PubSpy tried his hand at trivia and failed in spectacular fashion this week as he visited the Robin Hood pub in Brighton’s Norfolk Place. But he couldn’t help but be won over by the award-winning establishment’s interesting decorative choices, welcoming atmosphere and a very unexpected pizza oven.

I CERTAINLY did not expect to be stared down by a furious and French John Cleese on my most recent outing.

But my visit to the Robin Hood pub in Norfolk Place saw me meet that exact fate.

The scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail in which the comedian hurls hamster-based insults at King Arthur was immortalised in a huge painting sitting above the bar.

An overflowing bookcase rammed full of board games and a small metal box behind the bar which, to my delight, transpired to be a pizza oven, were further interesting features which added to the character of the place.

Thick wooden tables and seats were dotted around the pub with occasional leather armchairs and sofas providing a favourable alternative for those who were fast enough to claim them.

But speed is not a skill I can claim to have in my arsenal in recent years, partly thanks to my weekly drinking exploits and penchant for sitting, motionless, in armchairs for long periods, so I settled for a standard seat.

The pub itself is an unassuming site from the outside.

It is tucked away in a seemingly quiet side street off Western Road, but still knows how to draw a crowd.

Ducking in through the doorway to escape the biting cold night outside, I was relieved to be met with a wave of warmth from the pub.

The Robin Hood was heaving with merry men (and women), an impressive feat for a weekday evening, with a private pub quiz contingent filling a tucked away section of the venue.

The quirky decor and cheerful customer came together for a very welcoming reception, as though you were walking back into the front room of your family home.

Only, this front room had a series of beer taps mounted on a bar - a marked improvement on the average home if you ask me and a personal DIY project I will be pitching to Mrs PubSpy in the very near future.

A little flick through past articles on the pub showed it had earned the title of Best Pub at the Brighton Restaurant Awards last year and was looking to repeat the feat in 2020.

So far, it was doing a good job of proving why it was worthy of the accolade.

I met Mrs PubSpy at the venue and pulled up a pew, but I was quickly given my marching orders and directed to the bar for a vodka, lime and tonic.

Reaching the bar, I was faced with a good range of brews on tap and otherwise ranging from lager staples to , eventually plumping for a pint of Maltsmiths IPA.

The drink was well poured and served with a smile by a hurried but helpful barmaid as she darted between eager customers at the busy bar.

I took the obligatory sip before walking back to the table and decided I was happy with my choice as the pint’s sweet and citrus flavours tickled my tongue.

I returned to Mrs PubSpy and found that, where we were sitting, we could easily earwig on the quiz taking place nearby.

It is my belief that a colourful quizmaster can make or break these trivia contests and this question master, who I believe was one of the pub’s owners, performed his role admirably.

For almost every question he asked, he delighted listeners with several relevant yet obscure facts.

After sinking a second Maltsmiths and failing miserably to muster up a correct quiz answer, I made my way to the toilet.

I was met with the classic pub combination of single cubicle and cramped two-person urinal, but it was obvious efforts were taken to keep the place clean.

Overall, I enjoyed a very pleasant evening at the Robin Hood and have already decided I will be returning soon.

I wish it all the best in retaining its title of Best Pub this year, and from the evidence I have seen would say it is in with a strong shout at the title.

Four stars
Individual and warming.

Food and drink
Three stars
A range of hand-made pizzas make good sport-watching snacks.

Three stars
A pint and a single with a mixer set me back £9.90.

Five stars
A constant but calming hubbub.

Five stars
Always happy to help.