A MAN'S (or woman's) local is their castle.

The establishment on which you choose to bestow your custom says a lot about you. With such a plethora of pubs and bars on offer these days there is no need to settle for a so-so charmless watering hole.

But what people judge the quality of a pub on differs.

For while some might look at the selection of beers on offer, others like me can't stand the stuff. A nice beer garden, decent seating and a good menu always manage to sway me.

But a pub is still more than just a sum of these parts.

A pub has to really feel like "home" before you can call it your own.

Hence while us pub reviewers do our best to convey what a venue is like, it is sometimes impossible to capture the real essence of a pub or to understand why people become regulars there.

Colney Heath's Queen's Head has clearly seen better days.

Its carpet is threadbare, the TV in the corner is temperamental, to put it mildly, and the smokey haze which swirls about its low oak beams are not exactly inviting for a newcomer.

But this is not to say that the place was without charm.

A friendly smile from the barman, and the obligatory old dog there to greet new patrons with an enquiring look and a wag of the tail give it a homely feel which some certain sterile "themed bars" could definitely learn from.

Of course, the pub, like many, if not most others, is far from perfect.

This point was rather hammered home by the presence of a Bette Middler album in the jukebox.

However, the place certainly has plenty of character.

And judging by the eclectic mix of memorabilia adorning the wall the pub's team won the Review knock-out tournament in 1992 apparently it is clearly one which is cherished by Colney Heath-ers.