Good Food Guide place for St Albans gastropub

JELLY and ice cream has helped a St Albans gastropub earn a place in this year’s Good Food Guide.

For the first time in the pub’s history, The Blue Anchor on Fishpool Street has been recognised in The Good Food Guide following head chef Paul Bloxham’s appointment in May this year.

Paul, whose pub The Tilbury at Datchworth also achieved Good Food Guide placing this year, launched a brand-new menu at The Blue Anchor soon after his arrival, and said that his aim was to create “vigorous, seasonal, punchy, earthy and flavoursome” food for St Albans diners.

The Good Food Guide review commended The Blue Anchor for its “pubby attributes and vigorous cooking”, and noted dishes such as Paul’s juicy free-range chicken and wild mushroom sausages with braised lentils and punchy romesco salsa. Praise was also given for the “jokey take on jelly and ice cream” - peculiar shaped jellies sporting fruity flavours such as passion fruit, Paul revealed.

Paul, who lives in Welwyn, said that he was over the moon with his score of two out of ten: “That’s a really impressive score when it comes to The Good Food Guide. They’ve picked up on exactly what I wanted out of The Blue Anchor and hopefully this bit of good news will get more bums on seats here.”

He added: “One of the great things about our menu is that there’s something for everyone, including children. It’s great that they liked our jelly and ice cream, and we also do our own take on fish ‘n chips - tempura monkfish with spring onion. We have a constantly evolving menu and it really is not to be missed.”

The Good Food Guide 2011, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, picked 19 new entries for East of England dining this year, an achievement which the Guide’s consultant editor Elizabeth Carter said was remarkable: “The experience of dining out in the East of England has been transformed over the last 60 years, and the restaurant scene is thriving. We look forward to helping diners find local culinary gems for many years to come.”

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For more information on The Blue Anchor, which also placed in this year’s Eating Out in Pubs Michelin Guide, and to book a table, visit or call 01727 855038.