A stunning pub set in the quintessentially English North Hertfordshire countryside, Hermit of Redcoats is the type of establishment every village needs. Its location is a little off the beaten track, but in the three years since taking over the establishment, owner Phill Tirrell has worked tirelessly to make it a destination that, once found, you’ll want to return to again and again.
The food here, all locally sourced and freshly prepared on the premises, is exquisite – you can see why the judges at the Hertfordshire Food & Drink Awards 2015 named Hermit of Redcoats Best Gastropub of the Year. The menu, which is every bit as elegant as it is simple, changes on a weekly basis, and there are no specials per se since every dish listed is special in its own right.
I started with Scottish scallops and langoustine, served with chorizo and a butterbean velouté. The scallops were tender and delectable, and the silky-smooth sauce complemented the dish perfectly. My dining partner opted for the confit duck, which was accompanied by a tasty duck egg yolk and sweet rhubarb. For my main course, I sampled the lamb neck fillet, which fell apart upon touch and came with sweetbreads and feta croquettes. For added wow factor, the dish was finished with a flourish of pea broth at the table. My companion had the Suffolk suckling pig, which was served in a multitude of ways on the plate, with every single element packing a flavour-filled punch. Words cannot do justice to the stunning flavours of the pistachio olive oil cake with apricot or the chocolate, vanilla and cherry millefeuille that we succumbed to for dessert.
To complement the cuisine, diners can choose from an extensive list of wines. If you’re partial to a full-bodied red, I highly recommend the Argentine malbec. There are also guest beers and ales which change every week, and a dazzling range of 50 different gins.
Booking at Hermit of Redcoats is highly advised, especially on Fridays, Saturdays and also for Sunday lunch, when a roast menu is available.