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17 of the best pubs in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:08 25 January 2017

The Greyhound, Wigginton (Andrew Bowden, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Greyhound, Wigginton (Andrew Bowden, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)


We have selected 17 of the best pubs in Hertfordshire. Whether you want fine dining or classic pub food, real ales or good wine, we have the pub for you in our Hertfordshire pubs guide

The Tilbury, Datchworth

The Tilbury, the multi-award winning pub in Datchworth, offers a wide variety of inventive and delicious food alongside the extensive wine list. With an a la carte menu featuring tempting dishes, food at the Tilbury boasts multiple recommendations by Michelin, The AA and more. James Bainbridge was a finalist in the Food & Drink Hero of the Year award at the 2016 Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards.

The Boot, Sarratt

The Boot in Sarratt, at almost 280 years old, is a traditionally English, dog-friendly pub. Complete with a cosy fireplace and real ales galore, this 18th century country pub is a charming place in summer or winter. Cosy up by the open fire in the winter or enjoy the lush greenery during the warmer months. Food menus include pub classics such as beer battered haddock and hand cut chips or a full Sunday roast at the end of the week.

Hermit of Redcoats, Titmore Green

Making the most of seasonal produce, the menu at the award-winning Hermit of Redcoats is ever-changing to reflect the best in locally-sourced ingredients from their suppliers who they work closely with. The red brick exterior is an inviting sight at the end of a country walk or bicycle ride. This is a particular favourite with gin lovers with over 50 varieties to enjoy however you like.

The Greyhound, Wigginton

The Greyhound, tucked in the pretty village of Wigginton, serves delicious traditional pub food and has a changing daily specials menu. A lovely pub next to the village pond, you will want to come back again and again. Children will enjoy the play area outside and there are elegantly decorated rooms to spend the night if you’re too full from dinner!

The Fox and Duck, Therfield

The Fox and Duck is a charming, award-winning village pub that retains much of its old style charm. Seasonally changing menus are packed with delicious-sounding dishes such as fillet of halibut with scallop, king prawns, pancetta, lentils, baby leek, kale and a creamy sweet potato mash with shellfish bisque. Opposite the green in Therfield, this is a great place to duck into during your ramble around the village.

The Horse and Chains, Bushey

The family-run Horse and Chains is a beautiful grade II listed, 16th century inn that prides itself on good British and European food and an extensive drinks menu. There is a private dining room, the Snug, that’s perfect for an intimate event; a comfortable restaurant; and a separate bar with off-white walls, exposed beams and cosy fireplace. Enjoy one of the many themed nights that are put on at the Horse and Chains including Fish Night, French Night and many more.

The Waggoners, Ayot Green

The multiple award-winning Waggoners is a 400-year-old pub that retains many of its original features and serves excellent French-inspired food. Reflecting seasonal availability of ingredients, menus change weekly but undoubtedly include tempting creations. Why not take a Sunday afternoon and indulge in a three course lunch including a French twist on the Sunday roast (elevated with a glass of Champagne)?

The George and Dragon, Graveley

The newly refurbished George and Dragon in Graveley is passionate about serving its patrons with locally-sourced and seasonal food. Visit for lunch or dinner and you could indulge in a smoked fish platter of trout, salmon and mackerel with horseradish cream and warm sourdough breads with oil and olives on the side; or perhaps a lamb burger with red onion, rosemary and mint topped with goats cheese and red onion jam fresh off the char grill. With outdoor seating, a dedicated children’s menu and stylish decoration, this is a pub with real charm.

The Foragers at the Verulam Arms, St Albans

The Foragers have been scouring the Hertfordshire countryside for seasonal food since 2011, and their foraged food is served at The Verulam Arms in St Albans. With pretty red brick exterior, this pub serves real ale, craft beer and foraged food and drink. There are lots of exciting events such as Oktoberfest, Wicker Man May Fest and even a trip to a Scottish island to go foraging! Keep up to date with events and some fascinating blog posts on the website.

Rising Sun Pub, Berkhamsted

Proudly serving a large selection of brews both local and from further afield, The Rising Sun is a lovely, sociable pub in the heart of Berkhamsted. Located next to the Grand Union Canal, there are pretty views to observe while sipping on real ale or one of 15 real ciders. A favourite in many pub and beer guides, they also reportedly have “the best ploughman’s ever.”

The Orange Tree, Sawbridgeworth

Catering to both meat eaters and vegetarians alike with delicious, locally sourced food that is inexpensive in an unassuming, friendly environment, the Orange Tree in Sawbridgeworth is definitely worth a visit or two or three… With plenty of room to park and a substantial beer garden to relax in during the warmer months, the Orange Tree is known as a community pub with great food to boot.

The Unicorn, Kings Langley

With local bands playing often, and a strong focus on an upbeat and friendly atmosphere, the Unicorn is a social hub of the village. The cosy interiors are sure to have visitors feeling at home as they listen to a live band. Comfort food on offer includes spicy chicken fajitas with cheesy nachos, jalapenos and sour cream, bean burger with cheese, chunky chips and salad or the British classic bangers and mash.

The Oaks, Rickmansworth

Always striving for high quality food, the Oaks in Rickmansworth even smokes its own fish on site. On the winter menu, starters include crispy brie with date chutney, rocket and bread or shredded duck and spring onion croquettes with blackberry jam; mains of roasted rump of lamb with mash potato, buttered cabbage and a red wine jus are sure to fill you up; and puddings include a seasonal crème brulee with shortbread or the Chef’s cheesecake of the day. Events such as wine and cheese nights are a popular treat too.

The Three Tuns, Ashwell

Serving elevated comfort food with a modern twist, the Three Tuns in Ashwell supports local suppliers and welcomes customers with a warm atmosphere and chicly decorated interiors. The pretty garden is perfect to warm yourself with a drink in hand or some food in the patio dining area. Bring the dog along after a ramble around the village. There are even 4 star rooms with sympathetic décor (as rated by the AA) that are great for a cosy night’s sleep for visitors.

The Chequers, Barley

Serving Italian and British fusion cuisine, The Chequers in the village of Barley is popular with foodies looking for a country pub atmosphere. Surrounded by greenery, food is from local suppliers and prepared fresh to order with dishes such as homemade pizzas with toppings such as seafood mix, mozzarella and tomatoes or hearty Italian pasta bakes packed with fresh ingredients. Sweet toothed visitors can enjoy traditional tiramisu served with chocolate ice cream for dessert.

The Woodman Inn, Nuthampstead

The recently refurbished Woodman Inn has a homely atmosphere. Dating in part to the 17th century, this pub has a log fire blazing in winter time and serves food made from the freshest ingredients all year round. With views of the Hertfordshire countryside surrounding the pub, this is perfect for a post-walk meal with friends and family. Adult only dining area and bar ensure a peaceful meal while the family dining room features lots of entertainment for little ones.

The Bushel and Strike, Ashwell

The Bushel and Strike in Ashwell is steeped in history and beloved by the locals. Visit for the inventive menu created by the head chef/owner who brings the experience of 20 years in Michelin-starred restaurants to the village. He was even a finalist in the Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2016.

If you like this, read more:

10 stunning Hertfordshire towns and villages

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1 comment

  • The Oaks pub is not in Rickmansworth... it is in West Hyde

    Report this comment

    Emily Blacklock

    Friday, March 18, 2016

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