Saturday 30 July 2016

Summer eats: Where to eat al fresco / outside in St Albans, Hertfordshire

Best places to eat outside or al fresco in St Albans, Hertfordshire
Craft & Cleaver

I'm just going to come out and say it - this summer hasn't been that bad. I mean sure, it's probably raining right now. But we've had a decent run of sun, right? Have we had to get the opaque tights out for a few weeks? NO WE HAVE NOT.

So therefore, I proclaim this a decent summer. Well, it's the least 2016 could do, really. But it opens up so many exciting opportunities! Like a reason to buy summer dresses! BBQs! Beer gardens! Al fresco dining! And on the subject of that, I thought I'd do a little compilation of my favourite al fresco dining spots in St Albans. So if the sunshine DOES continue, we can all eat outside like we're on holiday or something.

But hurry, because there's probaby only about thirty seconds left of sunshine this year.

Best places to eat outside or al fresco in St Albans, Hertfordshire
The Snug

Cuisine: Italian
Not only does L'Italiana do excellent, authentic pizzas that would be totally at home in an Italian square, it also has a cute little seating area on one of the prettiest cobbled streets that St Albans has to offer.
3 French Row, St Albans AL3 5DU

Cuisine: Burgers
The seating area outside Relish might be tiny, and it might offer up a lovely view of the local Lloyd's Bar, but it still counts. Not sold? Well, they do takeaway too (and are on Deliveroo) so pick up a burger and head to the park instead. They are such excellent burgers. And boozy milkshakes. Here's a full review.
Alban Arena, St. Peter's Street, St Albans AL1 3LD

Best places to eat outside or al fresco in St Albans, Hertfordshire
The Great Northern Pub

The Pudding Stop
Cuisine: Puddings (and cheese, and brunch)
If you do want to sit outside, then I would again recommend taking your pudding to go - all the puddings, in fact, because all the puddings are so very good - but if you want to sit, relax, eat pudding and drink tea (or wine! They do wine!) then you can do so al fresco, too. Here's a full review.
6 The Colonnade, Verulam Road, St Albans AL3 4DD

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks
Cuisine: Pub grub
The oldest pub in Britain - don't try and contest us, non locals, we'll fight you for it - has seating at the front and back. There's a huge beer garden out the back, and the front looks out over the beautiful lake. You might have to share your roast with some ducks, but the view's so NICE. And the food (hearty, straightforward pub fare) is excellent.
16 Abbey Mill Ln, St Albans AL3 4HE

Cuisine: Sandwiches, cakes and bigger meals too
I've only ever eaten the sandwiches and cakes at the Bakehouse but they are ever so nice (especially the cakes). They've got a lovely courtyard garden which is overlooked by St Albans Abbey, with fairy lights and other prettiness. Also cakes. Did I mention the cakes?
Heritage Close, St Albans, AL3 4EB

Best places to eat outside or al fresco in St Albans, Hertfordshire
The Pudding Stop

Craft & Cleaver
Cuisine: BBQ food
If you've ever eaten at Craft & Cleaver then you'll know that the meat sweats are a very real problem. These guys know meat, and they don't scrimp on the portions. And, as it used to be a pub, there's a rather nice beer garden outside C&C with lots of seating and cosy booths. The perfect place to cool off the meat sweats. Here's a full review.
62 Catherine St, St Albans AL3 5BU

The Snug
Cuisine: American style pub food
If you want hotdogs and burgers and cocktails and maybe brunch then you're probably me. Hi, me. It's all good here (they even do Christmas specials!) and a big beer garden out the back that's recently had a circusy makeover. There's a dodgem car. It doesn't move, but you can sit in it and say 'Vroom vroom', so what more do you want? Here's a full review.
1 French Row, St Albans AL3 5DU

Cuisine: Sandwiches and such
Hatch is a little hole in the wall (some might call it a HATCH lololol) that does sandwiches and soup and chili and things. Their sandwiches are excellent, and if you just can't wait to eat them, there are a few benches outside too. Or take them to the park and have an epic picnic. I know I've mentioned the park a few times, but it's ever so nice.
The Maltings Shopping Centre, St Albans AL1 3HL

Best places to eat outside or al fresco in St Albans, Hertfordshire
Craft & Cleaver

The Waffle House
Cuisine: Waffles, surprisingly
This is probably in the prettiest setting that St Albans has to offer. It's in a converted mill, and overlooks a gorgeous lake and is just over the road from the park. And they make waffles. Amazing waffles. Waffles piled with savoury goodness like avocado and houmous, and waffles piled with syrup and nuts and fruit and delicious sweetness. The rule is that you have a savoury AND a sweet waffle, of course. They might not tell you that when you order, but yeah. It's expected. Two waffles for you.
Kingsbury Watermill, St Michael’s Street, St Albans AL3 4SJ

The Great Northern Pub
Cuisine: Gourmet gastro food
It's about ten minutes walk from town, and a totally worth it ten minutes. Their menu changes daily, and when I visited recently (a full review is coming soon) they were offering wild garlic risotto, smoked chocolate torte and teriyaki beef fillet. The food is amazing. There's a big, lovely beer garden too, and a big selection of craft beers on offer.
172 London Road, St Albans AL1 1PQ

There are plenty of other pubs that do food like The Peahen, The Blacksmith's Arms, The Cock and The Hare and Hounds too in St Albans too - the above are my favourite foodie places for a darn good meal but there are plenty of other options out there. And there's always the park...

Best places to eat outside or al fresco in St Albans, Hertfordshire
The Snug

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