THE Queen Victoria, as it says on its website in fact, is a “proper pub”.

As soon as you walk in it feels like a lovely place for a pint or three.

The dark wood style and two lovely fireplaces, which the landlord told me make it more popular in winter, all look the part.

I settled comfortably into a chair near the front window with a refreshing pint of Laine Source Pale Ale.

It was a perfect pint, nice and cool on another of our hot days.

The cool breeze swept through the pub, chilling off myself and Mrs PubSpy.

The pub boasts a good range of gins so she had decided to try one.

Being almost a gin virgin, she took the helpful barman’s recommendation of the Brighton gin.

A great big beautiful glass, plenty of ice. Pretty as a picture (see above).

As a proper pub, it felt like a good place for some proper drinking, like we used to do at proper pubs that never sold food.

Maybe a packet of roast chicken flavour crisps. A packet of dry roasted peanuts pulled off the display behind the bar, revealing more of the woman smiling in the picture behind the packets.

I’ve reminisced before about the pubs of my youth, my dad taking me out on Sundays, the smoke billowing through the sunlight as it shone in through the small gap in the pub curtains, everyone playing cards at the bar.

This pub reminds me of all that again, and with that dark wood is even a little reminiscent of the fantastic Cafe Hawelka in Venice (feel free to Google it).

I wished I had stuck to the Source as my pint of Long Man wasn’t so nice.

I probably should have tried the Long Man first.

I normally like it but it tasted a bit heavy in the summer heat after the refreshing pint I had just enjoyed.

They had lots of exciting things on the menu and the barman informed me the roasted spider crab legs, in garlic butter with brown bread and salad was popular.

It was £18 and I was glad I went for it despite the price.

Caught between Brighton and Newhaven, it was tasty, the white crab meat, particularly from the large claws, was fluffy and fresh.

Absolutely wonderful.

Mrs PubSpy had to dodge the bits of shell as I opened them with the nutcracker tool provided.

She wasn’t happy with the taste of her steak though.

I tried it and didn’t think it tasted good either.

But the barman got the chef to cook a new piece straight away. And the replacement was lovely.

I have to say that though the bar and garden are both smart, the gents loo leaves a little bit to be desired.

The toilet seat was on the floor against the wall. And as I stood at the urinal and looked up I could see the plaster was coming away from the ceiling.

The huge spiders with their webs in among it looked quite happy though.

My verdict on the Queen Vic, which has a bust of our former queen just like in EastEnders, is that it is a lovely pub with lovely owners.

I bet it is great in the winter with the log fire burning. That seems a long way off at the moment.

The Queen Victoria

High Street


Decor: three stars

Five for the bar but none for the toilet so went for a three.

Drink: three stars

A good range though some choices were unavailable on the night I was there.

Price: three stars

The food is fairly reasonably priced though I went for the higher priced crab. The £4 welsh rarebit starter was only one slice though. Source was £5.20. Gin £4.45 with tonic £1.85. Long Blonde £4.50

Atmosphere: one star

Only a few others there when we were there early evening so not a fair time to judge

Staff: five stars

Very friendly and helpful