A UNICORN is a fabulous one-horned animal but there wasn't a mythical creature in sight when I visited its namesake, The Unicorn, in Gallows Hill, Abbots Langley, last week.

Instead I found a mishmash pub of allsorts. Not quite traditional and certainly not modern, The Unicorn looks as if it's received a makeover by a half-hearted Carol

Smilie and then been pillaged by Vikings.

The front is conservative enough. There's the usual floral patterned carpet, a mixture of brass and silver plated ornaments and a cosy bar area.

Behind this traditional facade, however, is situated a freakish back room of DIY disasters and a clientele to match.

It's hard to say who would feel at home within its bare, blue and cream walls. The builders looked no more suited to the matching placid abstract prints on the walls than I was suited to the x-rated video game.

I wonder who they had in mind when they threw together the silver, bottle green and blue orna-ments

that pointlessly lined the useless shelves on the wall.

I suspect there were two minds working against one another one male (television, fruit machines,

keep the original floral carpet to save some money and install home bar from MFI), and the other female ("I hate this place. Give me £50 so I can go to Habitat and buy

some nice modern things to brighten it up and paint over that ghastly wallpaper with some nice

neutral tones".)

Despite the decor, The Unicorn is pleasant enough. I got there too early to have food but all praises to the wide variety of bar snacks and the kindly barmaid known as "Oi babe" to the charming locals who took pity on the social misfit and offered me a magazine.