Having a ‘local’ is hugely important to any drinker, and for scores of News Shopper reporters over the years The Sovereign of the Seas has been that pub.

It has played host to celebrations and commiserations, new beginnings and goodbyes and now we are set to say one more.

People of Petts Wood, don’t panic: your pub is fine, it’s the reporters that are potentially off. Not into the sunset but just down the road to a swish new place in St Mary Cray.

Very few people will feel able to claim their local is objectively ‘the best’ pub, and we’re no exception but a little bit of Shopper DNA is in that place. Perhaps literally.

News Shopper even helped set up its Wednesday Club five years ago.

Being spitting distance from the soon-to-be ex-base in Mega House, The Sov has found itself in PubSpy’s crosshairs a few times and has not always escaped unscathed.

Past reviews have described its ‘stench of vomit’ and ‘unforgivably rude service, served with lashings of resentment’ but several years have passed and I can happily give this boozer a clean bill of health.

Sure, it’s not the Shangri-La but it’s a decent place to go for an after work pint or a cheap feed. We are converted devotees.

Previously PubSpy’s been less than kind about the clientele and the Sov certainly can attract a widely varied crowd – lots of pensioners, the odd squawking chav – but also a fair few families and regular joes.

No one is going to look at the décor and be left open-mouthed with awe but at least it no longer smells of sick and the staff are always helpful.

The bar always has new and unusual beers on tap and no-one has ever been able to fault the value – not even a horde of penniless hacks - with a pint still usually clocking in at under £3.

Its value and variety of grog alone makes The Sov one of our favourite pubs.

The food is similarly good value. It’s not going to win a Michelin star anytime soon but I’ve eaten there a lot of times and always left satisfied.

So, farewell and good luck to The Sovereign of the Seas and all who sail in her. Shortly, the Shopper hacks may be off to find a new local not too far from here to drink away their Friday nights.

The Sovereign of the Seas, Queensway, Petts Wood

How it rated:

Décor ** Perfectly acceptable

Atmosphere *** A blank canvas. It’s what you make of it.

Staff **** Lots of ‘em, and friendly

Drink ***** Always something new and unusual

Food *** A good feed

Price ***** Unbeatable