The Silver Cup in Harpenden has achieved two rare distinctions for a pub – listings in both the Michelin Guide and Good Food Guide.

The awards mean the food must be exceptional and imaginative as both the prestigious guides are seriously picky when they choose entries and pubs tend to be few and far between.

The pub has been run since 2020 by two young locals, Matthew Reeder and Michael Singleton. Matthew, the chef, has close links to the Silver Cup as his father was once the landlord.

The name of the pub, which dates from 1838, stems from a horse race that used to take place on the Common over the road, with the winning horse and jockey receiving a silver cup.

It’s an attractive location at 5 St Albans Road with a large cricket ground next to the Common. Outside benches allow customers to enjoy a drink while watching the sylvan pleasures across the road.

Matthew is an experienced chef and he’s worked at such prestigious London restaurants as the Typing Room, Galvin Brothers and Anglo.

He and Michael are keen on sustainability and they use as much local produce as they can from ethical suppliers. They forage for food in the countryside and prepare meat and fish on the premises.

Customers can eat in the spacious restaurant at the rear of the pub or can have snacks in the bar. Snacks include chilli rice crackers, chilli and garlic olives, chips, and Mersea rock oysters.

The main menu changes frequently and reflects the seasons of the year. On my visit, Michael and Matthew were serving lamb with garlic, lemon and sourdough yeast, Sutton Hoo chicken and sweetcorn, and ewe’s cheesecake with passion fruit and curd.

A pub sharing menu offered pardon peppers, Cobble Lane salami and cornichons, crispy cod cheeks with tartar sauce, and charred leek, taramasalata and pumpernickel.

The Silver Cup has an extensive wine list and Matthew, Michael and their staff will recommend wines to have with each course.

But they never forget they’re running a pub and people can drop in for the simple pleasure of a pint.

The pub is owned by Wells & Co, better known by its old name of Charles Wells in Bedford.

The Wells family has been brewing since the 1870s and its second site, the Eagle Brewery in Havelock Street, had an impressive capacity of 800,000 barrels a year.

It turned its Bombardier premium bitter into one of the country’s top brands but it faced a crisis early this century when it lost key contracts to brew and distribute Red Stripe Jamaican lager and Corona Extra from Mexico. Red Stripe was so popular it accounted for around half of the Eagle’s annual output.

In 2017 the family took the momentous decision to sell the brewery to the big national brewer Marston’s.

But Paul and Peter Wells, representing the fifth generation of the family, were determined to stay in brewing and they invested Marston’s money in not only a new brewery but also an innovative way of selling beer.

Brewpoint has a rather alarming address - Cut Throat Lane, Bedford – but you will eat and dine well there in safety and comfort. It’s what Americans call a Taproom.

Drinkers in the spacious bar can watch beer being brewed through screens while meals are served in an adjacent restaurant that leads to an outside area that’s a pleasant place to eat in good weather.

The extensive menu includes pizzas from an on-site oven.

The Silver Cup has beers from Brewpoint, including two cask ales, DNA and Legacy. The pub has five bedrooms, making it a fine place to both eat and stay.

▪ St Albans Beer Festival will held at the Arena from 27 to 30 October.

I shall be hosting a beer talk and tasting on the opening night and tickets are on sale from I hope to see you there!