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The Bricklayers Arms, Flaunden

Muddy says: This cosy and traditional 18th century pub packs a punch in the dining department too, with its award-winning fine dining menu courtesy of Michelin-trained chef

This family-run Grade II-listed country pub has all the hallmarks of a traditional English watering hole – rustic beams, log fire and bags of character – but what really makes this place stand out is the food, and the owners, Sally and Alvin Michaels have got the awards cabinet to prove it. Amongst its accolades, the pub was named Hertfordshire Dining Pub of the Year 2018 for the fifth time. And this is down to the talent of the head chef, Michelin-trained Claude Paillet. His menus are a fusion of traditional English and French cuisine, including hearty meaty dishes, seafood and vegetarian options, all created using fresh produce sourced from local suppliers wherever possible.

There’s also an extensive wine list, featuring rare and exclusive ranges from Australia and South Africa, as well as a number of English wines.

In the summer months there’s a lovely garden to savour that pint in, and for the ramblers amongst you, there’s plenty of ground to cover around here, so you can walk off that lunch in the rolling hills of the Chess Valley.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Herts & Beds