The Aperfield Inn is almost exactly the kind of pub you expect to find when you venture just into the countryside close to Biggin Hill.

Yes, you are on narrow roads, there are trees and a saddlery opposite but at the same time you are still inside the M25 and to many that still means urban, it still means London.

So the expectation is less of an outback, no-running-water shack and candlelight and more of a country-style retreat. And that is, more or less, what you get here.

On the approach, The Aperfield is a large building, well-kept with a tidy cream paint job, garden chairs that are clearly not from the B&Q budget range and a fetching conservatory.

Parking up in the giant car park, it looks just the kind of place you might take your parents for a weekend lunch.

If it looks good on the outside, then be prepared for better inside.

We’re talking handsome exposed brick walls, tile floors, wood ceilings and beams and a solid oak bar with gleaming taps offering around ten beers on tap, including Meantime Pale Ale.

The conservatory and round the back give the impression of more restaurant-style eating while round the corner at the front is a cosy-looking snug with a fireplace, vintage chairs and pouffe-style stools in either leather or plaid covering.

The whole atmosphere feels refined and relaxed and the furnishings are weighty and country-style.

Even the little touches are there – Aspall’s vinegar and pewter tankards in the middle of the table to hold the cutlery.

The menu is not especially cheap - the light bites are mostly in the £7.45/£7.95 region (and suitably tasty) - though there are mains on the lunch menu for under a tenner.

After a quietly soothing lunch, I felt a little unaffected by what is ostensibly a decent pub. Does it lack that spark of charm? Perhaps. Or perhaps it is just the sort of place where you need some good company to really make the most of it.

My feeling that The Aperfield was exactly the kind of place to bring your parents was only strengthened the longer I remained.

The Aperfield Inn, Main Road, Biggin Hill

How it rated:

Décor**** Country-chic

Atmosphere *** Not unpleasant but perhaps a little lacking

Staff **** Smiling and efficient

Drink **** A nice selection

Food **** I’d go again

Price *** Middling

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