Eating al fresco is all about the summer

PUBLISHED: 10:28 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:28 05 July 2019

The garden at St Michael's Manor in St Albans is perfect for eating al fresco. Picture: Becky Alexander

The garden at St Michael's Manor in St Albans is perfect for eating al fresco. Picture: Becky Alexander


When you read this the rain lashing against the windows, but I am an optimist, and am pretty sure it won’t be long before the sun will be out! So, here is my round-up of some of the new and exciting places in St Albans to go out and enjoy this summer.

The outdoor bar and seating area at St Michael's Manor in St Albans. Picture: Becky AlexanderThe outdoor bar and seating area at St Michael's Manor in St Albans. Picture: Becky Alexander

St Michael's Manor, down on lovely Fishpool Street, has opened an outdoor bar for the summer.

Located by the lake on the lawn, there is an outdoor bar and huge pizza oven, with seating for about 30 people. I went with the family one Sunday afternoon, and it felt as if we were on holiday; it is such a quiet and secluded part of the city, yet just a few minutes walk down from the Clock Tower.

We shared a really good margarita pizza, served in a box, so you can take them onto the lawns or sit by the lake if you like; it's very relaxed.

The bar had a couple of beers on draft, Champagne and Prosecco and a good selection of gins. As they hold private functions at the weekends, the bar is only open to non-residents on Thursday and Sundays at the moment.

St Albans Vegan Market returns on Sunday, July 7, on St Peter's Street, and there will be more than 60 stalls, including lots of street food.

Local companies The Green Kitchen and Tara's Vegan Treats will be there, along with some new names to try: Cake me Happy, Global Fusion Vegan Creole, Replete Flatbreads, April's Table, Raw Spirit Chocolate Company, Greek Vegan Deli, Home Kitchen Indian, Sun and Moon Juice and The Green Grill. The market is free entry and open 10.30am to 4pm

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Darlish ice cream near the Clock Tower is always busy on a sunny day. Have you tried their Persian-inspired ice cream yet? They have just opened a pop-up shop in Covent Garden on Long Acre, which I spotted last week. It is a smart little shop, similar to their St Albans branch, and will be open until the end of September. I love the saffron, pistachio and rose, and the baklava ice cream sandwich is the Instragram must-try.

The Childwickbury Arts fair returns on July 5-7.

They always have a quirky selection of pop-up food trucks, along with live music and some seating areas, so you can make a day trip of it.

I like the sound of the Dotty Mares, who will be selling gin and Pimm's from their converted horse box. Now Now Bunny Chow, MasterCrepes, The Split Screen Ice cream Co, Fired Up Pizza will also be there, along with Harpenden favourites Parker & Vine. Their salads and quiches are always delicious.

The new Mad Squirrel bar in St Albans has just opened, and has a lovely outdoor patio strung with white lights.

It has to be one of the best locations in the city, with amazing views of the cathedral. You will find it next door to Lussmann's, both upstairs and downstairs. Mad Squirrel specialise in craft beer, including their own Mister Squirrel, Roadkill and Zealous which they brew over near Hemel.

Mad Squirrel also have a bar in Harpenden; more on them in this column soon.

See you out there!

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