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Bowled over at The Cricketers

I’d been to The Cricketers at Weston a while back, just after they’d started their renovations — so I was curious to pop in again now that it’s all… well, nearly all… complete.  And I’m so glad I did.


Last year when I went, it was a perfectly decent pub — with a spanking new pizza oven, shaped and painted like a cricket ball, and the inklings of a really stylish reno on the way.  This time, it was stunning.  Stylish, comfortable, welcoming, and full of light.


There’s still the feeling of a proper village pub — and it’s still used that way, with local teams (not just cricket) using it as a base, and the public bar retaining that old-school (or should that be ‘old-pub’?) vibe.  Only it’s been neatly updated.

public bar 2

public bar

The pizza oven and open kitchen is clearly a talking point, and it’s now central — rather than tucked away at the back — so there’s a sense of the whole place centring comfortably around where the action happens.


The food offering is great.  Loads of pizzas, all with deliciously punny sporting names, as well as a good range of other bits.  I had the chicken Cesar salad and it was properly good — properly good grilled chicken, those delish white anchovies in abundance, an egg with a perfectly runny middle, and not too much dressing.

pavilion 2

It’s not moved, though, the kitchen.  It’s just that the pub has expanded.  There’s now a gorgeous room on the back — the Pavilion — which can serve as an extension of the pub on a full night or its own self-contained function room.  It’s big, it’s light, and it’s been set up beautifully — I loved the chairs with the cricket-ball seats, and the wing chairs huddling round the great big wood stove.


The Pavilion opens out onto the patio — which was covered by a marquee when I was there — and then on to the fields behind and the garden, complete with bits to amuse small folk, at the side.  I was there for lunch, and it just screamed lazy summer afternoons in the sunshine nursing long drinks with bits of cucumber and other greenery in them.

I’m glad I went back.  And I’ll be going back again.  The pizza oven is cute — and the kids will love it.  The menu is great.  And the renovation has transformed a regular village pub into proper, unpretentious  destination dining.


The Muddy Verdict:

Great for: long lazy lunches, watching the kids race round the garden; summer evenings on the patio or in the garden; great food; enough cricketing memorabilia to keep any fan happy.

Not so great for: um, perhaps I’d want somewhere a bit more romantic, and less sporting, for a high-end date night, but I can’t help thinking that it would make Mr C a very happy man.

££: Their ‘openers’ — a sort of ‘pick and mix’ of starters — were £3.75 each, 3 for £10 or 5 for £17.50.  Mains are around £12, with Sunday lunch for £13.50 and pizzas around £10 or so.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire