Frithsden, HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, HP1 3DD
With a flower-filled garden overlooking the green in the untouched hamlet of Frithsden, this pretty Victorian pub is surrounded by National Trust woodland and has historic Ashridge Park on its doorstep. Cross the threshold and you'll immediately pick up on the warm and lively atmosphere, derived from the buzz of conversation, some soft jazz in the background, and from the rich colours and eclectic mix of old furniture and antique pictures in the dining room and bar from Tring's well known salerooms. Also from Tring is real ale called Side Pocket for a Toad, which shares bar space with Sharp's Doom Bar and Chiltern Brewery's Beechwood Bitter. The seasonal menus and daily specials are a balance of modern British with more traditional dishes, all prepared from fresh local produce whenever possible. There's a great choice of light dishes or 'small plates', from crispy chilli squid with coriander and chorizo aļoli, to pigeon, duck and pancetta terrine with piccalilli and toasted soda brioche. Equally imaginative 'big plates' include ale-braised shin of beef with dauphinoise potatoes, cavolo nero and liquor reduction; pan-fried gilt-head bream fillet, polenta chips, watercress and chilli, with roasted red pepper dressing. Dark chocolate truffle terrine and beetroot ice cream; and rice pudding brūlée with caramelised banana are just two ways to finish, or there's also home-made sorbets and ice creams, and the plate of British cheeses with oatcakes and green tomato and apple chutney.
Tel: 01442 864480
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Sharp's Doom Bar, Tring Side Pocket for a Toad, Chiltern Beechwood Bitter
All day all week
11-11 (Sun 12-10.30)
No coach parties catered.