I SHOULDN’T even be writing this but I’m afraid I must.

I’m sorry but I must.

It is sometimes too early to think about Christmas. And in August it is definitely too early to put a tree and candles up at the front door of your pub to encourage people to book.

I know I’m probably only fuelling the fire, throwing logs on the cosy Christmas hearth, if you like.

And I’m probably doing just what they intended by sharing their publicity. But come on. August? The first half of August for that matter.

The children are on their summer holidays. In fact many of them were there when I went to the Cuckmere.

The thing is that I do love the Cuckmere even though it’s a bit rubbish. It is a Vintage Inn, meaning it is pretty much an identikit pub, like The Smuggler’s Rest in Peacehaven. If I’m honest The Smuggler’s Rest is probably better.

But at the Cuckmere you can enjoy a wonderful walk to the coastguard cottages and back or into Friston Forest in the Seven Sisters Country Park.

So after a good walk, entering the bar, after getting over the Christmas tree greeting, it is a good place to put your feet up.

There are some great nooks and crannies, very old pub style, where you can hide away with a pint or two.

It must have been wonderful when it was The Golden Galleon. But there’s no point crying over your beer. There were only four members of staff when we were there, poor things.

It looked like the boss was one of them, running a very steady galleon. He has to because I think the staff are too busy, to be honest, and all the work gets them down.

He was a little grim-faced and spoke to nobody but his staff.

He stood blank faced behind his workers telling them what to say to people – “we’ve got no cod”, “no mezze platter” – that sort of thing.

The poor glass collector and waitress was even more serious.

I felt like giving her a hug and saying “don’t worry, it might never happen”, though I thought better as I would look like some pervy old uncle.

She struggled on through the gloom, getting us cutlery when we asked for it, though that seemed like hard work.

The barmaid behind the bar was smiley and joyful though. She was quite happy to exchange Mrs PubSpy’s wine glass when we noticed it was dirty.

Wait, I just remembered my glass was dirty when I visited The Smuggler’s Rest.

Oh dear. And the similarities don’t end there.

I wrote that “the best I can say is that it’s OK with sad touches and the staff look as if the world might end at any time”.

Maybe I should have said the lines from the Life Of Brian – “cheer up you old bugger”.

Again, I felt that would have gone down like a lead balloon.

Anyway, as I say I do like the Cuckmere, for all of its faults.

It has a nice garden, the beer’s not too dear and the food is reliable.

My sea bass on this occasion was fantastic. The lobster and prawn cocktail was cracking too.

My fruity Doom Bar was so good I stuck with it. And Mrs PubSpy loved the bottle of wine that came with our two courses – a snip at £22 the lot.

I’ll be back, maybe the staff will be more cheery next time.

The Cuckmere Inn

Exceat Bridge

Cuckmere Haven

Decor: three stars

It’s getting a bit worn round the edges

Drink: four stars

My Doom Bar was fruity and tasty and not pricey

Price: five stars

The food is well priced and the drinks are too - Doom Bar is £3.75

Atmosphere: four stars

It’s always buzzing, but sadly too busy for the staff

Staff: five stars

They are helpful but a bit sad