Page 1

13th

annual edition

C H I LT E R N S

A comprehensive guide to eating out in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire Restaurants • Cafés • Bars • Pubs • Hotels


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Welcome Welcome to the Chilterns Food & Drink Guide 2019. On the following pages you’ll find a wide range of options for eating out in the region. To help you make your selection, each review features a coloured tab to denote the restaurant’s location – just reference the map and key below. Bedfordshire Riseley

Be Bedford

MK

Central CB Bedfordshire

NC North & Central Buckinghamshire SB South Buckinghamshire Hertfordshire North NH Hertfordshire EH East Hertfordshire

Bedford

Newport Pagnell

Buckinghamshire MK Milton Keynes

Be

Sandy

Biggleswade Milton Buckingham Keynes Winslow

Royston

Ampthill

Letchworth

CB Dunstable Luton

NC

Hitchin

Aylesbury

SH

Hemel Hempstead Amersham High Wycombe Marlow

WH

Buntingford

NH Stevenage EH

Bishop’s Stortford

Hertford

St Albans Cheshunt

Watford

to

Many of the reviews include a price tab. This is the typical cost per person you can expect to pay for two courses from the à la carte menu, plus a drink (unless otherwise stated). This is for guidance purposes only and prices may vary. Restaurants featuring this symbol have both disabled access and a toilet suitable for wheelchair users (this information has been provided by the restaurants in question and should be confirmed prior to visiting). Restaurants featuring this symbol have accommodation.

You’ll notice that some restaurants in the guide have an 084 telephone number. Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Just like the weather, ownership, opening times and prices are subject to change throughout the year. Have a look at our website – www.foodanddrinkguides.co.uk – to see reviews of restaurants nationwide and to request other regional Food & Drink magazines.

Contents Foreword ................2 Fine Dining .............3 Modern British ........7 British ..................12 Modern European...14 French ..................17 Tapas ....................18

Canningford House 38 Victoria Street Bristol BS1 6BY t: 0117 927 7167 e: editor@foodanddrinkguides.com w: www.foodanddrinkguides.com Editor Hannah Burton-Grieve Senior Editorial Assistants Robbie Masters, Tori Sharpe Editorial Assistants Elle England, Jess Maples, Oli Bishop, Ella Fisher, Rosie Best

Photography

WH West Hertfordshire

£30

Food & Drink Guide 2019

Graphic Designer Jo Ley

SB

South SH Hertfordshire

£25

Chilterns

Brasserie...............19 Italian...................21 Mediterranean.......23 Greek ....................23 Steakhouse............24 Gastropub .............25 Bar & Restaurant ..28

Café ......................38 Traditional ............38 Indian ...................50 World Cuisine .......50 Thai ......................51 Chef Profiles .........53 Index ....................56

Paul Matthews (www. paulmatthewsphotography.com), Pg 44 The Chandos Arms images © Evan Judge @ EDK Photography Contributors Max Caldicott, Graham Earl Project Manager Joe Packer Advertising Sales Matt Brentley, Simon Northcott, Emma Filby, Paul Balshaw, Emma Clarke, Sam Terrett, Tara Hennell, Russ Sealy, Tim Hall Published by Food & Drink Guides Ltd Publisher Sam Collins Managing Director Robin Fry

The cost of producing this guide has been met by advertising revenues from the restaurants featured within. We only include restaurants that we know, from either experience or recommendation, provide a quality service, and our journalists review the majority of the establishments. However, some reviews are supplied by third parties, and no review in this guide should be taken as a direct recommendation by Food & Drink Guides Ltd. Printed February 2019.

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Foreword

Phil Thompson The stunning countryside of the Chilterns, with its woodlands, fields and chalk downlands, supplies much of the natural produce that the chefs of Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire happily make use of. My menus consist of seasonal, local produce that is full of flavour and tastes delicious; we couldn’t do it without the incredible natural larder of the Chilterns. Local farms provide fruit, veg, free-range meats and dairy, while local breweries work to create the perfect tipple. I’m constantly seeking out the best local suppliers, and have a wealth to choose from. We currently use Mrs Middleton’s rapeseed oil from Luton, and Bridget B’s farm near Ware for meat and game. I rely on both my local veg man at Sparshotts and Carpenters Nursery in Sandridge. For a nice drop of ale, I look to The 3 Brewers of St Albans. Although I’m originally an Essex boy from Dagenham, I’ve lived in Hertfordshire for 17 years and the area is now home to me. THOMPSON St Albans, a three AA rosette-awarded independent, family-run restaurant, is going into its sixth year now. We offer a relaxed fine dining experience that’s all about making our guests feel pampered. I couldn’t be more proud of our team and would like to say a massive thank you to them, our guests and our regulars, who have supported us along the way. St Albans is a beautiful, vibrant and historic city, which holds multiple festivals and community events. St Albans Day in June is an arts and music festival with many wonderful culinary sensations and food stalls. The Food & Drink Festival in October features a wide variety of food stalls and cooking demonstrations. Every year I look forward to participating in these fantastic foodie events. No matter what you’re looking for when choosing somewhere to dine out in the beautiful Chilterns, with so much choice across the region you’re sure to eat well. I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for within the pages of this year’s Chilterns Food & Drink Guide.

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Chilterns Guide 2019


THOMPSON St Albans

Fine Dining

 Location 2-8 Hatfield Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3RP t: 0844 502 8303 w: www.thompsonstalbans.co.uk e: info@thompsonstalbans.co.uk THOMPSON St Albans offers a relaxed and affordable fine dining experience, without the pretence sometimes associated with formal dining. Here, you will find a tranquil setting, ever-changing menus that are dictated by the seasons and great value for money.

SH £25 to

£45

‘...menus that are dictated by the seasons and great value for money...’ Chef and owner Phil Thompson utilises his classic training along with his natural skill and ability for creating delicious flavour combinations that showcase his own modern style. The à la carte menu is available from Tuesday to Saturday priced at £39 for two courses and £47 for three. Pop along at lunchtime and dine from the set menu, which is priced at just £18.50 for two courses and £23 for three. The set evening menu is equally reasonable, with two courses offered at £21 and three for £25. On Sunday a traditional roast lunch set menu is available, priced at £31 for two courses and £35 for three courses. The seven-course tasting menu is £69 with five courses at £55, with an optional wine flight to complement the flavours of each dish for £45 and £30 retrospectively, per person. The quality and presentation of the food is of paramount importance to Phil Thompson and the team at THOMPSON St Albans. They are just as passionate about customer service, and thrive on offering the highest standards to ensure that customers leave feeling pampered and looking forward to their next visit. In line with the seasonal food menu, Phil and the bar team create seasonal cocktails that are subtle, well-balanced and offer a taste of pure decadence. The beverage offerings also include a wide variety of intriguing spirits and a medley of expertly chosen fine wines. The restaurant is popular with large groups and can cater for parties who are looking for a place to hold their special celebration or a business meeting. The terrace and conservatory are great for dining outside in the sunny months; the quaint Victorian-style courtyard – with jasmine, honeysuckle, shrubs and flowers – and the conservatory, which features three French doors that open out onto the terrace, can seat a further 20 guests. Visit www.thompsonstalbans.co.uk to book a table, view sample menus and find out more about THOMPSON St Albans.

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Fri & Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-3pm

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Paris House  Location Woburn Park, London Road, Woburn, Bedfordshire, MK17 9QP t: 0844 625 2390 w: www.parishouse.co.uk e: info@parishouse.co.uk

CB

Accessed through a stunning stone gateway on the Woburn Estate, you’ll find the Tudor-style building that’s home to Paris House. Originally built for the Paris Exhibition in 1878, this magnificent building sits in splendid isolation amid grazing * £96 deer and 22 acres of open parkland. Recently refurbished, it’s the perfect setting in which to enjoy exciting food, fabulous wine and impeccable hospitality. Award-winning six-, eight- and ten-course seasonal tasting menus from executive chef and owner Phil Fanning take guests on an exciting and memorable culinary journey. This unique experience, paired with exceptional service, makes Paris House the ideal place to celebrate with family and friends. Take a seat in the modern dining room – complete with undressed, polished tables, wood floors, velvet chairs and simple tableware – and prepare to be wowed by a succession of dishes. Knowledgeable, friendly staff guide diners through the flavours of each well-thought-out dish and Open: Thurs noon-1.30pm, its perfectly matched wine pairing. Seasonality is key, so diners can expect to see 7pm-8.30pm; Fri & Sat a new menu that celebrates the very noon-1.30pm, 6.45pm-9pm; best of the season five times a year. Sun noon-2pm Phil favours Asian techniques and flavours, so dishes like Japanese shichimi-seasoned mantou bun feature alongside the likes of halibut cured with rhubarb and gin, and lightly smoked, braised oxtail. Finish with an innovative take on the popular sweet treat s’mores for a dining experience that’s not to be missed. *Price represents the cost of the eight-course tasting menu.

Fine Dining

Olivier’s Restaurant  Location The Woburn Hotel, George Street, Woburn, Bedfordshire, MK17 9PX t: 0844 502 8212 w: www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk e: info@thewoburnhotel.co.uk

CB

If you’re looking to experience truly high-quality dining in Bedfordshire, look no further than Olivier’s Restaurant (chef profile page 53) at The Woburn Hotel. Newly decorated dining areas bring an ambience that’s characteristic of the £28 to Woburn Estate, and the beauty and elegance of the dining room is mirrored in £35 the food; a quality seldom experienced outside the capital. We welcomed our starters of pan-fried scallops, and smoked duck with berries and asparagus. The scallops were seared lightly, rich without overpowering the chicken skin and purée. A mention goes to the smoked duck with berries; an unusual combination and nothing short of a masterpiece, with a stunning array Olivier’s Food Served: of texture and flavour that was as surprising as it was delightful. Mon-Sat noon-2pm, I chose the beef fillet with vegetables, and my more adventurous wife went for 6.30pm-9.30pm; fried ginger-glazed salmon. My beef was rare, with the vegetables cooked to Sun 12.30pm-2.30pm, a sweet texture that when combined with the pea purée provided a real taste 6.30pm-9.30pm sensation. The salmon had crisp The Repton Room and skin, and the bean salad came Tavistock Bar Food Served: with an exciting Asian twist, which Mon-Sun noon-10pm perfectly complemented the meat. My wife was delighted with her gooey chocolate soufflé paired with chocolate orange sorbet. I chose to finish with carrot cake cheesecake with cream cheese frosting inside. It was presented immaculately and tasted utterly divine. 4

Chilterns Guide 2019


Chez Mumtaj

Fine Dining

 Location 136-142 London Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 1PQ t: 0844 502 6939 w: www.chezmumtaj.com e: info@chezmumtaj.com

SH Chez Mumtaj is a two-AA-rosetted boutique-style restaurant that showcases a unique style of French-Asian haute cuisine. This reputable establishment has a sizeable collection of accolades celebrating its progressive menus. This includes £20 being named Best Pan-Asian Restaurant at the 2017 Asian Curry Awards. to £30 Inside the restaurant, the main dining area and separate private rooms are luxurious and opulent. The Saffron Lounge, meanwhile, features rich mahogany-panelled walls, leather banquette seating, antique-mirrored walls and private booths; a great place to enjoy a pre- or post-dinner drink. Chad Rahman (chef profile page 53) is the culinary force behind Chez Mumtaj, Open: Tues-Sun noon-2.30pm, and his imagination and skill have been recognised with numerous awards. 6pm-11pm Chad’s career reached new heights in 2018 as he was asked to represent the UK at one of the most prestigious food tournaments in the world, the Culinary World Cup 2018 held in Luxembourg. Chad and his teammates won one gold, three silver and three bronze medals as well as eight merit diplomas. He was named Hertfordshire Life Chef of the Year 2017 and won the Ethnic Chef of the Year Award 2016 – awarded by the Craft Guild of Chefs. To begin, expect innovative starters such as bird’s nest Scotch quail’s egg and spice-crusted hand-dived Scottish king scallops. Mains include pan-roasted guinea fowl with a homemade chorizo, chicken tikka and wild mushroom pie and game jus; curried Cornish monkfish tail with Franco-Asian Pondicherry shellfish bisque and South Indian-style crabmeat tomato rice; and spice-crusted saddle of venison with masala-crushed Charlotte potatoes and chocolate tamarind red wine jus.

Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel

Fine Dining

 Location Luton Hoo Hotel, The Mansion House, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3TQ t: 0844 502 0211 w: www.lutonhoo.co.uk e: reservations@lutonhoo.co.uk Dine in opulence and enjoy the very best food and wine at the Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. The restaurant in the 18th-century mansion house is named after former owner and diamond magnate Sir Julius Wernher. The restaurant stands out as a jewel amidst restaurants in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and beyond. With floor-to-ceiling marble panels, glittering chandeliers and sweeping views of the surrounding parkland, it’s a superb venue in which to celebrate a special occasion or dine out in style.

CB £26 to

£70

‘...superb venue...’

Under the guidance and creative inspiration of head chef Ruth Hansom (chef profile page 53) the restaurant continues to build on an enviable reputation that Open: has seen it awarded two coveted AA rosettes. The restaurant offers a unique dining Weds-Fri 12.30pm-2pm, experience, serving exciting modern dishes made using the highest quality British 7pm-10pm; Sat 12.30pm-2pm, produce. The table d’hôte menu is 6.30pm-10.30pm; priced from £26 for two courses, Sun 12.30pm-6pm and the speciality menu features a mouth-watering array of seasonal dishes. For a truly memorable gourmet experience, choose the six-course tasting menu for £69.50 per person, which can include specially selected wines to accompany each course for an additional £49.50 per person. Visit for lunch or dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, or for Sunday lunch and enjoy an unforgettable dining experience. Chilterns Guide 2019

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Fine Dining

Auberge du Lac  Location Brocket Hall, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL8 7XG t: 0844 502 8292 w: www.aubergedulac.co.uk e: auberge@brocket-hall.co.uk

SH

Housed in Brocket Hall’s former hunting lodge, Auberge du Lac enjoys an idyllic lakeside setting overlooking the beautiful 543-acre country estate and the hall itself. Recently awarded two AA rosettes, Auberge du Lac is an award-winning restaurant that provides the highest standards of modern British cuisine and service.

£40 to

£60

‘...warm, relaxed atmosphere...’ Whether you’re looking for al fresco dining during the summer on the water’s edge or a warm, relaxed atmosphere in the winter months, Auberge du Lac creates the perfect mood for every occasion. With a beautiful lounge, picturesque terrace and a host of tastefully decorated private dining rooms, Auberge du Lac is perfect for private hire, lunchtime gatherings, weddings, birthday parties and other celebrations.

‘...top-notch ingredients...’ Head chef Matt Edmonds (chef profile page 54) runs the kitchen at Auberge du Lac, using his wealth of experience to produce well executed dishes. The seasons are a big inspiration for Matt’s style of cooking; his menus utilise only the finest ingredients available at that time of year. Matt is also passionate about supporting local and British suppliers and is often found foraging for wild ingredients for his dishes on the Brocket Hall Estate and in the surrounding countryside. The likes of Weymouth crab with kohlrabi, lemon and sea herbs, and Lake District venison, celeriac and blackberry are just a few of the offerings vying for attention. Open: Tues-Sat noon-4pm, 7pm-11pm; Sun noon-2pm Food Served: Tues-Sat noon-2pm, 7pm-9pm; Sun noon-2pm

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The top-notch ingredients sourced by Matt are not just found on the food menu at Auberge du Lac, as the front of house team has also been known to borrow from the kitchen for the drinks menu. The well-balanced cocktail menu provides the perfect aperitif to enjoy on the terrace or in the lounge. The wine list includes an impressive number of bins and caters for most discerning wine lovers.


The Bell

Modern British

 Location Dunstable Road, Studham, Bedfordshire, LU6 2QG t: 0844 502 7046 w: www.thebellinstudham.co.uk e: info@thebellinstudham.co.uk

CB

Studham is the southern-most village in Bedfordshire, where you’ll find the highest-lying pub, The Bell. This haven is just ten minutes from Dunstable and Hemel Hempstead and five minutes from the Dunstable Downs and Whipsnade Zoo. Over the years, this Grade II listed pub has won numerous awards including Best Pub in Bedfordshire at the 2018 National Pub & Bar Awards and the SME Luton & Bedfordshire Business Awards. For four consecutive years, The Bell has also been the winner of Best Hospitality Venue at the Dunstable & Houghton Regis Business Awards. With panoramic views, large gardens overlooking the common and nooks and crannies full of character, The Bell is the place to be come rain or shine.

£15 to

£25

‘Providing food and gifts we love’ is the pub’s motto and the team constantly strives to provide a warm welcome and ensures every customer’s needs are met. On the menu are homemade pies, Sunday roasts with all the trimmings, freshly beer-battered cod and chips and fresh dough pizzas – to eat in or takeaway – as well as authentic pasta dishes and weekly changing specials. As all dishes are freshly prepared, the chef can also create delicious gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan alternatives. My dining partner took advantage of the specials menu, choosing the slow-braised pork hock. The succulent meat fell of the bone and was served with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and spectacular apple and cider jus. I opted for the pie of the day – a simple mix of Lincolnshire sausage, smoked mature cheese and beans, which proved a nostalgic classic, epitomising winter comfort food. You’ll find highly recommended wine alongside local ale, and all around the pub there’s a selection of gifts and goodies to buy including clocks, signs, candles, fudge, jam, chutney and more. After a walk with your four-legged friend, you’re welcome to pop into the study bar, where your pooch will find their own Bell & Hound menu. Whether you’re after a cup of coffee, a lazy lunch or an evening of dining and celebrating, The Bell is there to welcome you.

