It’s hard to find an authentic Italian these days despite a number of chain restaurants on every high street in every town – however The Yard Neopolitan Pizzeria is one for Italian connoisseurs to try.

Situated in the rural landscape of Harpenden, The Yard, in Luton Road, is a small, quaint restaurant from the outside but inside it is all hustle and bustle.

Authentic ‘classic Italian pizzas’ are hard to come by but owner Karen Bentoon, despite not being of Italian origin, does not fail to enhance the experience of her guests.

Having a purpose-built stone baked oven from Naples designed specifically for the restaurant it is understandable why it is so difficult to find a table without booking weeks in advance. Luckily, I was invited along to a press launch with tables reserved for us beforehand.

As soon as you walk into the building you are hit with the smells of Italy.

The garlic and herbs, the pizzas cooking – everything to make your mouth salivate as you eagerly wait for your food.

With classics ranging from Margherita (£8.50) through to the hot Vesuvius (£9.50) there is something for every pizza lover.

For starters we ordered a bowl of mixed olives (£2.50) to go alongside some bruschetta with garlic-infused tomatoes on top (£3.95).

Whether I was overly hungry or whether it was just my desire to try everything on the menu it was safe to say the starters were eaten just as quickly as they were ordered.

Next came the mains. Having lived in Italy it is easy to spot the difference between a chain restaurant and an authentic one.

When the waiter placed the Napoli pizza (£9.90) on the table I was transported back to Italy after just one bite.

The vegetarian antipasti board to share with roasted artichokes, peppers, olives and mozzarella (£8.80) was an added bonus and it is safe to say there were leftovers.

Although some could say the food is slight overpriced for a pizza, the portion sizes are worth the price – plus anything leftover can be taken home for when you are feeling peckish later.

The Yard chefs, who I believe are native to Italy and have worked as chefs previously, have created a perfect pizza in a small rural town. Hats off to them.

One thing it did lack was an alternative for those who would prefer not to have a pizza – although seeing and smelling the food it was hard to not want one.

It is no surprise the restaurant attracts celebrities including Nathan and Cara from the last season of Love Island who travelled to Harpenden just for the food.

The Yard is somewhere I would easily recommend as one of the best Italian restaurants within the area.