Pubs in St Albans: 10 of the best
There are lots of watering holes both traditional and modern in the ancient city of St Albans. We have picked 10 of the most popular to try
16 Abbey Mill Lane
A lot of the history of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks can be found in its name; cock fighting was common practice in the tavern at the turn of the 20th century, but the pub itself may date as far back as the 8th century.
With a community atmosphere bolstered by live music every Friday night and various events throughout the week, the ‘Cocks’ also serves raved-about food – particularly the Sunday roast. Make sure to call ahead because they book up fast!
16-18 St Michaels Street
With well kept real ales on tap, The Six Bells is a charming and quintessentially British country pub housed in a half timbered building. Come in on a Thursday for Pizza Thursdays or order some classic pub grub from the a la carte menu. There’s even a vintage afternoon tea available from 3pm to 5pm Monday to Saturday.
Special menus coincide with events throughout the year so expect an augmented selection for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and Easter.
172 London Road
Housed next to The Odyssey cinema on London Road, the Great Northern Restaurant & Pub is perfect for pre- or post-cinema dining of classic pub food with a fine dining feel made with locally sourced and seasonally changing ingredients.
Expect big hearty roasts for Sunday lunch and make sure to peruse the extensive wine list including bubbles, ports and dessert options; and the wide range of beers and ales from breweries both local and international.
23-25 Holywell Hill
Perfect for those visiting St Albans, The White Hart Hotel is a historical inn, restaurant and pub situated opposite the majestic Cathedral. With timbered exterior, the inside is decorated with period features including wood panelled walls, Tudor-style metal windows and dark wood furniture – a perfect accompaniment to your home made meal including creations such as the tempting slow roasted blade of beef with root veg, bacon, mash, bourguignon sauce, mushrooms and red wine.
Fans of the supernatural might want to check out the history and ghost tour including a three-course meal. Other events are put on throughout the year, so keep up to date on the website and social media.
7 George Street
Also featuring in our round up of dining pubs, and winners of the Restaurant of the Year award at the Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2017, Dylans at The Kings Arms serves exciting food in a restaurant with décor that’s cool and cosy.
The Bill of Fayre menu is always packed with seasonal British cuisine. We love the sound of the slow cooked ox cheek with whipped potato, spinach, broccoli and an ox gravy.
48 St Peter’s Street
Duck into The Cock on St Peter’s Street, with its exposed brick walls, open fires, old wooden floors and beamed ceilings – where real ale fans will be in their element; six ever changing cask ales and over 40 bottled varieties of beer are available at any one time.
The food menu is comprised of contemporary British cuisine that changes with the seasons to reflect the best that local suppliers have to offer. We love the sound of basil pesto gnocchi with artichoke, capers, baby spinach and goat’s curd. If you visit on a Sunday, you’ll want to order a plate packed with your choice of meats with all the Sunday roast trimmings and a red wine jus.
41 Lower Dagnall Street
The term ‘hunter gatherers’ might conjure up ideas of pre-historic cavemen heading out with clubs to find food, but the phraseis being reclaimed by artisans such as The Foragers at The Verulam Arms.
Expect foraged dishes such as smoked mackerel with wood sorrel and rhubarb cacik or Italian arancini-style slow cooked muntjac deer shredded and mixed with risotto rice and blue cheese then fried and served with garlic aioli and wild berry sauce. Make sure to order one of the wild cocktails too!
36 Fishpool Street
Described by customers as “a proper old pub”, The Lower Red Lion on Fishpool Street is a 17th century inn serving real ales and ciders and locally sourced ingredients for its eclectic food menu.
Although changing often, you can expect dishes such as a venison and shiitake stroganoff with basmati rice or a Moroccan spiced lamb burger with tzatziki.
Garden House Lane
Located along the A5183 as you leave the city is The Prae Wood Arms, the idyllic 19th century country pub surrounded by greenery and backing onto the River Ver at the bottom of its garden. The interiors are stylishly decorated with old paintings, statement chandeliers and dark wood furniture – and make sure to pick a good seat on the terrace in the summer with views over the large garden.
The food menu is populated with vibrant-sounding dishes including crispy beef brisket in hoisin sauce with a crunchy Asian salad, or seafood heavy roasted cod wrapped in bacon with a creamy stew of cockles, prawns, mussels, sweetcorn, baby spinach and saffron potatoes.
104 Sopwell Lane
Dog friendly pub The Hare and Hounds is a sociable pub with a thrilling history stretching back to the 17th century and has even picked up a ghost along the way. There’s always some kind of event taking place at the pub including a ukulele club, live music events and comedy nights.
Wednesdays see The Harey Pie Club from 6pm to 9pm with pies including steak and kidney, lamb and rosemary or a veggie sweet potato and courgette made fresh in the kitchen and served with either chips or mash – add a handmade dessert and a drink all for £10! Keep an eye out for the burger club and fish Fridays on the website.