There is no institution quite like the great British boozer. In the UK, we love a good pint in our favorite pub’s beer garden – and it’s no different here in Hertfordshire.
Many of us love flocking to our local for an ice cold beverage in the summer with our friends and family. And with Fathers Day just around the corner, many of us treating our dads to a pint or two.
Whether you are looking for a quaint and cozy countryside pub or more of a glamorous spot which offers high-end food, there are plenty on offer here in Herts. But which pubs are the best in the county?
READ MORE: Good pub guide 2022: Hertfordshire’s seven best pubs according to expert reviews
HertfordshireLive has compiled a list of 10 of the best pubs that we have here in our wonderful county. From famous award-winning pubs to the quieter, lesser known gems, there’s a pub for everyone.
The Golden Lion, Hoddesdon
Situated on the vibrant Hoddesdon High Street, the ‘traditional’ pub is full of history, being named as among the oldest pubs in the country, after being first established in 1535. The Golden Lion was originally a coaching inn and Henry VIII’s saddle was stored in the stables as he was said to have been forbidden from riding.
The staircase inside was used by 2nd class citizens if they were allowed in by the owners. History aside, the current pub offers a large South-West facing garden with a children’s play area and sheltered patio. A large parking area is available to the rear of the pub. Dogs and children are welcome all year round inside and out. The pub also offers a traditional Sunday lunch – perfect for treating your dad this Fathers Day.
Alford Arms, Frithsden
Inside the Alford Arms’ cozy Victorian building you’ll find antique furniture, a darts board, background jazz and friendly staff. It is described as a “pubby gem” nestling in a secluded wooded valley.
The great Ashridge Forest is on its doorstep and the broad sweep of the Chiltern Hills is its backdrop. The food menu changes every week, making use of the very best of seasonal local produce.
There are over 20 gins to choose from, and the ales will more than likely be from local breweries including Tring, Rebellion, and Chiltern. They compliment the IPA and lager from Camden Town.
Bricklayers Arms, Flaunden
Tucked away down winding lanes, this is a low brick and tiled pub which serves excellent meals. It’s an 18th-century pub set in the rolling hills of the Chess Valley.
It has been owned by the same family for more than 18 years, and the head chef has won multiple awards. In summer, the terrace and beautifully kept old-fashioned garden have seats and tables.
College Arms, Hertford Heath
According to the Good Pub Guide, this pub has “hearty food, a good choice of drinks and numerous events throughout the year”. There is a wood-burning stove, an old brick fireplace, long cushioned wall seats and pale leather dining chairs.
Their menu offers perfect pub grub: fish and chips, burgers, bubble and squeak and plenty of sandwiches. Dogs are allowed in the bar. The College Arms has also won a Food and Wine Awards.
The Cricketers, Sarratt
In the heart of Sarratt, the Cricketers overlook the village green. It is everything you would expect of a quintessential English pub. Cricketing memorabilia hangs on the walls and there’s not one but two open fires – perfect in winter if not so much in summer.
It offers decent cask ales, a carefully chosen wine list, and a simple but tasty menu with fresh ingredients sourced locally wherever possible. The Cricketers have also won a Good Pub Guide Beer and Wine awards. Dogs are allowed in the bar.
The Duke of York, Barnet
Just on the border between Potters Bar and Barnet is the Duke of York Pub. They have a secluded, sprawling garden which is a real sun-trap on warm days and is very pretty with its flower beds and lawn. There’s also a play area for children.
The Duke of York’s menu includes classic British dishes complemented by more influences from other parts of the world, such as their sweet potato, aubergine and spinach Malaysian curry with coconut rice and pak choi.
Holly Bush, Potter’s Crouch
This is an attractive, tranquil 17th-century pub tucked away in the idyllic hamlet of Potters Crouch near Chiswell Green. It has plenty of charming and quirky features.
There are antique dressers filled with plates, comfortably cushioned settles, a fox’s mask, antlers, an old clock with a lovely chime, daily papers and a big fireplace.
The food includes sausages with mashed potatoes and gravy, smoked haddock fishcakes, sandwiches and platters, halloumi bites with sweet dipping sauce, smoked salmon with lemon crème fraîche, lamb koftas with tzatziki and more.
Prae Wood Arms, St Albans
The Prae Wood Arms near St Albans was once a manor house, built in 1838 for Lady Frances Cooke Grimston. She referred to it as a ‘little cottage’, but we’d say that it’s not quite an apt description for this large pub with a sprawling garden.
There’s a stone terrace overlooking the grass lawns which slope down to the River Ver. The interconnected bar and dining areas have antique-style dining chairs and tables of every size and shape.
Food includes hearty British classics including braised ox cheek pie as well as lighter sandwiches. Dogs are allowed in the bar. The Prae Wood Arms has also won the Good Pub Guide Beer and Wine Awards.
Red Lion, Preston
The Red Lion, in the village of Preston near Hitchin, became the first pub in the country to be owned by the local community in 1982. And they have never looked back.
It’s a busy and cheerful place, with a freshly prepared and varied menu – much of it locally sourced. It includes sweet potato and spinach curry, prawns with garlic and chilli, wild mushroom, stilton and broccoli crumble, and so much more.
Furry friends are allowed in the bar. This boozer won a Good Pub Guide Beer and Price Awards in 2021.
The Waterside, Rickmansworth
Situated near the stunning, serene settings of the River Colne, sits The Waterside pub in Rickmansworth. The 18th century pub also serves up homemade pies and fresh seafood alongside a substantial wine list. There is free car parking for customers and two gardens to relax in. The pub also offers highly-raved about Sunday lunches, perfect for that Fathers Day meal.
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