20 of the best pubs in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 13:43 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 02 October 2018
Whether you want fine dining or classic pub food, real ales or good wine, we have the pub for you in our Hertfordshire pub guide
Watton Road, Datchworth
Having gained awards including two AA Rosettes, recommended spots in the Michelin Guide and accolades in lots of top media and a famed wine list, The Tilbury has earned its place on Hertfordshire’s foodie radar.
Head chef Tom Bainbridge uses local producers in his dishes that populate the A La Carte, Set and Tasting menus. During summer, try out the Garden Snacking menu with tempting small plates such as breaded pork belly with apple sauce or breaded mushrooms with curry sauce.
• The Boot
The Green, Sarratt
The Boot in Sarratt, at almost 280 years old, is a traditionally English pub – and it’s dog friendly too. Complete with a cosy fireplace and real ales galore, this 18th century country pub is a charming place in summer or winter. Children can enjoy the lush greenery outdoors with games 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.
Titmore Green, Little Wymondley, Hitchin
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 suppliers who work closely with the pub.
The red brick exterior is an inviting sight at the end of a country walk or bicycle ride. This pub is a particular favourite with gin lovers with over 50 varieties to enjoy however you like.
Chesham Road, Wigginton, Tring
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! Keep an eye out for summer BBQs, seasonal menus and more.
The Green, Therfield, Royston
The Fox and Duck is a charming, award-winning village pub that retains much of its old style charm. Opposite the green in Therfield, this is a great place to duck into during your ramble around the village.
Seasonally changing menus are packed with delicious-sounding dishes such as veal chop with liver, wild mushrooms, asparagus, wilted rainbow chard and kale and lemon roasted new potatoes with a port reduction.
79 High Street, 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, steak night, tapas night, French night and more.
Brickwall Close, Ayot Green, Welwyn
The multiple award-winning Waggoners is a 400-year-old pub that retains many of its original features and serves French-inspired food. Reflecting seasonal availability of ingredients, menus change weekly but undoubtedly include tempting creations.
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).
19 High Street, Graveley, Hitchin
The team at The George and Dragon in Graveley is passionate about serving patrons with locally-sourced and seasonal food. Outside is a pretty pub garden that backs onto meadowland, and the bar is dog friendly so you can bask in the sunshine with your dog in tow.
Visit for sharing plates which include an anti pasti platter, baked camembert and bread or a Mediterranean spread. Or you can order one of the popular burgers which include a lamb burger with red onions, rosemary and mint and topped with goat’s cheese and a red onion jam glaze.
The Verulam Arms, 41 Lower Dagnall Street, 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 put on by The Foragers, including Saturday guided walk, forage and feast. Keep up to date with events and some fascinating blog posts on the website and social media.
George Street, 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 the real ciders.
A favourite in many pub and beer guides, The Rising Sun also reportedly has “the best ploughman’s ever”. Visit on a Thursday for quiz night!
166 West Road, Sawbridgeworth
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.
Catering to both meat eaters and vegetarians with locally sourced food in a friendly, unassuming environment, The Orange Tree in Sawbridgeworth is definitely worth a visit or two or three. Tuck into lamb rump with butternut squash, savoy cabbage, whole grain mustard, cream and a red wine jus or order a decadent kilo ribeye tomahawk steak.
38 Gallows Hill, Abbots Langley, 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
West Hyde, Maple Cross, Rickmansworth
With rave reviews online, The Oaks has been described as friendly, cosy and the food as cooked perfectly. Whether it’s a pint of real ale or a full three course meal, guests can enjoy a peaceful visit in the pretty garden in summer or next to the roaring fire in winter.
We love the sound of the seasonal pies which are freshly made and served with creamy mash, kale, rainbow carrots and gravy. Fillings include beef, Guinness and stilton and ham hock, mustard and celeriac.
6 High Street, Ashwell, Baldock
Serving 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 for soaking up some sun 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 four-star rooms with sympathetic décor (as rated by the AA) that are great for a cosy night’s sleep.
London Road, 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, The Chequers’ food is from local suppliers and prepared fresh to order with dishes such as homemade pizzas or hearty Italian pasta bakes packed with fresh ingredients. Sweet toothed visitors can enjoy traditional tiramisu served with chocolate ice cream for dessert.
15 Mill Street, Ashwell, Baldock
The Bushel and Strike 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 of Ashwell.
There’s a beautiful pub garden to enjoy a pint of cask beer and some BBQ food or a pub classic such as Cumberland sausages with truffle mash, greens, crispy onions and gravy.
East Common, Redbourn
Pub of the Year 2018 at the Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards is The Cricketers of Redbourn, a pretty pub that serves fresh, locally-sourced produce on the food menu with changing guest ales on tap.
The decor in the dining area is contemporary, with nods to the pub’s historical heritage found at the bar and the charming exterior. Events throughout the year include car shows, craft fairs and of course, pub quizzes.
7 George Street, St Albans
Finalists in two categories at the 2018 Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards, Dylans at Kings Arms cropped up in the Best Restaurant and Best Chef awards, scooping up the latter for chef Drew Knight’s invented and exciting food.
Menus change often depending on availability of seasonal produce and there is plenty of changing beers and a hefty wine list to sift through. The Snacking Menu includes perfectly portioned bites to accompany a round of drinks (or two!).
8 St Andrew Street, Hertford
Located in Hertford’s town centre, the Old Cross Tavern (a finliast for Pub of the Year 2018) prides itself on keeping things “the way they used to be” which means no TVs or games machines and plenty of real ale on tap.
With beers changing all the time, visitors will want to pop in again and again to sample something new. The Old Cross Tavern even brews its own beers which are served only in the pub!
Cautherley Lane, Great Amwell, Ware
Another finalist in the 2018 Pub of the Year award was George IV in the pretty village of Great Amwell. You’d be mistaken for thinking you were in a fine dining restaurant while perusing the food menu which is packed with innovative creations.
Dishes on the changing menu have featured butter roasted loin of monkfish with crispy squid, sea herb salad and parma ham and desserts such as hot chocolate fondant, burnt orange and blood orange ice cream.