Coffee shops and brunch spots

Sophie Hewitt

20th July 2021

Ah brunch…pancakes, avo on toast, eggs Benedict, mimosas…we really could go on, but instead of listing our favourite brunch foods, we thought we’d share our favourite brunch spots and coffee shops in Hertfordshire.

From pancake houses set on cobbled streets, to cafes in the gardens of manor houses, these locations are far from your regular greasy spoon. They’re the perfect place to catch up with friends and while away an afternoon – we’ve even thrown in a couple of suggestions of spots to head to afterwards so you can walk off that French toast!

AtriaWatford

Friends, food and shopping? Yes, please! Head to Atria Watford and you’ll have your choice of brunch locations. With vegan and gluten free options, and a whole host of tempting brunch treats, from Eggs Chorizo, Peppers and Guacamole, to Triple-Stacked Buttermilk Pancakes, Lounge is the perfect relaxed place to catch up with friends, whether you choose to eat in, or take away and indulge in the gorgeous Cassiobury Park. While, every influencer’s favourite, The Florist is that perfect mix of hearty options, indulgent pancakes, and juices, paired with that beautiful décor. Once you’ve finished your meal, a wander through some of the many shops in Atria is a must.

Knebworth

Now, didn’t we promise you coffee in the gardens of a manor house? The Garden Terrace Tea Room at Knebworth House serves up the freshest home-made cakes around, coffees, tea, and plenty of hot and cold snacks. Better still, if the sun is shining, you can enjoy your treats alfresco, before strolling the gorgeous manicured gardens and rolling parkland. Tea, cake and a countryside ramble with a mate? It’s the perfect weekend treat.

St Albans

Cobbled streets and cathedral views, you don’t need to convince us of the charms of St Albans for dinner, but what we’re really enjoying right now are those egg-ceptional eateries for brunch. We may not be skipping off to the South of France quite yet, but Crêpeaffaire is all we need to keep the crepe cravings at bay. And with waffles, vegan and gluten free gallettes, and fantastic coffee on offer in addition to their flipping fantastic pancakes, we’ll be there all day. Eggs Florentine, avocado, vegan breakfast and the locally-renowned shakshuka eggs…our mouths are watering just at the thought of the brunch menu at The Street Café. Plus, as the food is all locally sourced and home-made, it offers the perfect taste of Hertfordshire. Dining done, it’s time to feed your mind and explore the St Albans Museum + Gallery, a showcase of 2000 years of history and contemporary artwork.

Abbots Kitchen

Just a stone’s throw from Verulamium Park, Abbots Kitchen in St Albans Cathedral has got to be one of our favourite spots for a coffee and cake. Whether you pull up a chair in the beautiful alfresco dining area at the foot of the Norman tower, or take a pew in the café inside the cathedral, you’ll be guaranteed a rich cup of coffee and a cake to keep you going before a tour through the St Albans icon, or the parkland surrounding it.

Hatfield House

Picture bird song, the buzzing of bees and sunshine on your shoulders, paired with a fresh croissant and a cappuccino and you might just imagine a rural French village. Allow us to present breakfast at Hatfield House! Choose from fresh pastries, or hearty breakfast muffins in the Coach House Kitchen and you’ve got the perfect lazy Sunday morning. Lace up your boots and stroll the gardens that surround the historic house and you’ve got a perfect afternoon too.

Dacorum

Oh, Ashridge Estate, you’ve been the setting for so many favourite walks over the years, and now you’re the site of one of our favourite cafés. Yes, the Brownlow Café and Ashridge Visitor Centre offers breakfast ALL DAY, so whether you fancy topping or tailing your woodland walk with a locally produced feast, you’ll be in for a treat. Dog friendly, mouth-watering cakes, locally-sourced, trust us when we say, it doesn’t get much better than this. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that Dacorum delivers on dining locations, and Fishery Wharf Café on the Grand Union Canal is another stunning example. Pair waterside views with a full breakfast menu (when was the last time you tucked into a bubble & squeak?) and a follow up wander along the canal to Boxmoor Common.

Sunday wanders

Once you've dined and indulged a walk through the countryside is the perfect round off. With Thameslink and Great Northern's walks in partnership with AllTrails to discover, all starting mere steps from train stations, you could soon be circling the Hertfordshire countryside and walking off those waffles! With curated trail maps, and circular and linear walks, it doesn't whether you fancy a 1 mile wander or 6 mile trek, these routes are perfect, whatever kind of adventurer you are. 

Hertford 

Coffee lovers, we couldn't write this list and not include Hertford Coffee Lab in Hertford! Roasting their very own coffee at their roasters, Bionic Bull, it's safe to say this wonderful little cafe takes their beans very seriously. Pair that deliciously rich coffee with one of their freshly baked cakes (we hear the pastel de nata is amazing) and you've got the perfect start to the day. After coffee and cake, stroll the historic town of Hertford and get some Insta-worth snaps of the castle while you're at it!