A Weekend Away For The Tastemaker
They say some eat to live, while others live to eat. If you count yourself in the latter, you’re among friends here! A weekend away should revolve around planning the very best three basic meals (plus snacks, eleveneses, afternoon tea, drinks...) Luckily Herts has a foodie reputation, and a pretty impressive culinary history - we're the home to long-life bread and hot cross buns, don't you know! For a weekend indulging in some of the best food the county has to offer, here are our hidden gems for everything from sustainable top-quality cuisine to the afternoon treats to satisfy every sweet tooth...
Brunch – The Waffle House
The family-run brunch favourite The Waffle House is where we begin our foodie weekend. Overlooking the River Ver in a 16th century watermill, this St Albans staple specialises in Belgian waffles, individually cooked to order and using many organic and free-range ingredients. Choose from their selection of super sweet banoffee or berry waffles, or start the day with a hearty savoury brunch of smoked salmon, avocado and scrambled eggs.
Lunch – Lussmanns
Lussmanns Sustainable Fish and Grill is a Hertfordshire institution, serving up local high quality cuisine with sustainable, ethical food production at the the forefront of their delicious creations. Employing the highest animal welfare standards and environmentally-friendly policies, it's earned them the highest possible sore from the Sustainability Resturant Association. Choose from any of their five Hertfordshire sites to disover why they won the Hertfordshire Taste of the Year Award in 2019.
Afternoon tea - Sopwell House and Spa
The outside world seems to slowly drift away in to one massage-induced dream at Sopwell House. Whether you make good use of their spa and book in a well-deserved massage, foodies will agree that the ultimate relaxing, indulgant activity is afternoon tea. The essentials of cream cakes, jam and scones are there for you to enjoy, but we suggest upgrading to their champagne afternoon tea for that extra special afternoon. Ultimate bliss…
Stay, dinner and drinks – Birch Community
Be one of the first to enjoy the new hotel that everyone’s talking about – Birch Community is a boutique hotel-cum-wellness centre, set in a stunning Georgian manor house. Taking their food very seriously, Birch Community uses ingredients grown on site and has multiple food outlets for you to enjoy. Enjoy fine dining and cocktails at the Zebra Riding Café with it’s instagrammable aesthics or take your food al fresco in the Birch grounds with dinner from Valeries, their casual all day restaurant. If you're celebrating something special, why not hire out The Gun Room for private dining in luxury settings? Get a good nights sleep, because there's more to go tomorrow...
Morning farmers markets
After grabbing a pastry to go from Birch’s onsite bakery (we know you’d never forgo a snack for the journey!), hop on down to one of Herts’ farmers markets. Pick up everything from veggies, deli meats, pastries, cakes - even pizzas, burritos and European and Asian food stalls ready to serve you up brunch while you stroll round a Herts town. With so many markets happening at different times throughout the month, make sure you check which charming town to head to right here.
Eleveneses - Hatfield House
A stop for coffee and cake is essential after a stroll around the gardens at the stunning historical landmark of Hatfield House. Walking around the glorious gardens and woodland, complete with views of the stunning jacobean architecture of the house, you won't believe the chic, modern Coach House Kitchen is waiting for you to refuel.
Afternoon picnic – The Grove
Check in to The Grove for your final nights stay, and enjoy a late lunch with a pre-booked luxe picnic hamper, ready for you to enjoy outside in the sunshine, complete with a complimentary blanket for the cooler autumnal afternoons. From smoked salmon to freshly baked focaccia, fragrant salads to juicy strawberries with cream, it makes the simple picnic the finest luxury experience.
Dinner – The Bricklayers Arms
Stomach ready to burst yet? Of course not, we’re professionals! And it’s on to our final meal, an idyllic English pub experience at The Bricklayers Arms. Hunker down under cosy, 18th century beams with a log fire for the nippier autumn afternoons in this award-winning gastropub. They’ve won the coveted ‘Dining Pub of the Year’ award from the Good Pub Guide not once, not twice, but FIVE years on the trot, as well as an AA Rosettee for Culinary Excellence. For the true foodie, it’s a must.
Drinks - The Grove
Time to turn in for the night – but not before one last hurrah, a drink at the The Glasshouse Bar at The Grove Hotel. Celebrate over their lively seasonal cocktails using leaves, fruits and berries hand-picked mere hours ago from their walled gardens. A truly special way to celebrate an occasion, or simply cheers to a lovely weekend away.