THE Kings Arms in Colchester's Crouch Street is spacious, inviting, and popular -  likely due to its strong selection of tasty casual restaurant food and alcohol options.

When I first entered the watering hole, I was struck at how frankly huge the inside was, with there being a clear zone for the restaurant and clearly plenty of seating for pub-goers to around the large bar.

I was served quickly by a professional and accommodating young server who, with a big smile, set the tone for the whole experience, especially when it came to clearing my table-for-one swiftly.

Before ordering any food, I bought a Flint Eye pint for £6.30 which is truthfully a bit of a eyebrow-raising price.

Gazette: Wholesome - A 'Flint Eye' pintWholesome - A 'Flint Eye' pint (Image: Newsquest)

But I did not feel ripped-off at all because the 4.5 per cent dry hopped lager was a delight to drink, lasting me for some of my meal, too.

I could not figure any flavourings out in the Greene King own-brand beer - its orange peel undertones being undetectable to my own taste buds - but it was piney, sweet, and almost frothy.

Gazette: Cosy - I chose a small table with a comfortable padded bench seatCosy - I chose a small table with a comfortable padded bench seat (Image: Newsquest)

With a healthy number of “pub classics” on offer, I still went for one of my favourites, wholetail scampi, consciously skipping any starters or desserts as my single main came to £12.45.

My food came in about 20 minutes - a big plate of comfort with the battered scampi bites and tartar sauce together being, as ever, an addictive combination.

The main advantage of eating this pub meal out was enjoying it with a washed down pint – a great moment of joy and gratitude on a Thursday night.

Gazette: Tasty - Scampi, chips, garden peas, and 'Flint Eye' beerTasty - Scampi, chips, garden peas, and 'Flint Eye' beer (Image: Newsquest)

After scouring the food and drink’s menu – I wanted to be ambitious for my next drink – I was pulled like a magnet to find out good low-alcohol beers in a large Greene King pub are.

Gazette: Timing - The pub and restaurant got a lot busier after 8pmTiming - The pub and restaurant got a lot busier after 8pm (Image: Newsquest)

I chose the low alcohol 0.5 per cent Old Speckled Hen bottled beer, a twist on the famous toffee-malt tasting bitter beer as I was intrigued if its unusual taste would in some way make it feel more realistic.

My first few gulps felt strange – it was quite watery – but then sipping the large drink over about half an hour, I experienced a very smooth and sumptuous richness.

Gazette: Alternative - The low alcohol 'Old Speckled Hen' beerAlternative - The low alcohol 'Old Speckled Hen' beer (Image: Newsquest)

I would urge anyone who enjoys Old Speckled Hen to at least try this low-alcohol version or anyone up for adventure.

My other suggestion would be, for those who can, to visit on a weekday meaning you can get a meal and drink for £10 and £12, non-alcoholic and alcoholic respectively. 

Eating out while enjoying quality beer is the best of treats, and the Kings Arms brings the feel-good factor with warmth, professionalism, and variety.