Foodie favourites in Herts
We’ve got a little disclaimer for any of you getting ready to tuck into the following feature on an empty stomach… Your tastebuds are about to be well and truly tantalised, so now might be a tactical time to pour yourself a drink and stock up on the snacks to see you through!
With a marvellous mixture of brilliant bakeries, inviting inns, palatable produce, and a pretty impressive culinary history too, Hertfordshire serves up a full-flavoured menu of foodie spots worth adding to your wish list. Ready to get stuck in?
A multi-award winning bakery nestled in the heart of Rickmansworth, our first recommendation is sure to satisfy any level of sweet-tooth. Born out of a vision to share the joy of their namesake product (the Cinnamon Square Bun) with the local community, Cinnamon Square opened back in 2005. Over 15 years later, the Cinnamon Square bun still prompts smiles like no other with its unrivaled flavour, softness and gooey-ness. Trust us when we say that this brilliant bakery truly is ‘cin’sational…
Insta favourite @dejashuu regularly has the Visit Herts team salivating at the sight of her curated foodie feed, which is why we knew she’d be the ideal person to invite on a tasting tour of our charming county earlier this summer. From sophisticated seafood and the perfect poached egg, to indulgent waffles covered with all the toppings, check out Shu’s Gourmet Garden Trail of Knebworth House and St Albans, and prepare for some serious #foodporn.
Big birthday? Something special to celebrate? No matter what the occasion, the glorious Grove Hotel has a culinary offering to suit. From indulgent Afternoon Teas that can be enjoyed in the comfort of their luxurious lounge, to delectable dining using only the freshest of ingredients (from their very own Kitchen Garden might we add) at one of their on-site restaurants, this 5-star spot sitting just outside of Watford, is one not to be missed.
Forget about The Mad Hatter, if you’re searching for a Wonderland filled with all manner of cakes and bakes, look no further than The Mad Batter! Self-confessed ‘Head Cake Taster’ Stacey runs this home-based bakery in Stevenage, which was recently crowned Local Food/Drink Producer in the 2021 Muddy Stiletto Awards. Stacey’s creative cake designs and delicious bakes bring joy to events and individuals alike, offering a personal experience that is inclusive of any dietary needs. Now this is one rabbit hole we certainly wouldn’t mind falling down…
Marvellous food and drink in the grounds of a marvellous Manor House? Yes please! Lace up your boots and spend a morning strolling the gardens that surround historic Hatfield House, before cosying up on-site in the Coach House Kitchen and refuelling with your top picks from this contemporary restaurant’s extensive menu. From breakfast bakes and warming soups, to seriously scrummy Sunday roasts, a pit-stop at the Coach House Kitchen is a total must when heading to Hatfield.
Craft and cask beers, stone-baked pizzas, and a warm welcome are just three of the guarantees that await when you cross the threshold of The Lytton Arms pubs at the edge of the Knebworth Estate. This historic pub prides itself on having fun with their beers, featuring guest brews from some of their favourite breweries country-wide, and referring to themselves as a ‘beer festival 365 days a year’. We’ll certainly drink to that… cheers!
There’s nothing quite like a meal you’ve cooked yourself, so you can trust us when we say there’s really nothing like a meal you’ve foraged and cooked yourself. Enter Totally Wild - the foraging pros who are totally wild about imparting their vast knowledge of exciting wild foods with you as part of a series of ‘Forage & Cook’ events at Home Farm Glamping near Elstree. Each session starts with an intro to foraging, before embarking on your very own hands-on harvesting walk, and concluding with a 3-course lunch utilising the day’s wild and foraged ingredients. The perfect way to enjoy the fruits (and flowers, and fungis…) of your labour.
If you’re thinking it’s about time you upgraded your go-to Friday night tipple, why not top up on your favourite tonic and serve with a generous splash of gin, distilled right on your doorstep here in Herts? Founded by Kate and Ben Marston, Hertfordshire’s first gin distillery - Puddingstone Distillery - opened its doors back in 2016 to critical acclaim. Their award-winning London Dry, Cask Aged and Navy Strength Campfire gins are distilled, bottled, and labelled on site, and make the perfect pick-me-up for any gin connoisseurs.
With their mix vintage crockery, rainbow-coloured juice in jam jars, and handwritten labels, the next in our line-up of foodie favourites certainly embraces the eclectic. Situated in the charming village of Croxley Green, Perch & Co is the perfect pit-stop for that lazy lunch with friends, or weekend treat with the family. Here, food is freshly made to order, with signature British, Mediterranean and Persian influences. Perch’s ‘Daily Specials’ menu also changes regularly; meaning you’re sure to always find something special and new to try out on your next tasting tour…
Insta snappers, this next one’s for you! Step into a sensory world to discover an arrangement of culinary delights, fragrant cocktails, and great music when you book a table at The Florist, Watford. Indulge in French toast or pancakes with fresh berries if you’re bee-lining for brunch, or take your pick from a wide range of Asian-inspired options available on their Florist Favourites menu if checking in for lunch or dinner. Trust us, your Instagram grid will thank us for this one!
It’s time to get those store cupboards stocked with only the very best local ingredients thanks to our next foodie recommendation. Sitting serenely on the banks of the River Lea, explore the eighteenth century working watermill and museum of Mill Green Mill & Museum for yourself to be truly transported back in time. Still in regular use today, this mill grinds organic stone-ground, wholemeal flour on the premises which is directly available for sale on-site. Now, who’s feeling inspired for a spot of baking?
What’s a foodie round-up without an idyllic English experience at one of our favourite pubs in Hertfordshire, 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 Rosette for Culinary Excellence. For the true foodie, it’s a must.
A boutique hotel-come-wellness centre, set in a stunning Georgian manor house, Birch Community take their food very seriously. Enjoy fine dining and cocktails at the Zebra Riding Café with its Instagrammable aesthetics or take your food al fresco in the Birch grounds with dinner from Valerie’s, their casual all day restaurant. If you're celebrating something special, why not hire out The Gun Room for private dining in luxury settings?
Indulge in a tour of Hertfordshire's very own brewery and let the dynamic team at Tring guide you through their history, their uniquely names beers and how they make them. You'll even get to try a tipple or two, and don't forget to stock up in the brewery shop before you head home!
Want to brush up on your culinary skills? Learn a new recipe repertoire to impress at your next dinner party? This next recommendation is one you 'knead' to add to your list. Discover 1,000 years of milling history at the last working mill on the river Ver when you visit Redbournbury Watermill & Bakery. What's more, this special site also offers hands-on opportunities to try something new with a full-day baking class for up to six people. Every Monday, eager chefs can take their place in the kitchen where they'll learn a host of brilliant baking techniques including yeasted and sourdough breads. Participants will make a variety of baked treats to take home and enjoy.