Hertford House Hotel

Hertford House Hotel

British

0.5 miles
1 Fore Street, Hertford, SG14 1DA
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Thu, 08/04/2016 - 15:08 -- Administrator
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Occupying the former offices of the Hertfordshire Mercury in the centre of Hertford, The owners of the Hertford House Hotel have meticulously transformed this Georgian-style building into an exclusive, independent hotel with a first class restaurant.

The open plan layout in the restaurant and bar is skilfully inclusive. The buzz around the room is infectious and soon circulates as friends catch up and settle into the evening. The whole ambience here is sophisticated yet relaxed.

Head chef Julian Ward has creatively designed a classic British menu, with a modern influence. Savoy-trained, with the kitchens of Marco Pierre White and Pierre Gagnaire under his belt, we were anticipating good food and we had it in spades. Ward discusses the ingredients and technique for each dish in detail with all the restaurant staff. His exacting standards for the quality of ingredients he uses are illustrated when he speaks animatedly about the local apples he has sourced from 300-year-old trees, which he enthuses are 'amazing, like none other you'll taste'.

To start with I opted for pan-fried scallops, cleverly complemented by winter green apple salad and foaming mustard sauce (£7.50). My guest had the beef salad with mini Yorkshire pudding and onion gravy (£7.50). The beef was virtually carpaccio and wonderfully tender.

The main course menu incorporates a seafood section including dressed crab, Cornish oysters and lobster - all priced according to daily market rates. My guest chose the Dover sole with burnt butter, which was filleted upon request, then carefully presented with a side dish of hand cut fat chips. The fish was firm, fresh and perfectly cooked - in Ward's words, the 'ultimate fish and chips'. I decided on the spit roasted suckling pig with apple mash, black pudding and scrumpy Jack sauce (£13). This has to be the signature dish - it was simply sublime. The pork was incredibly flavoursome and amazingly tender with a perfect crackling crust, whilst the apple mash was inspired. Ward is rightfully proud of this dish and confided that it will be temporarily replaced with spit roasted, seasonal spring lamb for a limited period.

We finished with a delicious and not too sweet chocolate fondant with thyme ice cream and treacle tart with liquorice ice cream (£4).

At this point in the evening we contemplated what a welcome addition to Hertford this establishment is; the service was impeccable throughout and the food was exemplary. Standards here are obviously sky high and the teamwork and rapport between the kitchen and restaurant staff is evident.

Note to self: book a table to catch that limited edition spit roast spring lamb and reserve a room - they look fantastic and breakfast is sure to be fabulous.
+4Hertford House Hotel
Opening Hours:
Mon:7am-11am, noon-5pm, 7pm-10pm
Tues:7am-11am, noon-5pm, 7pm-10pm
Weds:7am-11am, noon-5pm, 7pm-10pm
Thurs:7am-11am, noon-5pm, 7pm-10pm
Fri:7am-11am, noon-5pm, 7pm-10pm
Sat:7am-11am, noon-5pm, 7pm-10pm
Sun:7am-11am, noon-5pm, 7pm-10pm

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