Dinner At...The Bridgewater Arms, Little Gaddesden
PUBLISHED: 12:11 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:11 22 April 2014
Food and drink editor Richard Cawthorne follows Tring's Antiques Roadshow expert John Bly's recommendation and heads for the Bridgewater Arms in Little Gaddesden
Atmosphere and decor.
Separated from the bar, the eating area is a cosy and thickly-carpeted room with authentic-looking beams, muted colours and a working fireplace. It’s a little old-fashioned, but I found it relaxing. The Bridgewater Arms is one of four Hertfordshire members of Greene King’s Old English Inns division. A solid and unpretentious country pub, it does almost exactly what it says on the tin.
Sharp and professional, even when we had to send one dish back (see below).
A standard village-pub a la carte listing is supported by regular specials, plus a set menu at £5.95 for one course, £7.95 for two or £9.95 for three. There are special offers on ‘Spice Wednesdays’ from £7.95 and ‘Grill Fridays’ from £9.95, both include a drink.
A selection of ‘tapas-style’ starters at three for £9 or five for £14 was an interesting alternative to the usual suspects – Hoisin duck pinchers, mini-ribs with black treacle glaze and grilled halloumi with peppers, olives, tortilla and red pepper mayonnaise were all tasty and went down well.
Pheasant, bacon and lentil casserole from the specials menu just didn’t work, possibly because of over-cooking, but was replaced without fuss by an excellent 28-day aged Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak (£12.99) with the usual trimmings. Another special, game and port pie (£16.79), with horseradish mash, vegetables and gravy, did do the job and was fine and filling.
Succumbing to nostalgia, we shared a jam roly-poly with custard, good enough for us to forgive the quibble that it was apparently sponge instead of pastry and wasn’t rolled.
Pheasant aside, I agree with John Bly – the food is good, filling and almost exactly what one would expect from a country pub. If you can’t make it to Little Gaddesden, the same menu is offered at the George IV, Baldock; Plume of Feathers, Tewin, and Three Moorhens, Hitchin.
The cost of this meal for two was £53.76 including a bottle of wine, plus service.
This is an independent review featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and drink editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.