It’s a classic case of “it does what it says on the tin”.

The tin may come in different shapes and sizes, and even be a different colour, but when it comes to Wetherspoon pubs you know what to expect.

And, so it is with The West Quay in Brighton Marina.

Not all Spoons offer you a view of boats or a mock manor house feel, but strip away the veneer and, for better or worse, you’re left with all that’s good, and bad, about this highly successful chain offering.

Price alone is enough to ensure you’re never going to be lonely in one of the 900 or so outlets Tim Martin is rapidly spreading around the UK and Ireland.

They continue to spring up like weeds and are testament to the success of his business model.

The West Quay is no exception and even on a mid-week evening it was packed and bustling.

However, the bar was empty when I arrived, so it was disappointing I had to wait four minutes before being served – particularly given the number of CCTV cameras trained on me the whole time.

In the end I selected a pint of 4.2 per cent Ottawa bitter from the Provenance Brewery and because the value was so good choose the offer that also included a gourmet chicken burger for the £9.40 I paid.

My spying comrade went for the sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry with a garlic naan – they had a pint of Strongbow sweet berry cider thrown in for £9.19.

The food is exactly what you’d expect, and I honestly don’t think we could find a single thing to complain about, plus I timed how long it took to arrive and it was only two minutes more than I was standing at the bar, that’s almost fast food.

My pint said maple syrup had been added during the brewing process, but I didn’t really notice any toffee/caramel tastes coming through, though it was a very pleasant amber coloured beer.

We sat next to a decent sized Christmas tree and looking around there’s no doubt the festive season has already arrived – there were even decorations winding themselves up the considerable wooden staircase.

The whole place has been done up to give it the feel of a mock castle or something new money might build in the countryside.

There’s plenty of chunky old-fashioned looking wood and metalwork with sizable hinges and bolts.

The theme carries through to the large upstairs eating area, which is styled as a monster balcony.

It caters for all ages and all variety of folks, from nine months to 99 years old, but I gave the colouring crayons a miss.

Actually, while I’m mentioning ages, I did notice IDs were inspected wherever relevant. I’m sure they must be being ageist not asking me.

There were plenty of screens on but presumably it was a sport-free evening as they were all displaying BBC or Sky news bleating on about the only subject any newsreader seems to care about at the moment.

I wonder what owner Tim would think about all the pro-Euro stuff being spouted?

He’s certainly not one to hold back on his views – as demonstrated by the notices displaying his new policy on dogs – sorry four-legged friends, since September you’re no longer welcome at Uncle Tim’s.

Though fairly loud youths are definitely allowed in, particularly if they’re pumping large slabs of cash into the casino-style gambling machines.

The wind was howling the night we were in, which it probably does fairly regularly in this neck of the woods, so take my advice and don’t sit too close to the door or you will be blown away.

If you sit round the corner, you’ll stay warm but still be able to observe the wind rippling the palm tree outside (though being accurate I think it was a large yucca).

The facilities were clean and tidy enough, but like all other Spoons toilets if you were taken in blindfolded you’d certainly know where you were.

Overall, I enjoyed this one and while Wetherspoon pub buildings might have the same DNA wherever they’re placed, the positioning of each boozer certainly leads to different DNA in the punters.

Positioned as it is in the Marina, this one attracts the type of punter looking for a bargain on food, not those prepared to drink anything provided it’s 5p cheaper than anything else and then act accordingly.

Though I must admit the drinks list was more extensive than any I’ve seen.

There was so much on offer it covered a poster which was at least A2 in size, and the writing wasn’t that big either.

Yes, The West Quay would make it on to my list of the top ten JD Wetherspoon pubs in Sussex.

The West Quay 
Brighton Marina Village, Brighton BN2 5UT

Decor: Thee stars
Chunky wood all round, it’s been built to look reasonable and last well.
Drink: Three stars
The Ottawa bitter was well served and is testament to the fast turnaround on beers.
Price: Four stars
Fed and watered for under a tenner, you can’t argue with that.
Atmosphere: Three stars 
As Spoons go, this one is a more attractive option than many others.
Staff: Two stars
Efficient and friendly when they showed up, but they could be quicker off the mark.

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