DECOR * (bare as a bone) DRINK ** (my student digs had a better selection) PRICE *** (reasonably priced lager but a spirit and mixer was a little overpriced for the area) ATMOSPHERE **** (old school booze up) STAFF *** (good)

SHAPED like a cross between an intergalactic spaceship and a chocolate gateaux, The Cranbrook doesn’t have to do much to grab your attention and draw you in through its grubby looking doors except sit there and look, well, like a sore thumb.

Beauty, however, is all too often only skin deep and similar to the disappointment one might feel stepping into the Tardis and discovering the cavernous interior was closer to Colonel Gaddafi’s sandswept military bunker than a futuristic time machine, the inside of this boozer fails to live up to its intriguing exterior.

As bare as the Bank of England’s coffers, The Cranbrook is like a delicious looking slice of apple pie, filled with lashings of nothing but plentiful beer-scented air.

However, despite its dreary no-frills decor — which, let’s face it, doesn’t look like it has changed since the 50s — its convivial atmosphere and earthy charm mean curious newcomers don’t have too much to despair about.

With no cosy nooks or crannies to hide in this long, curvy pub, it’s easy to feel exposed and open to inquisitive stares from the rambunctious crowd of mainly male punters, glugging lager, shooting some pool and watching football.

It feels very much like an old fashioned working man’s club, where real men aren’t afraid to openly scratch their balls in public, swear like sailors and drink pints of wife beater (£3).

So like a naughty schoolboy who gets a kick out of poking a sleeping dog with a stick, I gingerly approached the central 360-degree bar and ordered the least blue collar drink I could see — a G&T.

With not so much as a twitch of judgmental surprise, the barmaid served me the refreshing tipple, complete with ice and lemon. Hurrah.

But at £3.90, it’s no wonder I was the only one brave enough to order it.

Sitting quietly by the window I watched the rowdy but admittedly friendly punters unwind.

As Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits continued to be piped through the speakers I felt a pang of nostalgia for a mythical era of drinking when the local pub was not just a place to get slaughtered on a Friday night but a genuine hub of the community.

Sadly, like many areas in London, Deptford has been the victim of a despicable cull of traditional boozers.

It seems the increasing price of alcohol and cheapo chains such as Wetherspoons are luring punters away from their locals.

So it’s somewhat heartwarming to see The Cranbrook still pathetically clinging to the past while outside the 21st century is increasingly making boozers such as this look like a creaky old merry-go-round in a theme park full of white knuckle rides.

It doesn’t help that, despite ale slowly shaking off its stuffy, elitist reputation, this pub has nothing better to offer than the usual bog standard range of lagers.