Parts of the White Hart date back to the 13th century, but most of it is from the 17th century.…
“Modern French cuisine in the Hertfordshire countryside”
AYOT GREEN, HERTFORDSHIRE
Close to the large, traditional village green and with good English real ales flowing in the beamed bar, it comes as a surprise that the menu has a strong French bent to it. Cue the Gallic owners, whose culinary skills have gained an AA Rosette for their inspired cuisine at this former waggoners’ and coaching stop in the low Hertfordshire hills. Menus may include crab and cod pancake with creamy mushroom velouté; braised lamb shank, prunes and dauphinoise potatoes; lobster tail with Scottish mussels; and finish with bitter chocolate fondant. The wine list stretches to 100 bins.
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About the area
As Hertfordshire is so close to London, many of its towns have become commuter havens. St Albans, less than 19 miles (30km) from the capital, has retained its distinctive character, along with many historic remains. The Roman city of Verulamium is situated in a nearby park, and excavations have revealed an amphitheatre, a temple, parts of the city walls and some house foundations. There are also some amazing mosaic pavements.
The abbey church at St Albans is thought to have been built on the same site where St Alban met his martyrdom in the 3rd century. The abbey was founded in 793 by King Offa of Mercia, and contains the saint’s shrine, made of Purbeck marble. Lost for years, it was discovered in the 19th century, in pieces, and restored by the designer of the red telephone box, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The abbey also contains some wonderful medieval wall paintings. Nicholas Breakspear was born in St Albans, the son of an abbey tenant. In 1154 he took the name Adrian IV, and became the first, and so far only, English pope. Another famous son of Hertfordshire was Sir Francis Bacon, Elizabethan scholar and Lord High Chancellor, born in Hemel Hempstead in 1561.
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