A 250-year-old edge of village pub, the part Grade II listed Black Boy was once frequented by livestock owners driving their cattle and sheep to markets along the toll road between Watford and Hatfield. A toll gate was outside this small, traditional inn. Now, it's the favoured local of countless regulars from Bricket Wood and the immediate area.
CAMRA listed, a first choice among sports fans for its dedicated sports-only TV coverage and now the area's first wi-fi pub - allowing businessmen to use their laptops while enjoying a drink and a snack - the 'heart' of the Black Boy is its varied and inclusive clientele and its robust 'pub life'.
The pub now features the latest j-Pod music system, with every top 40 single since 1952 and every album - the most comprehensive collection of music imaginable.
The atmosphere shifts easily between often quiet and peaceful afternoons and evenings to the garrulous 'happy hour' - between 12pm and 6pm - and a welcoming communal 'village' get-together at other times.
Comfortable, unfussy and welcoming, the Black Boy - how it got its name is explained in the pub's history - offers modern-day comforts without compromising its lengthy history. See the plaque in the front wall which details how a former publican left to fight in World War I - and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The pub also has a garden for outside drinking and children are welcome up to 6pm or at landlord Peter Dillingham's discretion.
The French writer and traveller Hilaire Belloc once described the traditional English inn as a "fortress of virtue". We're not sure the Black Boy can live up to that promise - but it can promise good beer, good company and a good time.