For me pubs can be split into three definite categories.
The first is the local, which serves a good pint, has a good enough vibe for you to enjoy it when you're not totally sozzled and is close enough for you to stumble home without losing your way when you are.
The second is the boozy bar, usually with promotions and drunken revellers falling on to your lap.
The third is the more upmarket establishment where you find women teetering on stilettos, with their manicured nails on show as they sip expensive cocktails.
For three years of my life as a Sunderland student, the Royalty fell into the first category.
Many a night – and day for that matter – was spent inside the pub's four walls, and much of the money kindly loaned to me by the Government passed through its till.
In fact, if I was to delve into my loft I believe I'd find one of the Royalty's spirit optics up there from when the pub underwent a radical revamp and auctioned off its entire interior.
But that was all a long time ago, and after leaving my studies behind me and developing a phobia of students, I've not ventured through its doors.
That was until the other day when I decided a trip down memory lane was exactly what I needed.
And boy, how a few years can change things.
After its massive makeover several years ago, The Royalty went from being spread across two pokey rooms to one spacious room, and the open plan setting definitely works.
It's also moved away from being totally student-orientated, with its crazy colours and pop art, to giving off a more contemporary pub feel, with exposed brick walls, paintings of olde Sunderland hanging on the walls and booths to give you a bit of privacy if you want.
The pool table is still there but is moved aside when the pub puts on one of its many live band nights.
And the bar staff are still as welcoming and friendly as I remember.
There's also a large selection of pub grub up for grabs with everything from nachos (3.60), chicken wings (1.95) and burgers on the menu.
Drinks aren't too badly priced either with a pint of Fosters costing 2.50, a small glass of wine 2.30, a house double 2.50, bottles of beer and alcopops from 2.60 and a selection of mixed fruit ciders at 2.75.
Surprisingly when I made my return to The Royalty there wasn't a single student in sight, just a few couples enjoying a quiet Sunday lunch for 5.95 with the football playing on the big screen.
But it wasn't long before a huge group of them crowded into the bar, much to my dismay.
But it didn't take long for them to take a seat and for me to learn that students and the rest of the world really can get on without traffic cones and over-excitable behaviour.
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