AS I still regard myself as in the prime of life, I find it increasingly difficult to review quiet village pubs deep down believing I should be out strutting my stuff in noisy, youthful establishments.

However, deny it as I will, there is something rather satisfying about finding a nice little pub, sitting alone with a drink, and just watching the world go by.

And if you want to get a good look at just what the people of Harpenden are up to (as this intrepid newshound inevitably does), then there is no better place to be than at The Silver Cup in St Albans Road on the way into town.

Seating outside the front and side provides the perfect opportunity for weary workers to relax and watch people passing or even a game of cricket on Harpenden Common.

I popped in after a (hard) day at the office, before covering a town council meeting, and was grateful for the hour's break the pub afforded.

On entering, you are confronted by the bar. However, a few steps to the left or right and you can either choose the relative comfort of the lounge with tables set out for diners, or alternatively you can sit in the games area, with pool table, dart board and Sky TV.

The pub boasts a wide range of beers, and the fulsome menu includes starters, main courses or light snacks, all of which are at very reasonable prices.

Smartly-dressed staff cheerfully made sure everything was okay with my food and drink and were only too eager to find me a newspaper to read as I whiled away my time.

And despite my fears that I was becoming old before my time it was a pleasure to note the relatively young clientele who frequent this pub a reminder to me that it's not just sad lonely men who visit village pubs on their own.

Hang on a minute wasn't I...?