Open: Sun-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-1am Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 5pm-9.30pm; Sat & Sun noon-9pm

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The Potters Arms  Location Fagnall Lane, Winchmore Hill, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP7 0PH t: 0844 502 8209 w: www.pottersarms.co.uk e: info@pottersarms.co.uk

SB

Owner Richard Edwards – who has been the custodian of The Potters Arms for seven years and also has 25 years’ experience in the restaurant and pub industry – brings a new lease of life to this establishment year after year. The £20 newly renovated pub-restaurant offers traditional pub classics, pizza and a full à la to £35 carte menu, and at weekends the menu is supplemented by a comprehensive authentic Thai menu, created with the help of the chef’s Thai wife. We ordered from the à la carte, and were very impressed by the quality of the dishes both in taste and presentation. My first course was bubble and squeak elevated to a level far above what you may imagine. The dish was more like an eggs Benedict over mashed potato, and it was truly tasty. My partner chose the huge garlic butter Open: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, king prawns and they didn’t disappoint, being plump, juicy and simply delicious. 4pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; The mains were presented to a standard normally found in fine dining restaurants. Sun noon-7pm My wild boar tenderloin with juniper jus was as delicious as it looked, while the Food Served: Mon-Thurs rack of lamb was perfectly cooked noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-9pm; and accompanied by sweet potato Fri noon-2.30pm, gnocchi, kale and rich red wine jus. 5.30pm-9.30pm; Picture-perfect plates also featured Sat noon-9.30pm; for dessert, providing the perfect Sun noon-4pm end to our superb meal. The panna cotta with artisan-made ice cream was rich and creamy, while the orange and lemon cheesecake was so light and airy that it melted in the mouth. Modern British

The George IV  Location Cautherly Lane, Great Amwell, Nr. Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9SW t: 0844 502 7006 w: www.georgeivpub.co.uk e: info@georgeivpub.co.uk Nestled in the picturesque village of Great Amwell, The George IV is one of Hertfordshire’s best-kept secrets. Head chef Oliver D’Arcy is continuously creating freshly prepared imaginative dishes, including traditional pub classics to provide a restaurant-quality dining experience while retaining a traditional country pub environment.

EH £20 to

£34

Dishes range from fish and seafood, to hearty braised meat and seasonal game options in the colder months. The ingredients are impeccably fresh and vary with the seasons – the resulting dishes are beautifully presented. A fabulous roast is served on Sundays, while tasting menus, cheese and wine pairings, and steak and tapas nights are in the pipeline for the coming year. With a wide range of ale, a carefully selected wine list, cocktail list and gin menu, The George IV is perfect for those seeking a treat in the countryside. Open: Tues-Fri noon-3pm, A beautiful function room is 6pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; available for private parties, Sun noon-6pm birthdays, weddings, conferences and Christmas parties, with the courtyard and a variety of dining options available. The friendly, relaxed atmosphere and welcoming staff make a visit to The George IV an all-round exceptional experience, no matter when you stop by. 8

Chilterns Guide 2019


The Lytton at Chalfont Dene

Modern British

 Location Rickmansworth Lane, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, SL9 0LX t: 0844 625 2262 w: www.lyttonrestaurant.co.uk e: info@lyttonrestaurant.co.uk Located in the village of Chalfont St Peter, known as the gateway to the Chiltern Hills, you’ll find The Lytton, an elegant restaurant serving fine British cuisine in sumptuous surrounds. Easily accessible from London and South Buckinghamshire, it’s the perfect place to retreat to and enjoy a true taste of luxury. Elegant interiors and a serene atmosphere make The Lytton a wonderful place in which to dine. Tasteful artwork adorns the wood-panelled walls, while French doors invite plenty of light into the dining room. It’s the food here, though, that truly makes your visit a memorable one. Chefs thoughtfully craft a menu that changes with the seasons to showcase the finest and freshest local produce. Traditional favourites sit alongside inventive creations so there’s sure to be something to take your fancy whatever mood you’re in. You might start with the likes of flavoursome ham hock and Gruyère croquette served with chive mayonnaise, picked onions and crackling or perhaps a beautifully tender confit duck leg served atop toast with Parmesan and an organic poached egg. The selection of classic mains could include offerings such as succulent lamb’s liver and bacon with baby spinach, onions and red wine jus, or a sumptuous butternut squash, pine nut and Stilton risotto. Other main-course options might feature dishes such as pork cheek Bourguignon accompanied by baby carrots, mushrooms and mashed potato, and delicate Cornish hake with roast onion purée and a garlic and lemon dressing. Throughout the year the kitchen creates special menus for occasions such as Burns Night and Valentine’s Day, providing a great excuse for a fabulous evening out. It’s also a great place to pop in for coffee and cake, a light lunch with friends or to go all out and spoil yourself with a lovely afternoon tea. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a loved one, treat them to a Lytton gift voucher so they can experience this first-class establishment for themselves, whether they choose to sample a top-notch evening meal or decadent gin and tonic afternoon tea. No matter what the occasion, the attentive staff, wonderful setting and exceptional food will ensure that your visit is memorable for all the right reasons.

SB £25 to

£30

Open: times; Food Served: times;

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On The Green

 Location 11 High Street, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 3BG t: 07850 280644 w: www.onthegreenrestaurant.co.uk e: marie@onthegreenrestaurant.co.uk Overlooking the bowling green in Stevenage’s Old Town, you’ll find the beautiful Grade II listed building that’s home to On The Green, a proudly independent, family-run restaurant. The clean, contemporary interior and relaxed atmosphere make for a serene environment in which to dine. Unique features like adjustable lighting at each table show the thought that’s been put into creating the perfect setting. Provenance is central to owners Marie and Paul’s ethos, so they’re committed to sourcing seasonal ingredients locally and ethically, resulting in incredible food. Tables are reserved for the entire evening so guests are encouraged to relax and take their time to enjoy a leisurely meal. Starters like pheasant terrine and black pudding Scotch egg with apple purée and red wine reduction, and main courses such as juicy steak with Dauphinoise potatoes and peppercorn sauce consistently hit the spot, and there’s always a selection of tempting desserts to round things off.

NH £20 to

£45

Open: Weds & Thurs 6pm-10pm; Fri & Sat 5pm-11pm

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Res ta Guid urant e Ap p

RESTAURANT GUIDE APP Download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant App

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Hartwell House & Spa

Modern British

 Location Vale of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP17 8NR t: 0844 502 7673 w: www.hartwell-house.com e: info@hartwell-house.com Hartwell House is a magnificent stately home situated in a glorious setting in the Vale of Aylesbury. Set in over 90 acres of gardens and parkland, landscaped by a contemporary of Capability Brown, Hartwell House & Spa is an oasis of peace and quiet and is the perfect place for an overnight stay, an intimate dinner or a celebratory event. Hartwell House’s two-AA-rosette-awarded Soane Dining Room, with views over the lawns to the south, is a wonderful place to enjoy a special lunch or dinner. Executive head chef Daniel Richardson places great emphasis on locally sourced and home-grown food, from Oxfordshire lamb and Aylesbury duckling, to fruit and vegetables from their own gardens and orchards. A wide range of dishes are on offer at both lunch and dinner. Tempting first courses include pan-seared scallops with compressed cucumber, squid ink crackers and citrus fennel, and goat’s cheese croquette with heritage beetroot salad, quinoa, apricot purée and caraway chocolate. Then perhaps indulge in Aylesbury duckling with celeriac purée, Thai shallots, baby vegetables, fondant potato and anise sauce or pan-fried sea bass, textures of fennel, potato and dill gnocchi served with dill oil and white wine fish sauce. If you have room for dessert, try the milk chocolate ganache, made with Valrhona chocolate, espresso gel, aerated white chocolate and praline ice cream, or lemon treacle slice paired with blackcurrant curd, poached apples and clotted cream ice cream. There is also an award-winning wine list to choose from, with something for all palates and tastes. Hartwell House is most famous for its traditional afternoon tea, which can be had in one of the three magnificent drawing rooms with views over the grounds. If you are looking to stay overnight, the hotel has 48 bedrooms and there are accommodation and dining offers throughout the year. In addition, there is a tranquil spa with an indoor pool, gym and treatment rooms in which to relax and unwind. Overlooking the pool is the Hartwell Café, offering all day dining with brunch, lunch and lighter snacks and refreshments. There is nowhere quite like Hartwell House for quality food, service and surroundings, and no visit to the Vale of Aylesbury is complete without a sumptuous meal or afternoon tea at this historic venue. *£45 represents the cost of two courses from the seasonal dinner menu; £51 represents the cost of three courses from the seasonal dinner menu.

NC

*

£45 to

£51

Soane Dining Room Open: Mon & Tues 7pm-9pm; Weds-Sun 12.30pm-1.45pm, 7pm-9pm Hartwell Café Open: Mon-Sun 9am-7pm

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The Restaurant at Sopwell House  Location Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 2HQ t: 0844 625 2042 w: www.sopwellhouse.co.uk e: enquiries@sopwellhouse.co.uk

SH

One glimpse at this Georgian country house and you know you’re in for a treat. The Restaurant at Sopwell House offers an à la carte and Sunday lunch menu devised by its expert kitchen (chef profile page 54) whose wealth of experience shows in its first-class presentation and cooking. Fresh, seasonal produce is crucial for Sopwell House, whose menu changes to mirror the seasons.

*

£45

We sampled canapés as we perused the menu before being treated to a delightful amuse-bouche of Parmesan custard with puffed rice and beetroot gel. To start I opted for confit guinea fowl with truffle mayonnaise. The robust flavour of the truffle complemented the subtle taste of the guinea fowl perfectly. My dining partner chose creamy foie gras with the texture of butter, tempered by tart blackberry chutney. My main course was a loin of Highland venison, which was perhaps the finest I’ve had; perfectly cooked to my taste and presented artfully Food Served: on the plate, it was as good as it gets. My partner went for pan-fried halibut, which Weds-Sat 7pm-9.30pm; she declared excellent. Desserts Sun 12.30pm-3pm were a salted honey cake and a selection of homemade ice cream, all of which were utterly scrumptious. The standard at The Restaurant is tip-top in decor, ambience and food; for a special celebratory meal you can’t do better than The Restaurant at Sopwell House. *Price represents the cost of two courses from the dinner menu and a drink. British

The Three Tuns  Location 6 High Street, Ashwell, Hertfordshire, SG7 5NL t: 0844 502 2958 w: www.threetunsashwell.com e: hello@threetunsashwell.com

NH

The Three Tuns is a quintessential Georgian inn residing in the stunning village of Ashwell. High ceilings, beautiful fireplaces and a cosy lounge-style bar area make for a comfortable and relaxed dining space, while the beautiful garden, patio and raised terrace is the place to be in warmer months.

£25 to

£30

‘...comfortable and relaxed dining space...’

Open: Mon-Sun noon-11pm Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat & Sun noon-11pm

Chef-patron Andy Hunt is the visionary behind the ever-changing seasonal menu, which boasts a host of flavoursome British classics and reinterpreted favourites. From prime-cut steaks and locally sourced fish, to delicious vegetarian and vegan options, you’re guaranteed to find a dish that will tantalise your tastebuds. To complement the food, there’s an extensive wine list, a range of cask ale and a spectacular selection of gin and premium spirits from around the globe. On Monday you can even bring your own bottle of wine with no corkage fee.

The inn caters for wedding receptions as well as smaller private functions including buffets, barbecues and hog roasts. The Three Tuns has three well-appointed letting bedrooms complete with double beds and en-suite facilities, so you can stay awhile and unwind. There’s also a private customer car park to the rear, making The Three Tuns the perfect en-route pit-stop. 12

Chilterns Guide 2019


The Greyhound

British

 Location Chesham Road, Wigginton, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 6EH t: 0844 625 7210 w: www.greyhoundtring.co.uk e: info@greyhoundtring.co.uk

WH

A friendly village pub, The Greyhound is full of character and charm, offering a warm welcome to all guests, whether you’re popping in for a pint, enjoying a hearty meal or staying the night.

£25 to

The menu here is packed full of classics given a modern twist by head chef Phil Waters. Dishes are seasonal, but diners can expect tasty options such as soup of the day and smoked salmon and prawn salad to start, while mains range from a locally sourced Cumberland sausage ring to pumpkin ravioli with sage butter. The burgers and grilled dishes are mouth-wateringly satisfying and the jacket potatoes and ciabattas are ideal if you’re looking for a light bite.

£35

‘...ideal for weekend explorers...’

The Greyhound’s rural location adjacent to the Chiltern Hills Area of Open: Outstanding Natural Beauty makes it popular with ramblers, and the rooms here Mon-Weds noon-11pm; are ideal for weekend explorers. Thurs-Sat noon-11.30pm; Choose from a family, double or Sun noon-10pm single suite – you can even bring Food Served: small, well-behaved pets to stay Mon-Sat noon-8.30pm; too. On Sundays, guests are also Sun noon-5pm offered a traditional Sunday roast. Choose your favourite meat to enjoy with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, seasonal vegetables and lashings of gravy.

The White Hart

British

 Location 2 Prospect Place, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 9EN t: 0844 502 3029 w: www.whitehartwelwyn.co.uk e: info@thewhitehartwelwyn.co.uk

SH Originally opened in 1681, The White Hart boasts a long history of welcoming guests – its location just north of London has long made it a popular stop off with travellers. Inside, the traditional decor, including the log-burning fire and the £23 to display of historic photographs, provides a reminder of the venue’s past, while £36 the contemporary menu and the refurbished rooms bring this charming pub into the 21st century. There is also a dining room called The Court Room, which can be used for all sorts of private functions, parties and events. The bar here is well stocked with something to tempt everyone. The carefully curated wine list is the star of the show, and the cocktails are perfect for an aperitif. Food is served here throughout the day: stop by for breakfast from 7am and choose from a Continental breakfast or a comforting cooked dish. Later on, the lunch and dinner menu is served and offers a range of light and hearty plates. The selection changes with the seasons but diners can expect dishes as varied as beer-battered halloumi and fries, and Food Served: Mon-Fri grilled sea trout fillet with bubble 7am-11am, noon-2.30pm, and squeak. The buns here regularly 6pm-9.30pm; Sat 8am-10am, prove popular with guests too, with noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; fillings ranging from soft-shell crab Sun 8am-10am, noon-7pm to gravy-dipped lamb and cheese. At the weekend, be sure to check out the Sunday set menu. There’s a choice of exquisite meat and all of the accompanying trimmings are cooked to perfection. Chilterns Guide 2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App British

The Tilbury  Location Watton Road, Datchworth, Hertfordshire, SG3 6TB t: 0844 502 2961 w: www.thetilbury.co.uk e: info@thetilbury.co.uk

EH

A family-run restaurant with a focus on great food and excellent hospitality, The Tilbury is a culinary haven. Since taking over, Tom and James Bainbridge have worked hard to create an award-winning restaurant that extends a genuine £26 to welcome to all of its guests. Whether you’re popping in for a drink or sampling the £36 six-course tasting menu, you’ll love the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Begin your meal by perusing the wine list, which showcases a wide array of varietals. The Tilbury wine selection has even won an AA Notable Wine List award. The bar is also known for its great selection of gin. Next, take your pick of the food menus. The à la carte offers great flexibility and an impressive array of dishes. The selection is seasonal, but mains typically include pub meals such as fish and chips and sirloin steak, as well as more inventive options like the beef rump, rare beef tartare, hash brown and calçot onions or John Dory, gypsy toast Open: Tues-Thurs and lobster butter, for example. noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Fri & Sat noon-2.30pm, On the set menu, dishes change 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-4pm regularly. In the past, the tomato and mozzarella salad starter, served with tomato sorbet, has proven particularly popular, as has the main of pork and curried lentils. Alternatively, the tasting menu – which is regularly refreshed – is ideal for special occasions and showcases classic British flavours in a new light. The jewel in Datchworth’s crown, The Tilbury is well worth seeking out whether you’re an in-the-know local or a travelling foodie in search of first-rate fare. Modern European

The Hare & Hounds

 Location Old Warden, Nr. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9HQ t: 0844 502 7679 w: www.hareandhoundsoldwarden.com e: info@hareandhoundsoldwarden.com If you’re looking for a venue offering a relaxing atmosphere and delicious food, with staff who provide service that is second to none, look no further than The £20 to Hare & Hounds in Old Warden. £25 If you fancy a nibble, plump for the grazing board alongside a cocktail; otherwise delve into an appetising starter such as braised pig cheeks with roasted pearl onions, celeriac purée, peppercorn sauce and crackling. The menu changes regularly, with produce sourced from the pub’s own allotment, or provided by local growers who trade their homegrown goods for vouchers. Popular mains include pan-fried chicken supreme with smoked potato and truffle broth garnished with charred gem lettuce and chorizo snow. Finally, for pudding, the chocolate fondant is deservedly popular, though the sticky Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream is also highly recommended. The menu Sun noon-10.30pm is reasonably priced and includes Food Served: Mon-Sat a set menu from Monday to noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Thursday, along with specials Sun noon-5pm throughout the week. To accompany your meal, The Hare & Hounds offers three regular ales on tap and a rotating selection of guest ales, in addition to over 30 hand-picked wines and a range of organic soft drinks. With a home-from-home ambience, The Hare & Hounds avoids stuffiness in favour of comfort and an amiable atmosphere. CB

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Chilterns Guide 2019


The Golden Fleece

Modern European

 Location 20 Green End, Braughing, Nr. Ware, Hertfordshire, SG11 2PG t: 0844 502 8286 w: www.goldenfleecebraughing.co.uk EH e: pub@goldenfleecebraughing.co.uk You’ll find the award-winning pub and dining rooms, The Golden Fleece, in the picturesque village of Braughing. This renovated 17th-century inn and free house is £19 to the perfect place to enjoy a pint of ale by the roaring log fire, or a glass of chilled wine £35 on the terrace in warmer months, while the children explore the outside play area. The team at the Golden Fleece prides themselves on serving consistently good, healthy, modern European food all year round. As recent winner of Hertfordshire Life’s Pub of the Year and Family Dining Pub of the Year and a finalist in Herts Tourism Awards for Tourism Pub of the Year, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest quality food. Head chef Jess and her team strive to keep the menu fresh Open: and exciting, changing it monthly, without forgetting to include the firm favourites. Mon-Thurs 11.45am-3.30pm, Locally sourced seasonal produce is utilised wherever possible and there’s an 5.30pm-11pm; ample selection of dishes for those with dietary requirements. Featuring in The Fri 11.45am-3.30pm, Michelin Guide, The Golden Fleece’s 5pm-midnight; Sunday roasts are always popular Sat 11.45am-midnight; and there’s a sumptuous nut roast Sun noon-10.30pm for vegetarians. All menus, local activities and special events, including The Fleece’s popular tapas night on the last Wednesday of the month, can be found on the website and social media pages. Whether you’re dropping by for a drink or staying to enjoy a bite to eat, you’re guaranteed to receive a warm welcome at The Golden Fleece.

