On my travels around the drinking holes of Brighton and Hove I had passed the Blind Busker many times, but had never actually been inside.

Apparently its peculiar name comes from a man named “Blind Harry Vowles” who was a regular at the pub in the 1900s.

He and his friends, who became known as The Characters, would often be seen playing their accordions by the Peace Statue on Hove seafront.

Unfortunately, character was not something this pub had in abundance. The pub had a promising look to it, with dimpled windows running across its exterior.

Several groups of workers, ranging from decorators with paint-splattered T-shirts to suited and booted businessman, congregated outside for a post-work smoke.

I was almost blinded myself as I made my way through a heavy cloud of cigarette smoke to the front door and when I pushed it open I was hit, unexpectedly, by a wall of shrill vocals, which the barmaid later reliably informed me was Ariana Grande.

The pub had that old-school smell of slightly stale beer and Mrs PubSpy noted that everything felt sticky.

We went straight to the bar, behind which was displayed a wall of spirits, stacked boxes of cider and a cage filled with wine bottles that stretched to the ceiling.

I have always been a strong advocate of free range tipples, but decided to let it slide this time.

The barmaid, dressed smartly in a shirt and braces, was friendly but not familiar, making for a very efficient ordering process.

I opted for a pint of St Austell Brewery’s Proper Job on draft, an old favourite from my time touring the pubs of Cornwall.

It was well poured and had that familiar sharp IPA flavourings, but something about it felt stagnant like the last day of a beer festival. Perhaps it was the end of the barrel.

A slightly fragile Mrs Pubspy revealed she had enjoyed an enthusiastic “working lunch” which had involved far more liquid than food, so would be sticking to fruit juice.

She ordered an apple and mango J20 but was told “we don’t do J20, we only do Partridges”.

It turned out this was just a knock-off with fancier branding, but the absence of the pub staple left Mrs P rattled. “Can a building even call itself a pub if it doesn’t stock J20?”

We took a seat and looked around to see what sort of crowd the Blind Busker attracted, but were met with an eclectic mix.

The paint-splashed decorators had made their way inside and dominated one alcove, a table in the corner featured a group of elderly gentleman sporting immaculate upturned moustaches and another man sat looking wistfully out of the window with a pint of lager and a large bottle of milk placed on the table in front of him.

On the table next to us there was a student staring intently at a Macbook, oblivious to the outside world which was blocked out by a pair of bulky bluetooth headphones.

This pub seemed to be very confused as to what sort of establishment it was and the ghost of failed gastro pubs gone by seemed to hang ominously above its doorway. It had many of the signs of an old-drinkers’ haunt, there was a smell of slightly stale beer and everything you touched was slightly sticky.

But it had clearly attempted to modernise. A touch-screen pub quiz machine went ignored in the corner where a fruity would usually be.

Black and white pictures of weather vanes and windmills taken at jaunty angles adorned the walls, looking like the owner had raided a GCSE photography portfolio, a large coffee machine took pride of place behind the bar and the menu featured such ludicrous items as smashed avocado on toast, vegan quinoa chilli and an anti-pasti sharer.

These, twinned with the 2017 copy of Now That’s What I Call Music that seemed to be stuck in the pub’s record player, clashed uncomfortably with many of the pub’s remaining older features.

After committing to the long walk to Hove to visit the pub Mrs Pubspy and I decided to order a couple of sandwiches. Again these arrived promptly on long, thin rectangular plates.

Both were accompanied by a minuscule garnish on the side with a series of unrecognisable components.

A quick check of the menu told me I was eating edamame beans and pea shoots, which left me nonplussed as they disappeared in one meagre mouthful.

Mrs P noted the thickly-cut bread could be repurposed as a doorstop if the sandwiches were not to our taste. But our door could continue to swing freely as both snacks were quickly polished off. Our stomachs had been filled, but our minds had not been blown.

Before leaving, I made my obligatory trip to the toilets.

The facilities were, in all truth, immaculate. A rota on the wall filled with small, scribbled signatures informed me they were checked hourly to “ensure they are of a high standard”.

I did what I had to then, finding no other reason to stay, we headed for the exit.

The Blind Busker

Church Road, Hove

Decor: two stars

It was a weird mixture of fluffy pillows and pretentious art.

Price: four stars

My pint set me back £3.80. In Cornwall this is considered an arm, a leg and a large pasty, but by Brighton’s standards it is highly respectable.

Atmosphere: two stars

Attempts to update this old building have left it, like a teenager going through puberty, uncomfortably confused. There is definitely potential here but it needs to decide what it wants to be.

Staff: three stars

Friendly and efficient, everything we asked for was done quickly and done well. But, throughout my hour at the pub I saw minimal banter between bar staff and boozers.