Pubs as the only restaurant in town in suburban satelite “villages”. My sister live is a dormitory town – that’s the only way to describe it. A development (you would never call it an estate) of new developments out in leafy Hertfordshire. The type of place you need a car to even think about shopping. Often bolted on near some existing village, it soon swallowed that village. And its pub. Which soon worked out exactly what the 25-35 baby and two car mob needed. And that was not a pub.

Sure The Prince Of Wales in Goff’s Oak is to all intents and purposes a pub. McMullen’s ales are on tap (this is Hertfordshire after all) and it even has a swinging sign and the right font. But what it doesn’t have have is locals. It has people who pop in for Sunday lunch, people who pop in for dinner. It has a restaurant crowd. The food there by the way is pretty good, but with all the coming and going – the half and half table service and the kids in there for grannies seventieth, its all a bit bustly. And on a SUnday afternoon, all the tables are pre-reserved for food. We sat down and got turfed around until we found the one table that did not have a reserved sign on it. And that had fallen on the floor.

In the end the Prince Of Wales resembles a village pub as much as the development resembles a village. Which isn’t much at all.