The King’s Head

Modern European

 Location Station Road, Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire, LU7 9EB t: 0844 502 7085 w: www.kingsheadivinghoe.co.uk NC e: reservations@kingsheadivinghoe.co.uk The King’s Head has it all – it’s a 16th-century building set alongside the village green and opposite the parish church, and it boasts fantastic food and service, as £25 to well as an impressive wine list. The restaurant is adorned with welcoming greenery £55 on the outside and original artwork and luxurious seating inside. Having enjoyed pre-dinner canapés of fromage blanc, red onion confit and crostinis in the bar, we were led to the dining room by the maitre d’, one of the proprietors, Georges de Maison. The chef de cuisine, Jonathan O’Keeffe (another of the proprietors), has created a nicely balanced menu using local produce wherever possible. We were both tempted by the house speciality of roasted Aylesbury Open: Mon-Sat noon-2.15pm duckling for two. However, in the end, I chose the roasted saddle of venison with (last orders), 7pm-9.15pm (last venison croustillant, glazed hispi cabbage, caramelised pear and juniper jus, while orders); Sun noon-2.30pm my partner savoured roasted loin and braised leg of English lamb accompanied by (last orders) caramelised shallot, artichoke purée, roasted cocottes and red wine jus. We were then tempted by the crêpes Suzette and the array of French and English cheeses, but eventually picked The King’s Head caramelised apple tarte Tatin for two with caramel ice cream – dangerous for the waistline but utterly delicious. The Bon Appetit luncheon menu (available from Monday to Saturday) offers great value at £25.95 for three courses, and a traditional Sunday roast luncheon costs £39.95. A beautiful banqueting suite provides the perfect setting for private celebrations of up to 40 guests. Chilterns Guide 2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Modern European

Tudors Restaurant & Bar  Location The White Hart Hotel, 23-25 Holywell Hill, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 1EZ t: 0844 502 7533 w: www.whiteharthotelstalbans.co.uk e: whiteharthotel@msn.com

SH £25 to

£40

Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-9pm (last orders)

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Chilterns Guide 2019

The White Hart Hotel, a 15th-century timber-framed coaching inn in the heart of St Albans, boasts a long and colourful history. With many of its original features still intact – carefully and lovingly preserved over the years – this establishment is rich in character and abundant in charm. Housed within the hotel is Tudors Restaurant & Bar. Old documents and drawings adorn the oak-panelled walls, floor-length curtains frame the leaded windows and the grand brick fireplace is stunning. Evening diners will be welcomed into a candlelit dining room that boasts wall lamps, cast-iron chandeliers and a warming fire in the colder months – dining rooms don’t come much more atmospheric than this. Tradition and elegance are also evident on the bill of fare. The menu features a host of modern British and Mediterranean dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Dishes change with the seasons, so a winter menu might start with the likes of braised British short ribs with jalapeño and spring onion salad, or maybe you’d prefer the impressive fish board comprising smoked trout, prawns, horseradish and pickled beetroot salad. Special marinated grilled pork belly with red cabbage and pears makes for a hearty main, while the seafood linguine comes with a generous helping of mussels, prawns and squid, along with cherry tomatoes in a white wine sauce. Dishes like this expertly showcase fresh, wholesome and beautifully cooked ingredients, as do the range of freshly prepared pasta dishes and pizzas with dough made daily in-house. Desserts include passion fruit crème brûlée, Baileys cheesecake, and sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and ice cream. What’s more, every Sunday there’s a fabulous Sunday carvery that includes succulent rib of beef and two other options – usually free-range local pork and either lamb or turkey, depending on the season. Make sure you book ahead, as this roast dinner is understandably very popular. The grand, historic setting, combined with polished service and well-executed food, makes this the ideal venue for any occasion. If you really want to make yourself comfortable, why not settle in for the night in one of the 15 unique guest rooms? With its central location opposite the famous St Albans Cathedral, this is the ideal base from which to explore the city.


The Nags Head

Modern European

 Location London Road, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0DG t: 0844 502 7153 w: www.nagsheadbucks.com e: goodfood@nagsheadbucks.com Take one look at this restaurant’s menu and you’ll know immediately that you’re in for a pretty special meal. Starters such as fresh Cornish crab with home-smoked salmon and chive cream, poached egg cocotte with asparagus and Stilton cream, and ham hock rillette with homemade piccalilli banish any thoughts you had of going straight to the main course. Impatience is understandable though, as mains include the likes of venison fillet with pheasant caillette and Cumberland jus, and poached wild cod with braised Savoy cabbage and a parsley marinière sauce. With such a menu, The Nags Head’s AA rosette for culinary excellence hardly comes as a surprise. Similarly, with its idyllic setting, rustic 15th-century interior and cosy guest rooms, titles of Food Pub of the Year and Accommodation Pub of the Year, as well as a place in Countryfile magazine’s ‘top 55 cosiest country pubs in Britain’, are all well earned.

SB £25 to

£42

Food Served: Mon-Sat 8am-10am, noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sun 8am-10am, noon-7pm (Sunday lunch)

The Bricklayers Arms

Modern European

 Location Hogpits Bottom, Flaunden, Hertfordshire, HP3 0PH t: 0844 502 7162 w: www.bricklayersarms.com e: goodfood@bricklayersarms.com The Bricklayers Arms is a culinary oasis set in an expanse of beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. After a tentative double take, hungry walkers are pleased to find that this gorgeous pub is not, in fact, a mirage, and they have actually hit upon one of the finest restaurants for miles. The Bricklayers Arms is currently The Good Pub Guide’s Hertfordshire Dining Pub of the Year and has an AA rosette to its name. Secreted down an unassuming country road, this inviting, ivy-covered 18th-century pub is a popular spot for those in the know, and equally worth visiting for a leisurely pint as it is for a three-course meal. Opt for the latter and you can look forward to the likes of chicken, bacon and walnut terrine, and pan-fried Cornish king scallops with celeriac purée and dry pancetta to start, and ox cheek slow cooked in ale and honey to follow. The Bricklayers Arms’ award-winning head chef, Claude Paillet, crafts beautiful seasonal menus, and he and the team smoke all fish and meat in-house.

WH £25 to

£42

Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-7pm (Sunday lunch)

Bistro Gautier

French

 Location The Amble Inn, 182 Station Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4UL t: 0844 625 2420 w: www.bistro-gautier.co.uk e: info@bistro-gautier.co.uk Just across from Batford Springs nature reserve you’ll find Bistro Gautier, a lovely family-run French bistro housed within The Amble Inn. In summer, the large beer garden is a haven for families and dog-walkers who stop by to relax with fantastic food and drink, whether it’s time for brunch, lunch or dinner. The welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by the friendly staff who make guests feel truly at ease, while the consistently excellent food turns new visitors into regulars. The menu changes with the seasons and might feature starters such as oeufs en meurette, a French classic comprising chicken livers cooked in a rich red wine sauce with bacon, leeks and poached eggs. Follow with seared venison haunch steak with blackberry sauce and boulangère potatoes, and finish with a sumptuous dessert of classic profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce.

SH £21 to

£32

Food Served: Mon noon-4.30pm, 6pm-10pm; Tues-Fri 10.30am-4.30pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat 10am-4.30pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun 10am-4.30pm Chilterns Guide 2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Tapas

El Bar De Tapas  Location 5a Middle Row, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 3AN t: 0844 625 2292 w: www.elbardetapas.com e: hola@elbardetapas.com

NH

Tucked away in Stevenage Old Town you’ll find El Bar De Tapas, a cosy, authentic Spanish kitchen and bar. Upon stepping inside this charming establishment you’re transported to the sort of authentic, family-run tapas restaurants found in £15 to the back streets of Spain’s traditional towns and villages. This typically Spanish £20 atmosphere is enhanced by the interior – think exposed stone, rustic paintwork, Moroccan tiling and a warm colour palette. There’s also an outside seating area so you can take advantage of fair weather. Everything on the regularly changing menu is crafted from sustainably sourced, seasonal produce and served in traditional Spanish tableware. Friendly, attentive staff are on-hand with recommendations, and to explain the more unusual menu items. With plenty of options for meat-eaters, seafood-lovers and vegetarians alike, there’s sure to be plenty of dishes that take your fancy. The succulent Open: Tues-Sat 9am-3pm, pork cheeks slowly roasted in white wine, onions and regional herbs come highly 6pm-11pm; Sun 9am-8pm recommended. Other dishes that are sure to delight the palate include handmade croquettes of cod or Iberico ham, traditional calamari with homemade aioli that’s prepared fresh every day, and sustainably sourced North Atlantic prawns cooked in chilli and garlic and served in a sizzling cast-iron pan. The exceptional quality of the food is even more impressive considering the reasonable prices. Potable options include a range of tasty cocktails as well as their famous Sangria. Add to the mix delicious breakfasts, live music and paella nights and you’ve got a great spot for all occasions. ides eded kgu e drin ers n food graph to o h P

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Chilterns Guide 2019

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The Brasserie at Sopwell House

Brasserie

 Location Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 2HQ t: 0844 625 2042 w: www.sopwellhouse.co.uk e: enquiries@sopwellhouse.co.uk

SH

Situated within the magnificent Sopwell House and boasting views across the manicured gardens, The Brasserie offers an impressive menu with a selection of dishes ‘from the fire’ which are cooked in a Mibrasa charcoal oven, alongside salads, burgers and plenty more besides. The dining area is light and airy with a modern feel and vibrant atmosphere, which is enhanced by the open-plan kitchen where you can see your food being prepared.

£20 to

£40

When we visited, the restaurant was bustling, indicating that locals regard it as a great place to enjoy expertly prepared food in informal surrounds. I started with well-presented, freshly prepared gravadlax in lemon and mustard marinade, while my partner opted for a classic prawn cocktail, full of juicy prawns and enhanced with mango. We followed with the house burger and Food Served: rib-eye steak. These meats, grilled on an open fire, were succulent, flavoursome, Mon-Fri 6.30am-10am, tender and altogether delicious. 12.30pm-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm; They were served with the usual Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays accompaniments, and the portions 8am-11am, 12.30pm-3.30pm, were generous. A pistachio crème 6.30pm-10pm brûlée with almond biscotti and tiramisu topped with crushed Amaretti finished off the meal perfectly. For a sumptuous meal in an awe-inspiring venue, look no further than The Brasserie at Sopwell House.

Adam’s Brasserie at Luton Hoo Hotel

Brasserie

 Location Luton Hoo Hotel, The Country Club, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3TQ t: 0844 502 3038 w: www.lutonhoo.co.uk e: reservations@lutonhoo.co.uk

CB There aren’t many establishments in which you might find yourself dining in the company of Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Grant, but Adam’s Brasserie is one such place. Guests are invited to dine under the gaze of stars who have £28 to appeared in films shot on location at Luton Hoo. This fantastic restaurant has £40 been awarded an AA rosette for the eighth year running. Housed in the original coach house and stable complex designed by famous 18th-century architect Robert Adam, Adam’s Brasserie offers a relaxed atmosphere coupled with an excellent menu featuring stylish, contemporary dishes and familiar favourites made from seasonal and local produce. Overlooking the stable courtyard, guests can choose between cosy booths with leather banquettes and smart tables that are ideal for couples, families and business colleagues, as well as golfers who have enjoyed a round on Luton Hoo’s adjoining parkland course. The brasserie menu changes seasonally, but you Open: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, can expect innovative starters 6pm-9.30pm; such as Stilton and spiced red Sat 12.30pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm; wine-poached pear salad and Sun 12.30pm-3pm, torched Brixham mackerel. Follow 6pm-9.30pm with the likes of braised beef cheek, seared Loch Duart salmon, braised venison shoulder or whole plaice on the bone. Needless to say, there are also plenty of tempting desserts such as warm date and banana sponge with butterscotch sauce and banana cream, and baked vanilla cheesecake with morello cherry compote and roasted pistachio ice cream. Chilterns Guide 2019

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Browns Brasserie & Bar

Brasserie

 Location 300 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 2EA t: 0844 625 2125 w: www.browns-restaurants.co.uk MK e: browns.miltonkeynes@mbplc.com Just a five-minute drive from the shops and activities at The Centre:MK and Xscape, Browns Brasserie & Bar provides a welcoming place in which to unwind, £21 t0 away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The stylish and enticing interior attracts £40 flocks of foodies through the doors, as does its formidable reputation gained from the excellent quality on offer at its many other venues across the country. Whether you’re an early riser after a bumper breakfast, a social butterfly searching for the perfect spot for brunch, or you just love a delicious evening meal with great company, the delightfully attentive and knowledgeable team at Browns has all bases covered. Kick-start your day with one of the vegan-friendly smoothies Open: Mon-Thurs 9am-11pm; such as mango, pineapple and passion fruit. If your tastes are more traditional, Fri & Sat 9am-midnight; the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or eggs Florentine are sure to provide Sun 9am-10.30am enticing alternatives. A bountiful main menu offers options to suit every palate. Food Served: Award-winning fillet steaks, Mon-Thurs 9am-10pm; slow-cooked salted pork belly, and seasonal mushroom tagliatelle are Fri & Sat 9am-11pm; just three options, with a dedicated Sun 9am-9.30pm gluten-free menu available for those with intolerances. Sweet-toothed friends are amply catered for with the likes of caramelised lemon tart with blueberry Eton Mess, and salted caramel profiteroles. With exquisite afternoon teas and expertly crafted cocktails available all week long, Browns is an indisputable favourite for every occasion.

Donatello’s

Italian

 Location 91 Dunstable Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2NG t: 01525 404666 CB  Location 204 High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 1AU t: 01582 475797 w: www.donatellospizzeria.co.uk Celebrating 38 years in business, and founded by Mamma Antonia, Donatello’s is £20 to now run by one of her four sons and continues to serve authentic homemade Italian £30 cuisine. The welcoming ambience and traditional decor give Donatello’s the feel of a laid-back pizzeria. Mamma Antonia started out making pizzas and these remain firm favourites, along with Italian classics such as pasta carbonara and spaghetti Bolognese. There is a large selection of tasty pizza, pasta and salad dishes as well as vegetarian and vegan options. You might start your meal with bread and olives, accompany it with a glass of Italian wine or beer, indulge your sweet-tooth with one of Ampthill Open: the delicious dolci (desserts) and finish with a shot of amaro or a punchy Italian coffee. Mon 6pm-9pm; Tues-Thurs noon-2pm, The Ampthill restaurant scooped the Independent Pizza Restaurant Gold Award at 6pm-10pm; Fri noon-2pm, the PAPA Industry Awards 2016, and head chef Michael was a finalist for Keck Short 6pm-11pm; Sat 6pm-11pm Cut Pasta Chef of the Year at the Dunstable Open: 2017 PAPA Awards. Donatello’s was Sun-Thurs 6pm-10pm; also shortlisted for the English Italian Fri & Sat 6pm-11pm Awards’ Best Team 2017. In 2018 Donatello’s were finalists for the English Italian Awards’ Pizza Chef of the Year, and PAPA’s Pasta Chef of the Year. Home delivery is available on Friday and Saturday between 6pm and 10pm from the Dunstable branch, and takeaway can be ordered for collection from both restaurants during opening hours. Donatello’s can also create gluten-free dishes on request. Chilterns Guide 2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App

Italian

Lucca Restaurant  Location 20 High Street, Wendover, Buckinghamshire, HP22 6EA t: 0844 502 2983 w: www.luccarestaurant.co.uk e: info@luccarestaurant.co.uk

NC

Set in the heart of Wendover, Lucca Restaurant can be found on the market town’s charming High Street, just a stone’s throw from the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its central location makes this restaurant popular with locals – who return time and time again for the great food and excellent service – as well as with visitors exploring the local area. Upon entering, take a moment to admire the interior. The tasteful decor is both modern and cosy, and it plays an important part in creating the welcoming atmosphere that’s so highly praised by diners.

