By and large, you can guess that a pub – if The Bull even qualifies as such – is not likely to be a total triumph when it is attached to a Premier Inn.

Getting lost on the mildly terrifying country lanes somewhere out the back of St Mary Cray meant we landed at The Bull entirely by accident.

Still, it’s not every day you get the chance to dine at the 11th best place to get food in Swanley, according to TripAdvisor. Take that Jay Rayner.

The overly-commercial boozer nearest my first office was a place where many good memories were made - and that was attached to the budget hotel chain, so I refused to write off The Bull without first giving it a go.

Stuck off a main road close to the A20, it’s more of a roadside services than a pub or a restaurant. And a retro one at that, like a Little Chef.

A bloke in a grotty polo shirt and a Burberry-style cap (I didn’t think even the chavs wore those anymore) stood outside only added to the feeling that this wouldn’t be one of my finest lunch times. Inside, there weren’t many like this chap – the clientele was mostly ladies of a certain age.

Heading in, it was impossible to avoid the overbearing Beefeater signage – as if it was something to be proud of – and the diarrhoea brown décor and layout gave the characterless interior the dull feel of a depressing airport diner.

Despite its pub-like name, an identifiable bar and what appeared to be bar seating The Bull was not a pub as you or I know it. It’s more of a restaurant, complete with table service.

Not a particularly special one, either. It all felt a bit sticky with dirty menus and something crusty on one of my knives.

The menu was mainly grill-based, which is a positive, but the prices didn’t seem to me to match the surroundings. The Bull wasn’t a £12 burger kind of place, I didn’t think.

A decent selection of beers included Whitstable Bay and Brewdog but £4 for a bottle of the latter did sting.

Our service came from a nervous but very friendly lad who made us feel well looked after but also knew when to leave us alone.

Sure enough, the food was far from special but perfectly acceptable. By no stretch is The Bull likely to be your new favourite pub/restaurant/anything (there’s 10 other better places in Swanley, for starters if TripAdvisor is to be believed) but I didn’t dislike it quite as much as I feared I would.

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The Bull, London Road, Swanley

How it rated:

Atmosphere ** Almost none

Décor ** Bland and horrid

Staff **** The high point

Food *** OK

Drink *** Not a terrible selection

Price ** Steep for what it is