Cosy country restaurant with fairly elaborate food; very good wine list
The good pub guide review
Surrounded by beautiful countryside and the rolling hills of the Chess Valley, it's hard to believe that this 18th-c pub is within such easy reach of London. Tucked away down winding lanes, this low brick and tiled pub is a civilised place for an excellent meal. It's mainly open-plan with stubs of knocked-through oak-timbered walls indicating the original room layout, and the well refurbished low-beamed bar is snug and comfortable, with a roaring log fire in winter. Stools line the brick counter where attentive staff keep Paradigm Touch Point, Tring Side Pocket for a Toad and a changing guest on handpump, an extensive wine list with 27 by the glass and a good choice of spirits; background music. In summer, the terrace and beautifully kept old-fashioned garden have seats and tables. Just up the Belsize road, a path on the left leads through delightful woods to a forested area around Hollow Hedge. The pub is just 15 minutes by car from the Warner Bros Studios where the Harry Potter films were made; you can tour the studios but must book in advance. Please note: dogs are allowed in the bar, but not on Sundays.
The good pub guide food review
First class food includes duck liver parfait with red onion jam compote and melba toast, white crab meat with home-smoked salmon, chive cream and blinis, steamed sea bass with baby ruby chard and capers, pulled pork shoulder cooked in smoked cumin with red onion jus and Mediterranean vegetables, Tring beer-battered haddock with peas, salad and skinny fries, fillet of local beef with green peppercorn-flavoured brandy cream sauce, and puddings such as lemon and bourbon vanilla crème brûlée and white chocolate mousse with butter biscuit and peach melba top.
Bricklayers Arms, Hogpits Bottom, Flaunden, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP3 0PH