Taste of France tucked away in rural Welwyn Hatfield setting
PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 December 2018
Tucked away in pretty Ayot Green, The Waggoners is a bit of a local’s secret, although it has been there for around 400 years!
It’s a short drive from Welwyn Garden City and is tucked away on a lane to the left as you drive into the hamlet.
It is a beautiful building, with a few tables outside and in the gardens to the side.
As you go in, it feels like a pub in two halves; the left has a more modern feel, with contemporary decor and the bar.
You can just pop in for a drink or a quick lunch, and it does have a local feel to it.
The bar menu includes fish and chips with pea puree, gnocchi carbonara and a burger.
A clue to the French origins of the head chef is that you can also choose a croque monsieur or madame or a rosette sandwich with gherkins.
We chose to eat on the right hand side of the pub where the chef gets to show his classic French dishes.
On the £15/£18 set menu there are three options for each course.
I chose a butternut squash soup and ordered delicious warm bread to go with it.
The soup had a lovely depth of flavour.
My partner chose a charcuterie plate, which was well-presented and came with a gherkins and onion marmalade.
My main course was a little less successful; I chose a crab and cod cassolette with a radicchio salad.
The cassolette was very creamy and I think would have been better as a starter in a smaller quantity.
The salad did offset the richness a little, but had a creamy dressing – a lemony dressing would have been better.
My partner enjoyed the wild mushroom linguini with Parmesan cream.
The puds that day were all quite creamy too (crème brûlée and pineapple with coconut ice cream), and although sounded delicious, we couldn’t manage that as well.
Service was pleasant and efficient.
The Waggoners has a popular Christmas menu and their Sunday lunches are always busy too; you do need to book.
The special Christmas menu includes roast turkey and Christmas pudding (two courses for £24); there are some good alternatives too, such as pan-fried sea bass, grilled fennel, sweet pepper sauce and saffron potatoes or roasted butternut squash, chilli, spinach, tomato salsa, mascarpone and quinoa.
It is a little taste of France tucked away in rural Hertfordshire!