DECOR * (a soul sucking void) DRINK ** (no ale on tap at the time) PRICE *** (nothing to rave about) ATMOSPHERE ** (like Siberia with less tundra) STAFF ** (not exactly cheery but at least they could pull a pint)

SHIVERING by the window like a freshly plucked penguin which mistook a feather pillow factory for an avian strip club, I gazed hypnotically at the widescreen TV and wondered if this was what waiting to die felt like.

Spitting distance from Hither Green train station, this imaginatively named boozer is so bereft of decor or warmth of character it would come as no surprise if the landlord had decided to use any non-essential furniture as firewood.

Either way, the cavernous interior felt, perhaps appropriately, like a drab and chilly eastern European station’s waiting room.

This will come as a bit of a blow to the pub’s owners, who have proudly mounted a large billowing St George’s flag outside to ward off any unwanted foreign interlopers, intent on polluting the pub’s fiercely British character.

But if by British the boozer’s proprietors mean bland, dull and devoid of interest, then I would like to take this opportunity to call on the government to remove any current cap on immigration and flood this suburban wilderness with Brazilian street performers and carpet sellers.

Because the area was originally started by Scottish Presbyterian Victorian developer Archibald Corbett, places to wet your whistle are scarce.

So while The Station may not be ideal, it is at least somewhere to escape the confines of your happy home, enjoy a pint and watch sport on the pub’s multiple TVs or ludicrously big projection screen.

Hoping for a spot of ale to soften my mood, my heart sank when I was told the Spitfire had run dry.

Perhaps making an analogy for the boozer’s current state, the fridges behind the bar were depressingly empty and in need of a major restock, with just a couple of chilled beer bottles inside, waiting to be consumed.

Acerbic enough, I felt no need to add fuel to the fire with a pint of Black Sheep bitter so I finally opted for run-of-the-mill Kronenbourg (£3.25).

Sadly, the bar staff seemed more interested in gibbering down the phone than making conversation with a man in a seedy looking flasher mac and a fedora, so I swiftly moved back to my cold spot.

A small effort has obviously been made to brighten up the place, with vases of purple and white flowers placed strategically in the windows, but any signs of life are swallowed up by the interior’s enormous, soul sucking space.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise the reason for The Station’s stagnation and lack of flare is the absence of any real competition in the surrounding area.

I was too early to indulge in the food on offer but apparently the burgers are pretty great and there’s a two for one offer on meals from Monday to Friday.

However, despite a brief glimmer of excitement at seeing a table football game and a pool table, after I polished off a glass of Jack Daniel’s and Coke, I wondered whether this pub would be so popular if it wasn’t situated in the pub equivalent of the Sahara.