£17 to

£31

Take a seat and begin by ordering a drink. The bar boasts an enviable selection of beer and ale as well as fine wine from all over the world. The range of cocktails is equally comprehensive, including everything from an Espresso Martini to a classic Mojito. The food here emphasises modern Italian cuisine and the chefs at Lucca pride themselves on catering for a variety of palates and dietary requirements. Antipasti plates provide the perfect way to start your meal and there’s a range of simple and elaborate dishes available, including garlic focaccia, deep-fried squid, pickled herring salad and succulent pan-fried pigeon with burnt orange purée. When deciding on your next dish, you’ll be spoilt for choice by the huge selection of mains and pizzas. The beef and pork meatballs with linguine is an Italian classic, as is the creamy carbonara, while the Lucca burger is hearty and satisfying and the red cabbage risotto with goat’s cheese offers a mouth-watering vegetarian option. If you’re a pizza-lover, the traditional Margherita is exquisite, and the range of refreshing salads offers plenty of lighter choices.

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-late; Sun noon-3pm

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Chilterns Guide 2019

For vegans, there’s a whole menu packed with tasty treats including a vegan burger and aubergine linguine. For dessert, vegans are also offered a rich dark chocolate and couscous cake or a vegan brownie, while the à la carte menu includes a traditional tiramisu, banana Eton Mess – an inventive twist on the classic – and gelato. For kids, there’s also a dedicated children’s menu, which provides an introduction to modern Italian food with manageable portions.


Dolce Caffé & Restaurant

Mediterranean

 Location 16 Moneyhill Parade, Uxbridge Road, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 7BE t: 0844 502 3526 w: www.dolcecaffe.co.uk e: info@dolcecaffe.co.uk

SH Set on the edge of Colne Valley Regional Park, you’ll find Dolce Caffé & Restaurant in the small town of Rickmansworth. This charming venue has everything you could ask for: great food, a varied drinks list and outstanding £18 to service – it’s even been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. £39 A café by day and restaurant by night, Dolce Caffé & Restaurant offers the best of both worlds. Food is served throughout the day so why not stop by for a delicious breakfast? To satisfy your sweet-tooth there’s waffles and French toast, and to assuage your hunger there’s a large selection of hearty cooked breakfasts. Lunchtime diners are offered a menu of freshly made wraps, panini, sandwiches and salads, as well as juicy grilled steaks and burgers. Every other Friday evening diners flock from far and wide for Dolce’s fish night. With a fine choice of scallops, Devon crab, oysters and black tiger prawns to start, and more than 20 different fish Open: grilled on an open fire with garlic Mon-Sat 8am-10pm; and lemon butter available for Sun 10am-6pm mains, you can see why fish night is so popular. Popping by in the evening? You’ll be spoilt for choice by the à la carte menu. Begin with an aperitif cocktail before perusing the list of mouth-watering mains. The venison Bourguignon is a revelation of perfectly balanced, rich flavours, while the lobster tortelloni is indulgent and luxurious. Before leaving be sure to check the cake counter for an array of desserts, or opt for a classic cheeseboard.

Anastasias Greek Restaurant

Greek

 Location 97 St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3EN t: 0844 502 3374 w: www.anastasiasrestaurant.co.uk SH Anastasias is a family-run restaurant that has been a highlight of the St Albans dining scene since opening in 1974. The neat little shopfront gives way to a restaurant that caters for more than 250 customers over weekends. £24 to During the week you will be served by the family and welcomed into a relaxed £30 and friendly environment, showing you true Greek hospitality. Peruse the menu with its extensive list of home-cooked foods. To enjoy all the exciting flavours Greece has to offer, try the meze: 18 individual dishes of houmous, tzatziki, taramasalata, dolmades, spanakopita, halloumi and more. For your main course, why not opt for a Greek classic? The lamb kleftiko and beef stifado are both mouth-wateringly tender, whilst the giant prawns and swordfish – grilled over real charcoal – are bursting with flavour. Come the weekend, you will experience something different and entirely unique Open: to the rest of St Albans. A fun and exciting evening includes a celebration menu, Tues-Thurs 6pm-10pm; Greek and belly dancing, plate Fri & Sat 6pm-1am; smashing, a DJ, photographer Sun noon-7pm and a late licence until 1am. Anastasias also has a private function room, holding 80 guests and catering for weddings, christenings, private events. This is what Anastasias is really all about; it’s a cosy Greek restaurant during the week and a performance and events venue where everyone can celebrate at the weekend. Chilterns Guide 2019

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The Grill Steakhouse  Location 31-33 Kingsbury, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 2JA t: 0844 502 8281 w: www.thegrillaylesbury.com e: thegrillaylesbury@hotmail.co.uk Diners flock from far and wide to visit this hidden gem and it’s easy to see why. Primarily a steakhouse, The Grill offers phenomenal cuts of meat and so much more. Far from a run-of-the-mill steakhouse chain, The Grill serves first-class food and drink in relaxed, stylish surrounds with impeccable service to boot.

NC £30 to

£45

The chef and owner – in partnership with a local farmer – rears his own cows and ensures that they are ethically slaughtered nearby. All of the steaks are hung for at least 28 days, before being basted in the restaurant’s secret-recipe sweet, smoky glaze. The result is a juicy, succulent and flavoursome cut of meat – certainly the best I’ve ever tasted. Our meal started with an exceptionally tasty amuse-bouche brought to our table by the chef (chef profile page 55), comprising sliced cap of beef rib-eye dry cured for 30 days, marinated in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and packed with salt and spices. This inventive morsel is typical of the chef, whose curiosity means he’s continually searching out new ideas and creations. The amusebouche set the bar high, but was matched by our starters. I sampled spicy lamb cutlets, which were complemented by a cooling mint dressing, while my partner opted for grilled lobster tail slathered in sumptuous garlic and lemon butter. For our main courses, we couldn’t resist sampling the steaks on offer, though there are plenty of other tempting options available, from fresh seafood and salads with flame-grilled meats to vegetarian offerings like the halloumi and mushroom burger. I ordered a medium-rare fillet steak, and the thick, mouth-wateringly tender cut that arrived was cooked perfectly. My partner plumped for a rib-eye, which was cooked just as expertly and was equally delicious. Both were served with chunky chips and salad, and a dressing of our choice. To round off proceedings we shared a delightful honeycomb cheesecake. Open: Mon-Fri 5pm-11pm; Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-9pm

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For a delicious, well-priced meal, excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better destination than The Grill – it’s well worth seeking out. Be sure to keep an eye out for this restaurant as The Grill Steakhouse will be upscaling and moving to a brand-new location; please visit the website for the latest information.


The Bushel & Strike

Gastropub

 Location 15 Mill Street, Ashwell, Hertfordshire, SG7 5LY t: 0844 502 3071 w: www.bushelandstrike.co.uk e: info@bushelandstrike.co.uk Set in the village of Ashwell opposite the local church, The Bushel & Strike has garnered an outstanding reputation in the local area and earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Whether you’re lunching with friends, celebrating a special occasion, or planning a romantic date night, Bushel & Strike provides a welcoming environment and a fantastic menu of delicious barbecued delights. The Bushel & Strike is no ordinary pub when it comes to the food, as it’s the only pub in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire that has two Big Green Egg barbecues in the kitchen, with the chefs cooking everything over coal. There is also a bespoke Asado outside so diners can enjoy their favourite barbecue-style food year round. Large windows and whitewashed walls create a light and airy space, whilst the exposed beams highlight the history of the building. Outside, there’s a spacious beer garden, where guests can bask in the sun all day long. You can also use the outside decking for private parties, which come with one of the kitchen’s top chefs and a barbecue. The food is all freshly made to order and crafted with local ingredients – even the meat comes from nearby butcher Trussel’s. The meat, fish and even elements of the desserts are cooked over coal to give each dish an incredibly unique smoky flavour. Begin by perusing the chef’s selection of small plates and starters. The chapa-cooked whole squid is a firm favourite and the goat’s cheese panna cotta with beetroot salad is creamy and refreshing. For the main course treat yourself to the pure bred, 34-day dry-aged Aberdeen Angus steak served with sautéed mushrooms, confit tomato, skin-on chips and your choice of sauce. The barbecue baby back ribs are the most popular dish; the ribs are slow cooked for six hours and covered in a secret sauce, making them mouth-wateringly tender. On Sunday, you must try the delicious roast cooked over coal. Begin with a special homemade Scotch egg, before tucking into the main course. You’ll find wooden boards laden with bountiful portions of chicken, beef or pork accompanied by all the trimmings – perfect for sharing with family and friends. Vegetarians and pescatarians are also well catered for with exciting weekly changing dishes guaranteed to satisfy. What’s more, the pub is open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. From 10am you can enjoy spectacular barbecued dishes alongside a top-notch Prosecco Mimosa or Bloody Mary.

NH £17 to

£25

Food Served: Tues-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 10am-6pm

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Gastropub

The Crown  Location Ley Hill, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, HP5 1UY t: 0844 625 0032 w: www.thecrownleyhill.co.uk e: info@thecrownleyhill.co.uk

SB

Located on the edge of Ley Hill’s village green in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside, The Crown is a popular haunt for locals, as well as an enticing stopping point for those passing through the area. A log fire gives a warm £20 to welcome to all who enter, as does the team, lead by Rob Deller-Hoy, who has £30 been the landlord for the last 18 months. The Crown is renowned for serving fresh and locally sourced homemade food. The menu is designed to focus on good quality and the extensive range of burgers available is very impressive. Sharing boards, small plates and sandwiches complement an eclectic selection of mains. On this occasion, I chose tasty farmhouse vegetable soup with rustic bread, while my partner opted for the garlic field mushrooms on a toasted bagel. Chicken breast, smoked bacon and mushroom carbonara with Parmesan shavings followed for our mains along with The Crown’s latest burger named Ye Olde Fisc Burger, comprising a beautifully Open: cooked fillet of hake topped with Mon-Sun noon-midnight prawns in Marie Rose sauce, Food Served: served with a side of chunky chips, Mon-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; it was absolutely scrumptious. Sun noon-6pm Our meal was brought to an end with a delectable homemade crème brûlée and sticky toffee pudding. A well-stocked bar including guest ales and traditional still ciders, fine wines, excellent food and a calendar full of events makes The Crown a great place to while away an evening. Gastropub

The Prae Wood Arms  Location Garden House Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 6JZ t: 0844 502 0192 w: www.praewoodarms.co.uk e: praewoodarms@brunningandprice.co.uk

SH

Located in the heart of the countryside just outside St Albans, you’ll find The Prae Wood Arms. This charming country pub is a great spot for all manner of occasions, whether you’re celebrating a special event or enjoying an intimate dinner à deux. For al fresco dining you’ll find no setting more gorgeous than The Prae Wood Arms. The stone terrace overlooks immaculate lawns that gently slope down towards the River Ver at the bottom of the garden; it’s the ideal place to enjoy the warm summer sun with a refreshing drink or tasty meal.

£18 to

£34

The menu changes daily and features a host of tempting options. You might start with the likes of crisp vegetable tempura with sweet chilli sauce, or perhaps a flavoursome charcuterie board comprising chicken liver parfait, cured meats, pickles, olives and granary toast. Main courses could include sumptuous meat Open: dishes like braised shoulder of lamb served with Dauphinoise potatoes, carrot Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm; mash and rosemary gravy, or Sun 11.30am-10.30pm delicious seafood options such Food Served: as Sicilian fish stew made with Mon-Thurs noon-9.30pm; red mullet, king prawns, mussels, Fri & Sat noon-10pm; cod and baby squid, accompanied Sun noon-9pm by saffron aioli. There are also satisfying vegetarian offerings available. To finish the meal on a sweet note, the delightful array of desserts are sure to please.

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Chilterns Guide 2019


The White Horse

Gastropub

 Location 30 Mill Lane, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 9ET t: 0844 625 2176 w: www.thewhitehorse-welwyn.co.uk e: gina@thewhitehorse-welwyn.co.uk

SH

With a white-washed exterior and hanging baskets filled with flowers, The White Horse in Welwyn is a quintessentially English establishment. The decor stays true to typical country pub styling with solid wood tables and chairs, wooden dressers and aged wood flooring. An intriguing display of jars and hops allow visitors to sample the aromas of the cask ale on offer, so seasoned beer enthusiasts can select an offering that best suits their tastes.

£18 to

£35

I began my meal with caramelised red onion and blue cheese tart, while my partner had honey and garlic chicken wings served with cumin and coconut yoghurt. The flavour of both dishes was spectacular and the portion size plentiful. For our main courses we opted for beef shin, pearl onion and mushroom pie, and pan-fried sea bass. The former was unashamedly hearty and wholesome, while the latter was Food Served: a taste sensation, as it was accompanied by pea and broad bean crushed new Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, potatoes, clams and lemon sauce. 6pm-9.30pm; Peanut butter crème brûlée polished Sat noon-9.30pm; off a fantastic meal and was served Sun noon-4.30pm with peanut brittle and caramelised banana. With al fresco dining available, an ever-popular steak night on Wednesdays and a whole host of other exciting events, it’s no surprise that The White Horse is so favoured with Welwyn locals – first-time visitors here tend to become regulars.

The Rusty Gun

Gastropub

 Location London Road, St Ippolyts, Hertfordshire, SG4 7PG t: 0844 502 7104 w: www.therustygun.co.uk e: info@therustygun.co.uk

NH At The Rusty Gun, the focus is very much on the food. The head chef uses local ingredients where possible in his seasonally changing restaurant menu, and many of the ingredients and accompaniments are available to buy in the £15 to pub’s shop. As well as being a destination for sophisticated evening dining, £28 The Rusty Gun is the perfect place for a spot of lunch after a country walk and offers a weekday Let’s Do Lunch menu with two courses for £11.95 or three for £14.95. This features hearty pub classics such as sausage and mash and a pulled pork bap, both made using meat reared on-site. Monday is rib night, Tuesday is award-winning pie night and Wednesday is steak night, all starting at 6pm. Booking is recommended for these and for The Rusty Gun’s hugely popular Sunday roast, which offers a choice of meat, including Rusty Gun pork or gammon, served with a wonderful array of veg. A select offering of draught beers includes Rusty Gun bitter – specially made by Pub Open: the adjacent Old Cannon Brewery Mon-Sun noon-11pm – complemented by a wide choice Food Served: of New World wine available by Mon-Sat noon-9pm; the glass or bottle. In the colder Sun noon-7pm months, food and drink can be Shop Open: enjoyed by the warmth of the open Mon-Sun noon-late fire surrounded by cosy sheepskins, while in more clement weather it’s a pleasure to eat outdoors in the spacious garden with its attractive pergola. Chilterns Guide 2019

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Bar & Restaurant

The Navigation Inn  Location Thrupp Wharf, Station Road, Cosgrove, Buckinghamshire, MK19 7BE t: 0844 625 2605 w: www.thenavigationcosgrove.co.uk e: navigation@oakmaninns.co.uk

MK £17 to

£38

Open: Mon-Sun 8am-midnight Food Served: Mon-Sat 8am-10pm; Sun 8am-9pm

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Chilterns Guide 2019

The Navigation Inn is located on the banks of the Grand Union Canal near the village of Cosgrove, just a short drive from Milton Keynes. Known locally as The Navi, this stylish, family-friendly pub dates back to 1822 when it was built as part of what was effectively a canalside service station. Boasting a choice of comfortable seating both inside and out, and spectacular views of the canal and the surrounding countryside, The Navigation Inn is a destination pub that’s worth seeking out at any time of year. On a crisp winter’s morning the picturesque views are best enjoyed from the comfort and warmth of the restaurant with a delicious breakfast and newspaper. When the weather gets warmer, head outside to the terrace and you’ll find that there’s no better place from which to watch the breathtaking sunset across the canal whilst sipping a tasty cocktail with friends. Thanks to a crowd-pleasing menu that changes throughout the day, you’re sure to find a suitable offering no matter when you call in. Start the day right with a hearty breakfast or brunch – the toasted Belgian waffle served with smoked bacon and lashings of maple syrup is understandably popular. Lunch options see the likes of Italian puccia bread sandwiches filled with a selection of tempting options, including grilled chicken and rocket with kale and pumpkin seed pesto. In the evening you’ll find a range of lighter bites, pasta dishes and salads alongside a superb choice of à la carte meals from a menu that exclusively uses British meat, poultry and free-range eggs, responsibly sourced fish and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Thanks to an open, theatre-style kitchen, guests can watch their order being freshly prepared in front of them. The mouth-watering aroma of hand-crafted Neapolitan pizzas baking in the traditional wood-burning oven mingles with those of fresh ingredients being grilled over charcoal, to bring the flavours of Venice’s Grand Canal to the Grand Union Canal at Cosgrove. Parties of 20 to 40 people can enjoy private use of The Wardroom, which overlooks the canal and has its own kitchen, bar and private outdoor terrace. No matter what your reason for visiting, the attentive staff and cordial atmosphere will ensure your visit is memorable for all the right reasons.


Crowne Plaza Marlow

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Fieldhouse Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1GJ t: 0844 625 2231 w: www.cpmarlow.co.uk/dine e: enquiries@cpmarlow.co.uk

SB

Occupying an idyllic lakeside location set amidst five acres of picturesque countryside, you’ll find Crowne Plaza, a luxury hotel boasting a host of attractions. Conveniently situated within easy reach of nearby motorways and Heathrow airport, as well as charming towns such as Maidenhead and Henley-on-Thames, the hotel is ideally suited to all manner of events – from business conferences to family celebrations and weddings.

