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“Banned from the pub for asking our neighbors to stop smoking in front of our kids!”
Review of The Alford Arms

The Alford Arms
Ranked #6 of 71 Restaurants in Berkhamsted
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: A warm and welcoming country dining pub with open fire and muddy boots and dog friendly. People often describe the Alford as a gastro-pub, but we're not really comfortable with that tag. The term sounds too restauranty and cheffy. We've always wanted the Alford to be a great pub, where you just happen to be able to get great food. So tables in the dining room are available to book, but there's also the bar for drinkers with tables available on a first come, first served basis. The seasonal menu and daily specials balance originality with more traditional fare and we are firm believers in using local produce wherever possible. Hanging baskets and window boxes adorn the terrace and provide an alfresco dining area. Alongside is the village green and historic Ashridge Estate is right on our doorstep. Ramblers, dog walkers, bluebell admirers, mushroom foragers and cyclists regularly emerge from the surrounding countryside ready to combine their activity with a refreshing stop at the Alford Arms.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Banned from the pub for asking our neighbors to stop smoking in front of our kids!”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We had a very unpleasant experience at The Alford Arms yesterday... We were a group of 8 adults plus 3 kids (and 2 dogs!) and we had chosen the pub because it was child and dog friendly. Whilst we were eating our meal two other guests at the pub asked to sit at two spare seats at the end of our table - 'no problem' we said, there was plenty of room for them. However when one of the new arrivals started smoking the two mothers on our table asked if they could stop smoking because we had 3 kids on the table - including a 6 month old baby. To her credit the lady did stop smoking. However, 15 minutes later both of the new arrivals lit up cigarillos (small cigars). Again, they were asked politely if they would mind not smoking next to the kids - given that they were sitting on our table and right next to them. This time around the couple refused. They were asked again - and reminded that they were in fact sitting on our table - and they refused to put out their cigarillos or to move. One of the dads then took matters into his own hands and stubbed out the cigarillos, at which point the couple left the table to sit somewhere else. The smokers then complained to the manager who was absolutely furious with us. At no point did the manager sympathise with our situation - nor in fact ask us for our version of events of what had happened. In fact the manager didn't event TRY and find a solution to the problem - he could have moved the table away from us and just solved the problem then and there...!?. No, instead we had an irate manager telling us we had no right to ask someone sitting on our table to kindly stop smoking in front of 2 kids and a baby..........When we came to pay our bills we were then told that we were not welcome back at the pub. Well, thanks for that, but no fear, we are not coming back....

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
24 Thank Charlie_Guayaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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591 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Out of the way but worth the distance.”
Reviewed September 28, 2013

The service we received in this pub was fantastic, very warm, welcoming and accommodating, also the bar tender/owner (not sure which) had some of the best customer service skills I had seen, used my name, polite, smiled and nothing was too much. The food was brilliant to and fairly reasonably priced, I had the shoulder of lamb suet and the flavours were beautiful also the texture of the meat was perfect.

If I had to mark this pub down at all it would just be the ambience, it was a bit snooty and pretentious but nothing that couldn't ignored to enjoy the underlying delights.

Will definitely return and it is worth a visit if you are prepared to travel out of Berkhamsted a little.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank m_flana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
berko
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Excellent food & atmosphere.”
Reviewed September 26, 2013 via mobile

We ate here as a table of 4 and 3 of us ordered fish dishes which were all excellent! The restaurant was full with a good atmosphere and staff were friendly and helpful even though they were busy!
The only reason I haven't given 5 stars was I thought it was expensive for a country pub as prices were comparable to some London restaurants we've eaten in but overall we enjoyed the experience.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank sezill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkhamsted, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“delicious as always”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

We had our anniversary lunch there today and it couldn't have been better. Great service from the lovely staff (always charming and friendly without over-doing it), delicious food and an excellent, well-priced bottle of wine. Thanks very much, just as good as when we took my dad there for his birthday lunch, or my mother's day lunch, or the Saturday supper we had sitting outside in the sunshine......don't change a thing, we want to keep coming back for years!
If you turn up on spec, you may have to wait a while for a table in the bar (same great food), depending on the day of the week. If you want to be sure of a table, booking is a must and has to be done well in advance for Fridays/weekends. Tables outside get snapped up pretty quickly too. But well worth the effort.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Helen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkhamsted, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A country pub like no other”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Oh, The Alford Arms...how many ways do we love thee...
Where to start..?..maybe it's the location of this quintessential English inn, tucked away between the lovely surrounding villages of Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead, maybe it's the wonderful staff who, incidentally, don't seem to change very often, therefore giving you a feeling of being friends rather than customers; maybe it's the gourmet menu of seasonally-chosen deliciousness (you will dream about their bubble and squeak - in fact, I think it's becoming a thing of Hertfordshire folklore, so good is it); or their fabulous wine list full of names we've never heard of, but which are surprising, both in price and taste; or maybe it's because we can take our two dogs in there and be met by loads of other dog owners who are also delighted to have found a country pub that actually does accept us, unlike nearly all the other pubs in the area that now don't (The Alford's mission statement - "We accept dogs, children and muddy boots." - can't say fairer than that.) Or maybe it's because this place is all about customer enjoyment in a good, old fashioned, yet sophisticated setting. With an outside terrace eating area, a bar/parlour area and a restaurant, it hasn't been 'done up' like loads of other gastropubs, so retains a shed load of charm and atmosphere.
I probably don't even need to give this review, bearing in mind that they've just been awarded 'Hertfordshire Dining Pub of the Year' in the recently published GOOD PUB GUIDE 2014 – the ninth time they’ve been awarded this honour since 2003.
Suffice to say, we have done our fair share of 'research' trying to find somewhere different (better?) to spend our time and money, but quite frankly nowhere has ever come close.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jane E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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