ON entering the low ceiling bar there were a couple of "we don't like strangers in these parts" looks, which perhaps could just be interpreted as interest in someone new to this pub just outside Radlett.

Around the three bar areas were small diverse groups of men. One, in jeans and sweatshirts, slapped each other's backs and congratulated themselves on a good day's work, while another more for-mally attired discussed changes in the taxation system.

This defined the pub for me. You could sit in the corner with a paper quietly, or bond with new found friends from the building site.

As the name suggests china cats adorn every possible space of wall, although it is not as bad as it sounds with them fading into the dark, and did not seem to perturb the Jack Russell dozing on a bench near the bar.

Traditional pub-goers who resent the proliferation of food orientated pubs will be pleased to know, after 2pm, there is not a tor tilla wrap or BLT in sight, as the

bar staff turn their attention strictly to serving drinks.

The menu varied, offering a choice of six roasts on a Sunday for £6.50.

The garden was big enough, but one of the large firs could do with felling, to open it up a bit.