£30 to

£40

Visitors and hotel guests alike are welcome to enjoy the excellent dining options available. Open for breakfast through to dinner, Glaze restaurant serves exceptional British cuisine as well as beautifully authentic Indian dishes cooked by specialist chefs in an unbeatable atmosphere. There is a delicious daily Indian menu in addition to the Glaze restaurant menu, which changes with the Open: seasons and features fresh, locally sourced produce cooked to perfection. Mon-Fri 6.30am-10am, Tempting starters could include the likes of king scallops, pea and sage purée and noon-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm; pancetta crisp. Pan-roasted local Sat & Sun 7am-11am, venison cooked medium rare served noon-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm with duck fat confit potatoes and braised Savoy cabbage with bacon, or fillet steak with triple cooked chips. Those looking for a casual bite to eat can head to the Aqua Bar & Conservatory, which serves food throughout the day as well as delicious tipples from coffee to cocktails. For an indulgent treat, sample afternoon tea in the tranquil Conservatory, with stunning lake views.

Black Horse

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Aylesbury Road, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 9AX t: 0844 502 2697 w: www.blackhorsegreatmissenden.com e: info@blackhorsegreatmissenden.com

SB

A warm welcome, attentive service and delicious food await you at the Black Horse. This refurbished pub has everything you’d expect to find in a quintessential English watering hole. You’re invited to sit back and relax in cosy armchairs by the open fire in the cooler months, and when the sun is shining you can enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple in the beautiful outside seating area.

£24 to

£35

The menu is full of scrumptious dishes. Treacle- and juniper-glazed smoked salmon with citrus mayonnaise and herb crispbread, and bubble and squeak with smoked bacon, poached egg and Hollandaise are among the tempting starters on offer. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try the sesame- and panko-crumbed chicken wings with homemade kimchi and sweet chilli sauce? They’re crispy, spicy and incredibly moreish.

Food Served: For a classic British main, opt for Tues-Sat noon-2.30pm, the beer-battered haddock with 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-4pm tartare sauce, crushed minted peas and hand-cut chips – perfect for a midweek treat. The cider-braised pork belly with Dauphinoise potatoes, sautéed curly kale and cider jus is warming comfort food at its best. The Black Horse can also be booked for private events. From relaxed business lunches to drinks receptions, the team can tailor menus to suit your needs and dietary requirements. Chilterns Guide 2019

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You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App

Bar & Restaurant

The White Hart  Location 125 Dunstable Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2NG t: 0844 625 2603 w: www.thewhitehartampthill.co.uk e: whitehart@oakmaninns.co.uk The White Hart in Ampthill is an outstanding example of a pub in which historical features are showcased by a stylish, chic interior. The pub first came into being in the 18th century as a popular coaching inn, but the Grade II listed building that houses it had been in existence for at least 200 years previously.

CB £16 to

£38

The original features have been lovingly preserved, so every wall reminds guests of the venue’s long history. Taking pride of place above the restored fireplace is a carefully kept wall mural of the Prince of Wales’ feathers that dates back to 1646, while magnificent Ruskin-esque decor in one of the dining rooms and 1930s-style flooring all serve to remind you that this is a setting to savour. You’ll find a variety of comfortable seating options in different areas around the pub, each designed for a unique purpose. Whether you’re looking for an intimate nook or a lively meeting place, you’ll easily find the perfect spot. Visitors feel at home here, but it’s also somewhere to head to and indulge, or celebrate a special occasion.

Open: Mon-Thurs 8am-midnight; Fri & Sat 8am-1am; Sun 8am-11pm Food Served: Mon-Thurs 8am-10pm; Fri & Sat 8am-10.30pm; Sun 8am-9pm

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Chilterns Guide 2019

The food features a cavalcade of flavours, taking inspiration from warm Mediterranean climes. Dishes include hand-crafted Neapolitan pizzas baked in a traditional wood-burning oven, as well as deliciously juicy cuts of meat or fish grilled over charcoal, or cooked slowly over the embers of a Josper oven. There’s also a selection of imaginative and tasty seasonal salads alongside an extensive range of vegetarian dishes that captivate the tastebuds. For a special event, The Stables – with its original oak beams, open fire, private bar and direct access to the landscaped courtyard – can accommodate private parties of up to 100 guests. The pub also boasts eight characterful guest rooms that have a true home-from-home environment. Intimate and relaxing, each well-equipped room has all you need in terms of convenience, including a smart television, Nespresso coffee machine, GHD hair straighteners and a Roberts radio. Situated in one of the most historic and interesting parts of Ampthill, The White Hart successfully marries contemporary style and convenience with historical charm and character, making it a wonderful destination.


The Bedford Arms

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Chenies, Nr. Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 6EQ t: 0844 625 7291 w: www.bedfordarms.co.uk e: contact@bedfordarms.co.uk

SB

The Bedford Arms is a stunning country house hotel located in the village of Chenies. The 18 luxurious bedrooms and beautiful views of the Chilterns Hills make The Bedford Arms the perfect place to enjoy a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of city life. As well as a comfy bed to rest your head, this plush hotel boasts opulent dining spaces fit for all occasions and menus to match.

£25 to

£35

The oak-panelled dining room is ideal for any formal soirée. When dining here, start your meal right with a sharing platter for two. Whether you opt for the selection of cured meats or the trio of smoked salmon, plump king prawns and mackerel rillettes, both are accompanied by mixed olives, bread and a selection of dips.

‘...luxurious bedrooms and beautiful views...’ You’ll find a wealth of outstanding dishes to choose from – The Bedford Arms is a foodie’s paradise. Think poached octopus and brown shrimp salad with paprika garlic mayonnaise; polenta chips with pomegranate molasses and blood orange salt; slow-roasted pork belly with chorizo apple jam; whole baked lemon sole with truffled fingerling potatoes; and chickpea and butternut pastilla. The dining room also plays host to The Bedford Arms’ famous Sunday roasts, which are carved at the table and served with all the trimmings, but make sure you save room for a decadent dessert or French cheeseboard. For private parties, the chess room has it all; this dining space holds up to 24 people and the dedicated staff can cater for any occasion and even create a menu to complement your event. In the warmer months, you can sit in the beautiful outdoor garden area and enjoy a light bite, scrumptious afternoon tea or one of The Bedford Arms’ signature sandwiches. If you fancy relaxing in the sunshine with your favourite tipple, pay a visit to Betty, the classic 1950s’ Citroën van fitted with a mobile bar, which serves a great range of wine and bottled beers. When the nights draw in, make your way through to the shire bar, where you’re invited to unwind in front of the roaring fire whilst nursing a delicious cocktail.

Food Served: Mon-Fri 7am-9.30am, noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sat 8am-9.30am, noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sun 8am-9.30am, noon-9pm

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EAT & DRINK AT XSCAPE Whether you need to refuel or just fancy a tasty morsel cooked by someone else for a change, we have all your favourite treats on offer bringing you new and exciting dishes from around the world in our great range of on-site cafes, bars and restaurants. Grab a coffee and cake, unwind with an après ski pint, enjoy a three-course family meal, or stay all day and do all three!

COCINA 01908 411340 | www.cocina.co.uk Mexico comes to Milton Keynes! Authentic flavours and time-honoured techniques create fantastically moreish dishes here, like smokey chicken tinga, melt-in-the-mouth barbacoa or burritos bursting with all your favourite fillings. Spice it how you like it, and refresh yourself with a classic Mexican beer or a cheeky Margartia Margarita or two.

COAL GRILL & BAR 01908 237740 | www.coalgrillandbar.co.uk Definitely come for the meat, but also enjoy the thrill of watching talented chefs cook on hot coals. Top-quality burgers, BBQs and famous ‘Firesticks’ are the big deal here, or there’s pizza, pasta and global specialities galore, as well as all your favourite sides. Sink a cocktail or world beer while you kick back and relax.

FIVE GUYS 01908 696163 | www.fiveguys.co.uk Close your eyes, lick your lips, and step into the States for true burger perfection. All the classic burgers and fries, made from scratch using fresh ingredients. Choose your favourite free toppings and grab a shake while you’re at it. Don’t like Burgers? Bonkers! No problemo – there are awesome sandwiches and hot dogs too.

NANDO’S 01908 609503 | www.nandos.co.uk Spice-up your life with the legendary masters of peri-peri! However hot you can handle it, choose from wings, pittas, burgers and plenty of sharing platters, with sensational salad or steak dishes, if chicken isn’t your thing. Always fun, never formal, great for groups, grownups and kids of all ages. It’s a wrap! (a spicy one, obvs).

MILLER & CARTER 01908 397007 | www.millerandcarter.co.uk Love steak? You’ll adore this place! Expect mouthwatering cuts from sustainable farms, aged for 30+ days then expertly cooked exactly how you like it. There are must-try nibbles, starters and deserts too, plus delicious options for kids, vegetarians or sharing (if you can bear to). An exciting wine and drinks list seals the deal.

CREAMS CAFE 01908 672 005 | www.creamscafe.com Gorgeous, gooey and bound to make you giggle, enjoy everything from spectacular sundaes and irresistible crepes to the big craze everyone loves right now: bubble pop waffles! Pick a classic or create your own masterpiece, with toppings like Skittles, Oreos and even pop-pop-popping candy to choose from.

FRANKIE AND BENNY’S 01908 694800 | www.frankieandbennys.co.uk It’s Big Apple to the core at this iconic restaurant and bar, serving Italian New York classics like pizza, meatballs, wraps and fries. There are breakfasts, snacks and awesome full-blown feasts, with great value lunch deals and set menus so you never pay top dollar. Re-fuel. Leave happy. Have a nice day!

ASK ITALIAN 01908 395813 | www.askrestaurants.com Savour the flavour of freshly stone-baked pizza, or fill yourself up on delicious pasta dishes. Great for groups, cosy for couples and perfect for a fresh and authentic taste of Italy, with regular deals to help keep things sweet.

PIZZAEXPRESS 01908 690822 | www.pizzaexpress.com Begin with a sharing portion of the famous Doppio Dough Balls, then why not grab a delicious pizza the action (sorry!) with all the best-loved pizzas or try pastas and salads, always freshly made to perfection. The setting is stunning too, and children and calorie counters even get a special menu of their own. It’s smiles all round here – express delivery!

THE CASINO MK: CLARY’S BAR & GRILL

WAGAMAMA

01908 237776 | www.thecasinomk.co.uk

01908 397049 | www.wagamama.com

There’s plenty to enjoy within the grand gaming experience. Enjoy delicious dishes in comfortable, adult-only surroundings, served by friendly waiting staff. Choose from the irresistible drinks menu, tasty snacks, sharing dishes, classic or adventurous world cuisine from three different menus. A Diner’s Choice Award winner!

Want an unforgettable taste adventure? The Japanese celebrate the flavours of Asia. Inspired by authentic ramen bars, choose from amazing noodles, exciting broths, spicy stir-fries and comforting curries, all with a million and one combos to suit every preference and any age. Tastebuds tingled. Mind blown.


SHOPS, ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT You’re guaranteed an adventure here at Xscape, packed with unique and fun activities as well as places to eat, shop or relax. Whatever your age and whatever the weather, make the most of your life so life doesn’t pass you by. The opportunities for excitement are endless, watch the latest blockbuster or hit the perfect strike, whatever you do, make great your Xscape.

GRAVITY TRAMPOLINE PARK 01977 529920 | www.gravity-uk.com Brace yourself for a bonkers load of fun defying gravity! From bouncing yourself healthy to dodge ball, slam-dunk sessions or perfecting your aerial acrobatics – it’s time to have the best laugh ever by getting seriously airborne!

HOLLYWOOD BOWL 0844 417 6774 | www.hollywoodbowl.co.uk As well as 18 high-quality bowling lanes, there’s a great choice of food and refreshments to keep you satisfied when your contest turns epic. The sound of a strike is highly addictive. Let’s bowl!

MAKE GREAT YOUR XSCAPE TODAY! IFLY SKYDIVING XSCAPE MILTON KEYNES 602 MARLBOROUGH GATE MK9 3XS

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0845 331 6549 | www.iflyworld.com Have you ever wished you could fly? (And who hasn’t?) Now you can, with iFly Indoor Skydiving. Super safe and super exciting, big grins guaranteed for anyone between the ages of 4 and 104! It’s a memory banker and one you’ll want to repeat again and again.

MAKE GREAT YOUR


You can now download the FREE Food and Drink Restaurant Guide App Bar & Restaurant

The Dog & Badger  Location Henley Road, Medmenham, Nr. Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 2HE t: 01491 413356 w: www.thedogandbadger.com

SB

The Dog & Badger has been serving delicious food to locals and its many visitors in the charming village of Medmenham since the 16th century. Many of the original features of this Grade II listed building have been retained in the attractive dining area. The well-stocked bar and snug provide a contemporary, cosy place to meet and relax at any time of the day over a drink or light snack with friends, or perhaps after exploring the nearby Thames walks with the dog in tow. Outside, the grounds have been thoughtfully landscaped to create a pretty garden and a delightful terrace – perfect for having a drink or dining al fresco on warmer days – as well as a sizeable car park for those travelling from afar.

£27 to

£35

Freshly prepared food is served throughout the day with a focus on quality, freshness and sustainability. The menu changes seasonally and features imaginative dishes with a distinctly Mediterranean feel. The addition of a charcoal grill allows the chefs to smoke, slow-cook and roast the most delicious and tender meats, fish and vegetables to perfection. A good range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available, as well as a children’s menu, all with plenty of exciting flavour combinations. Always keen to display their skills, chefs whip up tempting daily specials and serve unbeatable traditional Sunday roasts from noon.

Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11pm; Sun 8am-10pm Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-10pm; Sun noon-9pm

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Chilterns Guide 2019

A popular addition to the menu offers diners the opportunity to personalise their own Mediterranean-style salad. Simply choose a Caesar, Greek, superfood or baby spinach and avocado base and add charcoal-grilled lamb, salmon, chicken or creamy burrata cheese. For flavours of the southern Mediterranean, try the grilled ras el hanout-marinated leg of lamb. Those looking for a little home comfort can sample the likes of fresh, homemade fish pie with Loch Duart salmon, prawns and cod, or the popular 12-hour roasted pork belly. You’ll want to leave room for a tasty homemade dessert such as sticky toffee pudding or rich chocolate brownie, both served with award-winning ice cream. For those staying the weekend or those on the road in need of a comfortable spot to rest their head, this charming pub also boasts six boutique en-suite rooms adjacent to the pub in Gillman’s Cottage.


Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Stadium MK, Stadium Way East, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK1 1ST t: 0844 502 3378 w: www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk e: info@mpwsteakhousemk.com

MK

Open since 2017, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill is located on the east side of Stadium MK and has quickly become a popular addition to Milton Keynes’ foodie scene. The à la carte menu is personally selected by Marco himself, and features a range of British and French classics, childhood favourites and, of course, 35-day-aged signature steaks. From the moment you walk into the restaurant the focus is on you, and staff strive to provide a memorable dining experience. There’s no pomp or pretension, just everything you would expect from a traditional steakhouse with the added touch of Marco Pierre White’s culinary skills. Whether you’re coming for afternoon tea, Sunday lunch or a celebratory dinner with cocktails, the team will make you feel welcome and help with everything and anything they can.

£22 to

£39

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-10.30pm; Fri & Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm

The Bull

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Cottered, Nr. Buntingford, Hertfordshire, SG9 9QP t: 0844 502 7072 w: www.thebullcottered.co.uk e: darren.perkins@tiscali.co.uk Situated in the pretty village of Cottered, The Bull is a country pub that prides itself on offering the warmest welcome to each and every visitor. The impressive fireplace affords The Bull a homely feel, as do the cosy armchairs, from which you can browse the carefully selected wine list. The Bull’s mission is to provide exceptional homemade food, with pub classics featuring alongside mouth-watering seasonal options on the well thought out menu. Dishes might include partridge breast served with pearl barley, beetroot and goat’s cheese bonbons, or curried monkfish tail with saag aloo terrine, tempura cheeks and carrot and masala cream. Fresh bread and ice cream are made in-house with mince pie ice cream a seasonal favourite amongst diners. The team has also recently introduced a selection of canapés. With a vibrant atmosphere and a beautiful new al fresco dining area, a meal at The Bull is a truly wonderful experience.

