The George and Dragon
82 High Street, Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire, SG14 3TA
This village gem is clearly at the centre of the local community and enjoys a well-deserved reputation for good food and award-winning ales. Set in an attractive building dating back to the 17th Century, The George and Dragon boasts wonderful variety. Drinkers and diners are spoilt for choice with two bars, two restaurants - either large and characterful or smaller and more intimate - and a fabulous garden besides. The extensive menu offers something for everyone, from tasty light bites and sandwiches to an 8oz fillet steak with all the trimmings, not forgetting the legendary George and Dragon burger. All dishes are freshly prepared and great pains are taken to source local ingredients wherever possible. A tempting specials board completes the choice and was my starting point - I opted for salmon, cod and crayfish terrine accompanied by a lemon and dill sauce, which was attractively presented, with each individual flavour discernible. My partner chose a starter from the à la carte menu - a wonderfully light salad of tender asparagus spears, melt-in-the-mouth prosciutto ham, wafer- thin Parmesan and lemon-and-thyme dressing. Not only is the menu extensive, but it caters well for vegetarians and offers many gluten-free dishes. However, as a true carnivore, I chose the roast duck breast with orange and mango for my main course. The duck was textbook; slightly pink in the middle, with a gorgeous crispy edge and succulent meat. My guest's choice - pan-fried strips of beef fillet with sweet pimetoes, basil and a red wine sauce, accompanied by rice - was a runaway success too. All desserts here are homemade and change regularly. The chocolate and brandy mousse was delicious without being too sweet, and the mango and lemon cream roulade was divine. So relaxed and comfortable were we at the end of our meal, that it seemed rude not to pull up a stool at the bar and stay awhile longer - the homeliness of The George and Dragon is hard to leave behind.
Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-3pm, 6pm-11.30pm; Fri 11am-3pm, 5.30pm-midnight; Sat 11am-midnight; Sun noon-11pm; Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-2pm, 6pm-7pm (set-price menu), 7pm-9pm (à la carte menu); Fri & Sat noon-2pm, 7pm-10pm; Sun noon-3.30pm, 6pm-9pm (slightly reduce