THE BASIC name the pub has adopted says it all about this establishment. No need for a fancy "The Oak" or more modern "Litten" to prefix the noun used to describe this watering hole.

Instead it provides what the best pubs used to be about beer and comfortable surroundings.

If the use of language on the pub sign was minimal this was embodied by the female member of bar staff, who broke off from conversation with a well ensconced drinker at the bar, to serve me.

She poured the beer with an air of authority, and in a clipped, yet not impolite tone, asked for payment. An intrusive "anything else?" was not necessary, as I retreated to the lounge with just a half of bitter.

The football was showing on a television in the lower level of the bar, the darkness allowing you to escape the outside world either with conversation or into your own thoughts.

Traditional padded leather-type benches surrounded by wood panelled walls and sturdy tables, merge together in a therapeutic theme trendy places would describe as rustic, but this place would probably settle for brown.

Placed too far out of town to catch the lunch time trade, it is difficult to see where the pub makes its money. But it is well worth a visit if you would like to get away from the busy mean streets of Rickmansworth for a bite to eat.

On leaving I noticed a customer tucking into a plate of steaming, hot food. It was, of course, basic, but it looked good.