The Fox at Willian Hotel

Hertfordshire, England

A quiet, undisturbed village in the Hertfordshire countryside may not be the first place that comes to mind when contemplating a weekend away, but high-quality, non-fussy pub grub at The Fox is earning this small village a loyal following, with regular clientele returning time and again. Friendly staff, relaxed settings with dogs (not only welcomed, but doted on) and Beavertown, Adnams and Fuller’s on tap all contribute to the steady flow of traffic in and out of The Fox’s doors; but the real prize is the locally sourced, boldly flavoured menu that has earned them their AA rosette status. In the sun-flooded dining room – all rattan detailing, olive velvets and hanging potted plants – or the walled garden, you’ll dine on elevated, season-led dishes. Start with English asparagus on a bed of whipped goats’ curd and aged balsamic, followed by Mimram Valley lamb with foraged nettles and wild garlic pesto, or herb gnocchi with smoked ricotta and woodland mushrooms. For dessert, who can resist salted caramel tart with tonka bean ice cream? Star-filled skies only found in rural villages are a welcome sight before sleep and, come daylight, enjoy a morning coffee in the garden overlooking the 15thcentury tower of All Saint’s Church. Walk off buttery croissants, a local-meat-driven Full English or the equally enticing veggie option with a walk along country lanes before heading home. On the other hand, Sunday roasts with local beef or Priors Hall Farm porchetta are well worth hanging around for.

Doubles from £125. 01462 480233,

Words by Megan Dickson.

This review was taken from the July 2023 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe today, click here.

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