The Alford Arms, Frithsden
Muddy says: This hidden gem, on the edge of Ashridge Forest, is a favourite with walkers and connoisseurs of fine food alike, with its friendly country pub atmosphere and seasonally changing menu
It may be a little off the beaten track, in the hamlet of Frithsden, near Hemel Hempstead, but we reckon the Alford Arms is well worth the trip. In a wooded valley, overlooked by the Chilterns, it combines the charm of a trusty local boozer at the front, with a slick modern restaurant at the back. A perfect pit stop on a ramble around Ashridge, you’ll feel as at home here in your muddy walking boots as you will dressed up for dinner. Expect a warm welcome, friendly banter, and the odd pooch snuggled up by the bar. Plus there’s a lovely terrace to laze about in during summer.
As for the food, Head Chef Jamie whips up classic dishes with special twists, using fresh, seasonal and local produce. Whether it’s Wobbly Bottom goat’s cheese from Hitchin, free range chicken from Tring, fresh bread from nearby bakeries or wild garlic and forest fruits foraged from the surrounding woodlands, the Alford Arms take ‘local’ literally. That goes for the beers on offer, too. There’s also plenty for vegetarians, as well as dairy and gluten-free menus. In fact they won an award in the inaugural Freefrom Eating Out Awards 2014. And the accolades don’t end there – The Alford Arms was voted Best Destination Pub in our very own Muddy Herts 2017 and 2018 awards, and it’s recently been named Hertfordshire Dining Pub of the Year 2019 for the, wait for it, tenth (!) time, by The Good Pub Guide.