EH £23 to

£28

Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm

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The Beech House

 Location 81 St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3EG t: 0844 625 2499 w: www.beechhousestalbans.co.uk SH e: beechhousestalbans@oakmaninns.co.uk Set in the heart of St Albans, a convenient ten-minute walk from the train station, you’ll find the 1930s Art Deco building that’s home to The Beech House. Within £16 to a year of opening its doors in September 2014, this wonderful establishment was £34 named Best New Pub at The Publican Awards, and since then The Beech House has gone on to win The Best Place To Do Business two years in a row at St Albans Food & Drink Awards. Owned by Oakman Inns, the pub’s interior is stylish and industrial – think metal girders, slate, and a monochrome colour palette. The expansive bar area boasts a variety of comfortable seating options, including intimate corners for quiet conversations, as well as large sofas where friends and family can catch up at any time of the day. Move through to the restaurant and you’ll find a relaxed atmosphere paired with a hint of theatre from the open kitchen, where the chefs and pizzaiolos can be seen hard at work preparing dishes from the all-day Mediterranean-inspired menu. Every plateful served from breakfast through to dinner is made from responsibly sourced, high-quality ingredients that are all traceable from farm to fork. Starters such as calamari marinated in yoghurt, lemon and chilli and served with chipotle mayonnaise, and bruschetta topped with burrata and tomatoes marinated in garlic and basil are sure to hit the spot. For your main course, choose from a selection of charcoal-grilled British meat and fish options including mouth-watering burgers and steaks, or opt for a hand-crafted Neapolitan pizza baked in a traditional wood-fired oven. There’s also a range of carefully constructed sharing platters and salads, as well as mouth-watering desserts whipped up in a maelstrom of viewable activity. Early-birds will be pleased to hear that breakfast is served every day from 8am. Open: Mon-Weds 8am-11pm; Tasty options include eggs Benedict and full English breakfasts alongside the likes of sweet potato, avocado and feta hash, with spinach, chilli, toasted pumpkin Thurs-Sat 8am-1am; seeds, and poached free-range eggs. Like the food menu, the extensive drinks menu Sun 8am-11pm provides a tipple for every time of the day – from morning tea or coffee made Food Served: with Rainforest Alliance coffee beans, and handmade hot chocolate crafted from Mon-Weds 8am-10pm; Callebaut chocolate shavings, to the carefully selected range of craft beer, spirits Thurs-Sat 8am-10.30pm; and expertly chosen wine. Sun 8am-9pm

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Chilterns Guide 2019


Aqua

Bar & Restaurant

 Location 309 Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 2GA t: 0844 625 1652 w: www.aqua-restaurant.com e: mk@aqua-restaurant.com

MK

Offering fresh, affordable food all day long, Aqua is the go-to neighbourhood Italian restaurant in Milton Keynes. Serving everything from breakfast and brunch through to lunch and dinner, the friendly team is on-hand to provide a warm welcome to those seeking top-notch Italian cuisine. This family-run restaurant remains true to its ethos of providing contemporary Italian food made with the finest ingredients, all served by a warm and caring team.

£19 to

£35

‘...contemporary Italian food...’ Inside, the restaurant has been thoughtfully designed to create a relaxed and inviting ambience whether you’re visiting for a quick coffee, long lunch or indulgent dinner. Thanks to an extensive à la carte menu, Aqua is also the perfect venue at which to celebrate special occasions with family and friends. Everything that leaves the kitchen is freshly prepared from the finest ingredients to ensure that guests are provided with the best possible dishes. Whether you fancy a light bite, a sharing platter with friends or a more substantial meal, you’re sure to find something to tempt you. Tasty offerings include braised pork cheeks with rich Chianti jus, wild boar ragu, fritto misto, and flavoursome lobster linguine. There are also delicious weekly specials to make sure there’s always something new to try. Of course, at any true Italian eatery children are always welcome, and the delightful children’s menu boasts a great selection of family favourites. Aqua’s traditional Sunday roast is popular thanks to their choice of delicious options such as strip loin of beef, slow-roasted porchetta, and roasted chicken with all the trimmings. The set lunch and early dinner menu available Monday to Saturday from noon to 7pm represents great value, with two courses priced at £11 and three courses for £13. As well as this, throughout the week sparkling Bellinis are two for one between noon and 7pm. The fantastic selection of Aqua cocktails are a great way to start your evening, followed by a carefully selected wine list that covers all bases. Whatever your reason for visiting, the warm welcome, relaxed ambience and delicious food will ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons.

Open: Mon-Thurs 9am-10pm; Fri & Sat 9am-10.30pm; Sun 9am-10pm

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George Street Canteen

Café

 Location 9a George Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4ER t: 0844 502 7164 w: www.georgestreetcanteen.co.uk e: georgestreetcanteen@gmail.com

SH

If you’re out shopping in St Albans and are looking for a spot of brunch or a coffee, the George Street Canteen is a must-visit. The café is tucked away in a tranquil courtyard and, while close to the city centre, it feels a million miles away from the bustling town.

£5 to

£15

Enjoy views of the cathedral from an al fresco spot, or choose to sit indoors, in the light and airy café. A warm welcome is guaranteed, too, at what was named the most family-friendly venue at the St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Awards 2016. The menu, featuring locally sourced produce, is brimming with tasty breakfast and lunch options that are served all day. The George Street Club caught my eye – a triple-toasted sandwich packed with smoked back bacon, chicken, egg, tomato, rocket and mayonnaise. The homemade slaw that accompanied it was a delight. I also couldn’t resist Open: Sun-Fri 8.30am-4pm; ordering a side of baked sweet Sat 8.30am-5pm potato wedges, which came with a sour cream and chive dip. My dining partner plumped for the halloumi wrap – a toasted tortilla stuffed with halloumi, roasted peppers, couscous and rocket. There are plenty of warm baked goodies from brownies to muffins to round off any meal, or to enjoy as a standalone treat with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee and maybe a good book.

Traditional

Rose & Crown  Location 10 St Michael’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4SG t: 0844 502 3017 w: www.roseandcrownstalbans.co.uk

SH

Set just outside St Albans, the Rose & Crown is full of character and charm. It’s surrounded by historic buildings and as you explore the neighbourhood you’ll find beautiful views around every corner. This traditional British pub dates back to the early 16th century and offers a relaxed atmosphere and wholesome fare.

£14 to

£25

Step inside and be greeted by the same sight that has welcomed visitors for hundreds of years: exposed beams emphasise the history of the building, while a roaring fire and comfy armchairs create a welcoming environment. Stopping by with friends? Enjoy one of many beers, ales, spirits or wines from the bar. In the summer you can even take your drink out to the beer garden. The menus here change seasonally, but diners are always guaranteed a varied selection. Mains typically range from beer-battered haddock and chips, to hearty sausages and mash, while plates such as macaroni and cheese make Food Served: Weds-Sat for a tempting vegetarian choice. noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Diners of all ages will love the Sun noon-4pm build-your-own burger option, and available fillings include tuna, beef, and halloumi and mushroom. If you’re seeking something lighter, the range of tasty wraps and jacket potatoes are ideal. They’ll also help you save room so that you don’t leave without sampling one of the chef’s indulgent desserts – the chocolate fudge cake comes highly recommended. 38

Chilterns Guide 2019


The Black Horse

Traditional

 Location 95 Slough Road, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, SL0 0DH t: 0844 502 7158 w: www.theblackhorseiverheath.co.uk SB e: blackhorse.iverheath@hall-woodhouse.co.uk The Black Horse at Iver Heath is a dog-friendly pub with plenty of character. Inside the classic, cosy interior is accented with touches of modernity, objet d’art, £15 to bookcases to browse and vintage photography. The pub is a Hall & Woodhouse £25 establishment and as such offers a good selection of Badger beer, cider and a comprehensive wine list, all reasonably priced. Dining is an informal affair, with menus available from noon onwards featuring something for everyone. With every occasion catered for, guests can enjoy excellent barista coffee in the morning, right through to a celebration dinner in the evening. Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; We visited for an evening meal and I began proceedings with game terrine, a Sun noon-10.30pm starter that was full of savoury flavours and served with Melba toast and pickled Food Served: Sun-Thurs blackberries. Delicate pan-fried salmon pavé followed, accompanied by potato noon-9pm; Fri & Sat tartare hash, braised leeks, cabbage and peas. My partner chose baked noon-9.30pm goat’s cheese drizzled with honey and served on a bed of leaves, orange, caramelised walnuts and St Clements dressing, followed by an aromatic lamb tagine served with spicy couscous, pickled red onion and toasted pitta bread. It was declared a triumph. Coffee and walnut panna cotta and a sticky toffee and rum sponge were just two of a fine selection of puddings. Select desserts are thoughtfully offered as a standard portion size or as a taster size, so even if you’ve overindulged in previous courses, you can still squeeze in a little something sweet.

The Duke of York

Traditional

 Location Ganwick Corner, Barnet Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 4SG t: 0844 502 6977 w: www.dukeofyork-barnet.co.uk SH e: duke.of.york@brunningandprice.co.uk A former coaching inn on the ancient Great North Road, The Duke of York is named after Edward, the fourth Duke of York, who beat the Lancastrians in the £18 to Battle of Barnet only a stone’s throw from the pub. With its open fires, antique £28 furniture, art prints and old photographs, The Duke of York makes the most of its heritage as a traditional inn. A spectacularly well-stocked bar forms the heart of the pub and there is a spacious landscaped garden to the rear with a large family-friendly seating area. Landlord John, who has a long history in catering, is a genuinely warm and friendly host, and, when we visited, service from every member of the team was highly professional. All the dishes are made on-site by a chef who celebrates the best of local, seasonal food and offers an unusual menu of British classics with exciting Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; international touches. We started with pan-fried king scallops with carrot purée, Sun 11am-10.30pm caper and herb dressing and dried Food Served: Parma ham, and the unique and Sun-Weds noon-9pm; delicious red wine-cured salmon with Thurs-Sat noon-9.30pm orange and cardamom panna cotta. My companion followed with warm baby squid, chorizo and king prawn salad, which was also superb, but to my mind the game pie was the best dish of all with its crisp, light suet pastry and comforting mash and buttered greens. Full though we were, we found room to sample the delectable homemade chocolate brownie and sticky toffee pudding. Chilterns Guide 2019

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The Chequers Inn

Traditional

 Location 16 London Road, Woolmer Green, Hertfordshire, SG3 6JP t: 0844 502 3326 w: www.benicksatthechequers.co.uk e: admin@benicksatthechequers.co.uk Set in the village of Woolmer Green in the heart of Hertfordshire, The Chequers Inn is just a short distance from Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City. Now a family-owned establishment, The Chequers Inn offers guests of all ages a friendly welcome and a fantastic selection of home-cooked fare. For the traditional pub experience, take a seat inside and order a beer. On a warm summer day, why not sit outside? Kids will love the venue’s small zoo, which is home to guinea pigs, rabbits and even marmosets. If you’re feeling peckish, check out the menu – you’ll be spoilt for choice. Begin by splitting a baked Camembert with your party, or share some rustic, freshly baked bread. Mains here range from honey- and mustard-baked ham to spicy Thai red curry. There’s also a fantastic selection of vegetarian options to choose from, and an extensive burger menu.

SH £18 to

£28

Food Served: Tues noon-2.30pm, 6pm-8.30pm; Weds-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-9pm; Sun noon-4pm

The Oak

Traditional

 Location 119 Green End Street, Aston Clinton, Nr. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5EU t: 0844 502 6914 w: www.theoakastonclinton.net This traditional English pub is situated at the base of the Chiltern Hills in the picturesque village of Aston Clinton, within easy distance of Aylesbury and Tring. Offering everything from lunchtime snacks to hearty main meals all made using local produce where possible, this cosy pub is a lovely place to frequent after exploring the area on foot or by bike. The likes of black pudding bubble and squeak topped with a runny poached egg is certain to tempt, or, if you’re looking for something more substantial, mains such as the Stilton and mushroom burger and lamb’s liver and bacon with mashed potato and onion gravy are well worth a try. A wide drinks selection is available to accompany your food and the large beer garden is a lovely spot for al fresco dining in warmer weather. Whether you’re visiting for a drink or a sit-down meal, you’re sure to leave The Oak feeling well looked after.

NC £10 to

£30

Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm

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Chilterns Guide 2019


The Hit or Miss

Traditional

 Location Penn Street, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP7 0PX t: 0844 502 7088 w: www.ourpubs.co.uk e: hit@ourpubs.co.uk This gem of a traditional pub, complete with a roaring log fire and welcoming staff, is definitely worth going out of your way to visit. As a serious foodie establishment, all produce is locally sourced from quality suppliers, making every dish a definite hit. Kola, the head chef at The Hit or Miss, trained in some of the finest restaurants across Europe and the UK, so you can rest assured that you’ll find creative delicious dishes on the menu, at surprisingly reasonable prices.

SB £18 to

£24

The menu ranges from casual lunches to evening dining, and all of the starters are available as main courses too. I started with tempura-battered king prawns garnished with spicy pak choi and a duo of sauces. My partner plumped for the mouth-wateringly moreish baked Camembert with a cranberry and nut crust, Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm accompanied by a warm croissant. For the main course we chose from the chef’s Food Served: Mon-Fri special daily menu, and enjoyed pan-fried hake fillet with a panko breadcrumb noon-2.30pm, 6.45pm-9.30pm; and shrimp crust, served on a bed Sat noon-3pm, of pickled cucumber and creamy 6.45pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-8pm lemon, chive and leek sauce, and confit duck leg with mandarin purée and red wine jus. The chef’s dessert board was a delightfully indulgent medley of desserts, which had something for everyone. You might happen upon one of the pub’s beer festivals or other special events, as there is plenty going on through the year. The team can ably cater for both public and private functions for groups of 20 to over 100.

Lake Restaurant

Traditional

 Location St Michael’s Manor Hotel, Fishpool Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4RY t: 0844 502 2968 w: www.stmichaelsmanor.com e: reservations@stmichaelsmanor.com

SH

Set in the historic city of St Albans – just a stone’s throw from the famous cathedral – you’ll find St Michael’s Manor Hotel. A traditional-style country manor, St Michael’s is set in five acres of private gardens and boasts its own lake. Perfect for a weekend away, the hotel is also home to 30 uniquely decorated bedrooms, ranging from lavish suites to stylish garden wing rooms.

£23 to

£34

The jewel in the hotel’s crown is the Lake Restaurant, where guests can enjoy excellent service and great food throughout the day. Stop by in the morning and kick-start your day with breakfast. Select the Continental option and choose from a buffet of cereals, fruit, yoghurt and pastries or opt for an indulgent cooked breakfast.

Food Served: The lunch and dinner menu provides a perfect selection of light bites – including Mon-Sat 7am-9.30am, sandwiches and salads – and hearty noon-5pm, 6.30pm-9pm; mains. Homemade Parmesan Sun 7.30am-9.30am, gnocchi, grilled mackerel and noon-5pm, 6.30pm-9pm steak tartare are a mere handful of the delicious starters on offer. The rib-eye steak served with bone marrow mash is an especially popular main dish, and the potatoes boulangère accompanied by roasted carrots, shallots and broccoli provides a mouth-watering vegetarian option. Chilterns Guide 2019

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The Globe Inn

 Location Globe Lane, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 2TA t: 0844 625 2265 w: www.oldenglishinns.co.uk e: globeinn.linslade@greeneking.co.uk Enjoying a prime location on the edge of the Grand Union Canal you’ll find The Globe Inn, a fantastic pub for any occasion. The warm welcome and laid-back atmosphere make this a great spot for all ages, and the outside play area is ideal for entertaining little ones. Dogs are welcome too, so it’s a great place to refuel after a long walk. Those dining can enjoy starters like juicy scallops with crispy bacon and pea purée. Main courses include a flavoursome game pie served with champ mash, sea bass and scallop risotto, and luxury macaroni cheese. Meat-lovers have an excellent selection of succulent steaks and burgers to choose from, and there’s a range of vegetarian options too. Sunday lunches, lighter bites and brunch options complete the offering, ensuring that whatever you fancy, The Globe has something for you.

CB £15 to

£25

Open: Mon-Sun 10am-11pm Traditional

The Goat

 Location 25 Vicarage Causeway, Hertford Heath, Hertfordshire, SG13 7RT t: 0844 625 4467 w: www.goathertfordheath.co.uk

EH

With its traditional feel, selection of real ales and a seasonally changing menu of hearty British fare, The Goat offers everything you’d expect from a classic country pub. Its rural location also makes The Goat popular with ramblers – you can even bring your dog. The exposed beams and roaring fire create a cosy environment in which to enjoy a scrumptious plate of sausage and mash in winter, while the beer garden offers the perfect spot in which to sip a cool pint during the warmer months. Other popular dishes include the classic pie of the day and the crispy beer-battered cod and chips. Vegetarians and vegans are not forgotten either: choose from vegan sweet potato falafel, wild mushroom risotto and mushroom and chestnut Wellington. The Goat’s bar menu also lists several small plates that provide the perfect accompaniment to a drink, and on Sundays guests can indulge in a traditional roast with all the trimmings.

£20 to

£25

Open: Sun-Thurs noon-11.30pm; Fri & Sat noon-midnight Traditional

The Green Man

 Location Great Wymondley, Nr. Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 7EU t: 0844 625 7215 w: www.greenmanwymondley.co.uk e: greenmanwymondley@googlemail.com

NH

Just a mile away from Hitchin is The Green Man; a traditional family-run pub serving delicious home-cooked fare. There is a large garden, perfect for outside dining and a children’s play area, which creates a lovely family-friendly atmosphere. On the menu, expect to find a host of British classics, freshly made specials and a scrumptious Sunday roast. Keep an eye out for The Green Man’s meal deals: Tuesday to Friday evenings are reserved for grill and fish night where you can tuck into a mixed grill, ribs, or perfectly cooked steak or fish. Curry night is held every Friday, and from Monday to Saturday over 55s can enjoy a tasty two-course meal for £7.95. The Green Man can cater for all kinds of private functions and can also create a spectacular buffet or hot food to meet your needs.

