Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Hertfordshire
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Hertfordshire restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 164 restaurants in Hertfordshire and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Hertfordshire restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Hertfordshire Restaurants
1. The Bricklayers Arms British, Traditional restaurant in Flaunden Hogpits Bottom - HP3
This ivy-clad gastropub, originally a trio of early-18th-century cottages, is popular among both locals and visitors to the nearby Warner Brothers studio for its “good-value pub grub”. Chef Claude Paillet trained under the legendary Pierre Gagnaire before switching his focus to heartier fare.
2. The Fox British, Modern restaurant in Willian
Prettily located home counties pub (with rooms), just off the A1, that’s “cheerful and well-run”. Some reporters feel results here are “variable” but on most accounts its cooking – in the bar, and also with a somewhat more ambitious restaurant menu (majoring in steaks) – is well rated.
3. Crocker’s Table British, Modern restaurant in Tring 74 High Street - HP23
“I felt like a judge on MasterChef!”. The 2015 runner-up in MC:The Professionals, Scott Barnard has created “a great new addition to the town” with this year-old, “most-amazing, intimate chef’s-table experience”, which features 14 seats around the counter of an open kitchen. “The food is good, sometimes great” and “the concept of watching Scott and his team prepare the tasting menu in front of you, with the opportunity to ask questions and get involved in fabulous conversation makes this an amazing culinary experience”. A Henley spin-off is planned to open next year.
4. The Alford Arms British, Modern restaurant in Frithsden
“What a discovery, hidden away in the beautiful Chilterns!” in “a remote rural setting far from the madding crowd” – this “very characterful family-run pub” is highly rated for its “well-presented and slightly unusual cooking”. “You feel like you’re a million miles from anywhere, when in reality it’s only a 40-minute drive from London”.
5. The Tilbury British, Modern restaurant in Datchworth Watton Rd - SG3
Brothers James & Tom Bainbridge are behind this popular pitstop, on the village green, where the “food is above average for Hertfordshire gastropubs”, being split between relaxed pub classics and more adventurous British cuisine; the “ambience outside is particularly great”, and you can have “a lovely meal on a hot summer evening under the pergola”.
6. Thompson British, Modern restaurant in St Albans 2 Hatfield Rd - AL1
“A perfect experience – superb canapés, mains and desserts”: former Auberge du Lac chef Phil Thompson (from a family of chefs and butchers) wins consistently excellent ratings for his town-centre venue with a conservatory and terrace. “Never had a bad meal here”.
7. Hermitage Rd British, Modern restaurant in Hitchin 20-21 Hermitage Road - SG5
This former ballroom gains most praise for its “great breakfast/brunch” that makes “a brilliant way to start the weekend, with lots of free top-up coffee and newspapers to read”. In addition to “the best brews, home bakes and bagels”, there’s also a full dinner menu featuring sustainable local produce.
8. The Farmhouse at Redcoats British, Modern restaurant in Hitchin Redcoats Green - SG4
Revamped in summer 2018, this fifteenth-century pub-with-rooms nowadays incorporates a stylish dining conservatory, which – notwithstanding the odd downbeat report – scored very highly this year with its earthy, high quality cooking.
9. Auberge du Lac British, Modern restaurant in Welwyn
The “beautiful setting” – right on the lake, within an old hunting lodge on Lord Palmerston’s former estate – makes this rural hideaway a natural choice for a “lovely Sunday lunch” or “wonderful afternoon tea”. Its glory days foodwise (under JC Novelli in the early noughties) are long gone, but those who go unburdened by great foodie expectations enjoy its modern French cuisine and say the overall experience is “superb”.
10. The Waggoners French restaurant in Welwyn Brickwall Close, Ayot Grn - AL6
“Friendly French owner” Laurent Brydniak oversees this “attractive” old boozer with separate dining room where the “menu changes regularly”. The set-up is fancier than one might expect for the genre, and the “very reasonable fixed-price menu at lunch” is a major draw.
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