Hertfordshire, we're welcoming you back! In celebration of weekend plans being back on the menu, we're sharing some of our top tips for a weekend break without the stress...that just happens to be right on your doorstep. Ready to start planning your perfect local escape?
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, with so many wonderful places to eat in Hertfordshire, we've got a fantastic 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, discover some of our favourite local restaurants, pubs and bars in Hertfordshire, and hidden gems for everything from sustainable top-quality cuisine to the afternoon treats to satisfy every sweet tooth...
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.
Lussmanns Sustainable Fish and Grill is a local institution with some of the best restaurants in Hertfordshire, serving up 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.
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…
After a day of eating, drinking and indulging, it's safe to say you've earned a little luxury. Historic Down Hall awaits to take care of your every need, be it spa treatments, tempting tipples in The Cocktail Bar, or a little fine dining in The Garden Room restaurant, which promises a menu of seasonal delicacies. Get a good nights sleep, because there's more to go tomorrow...but with luxurious individually designed rooms rooms in the Manor House, that really shouldn't be too difficult.
The Bake House in The Wynd is the perfect spot for a relaxed cuppa and slice (or three) of cake. We'll be honest, we can't choose between the blondies, brownies or decadent Victoria sponge, so we'd recommend sampling all three for a true taste of this cafe's delights. Once you've had your fill of gorgeous cake, The Garden City Brewery is a must-visit for freshly brewed beers in the tap room.
Set in the iconic Banyers House in Melbourn Street, we've saved a truly remarkable stay to end the weekend right. Settle in for a taste of the Mediterranean in the beautiful orangery or dining room- we heartily recommend their Neapolitan pizzas fresh from the wood-fired oven. Once you've had your fill, retreat upstairs into one of the beautifully designed, luxurious rooms for a restful night.
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.
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.
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.
Stomach ready to burst yet? Of course not, we’re professionals! And it’s on to our final meal, 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 Rosettee for Culinary Excellence. For the true foodie, it’s a must.
Just down the road from The Bricklayer's Arms, the hidden haven of Aubrey Park awaits. Boasting surrounding woodland and comfortable rooms to help you escape the rush of everyday life, this is a true retreat. Before turning in for the night (we know, we know, that king size bed is waiting), we recommend a quick night cap in the beautifully designed bar and raising a toast to one incredible foodie weekend.