British, Modern Restaurants in Hertfordshire
1. Hertford House British, Modern restaurant in Hertford 1 Fore Street - SG14
Chef Andrew Clarke, formerly of St Leonards and Tramshed is in charge of this new hotel restaurant in Hertfordshire; the hotel also boasts The Store House deli and a pop-up takeaway The Hole in the Wall, as well as Anexo a few doors away.
2. 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 two-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.
3. 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”.
4. 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”.
5. 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”.
6. 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.
7. 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 last year with its earthy, high quality cooking.
8. 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”.
9. Dylans Kings Arms British, Modern restaurant in St Albans 7 George Street - AL3
A “small” and “cosy” dining room tucked away behind a small pub – and with a new offshoot, The Plough, in the hamlet of Sleapshyde. “The food (the weightier ‘Bill of Fayre’ out back, and snacks up front) shows a great deal of thought and the staff obviously feel proud about what they do, as they deserve to”. If you feel like a cocktail, make it a Martini – barman Roberto Fiorillo surprisingly snaffled the ‘World's Best Martini’ award in 2019!
10. Megan's at the Bell British, Modern restaurant in St Albans 22 Chequer Street - AL1
“Affordable and with a nice vibe” – these good-looking, all-day hang-outs major in brunch, but make reasonably-priced options for a relaxed meal at any time. This year, they added Kensington High Street and Islington to the stable and spread beyond inner London to Surbiton and St Albans.
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