Matthew Littlestone, from North London, on what he loves about pubs.
It's a typically dank and wind-chilled November day in Brighton, and scarves are wrapped tight around red-raw necks as my friends and I hurtle pebbles into the ice-blue sea. And then, just as we can throw no more, the heavens decide to open.
In a mad panic we head away from the beach and rush towards the welcoming arms of The Lanes searching for a place to take cover. Finally, not before we could avoid an utter soaking, we stumble upon our refuge - the Cricketers.
What followed was an afternoon drinking fine beer, talking absolute nonsense, regaining our body heat and generally taking in the atmosphere of this splendid pub. While this particular establishment holds special memories for me, it also represents more generally what places like this are made for.
Certain pubs excel during the winter months. They provide warmth, shelter and a time-free void where nothing else matters other than the friends by your side and the drink in your hand. They belong in the shires of a fantasy trilogy and uphold the spirit of a bygone age. And above all, they are terribly difficult to leave.