The Waffle House
The Waffle House is situated within a 16th-century working watermill on the River Ver in St Albans. It is a truly idyllic spot located just off the edge of the Verulamium Park where Fishpool Street meets St Michael's Village. It is a more than worthy destination in its own right but from here it is a short work to the award-winning Roman museum or the Roman theatre, if you want to make a day of it.
The Waffle House serves Belgian-style waffles, made from white or wholemeal flour, hot from the iron with a dazzling array of toppings. The organic flour is supplied by a local watermill, indeed, there is a strong bias towards the use of organic, free range and fair trade products in everything the Waffle House produce; for example, only free range eggs, organic milk and fair trade and/or organic teas and coffees are offered. Happily, this philosophy applies to the meat too, with only organic and/or free range on the menu.
The extensive menu caters for the conservative to the adventurous. For example, the savoury toppings include mushrooms in cheese sauce and Mexican beef and sour cream, and for those looking for something a little different watch out for the fresh daily specials.
There really is something for everyone and at prices that offer very good value. As good as the savouries are, if you have more of a sweet tooth, make sure you leave space for a sweet waffle. We can recommend the chocolate sauce over toasted hazelnuts and sliced banana with whipped cream - truly heavenly. However, if you prefer something less decadent and lighter on the calories, why not try the fresh fruit toppings? There are also home-made soups and salads available accompanied, of course, by waffles and for the early risers among you, there are breakfast specials available from 10am until noon.
The waffles are a great success but make sure you don't miss the milkshakes - thick, creamy and made to order. There is some seating indoors, where you can get the feel of the historic building and see the inside of the mill but if the weather allows, take a table outdoors, so you can appreciate the grounds.
The Waffle House operates on a strict first come, first served basis and is understandably busy at weekends and during school holidays. However, the staff are young and efficient, dealing swiftly with orders and ensuring a relaxed atmosphere.
The Waffle House really is something very special - a venue that appeals to a sense of history and place, as well as to the taste buds. A winning combination.