£18 to

£23

Food Served: Mon noon-2.30pm; Tues-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9pm; Sun noon-3pm, 7pm-9pm 42

Chilterns Guide 2019


The Swan

Traditional

 Location 1 Dunstable Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, MK45 1HP t: 0844 502 8307 w: www.swaninnflitwick.co.uk e: info@swanwhatson.co.uk

CB Right behind Flitwick railway Station is The Swan. Whether you’re enjoying a freshly prepared meal in the comfy lounge or meeting with friends over a game of pool and a pint in the bar, you’re sure to appreciate the homely atmosphere £12 to and friendly service. The team knows the cellar is the heart of the business, and £20 is committed to providing a high-quality range of ale and beer that The Swan can be proud to serve. There’s also a carefully chosen wine list, which includes many varieties that have won awards. Accompanying the drinks, the food offering is turning into something special. The Sunday lunch has a dedicated following of fans. As well as a scrumptious Sunday roast, other delectable options are Open: available for diners to enjoy. More recently, a lunch and evening menu has been Mon-Weds 10am-midnight; launched offering traditional pub fare alongside interesting internationally Thurs & Fri 10am-1am; inspired dishes such as authentic South African bunny chows. Sat 9am-1am; Live music regularly features at The Swan. While sipping a refreshing beverage, Sun noon-midnight tap your feet along to the talented Food Served: guitarists in the lounge, or party Mon 10am-2.30pm; with the DJ or a band in the bar. Tues-Fri 10am-2.30pm, The Swan can cater for all 6pm-8pm; Sat 9am-2.30pm, manner of events and parties, 6pm-8pm; Sun 12.30pm-4pm from christenings to business (hours may vary seasonally) networking events. The team can create a bespoke package tailored to your individual requirements, ensuring your event runs smoothly and suits your every need.

The Red Lion

Traditional

 Location Church Road, Studham, Bedfordshire, LU6 2QA t: 0844 625 4557 w: www.redlion-studham.co.uk e: garryell@gmail.com

CB

The Red Lion at Studham is a family- and dog-friendly pub offering a very warm welcome. Cosy decor and delectable British dishes make The Red Lion a favoured spot for catching up with friends or enjoying a meal out with family. The large selection of hearty home-cooked fare will leave you spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a relaxed lunch or a special meal, the attentive staff will ensure you’re well looked after.

£15 to

£20

The Red Lion has two seating options to suit a number of occasions. Food is served throughout the pub. Dogs are welcome in the bar area, while the dining room – with its quaint, cosy feel and vast array of interesting artefacts on display – is the perfect place to get stuck into a delicious meal. During the cooler months, the roaring fire will keep you warm, and in the summer months the beautiful outside setting will take your breath away.

Open: Mon-Sun noon-11pm Food Served: Mon & Tues There’s always something taking noon-2pm; Weds-Sat place at The Red Lion, including noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; quiz nights, live band performances Sun noon-5pm and evenings centred around themed menus. A traditional roast is on offer every Sunday. The Red Lion team can also cater private functions. The sociable atmosphere, delicious food and extensive range of real ale, fine wine and spirits mean that there’s something for everyone at The Red Lion. Chilterns Guide 2019

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The Chandos Arms

 Location 1 Main Street, Weston Turville, Nr. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5RR t: 0844 625 2248 NC w: www.thechandosarms.co.uk e: ivyspubcompany@gmail.com In the village of Weston Turville you’ll find The Chandos Arms, a popular pub that proves a hit with all who visit. The Chandos Arms has built a loyal following of patrons £18 to who stop by for the friendly welcome and top-notch food and drink. The cosy interior £25 makes this a wonderful space in which to enjoy a pint of ale at the bar with friends, or treat yourself to a satisfying meal in the restaurant. The large garden is a great spot for al fresco dining or enjoying a refreshing drink in the sunshine. The menu features a selection of homemade pub classics that are sure to please, and includes starters such as creamy garlic mushrooms with toasted bread. Follow with a hearty main course like cottage pie served with fresh vegetables, or rich beef lasagne. Open: Mon noon-11pm; Meat-lovers will be pleased to see a selection of succulent steaks, which are sourced Tues noon-10.30pm; from nearby Kings Farm Shop. For those looking for a lighter bite to eat, there’s a choice of fresh salads and jacket potatoes with various fillings, among other options. Weds & Thurs noon-11pm; Tempting desserts include white Fri & Sat noon-midnight; chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, Sun noon-10.30pm decadent triple chocolate brownie Food Served: Mon-Sat and sticky toffee pudding. On noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sundays the kitchen brigade whips up Sun noon-5pm a delicious carvery with a selection (hours vary seasonally) of meats and all the trimmings. If you’re looking for a welcoming pub in which to enjoy a tasty meal or sociable drink, you won’t find better than The Chandos Arms. Traditional

The Anglers Retreat  Location Marsworth, Nr. Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 4LJ t: 0844 625 2418 w: www.anglersretreatpub.co.uk e: enquiry@anglersretreatpub.co.uk

WH

Situated close to Tring’s reservoirs and surrounded by cycle trails, walking routes and canals, the award-winning Anglers Retreat draws in crowds of locals and visitors in search of delicious food and liquid refreshment. They’re in luck, as the menu is extensive, featuring the likes of homemade wild goose casserole and homemade meat pies, and the drinks selection is tip-top. There is something that appeals to everyone and the kitchen team can cater for special dietary requirements. In summer, guests spill out on to the large patio garden – which boasts an aviary – often with a pint of real or craft ale in hand to enjoy a hearty lunch. The pub hosts annual beer festivals to promote the locally brewed ale and beer served, and rightly so, as the pub has featured in the Good Beer Guide and The Good Pub Guide.

£15 to

£20

Families and well-behaved dogs on leads are more than welcome to visit. A superb Sunday roast is a weekly ritual at all proper traditional pubs, and at The Anglers Retreat, diners come from far and wide to sample the hearty lunch served. Open: Sun-Thurs 11am-midnight; Fri & Sat 10am-1am

In addition to all of this, you’ll also find bed and breakfast accommodation, which is separate to the pub. No matter why and when you visit, the friendly team ensures that all who swing by feel welcome. 44

Chilterns Guide 2019


The Black Boy

Traditional

 Location Church Lane, Oving, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4HN t: 0844 502 4001 w: www.theblackboyoving.co.uk e: hello@theblackboyoving.co.uk

NC

The quaint village of Oving is home to The Black Boy, an historic pub that dates back to the 16th century. This wonderful establishment continues to delight patrons today thanks to a winning combination of fantastic food and drink and a genial atmosphere. Friendly staff offer a warm welcome to everyone who steps through the doors – including four-legged friends – making this a great spot for all manner of occasions. The Black Boy is considered a destination in its own right – visitors travel from far and wide to enjoy a delicious evening meal with loved ones or spend a leisurely few hours lunching in the beautiful gardens. The outside area boasts one of the finest views in Buckinghamshire, stretching across the countryside and providing a stunning backdrop to an al fresco meal.

£20 to

£30

‘...beautiful gardens...’

The decor stays true to the pub’s history and character, retaining original features and combining these with modern comfort. Exposed beams, rustic wooden furniture and open fireplaces create a cosy, traditional feel, while a light colour palette ensures the interior remains bright and airy. Those dining might start with the likes of flavoursome crab gratin, or perhaps share The Black Boy deli board comprising a black pudding Scotch egg, pork and apple sausage, pork bonbons, pork crackling, piccalilli and thick sliced bread. Follow with a selection of popular pub classics such as beer-battered fish and hand-cut chunky chips, or something from the regularly changing specials like slow-braised leg of lamb. Dexter beef steaks are sourced from a farm opposite the pub and cooked to perfection, resulting in delicious, melt-in-the-mouth meat that’s sure to delight even the most discerning of palates. Those with a sweet-tooth will be enamoured with the desserts on offer, including dishes like berry meringue roulade alongside double chocolate cheesecakes, crumbles and brownies. The well-crafted wine list features a tipple to complement any dish, and there’s a gin menu that features a changing range of small-batch gins sourced from all over the country. If you’re looking for a venue in which to celebrate a special occasion, you won’t find better than The Black Boy. They’ve earned a great reputation for the bespoke parties and weddings that they tailor to suit your needs, and promise an event to remember in such a unique setting.

Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-6pm Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-9pm; Sun noon-4pm

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From the outside, the Coach House Hotel looks beautifully historic. It was built primarily of local flint and has been well maintained by the family who run the establishment. Meanwhile inside, the hotel has been refurbished to a high standard to offer guests a top-notch experience.

£22 to

£30

Coach House Hotel  Location Newmarket Road, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7PN t: 0844 502 8041 e: coachhousehotel@hotmail.com

The restaurant is spacious, meaning there’s room for all party sizes, whether you’re gathering with friends and family for a special occasion, or are simply after a romantic dinner for two. Traditional British fare makes up the majority of the menu, with dishes created using ingredients from the local harvest. Everything is made by head chef Chris Jones (chef profile page 55) and his knowledgeable team in the new kitchen, which was designed specifically to meet Chris’ needs. Age-old favourites include the beer-battered fish and homemade chips, steak and ale pie, and the Sunday carvery, which comprises a choice of meat accompanied by all of the expected trimmings – homemade Yorkshire Food Served: Mon-Sat puds, stuffing, roasted potatoes 7am-9pm; Sun noon-4pm and seasonal veg. Alternatively, look to the bar menu for lighter options like jacket potatoes and sandwiches with a great choice of fillings. When the weather is sunny, guests can make the most of the five-acre garden and pretty courtyard – complete with a central water fountain – and relax in the sun before retiring to the Coach House Hotel for a delicious meal and a good night’s rest.

Traditional

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks  Location 16 Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4HE t: 0844 502 2580 w: www.yeoldefightingcocks.co.uk e: reservations@yofcltd.com

SH

Laying claim to being Britain’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is an a age-old place with plenty of stories of tell. Built in the 11th century, the pub was supposedly a popular watering hole for monks, who used to sneak into the pub through tunnels connecting the beer cellar to the original St Albans Cathedral grounds opposite the pub. Oliver Cromwell is also rumoured to have stayed the night at the inn during the Civil War.

£24 to

£28

Inside you’ll find low ceilings, an open fire, dark oak beams and an original bread-making oven, creating a charming traditional English pub atmosphere. Since its humble beginnings, the pub has been serving up classic British fare to the locals of St Albans, and today, the chefs continue to delight diners with delicious food. On the menu you’ll find a great array of popular British dishes Open: crafted with contemporary flair, including homemade fishcakes, beer-battered Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; fresh hake and hand-cut chips, and Fri & Sat noon-midnight; homemade sausages served with Sun noon-10.30pm mashed potato, caramelised onion and jus. The pub is renowned for its Sunday roast, and it’s easy to see why with offerings such as slow-roasted duck with cranberry sauce, saddle of Lancashire beef with horseradish, and belly of Dingle Dell pork with apple sauce and crackling. Ye Olde Fighting Cocks also holds a regular and popular quiz night every Wednesday and can be booked for private events, just get in touch with the team to find out more. 46

Chilterns Guide 2019


The Eight Bells

Traditional

 Location 51 High Street, Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9AL t: 0844 625 2509 w: www.8bellspub.com e: hello@8bellspub.com

NC

Located in the quaint village of Long Crendon amidst picturesque thatched cottages, you’ll find The Eight Bells, a quintessentially British village pub that’s brimming with character. Just a 15-minute drive from the centre of Oxford and five miles from the M40, The Eight Bells is the ideal place in which to retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life without having to travel too far. Nestled on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, this serene environment encourages total relaxation. From the very first glimpse of this charming pub you know you’re in for a treat. The pretty exterior, with its old-fashioned charm, is a welcoming sight. Step inside and you’ll find everything you could want from a cosy local pub; traditional features like an open log fire, original beams and tankards hanging overhead create a warm, homely feel that’s enhanced by the friendly, welcoming staff. In the summer visitors flock to the lovely garden to enjoy a refreshing pint in the sun.

£20 to

£26

‘...step inside and you’ll find everything you could want from a cosy local pub...’ A visit to The Eight Bells wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the exceptional dishes that the talented kitchen team produces. It’s the food here that really ensures that this pub is a cut above the rest. A great wine list accompanies the food, and knowledgeable staff can recommend the perfect pairing to your meal. You may sup smooth Reserva merlot whilst enjoying a starter of crispy sweet chilli beef, and follow with a glass of fruity Miopasso Nero d’Avola to accompany a main course of slow-braised shoulder of lamb. Other dishes from the regularly changing menu could include sumptuous pies with hand-cut chips and fresh vegetables, and gourmet burgers. Desserts like apple and plum crumble, and gingerbread and butter pudding ensure proceedings end on a high. Children are well catered for with a selection of tasty dishes, while the dog-friendly atmosphere makes this a great spot for the whole family. They also serve delicious handmade pizzas that are stone-baked in an authentic pizza oven, and are available to take away and enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Regular entertainment, including lively quiz nights and world menu nights, mean there’s always a reason to visit The Eight Bells.

Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-8pm Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-9pm; Sun noon-4pm

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The Cricketers  Location The Green, Sarratt, Hertfordshire, WD3 6AS t: 0844 502 6882 w: www.brunningandprice.co.uk/cricketers e: cricketers@brunningandprice.co.uk

SH

The Cricketers is the picture-postcard image of the perfect country pub, with views over the village green to the front and an enclosed patio and garden to the rear. Indoors there are open fires, a jumble of cosy, intimate dining areas and a £18 to great atmosphere. Landlord Simon and his friendly team ensure that all who visit £28 leave smiling. The bar is well stocked with real ales, and the wine list amuses as well as informs with its quirky, chatty descriptions. You can enjoy a leisurely lunch from midday and choose from a varied dinner menu throughout the week, with everything freshly prepared and, whenever possible, locally sourced. Light bites, sandwiches and smaller dishes for children are available alongside traditional mains and more unusual dishes, such as pan-fried hake with crab fritters, and braised shoulder of lamb with Open: Mon-Sun 10am-11pm Dauphinoise potatoes. Food Served: We thoroughly enjoyed our starters of sweet potato, lime and coconut soup, which Mon-Sat noon-10pm; was rich and creamy with just a Sun noon-9.30pm hint of zesty freshness, and sautéed mushrooms with a garlic and cream sauce served on toasted sourdough bread. The mains were equally delicious. They consisted of Sicilian fish stew – red mullet, king prawns, mussels, cod, and baby squid in rich tomato sauce, with saffron aioli – and perfectly cooked steak, with chunky chips and a delicious peppercorn sauce. Although you may be full, the puddings are a must, and they needn’t be heavy. Try the wonderful vanilla crème brûlée with strawberries and homemade shortbread – it’s too good to miss. Traditional

The Old Orchard  Location Park Lane, Harefield, Hertfordshire, UB9 6HJ t: 0844 502 6932 w: www.brunningandprice.co.uk/oldorchard e: old.orchard@brunningandprice.co.uk

SH

Colne Valley Regional Park is the first real countryside to the west of London. It’s no surprise then that this area sees a huge number of people visiting to spend a weekend exploring the many lakes, canals and forestry that contribute to the area’s £18 to stunning scenery. £28 The Old Orchard is perfectly situated to capitalise on this natural beauty, sitting atop a hill and offering panoramic views of the surrounding woods and wetlands. For the summer you’ll find a manicured garden and patio area, while indoors the relatively young country house displays much charm. Dark oak dining tables convene with wood-panelled walls, while glowing fireplaces and burgundy rugs spill warmth through the rooms and corridors. The menus offer traditional pub cuisine cooked by talented chefs using fresh Open: ingredients, and the result is outstanding. Our visit turned up a wholesome Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm; braised lamb shoulder with potato Sun noon-10.30pm Dauphinoise, and we were also Food Served: struck by the variety of food Mon-Sat noon-10pm; available. Sandwiches, lunches, light Sun noon-9.30pm bites, and a dedicated children’s menu sit alongside the options for a three-course meal, meaning there’s plenty to keep everyone happy (all at a very reasonable price). The thriving, well-stocked bar is the centrepiece to the pub, holding a variety of ale, lager, wine and spirits, and giving us more than enough reason to spend a day unwinding in one of the finer parts of the English countryside. 48

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The Crown

Traditional

 Location 56 Long Lane, Aston End, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7HD t: 0844 502 2695 w: www.crownastonend.co.uk e: hello@crownastonend.co.uk

NH Located in the hamlet of Aston End in the heart of rural Hertfordshire, The Crown offers a peaceful setting for anything from a lively family get-together to a romantic date night. The friendly staff create an inviting atmosphere and make you feel at £18 to home. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by a cosy interior complete with exposed £36 brickwork and comfy leather armchairs. In winter you can enjoy the warmth of the log-burning fire; in summer why not relax outdoors in the huge garden and patio area? There is also a large kids area, outside fire pits and even an outdoor barbecue. The menu is packed with enticing dishes, all freshly prepared and crafted with seasonal ingredients. The starters range from hearty salt-baked beetroot served with hazelnuts, apple, endive and truffled goat’s curd, to sumptuous smoked salmon, pickled cucumber and horseradish on toast. The mains are equally varied, Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; with choices including steaks and British classics. Some of the most popular plates Sun noon-9pm include the deliciously rich red wine-braised ox cheek, and the pork T-bone served Food Served: with crackling and apple sauce. Mon-Fri noon-3pm, Be sure to keep an eye out for The 5pm-9pm; Sat noon-9pm; Crown’s seasonal specials, which Sun noon-8pm change weekly. Those visiting for lunch are also treated to an offering of handmade sandwiches; choose from egg mayonnaise, honey-roast ham and mustard, smoked salmon, and roast chicken fillings. The kid’s menu is perfect for smaller appetites, offering delicious dishes as well as a fun activity sheet to keep little ones occupied.

