Gourmet dining in the Hertfordshire countryside

The magnificent Sopwell House, located in St Albans, is just a 20 minute train journey away from King’s Cross. The quaint little town is worth visiting in itself, but Sopwell House is the real gem here. This relaxing sanctuary is nestled a short walk away from the town centre, right in the heart of the Hertfordshire countryside. Not only does the location lend to the ambiance, but this family-run hotel and spa has a genuine warmth to it. And this includes the restaurant, which was the purpose of my visit.

Head chef Gopi Chandran and his team are award-winners, collecting two AA rosettes and scooping the accolade for Open Table Diner’s choice award 2017. The restaurant is formal, yet relaxed – the live pianist adding a classy touch to the atmosphere. The gourmet dining is a blend of rich British and European dishes. The decor is clean and smart, with tones of white and dark brown creating a homely feel.

It’s all about the best of British in the starters. The Salad of English Asparagus is exquisite, with the right level of crunch so that the vegetable doesn’t lose its flavour. The chervil and parmesan are perfect compliments, too.

The mains though are what really draw you in here, particularly if you’re a carnivore. The Cannon of Salt Marsh Lamb is cooked beautifully and the flavour is absolutely mouthwatering. The lamb jus is a delight as well, since the meat’s flavour hasn’t gone to waste in the cooking. The Fillet of Angus Beef was cooked to perfection also, just the way I asked for it. The steak was juicy and tender, and packed with flavour in every forkful. I have to mention the fondant potato too, because that was particularly enjoyable as a side.

Sticking to the British theme, we finished the meal off with a selection of cheeses that were a great way to round off such a fantastic evening; the Somerset Brie and Colston Basset Stilton were both favourites.

Sopwell House is a must visit, in particular the restaurant. Stay overnight or just spend the day here, either way you will not go home feeling disappointed.

For more information visit sopwellhouse.co.uk