I walked in Hungry Like The Wolf and left with an Eye Of The Tiger, so did I enjoy my trip down musical memory lane at Brighton Tavern in Gloucester Street?

First and foremost, I must say Mrs P absolutely loved the Christmas decorations – this doesn’t mean they were necessarily classy in any way, but she loved ’em.

I immediately warmed to the place and even got into the spirit with everyone else by joining in with The Proclaimers’ I Walked 500 Miles. Now, I hadn’t walked that far to get there, but it had been quite a jaunt and the exercise knocked my gaydar completely out of whack.

I must have been sitting enjoying the general bonhomie and the wonderful folk in the Tavern for at least half an hour before Mrs P put me back on track by saying: “Of course it’s a gay pub darling”.

Now I come to think about it, there were two beautiful chandeliers – and that was just in the gents.

I loved this one right from the start, from the very moment the barman served us two shots of Tuaca and lovingly went through the history of this wonderfully sweet Brighton tradition and drink. I didn’t have the heart to tell him The Argus has featured it many times.

Following this I opted for a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord at 4.3 per cent.

This came highly recommended from the gentleman at the bar who looked liked a cross between Captain Birdseye and Uncle Albert from Only Fools – a more genial fellow you couldn’t hope to meet. This came served in a jug and I appreciated the way the barman tickled the glass on the tap as he started pouring it.

A well-poured and presented pint with a homely feel, which did the job. It’s a nice enough beer with a reasonable taste but not one you’d go shouting about. Mrs P was in an entirely more festive mode and had the full-on double gin Mediterranean experience in a fishbowl with juniper berries chucked in – this in itself looked like a decoration. She also praised the considerable talents of our bespectacled, hair-shaved-at-the-sides barman.

We sat at a huge wooden table on a wooden bench seat that backed right on to a red-hot radiator – I have to admit I over-warmed my buttocks against it a couple of times, but I loved the fact there was no silly H&S warning and it was left to your own common sense not to burn yourself – it all added to the warmth I felt for the place.

By now we’d got Men At Work on the speakers and we were both lovingly stroking the very pleasant ears which belonged to Toby. Staying festive he was sporting a great Christmas neckerchief and had an incredibly waggy tail. I do like a pub with no-nonsense wooden floors that doesn’t mind a well-behaved dog being allowed to wander around at least a little bit.

At this point Nena started with her 99 Red Balloons, but when I mentioned hefty, dark underarm hair Mrs P completely missed the 1983 reference and thought I was still talking about Toby the dog.

By now Captain Birdseye has been joined by his first mate, another fellow in a flat cap, but with a shorter beard, and the two enjoyed a lovely chat.

At this point the better looking Jo Brand lookalike, wearing a decidedly flowery top and sitting at the far end of the bar, took over general ear rubbing and even offered a biscuit or two.

The chandeliered toilets looked as if they’d recently been painted dark green and there was a superb sash window with Perspex double-glazing.

The place smelt a little like a cornfield, but certainly wasn’t offputting, although the urinal on the right was out of action and crossed with Gaffa tape, but everywhere was impeccably clean.

Back in the bar we’d got Raspberry Beret by Prince and I noticed a sign advertising Abel Mabel’s Camp Bingo, which takes place once a month.

The strangest thing I spotted was a baby (doll) hanging from its neck by a ribbon – I think I also spotted a bell on the baby but didn’t like to ask any more questions.

As I left I noticed a nice touch outside with shortened picnic benches cut down and bolted directly against the wall to accommodate the narrow pavement.

I bid my farewells and made a note to return – what a great pub and a thoroughly nice bunch of people.

A very happy Christmas to all my loyal PubSpy fans. I drink a toast to one and all, I hope the festive season delivers everything you are seeking.

Look out in The Argus for my full seasonal round up of all the pubs I’ve visited during 2018.

The Brighton Tavern – 99-100 Gloucester Street, Brighton BN1 4AP

Decor: four stars - Exactly what you’d want from a pub, warm and welcoming without being over fussy.

Drink: four stars - Not a massive selection, but the beer is well kept, well served. The gin was a picture.

Price: three stars - The Tuaca was £2.70, a pint of Landlord £4.40 and a specialist double gin experience a tenner.

Atmosphere: five stars - It felt exactly like the week before Christmas in a pub should feel – absolutely charming.

Staff: four stars - Equally welcoming to regulars and visitors – thoroughly proficient and pleasant.

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