a bat without them.

After much deliberation, food-wise, I opted for the exotically-named Laap Neua, a spicy beef dish with rice while my friend, who knows a thing or two about Thai food, went for her favourite, a Pad Thai, comprising flat noodles, chicken, ginger, and fish sauce.

When delivered to our table by the chef herself, both dishes smelt heavenly and tasted just as good.

As it was early afternoon, not many people were in the restaurant area other than ourselves and a woman who popped in for a coffee while her car was undergoing its MoT.

She wondered aloud how much any repairs were going to cost. I joked she would probably need something stronger than coffee when she got the bill.

With the meal completed it was time to pop my head around the door to see what the bar had to offer.

Again immaculately decorated, there were only a few punters in, with two gentlemen of a certain age staring forlornly into their pints rather than indulging in conversation, while the somewhat taciturn barman busied himself with cleaning glasses.

There was a pool table which in my opinion should be an essential in any pub but, alas, on this occasion there was no one to play a game with. I will have to pop back another time.

One imagines that of an evening and especially at weekends the Blue Anchor is buzzing with locals who know of its existence and one certainly hopes so as it is a significant cut above the average boozer.

It was time to have another drink and relax a while after such a satisfying meal, but what to choose?

For once, I didn’t really fancy another beer, so as it was a sunny day, a Brighton Gin and tonic (a somewhat steep £5.50) seemed a perfect choice.

My friend had never tried a gin and tonic before, so had a sip of mine and decided she wanted one too, so it was straight back to the bar.

As any pub regular will know, some pub toilets can be eye-wateringly bad and, deep breath, it was time to check out the facilities at The Blue Anchor.

Well, I am pleased to report, the gents was as immaculate as the rest of the pub (and I am reliably informed the ladies is too).

It was time to bid adieu (despite the overwhelming temptation to have another Brighton Gin) and head back home, but certainly secure in the knowledge that a return visit to the Blue Anchor will most certainly be on the cards at some stage.

Indeed, the combination of a lovely lunch and a couple of drinks certainly had the desired effect as, fully satisfied, I then had a very enjoyable afternoon snooze on the sofa.

I most definitely need to take even more days off.

The Blue Anchor

81 Station Road, Portslade

Decor: Four stars

Absolutely immaculate throughout.

Drink: Four stars

A good choice of beers, wines and spirits available.

Price: Three stars

What you would expect really, although the beer was competitively priced.

Atmosphere Three stars

Difficult to judge as it was early afternoon, but expect it gets a lot busier in the evenings and on weekends.

Staff Three stars

There was only one barman on duty but he did his job efficiently even though conversation was not top of the agenda.