The Royal Oak

Traditional

 Location 4 Biggleswade Road, Potton, Bedfordshire, SG19 2LU t: 0844 502 2964 w: www.theroyaloak-potton.co.uk

CB

Officially the oldest pub in the town of Potton, The Royal Oak is a local monument and Grade II listed building that dates back to the 17th century. Inside, you’ll find a traditional interior – complete with exposed beams and open fires – and outside there’s a spacious beer garden, perfect for those warm summer days. The team of friendly staff ensures that every guest is offered a hearty welcome and the pub is also dog-friendly, meaning you won’t have to leave your four-legged friends at home.

£15 to

£26

‘...spacious beer garden, perfect for those warm summer days...’

Looking for a casual spot in which to relax and catch up with friends? Pop into The Royal Oak for a few drinks. There’s a great range of real ale and fine wine available, as well as over 35 different gins and a varied snack menu. Open: Mon-Thurs The Royal Oak is also a top-notch noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm; destination for a delicious family Fri-Sun noon-11pm meal. Begin with a simple and tasty starter such as the homemade soup of the day, or if you’re looking to treat yourself, the gooey deep-fried halloumi. The selection of mains encompasses everything from sautéed guinea fowl to curried lamb chop with saag aloo potatoes. The rump steak with peppercorn sauce is also a popular choice, and the vegetable quiche is a scrumptious vegetarian option. Chilterns Guide 2019

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Calcutta Brasserie

 Location 7 St Pauls Court, High Street, Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, MK11 1LJ t: 0844 625 2344 w: www.calcuttabrasserie.co.uk MK e: info@calcuttabrasserie.co.uk The bustling market town of Stony Stratford is home to a range of fantastic eateries including Calcutta Brasserie, an exceptional restaurant offering authentic £25 to Indian cuisine. In 2018 Calcutta Brasserie won the coveted award of best £35 Asian restaurant in Milton Keynes. Following traditional recipes and using authentic Indian herbs and spices, chefs whip up an array of spectacular dishes that showcase India’s rich array of flavours, cultures and cooking styles. The restaurant’s location within a Grade II listed former chapel creates a unique setting in which to dine. The lavish interior sees high ceilings with Renaissance-style murals paired with comfortable seating and chandelier lighting. The extensive menu features classic starters like tandoori chicken alongside more unusual options such as hara channa tikki – split green pea and spinach cakes filled with buffalo mozzarella – and talli kekra – crispy soft-shell crab with Open: Mon-Sat noon-2pm, tamarind chutney. Tempting main 6pm-11pm; Sun noon-9pm course options include the lobster malai featuring whole Canadian lobster cooked in the classic Bengali style with coconut milk, ginger, and green chillies. Meat options like kosha mangsho, comprising slow-cooked lamb with aromatic hot spices, caramelised onion and ginger, are sure to please, while traditional thali dishes provide a great way to sample a variety of flavours; you’ll get to sample three curries accompanied by rice, naan, pickles, salad and yoghurt. World Cuisine

JRC Global Buffet  Location 1st Floor, 23-33 The Parade, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1LQ t: 01923 223666 w: www.jrc-globalbuffet.com e: watford@jrc-globalbuffet.com

SH

If you’re feeling peckish but can’t decide what type of food you fancy, JRC Global Buffet is the place for you. This buzzing venue is handily located in Watford’s shopping quarter, so if you’ve shopped until you dropped and are in need of generous portions, flavoursome food and a spacious dining area, pull up a pew at JRC Global Buffet.

*

£20

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm; Fri noon-3pm, 5.40pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm

There’s a wide variety of cuisine available from across the continents, meaning all palates will be more than satisfied. The extensive menus change regularly, adapting to suit the season’s offering. You could dine on sticky ribs coated in a delicious Brazilian glaze, before tucking into a creamy Goan fish curry. Finish by sampling from the delicious range of desserts, which includes a magnificent chocolate fountain. Buffets are interspersed with cooking stations, where diners can watch chefs cooking fresh fare before their very eyes. All of this is available at excellent value for money and under one roof. Travelling foodies will also be delighted to discover that the popular Watford restaurant is just one of numerous JRC Global Buffets in the UK.

*Price represents the cost of the dinner buffet with unlimited soft drinks. 50

Chilterns Guide 2019


Bangkok Lounge

Thai

 w: www.bangkoklounge.com e: info@bangkoklounge.com Open: Mon-Sun noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm For exceptional Thai food, look no further than the award-winning Bangkok Lounge. 2018 was a great year for Bangkok Lounge as it was awarded Best National Thai Restaurant by the Asian Restaurant & Takeaway Awards. Located in Harpenden and Shefford, these exceptional restaurants offer outstanding service and a huge range of delicious dishes.

SH CB £20

We visited the elegantly furnished Harpenden restaurant on the High Street and were warmly greeted by proprietor Motin Miah. Inside there’s a refined ambience that’s utterly relaxing, due in part to Motin’s evident love for his profession. Food and drink streamed to our table. Our every wish was granted so unobtrusively that we couldn’t fail to be impressed. The extensive menu offers a wealth of choice, with set menu options as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes to suit all palates and budgets. Equally delightful is the wine list, featuring everything from house wine available by the glass to special occasion tipples. Bangkok Lounge’s award-winning chefs (chef profile page 55) blend the freshest ingredients to create a fusion of flavour in every mouthful. We began with steamed mussels with Thai herbs in a steaming broth that contained dozens of contrasting flavours without being overwhelmed by one. Deep-fried king prawns paired with sweet chilli sauce provided the perfect precursor to the steamed sea bass with chilli sauce in a fresh lemon and lime dressing. The jungle curry was a masterpiece accompanied by fragrant bowls of jasmine rice and crisp vegetables in garlic and soy sauce, served with a mountain of sizzling tempura vegetables.

to

£25

In addition to the à la carte menu, the lunch menu attracts daytime diners and offers exceptional quality at unbelievable value. Takeaways are available for collection with a generous discount offered on pick-up. Reading the outstanding reviews on Google and TripAdvisor, it’s no surprise to find that Bangkok Lounge is one of the most popular Thai restaurants in the area and that booking is essential for both venues. Head to Harpenden or Shefford and discover this Thai temptress for yourself.  Location 80 High Street, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2SP t: 0844 502 6949  Location 2 Bedford Road, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5DJ t: 0844 502 6952

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Olivier Bertho – Olivier’s Restaurant – Pg 4

Chef Profile

Olivier’s is part of the 3000-acre Woburn Estate, which gives chef Olivier access to Woburn venison, his favourite seasonal ingredient; keep an eye on his menus for it served in a red wine jus with juniper berries and horseradish. Olivier has been in the hotel and restaurant industry for over 30 years. Since his apprenticeship in his native Brittany, fish has been Olivier’s favourite dish on any menu – he loves the fresh, delicate flavour that each variety provides.

‘...career has flourished...’ Before his namesake restaurant was opened at The Woburn Hotel – which he considers a great honour – Olivier’s illustrious career gave him the opportunity to cook for fellow chefs that he admires, such as the Roux brothers. His career has flourished since being at The Woburn Estate, where he has cooked for the likes of foreign royalty, celebrities and British prime ministers.

Chad Rahman – Chez Mumtaj – Pg 5

Chef Profile

Chad Rahman is at the forefront of innovation in contemporary French-Asian cuisine. With a sensitivity to the nuances of global gastronomy, he creates dishes that celebrate the multiculturalism of today’s world.

‘...originality and technical precision...’ Chad’s talent and experience speak for themselves – in 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Craft Guild of World Cuisine Ethnic Chef Award, while in 2017 he was named Hertfordshire Life Chef of the Year, as well as the Asian Catering Federations’ Asian and Oriental Chef of the Year – both of which recognise his outstanding and lasting contribution to the British culinary scene, along with his originality and technical precision. Chad’s newest accolade is Asian Chef of the Year 2018 Champion of Champions, which was awarded by the Asian Catering Federation. Chad and his dishes are undoubtedly going to be remembered for some time to come, as he takes each of his diners on a gastronomic journey.

Ruth Hansom – Wernher Restaurant – Pg 5

Chef Profile

Cooking has been a passion of Ruth’s from a very young age, and you could always find her in the kitchen helping to cook family meals. At 15, Ruth entered the Future Chef cooking competition where she came second, and was subsequently talent-spotted by a chef who invited her to move to London to work. She decided to take the plunge and spent the next few years exploring the culinary world of England’s capital city.

‘...loves developing her knowledge and skill set...’ The sauce section is Ruth’s favourite area in which to work, as she loves utilising every part of an animal to create sauces that make good dishes taste exceptional. Ruth loves developing her knowledge and skill set and relishes the fast-paced environment and comradery of a kitchen. What Ruth loves most about cooking is making people happy, and continuing to satisfy diners is what motivates her to improve. Chilterns Guide 2019

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Matt Edmonds – Auberge du Lac – Pg 6 From a young age, Matt was always aware of where food came from and how it was prepared. His grandfather was a dairy farmer and his grandmother had an allotment, so the countryside and its produce played a big part in Matt’s upbringing. His first steps into the industry were alongside a Michelin-starred chef, who took Matt on as an apprentice. He has since worked in some of the finest country estates in the UK as well as Searcys at The Gherkin.

‘...fantastic menus of contemporary seasonal fare...’

Now head chef at Auberge du Lac, Matt draws upon his wealth of experience to create fantastic menus of contemporary seasonal fare. It’s no wonder the restaurant was awarded two AA rosettes. Even with all this success under his belt, Matt isn’t one to rest on his laurels; he’s always learning, looking for new flavour combinations and finding new ways to showcase fresh ingredients.

Chef Profile

Aimee Reddick – Sopwell House – Pg 12 Aimee describes her cooking style as simple but adventurous, mainly due to the fact that she likes to marry different flavours and ingredients from around the world. She began her training at Milton Keynes College and has since gone on to work in Michelin-starred establishments, currently working in the kitchen at The Restaurant at Sopwell House, which holds two coveted AA rosettes. Aimee thrives off the buzz of the kitchen. The demanding nature of the business and last-minute requests keep her on her toes, and she loves that no two days are the same.

‘...thrives off the buzz of the kitchen...’

Figs and wild garlic are Aimee’s favourite seasonal ingredients, and when it comes to local produce, she loves seasonal berries, which can be found taking pride of place on her menu. Among Aimee’s career highlights is the memorable experience of cooking for the legendary John Travolta.

Chef Profile

Dan Defusto – The White Hart – Pg 13 From the age of six, Dan began helping his mum cook at home; it was this experience that inspired him to become a chef. His first job as trainee chef in Potter’s Bar put him in charge of preparing the starters and garnish for the à la carte menu, as well as washing pots. Nowadays Dan loves to work on the pass at The White Hart as he enjoys making picture-perfect plates of food for his diners.

‘...classical but with a modern twist...’ The Christmas period is Dan’s favourite time of year as he thrives during busy service. One of Dan’s favourite ingredients to cook with is turkey, which he uses to make delicious ballotines all year round. Dan would describe his cooking style as classical but with a modern twist, and believes good food should be full of flavour. In 2019, Dan is looking forward to putting his own ideas into The White Hart, which is sure to have a positive impact on the business. 54

Chilterns Guide 2019


Usman Majid – The Grill Steakhouse – Pg 24

Chef Profile

When Usman opened The Grill Steakhouse nearly six years ago, he made provenance an integral part of the food offering. After going from farm to farm, he now works with suppliers that he trusts, and is able to trace every cut of beef served.

‘...loves the simplicity of cooking on the grill...’

Usman believes that good food is fresh and wholesome, and moreover, comforting. Self taught, Usman’s passion and dedication come from the years he spent watching his mum create great feasts for family gatherings. His cooking style is all about letting ingredients speak for themselves, which is why he loves the simplicity of cooking on the grill. His aims for the future include maintaining the high standards found at The Grill Steakhouse, and also opening a second branch soon – watch this space.

Chris Jones – Coach House Hotel – Pg 46

Chef Profile

When Chris first embarked upon his culinary career, little did he know that one day a kitchen would be designed specifically to his requirements. This is exactly what happened at the Coach House Hotel, where Chris is in charge of creating top-notch cuisine. He worked at numerous venues in the surrounding area before arriving at the Coach House Hotel, though he travelled a bit further afield to conduct his training at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons under Raymond Blanc.

‘...an expert at utilising seasonal ingredients...’

Having completed his training and with a number of years of experience under his belt, Chis has become an expert at utilising seasonal ingredients to create high quality yet affordable fare. He’s also talented at catering for events and weddings.

Chalao Karun – Bangkok Lounge – Pg 51

Chef Profile

Chalao knew he wanted to be a chef from a young age as he loved watching his mother and grandmother cook in the family kitchen. He began his training at the Hard Rock Pattaya in Thailand, where he was a kitchen assistant peeling onions and garlic in the hotel’s restaurant.

‘...wanted to be a chef from a young age...’ He has come a long way since his first job in the kitchen, and is now head chef at the award-winning Bangkok Lounge. For Chalao, good food is simple and fresh, and he ensures that he always uses seasonal vegetables in his cooking. Asparagus is Chalao’s favourite seasonal ingredient, which he loves to lightly stir-fry with a touch of garlic and Thai red chillies. Chalao and his team have won a number of accolades including St Albans District Chamber’s Best Restaurant of the Year in 2007, and Best National Thai Restaurant at the Asian Restaurant & Takeaway Awards in 2018. Chilterns Guide 2019

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Index Adam’s Brasserie at Luton Hoo Hotel – Luton .................. 19

Hare & Hounds, The – Old Warden .................................. 14

Anastasia’s Greek Restaurant – St Albans ........................ 23

Hartwell House & Spa – Vale of Aylesbury ....................... 11

Anglers Retreat, The – Marsworth .................................... 44 Aqua – Milton Keynes ...................................................... 37 Auberge du Lac – Welwyn.................................................. 6

Hit or Miss, The – Amersham .......................................... 41 JRC Global Buffet – Watford ........................................... 50

Bangkok Lounge – Harpenden, Shefford ........................... 51

King’s Head, The – Ivinghoe ............................................ 15

Bedford Arms, The – Chenies ........................................... 31

Lake Restaurant – St Albans ............................................ 41

Beech House, The – St Albans .......................................... 36

Lucca Restaurant – Wendover .......................................... 22

Bell, The – Studham .......................................................... 7 Bistro Gautier – Harpenden ............................................. 17 Black Boy, The – Oving .................................................... 45

Lytton at Chalfont Dene, The – Chalfont St Peter ................ 9 Marco Pierre White Steakhouse – Milton Keynes.............. 35

Black Horse – Great Missenden ....................................... 29

Nags Head, The – Great Missenden .................................. 17

Black Horse, The – Iver Heath ......................................... 39

Navigation Inn, The – Cosgrove........................................ 28

Brasserie at Sopwell House, The – St Albans .................... 19 Bricklayers Arms, The – Flaunden .................................... 17 Browns Brasserie & Bar – Milton Keynes ......................... 21

Oak, The – Aston Clinton ................................................. 40 Old Orchard, The – Harefield............................................ 48

Bull, The – Cottered ........................................................ 35

Olivier’s Restaurant – Woburn ........................................... 4

Bushel & Strike, The – Ashwell ........................................ 25

On The Green – Stevenage ............................................... 10

Calcutta Brasserie – Stony Stratford ................................ 50

Paris House – Woburn ....................................................... 4

Chandos Arms, The – Weston Turville............................... 44 Chequers Inn, The – Woolmer Green ............................... 40 Chez Mumtaj – St Albans .................................................. 5

Potters Arms, The – Amersham .......................................... 8 Prae Wood Arms, The – St Albans ................................... 26

Coach House Hotel – Royston........................................... 46

Red Lion, The – Studham ................................................. 43

Cricketers, The – Sarratt ................................................. 48

Restaurant at Sopwell House, The – St Albans .................. 12

Crown, The – Chesham .................................................... 26

Rose & Crown – St Albans ............................................... 38

Crown, The – Stevenage ................................................... 49 Crowne Plaza Marlow – Marlow ...................................... 29 Dog & Badger, The – Medmenham ................................... 34

Royal Oak, The – Potton .................................................. 49 Rusty Gun, The – St Ippolyts ............................................ 27

Dolce Caffé & Restaurant – Rickmansworth ...................... 23

Swan, The – Flitwick ....................................................... 43

Donatello’s – Ampthill, Dunstable .................................... 21

Thompson St Albans – St Albans........................................ 3

Duke of York, The – Barnet .............................................. 39 Eight Bells, The – Long Crendon ...................................... 47 El Bar De Tapas – Stevenage ........................................... 18

Three Tuns, The – Ashwell ................................................ 12 Tilbury, The – Datchworth ................................................ 14

George IV, The – Great Amwell .......................................... 8

Tudors Restaurant & Bar – St Albans ............................... 16

George Street Canteen – St Albans .................................. 38

Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel – Luton ................ 5

Globe Inn, The – Leighton Buzzard .................................. 42

White Hart, The – Ampthill ............................................. 30

Goat, The – Hertford Heath ............................................. 42 Golden Fleece, The – Braughing ....................................... 15 Green Man, The – Great Wymondley ................................ 42

White Hart, The – Welwyn ............................................... 13 White Horse, The – Welwyn ............................................. 27

Greyhound, The – Tring .................................................... 13

Xscape – Milton Keynes ................................................... 32

Grill Steakhouse, The – Aylesbury .................................... 24

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks – St Albans .................................. 46

56

Chilterns Guide 2019


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