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Dylans The Kings Arms, St Albans

This award-winning pub in the heart of St Albans serves fine fare with a side helping of quirkiness and a cracking list of craft beers, too.

Based in St Albans’ pretty Cathedral Quarter, Dylans The Kings Arms has the hallmarks of a traditional pub but with a vibrant feel and some quirky touches (see the taxidermy squirrel riding a badger on the bar!)

After 15 years of closure new owners Andrew Knight and Sean Hughes, lovers of good beer and good food – a winning combination, obvs – have given the place a whole new lease of life. And it’s paid off as they’ve already got a number of awards under their belts.

The vibe is buzzy yet relaxed – a place where you can go to enjoy great food and wine without the stuffiness of fine dining. The menu (or ‘bill of fare’ as they call it) features modern British dishes, which change weekly or even daily, depending on the availability of produce (sourced freshly from their small local suppliers).

There’s also a snacking menu available in the bar area for lighter bites, which are a far cry from pork scratchings and pickled eggs! Think posh and spicy Scotch ‘bonnet’ eggs and triple-cooked beef dripping chips with braised beef shin… salivating yet?

They also do a great range of real ales and craft beers too, with a daily changing beer wall.

So hang on, who’s Dylan then? Sean’s chocolate lab! As you might expect, dogs are welcomed here. Just in the bar mind you, but there is a special table that can be booked so your pampered pooch can join you for some posh nosh and a pint.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Herts & Beds