There aren’t too many things that are nicer than going for a lovely drink with your furry best friend in tow. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of some pubs where your dog won’t just receive a warm welcome, he’ll be given the VIP treatment. From chic gastropubs to traditional village taverns, here’s our pick of a few of the best dog-friendly boozers in Hertfordshire.
1. The Three Tuns
Address & Map: High St, Buntingford SG9 0NT
Dogs of all sizes are always most welcome at The Three Tuns. Owners Anita and Neil are big animal lovers, they have three resident pub dogs as well as an adorable 25-year-old pub cat at the ready to keep furry patrons company! Set in rural Hertfordshire it’s in a perfect spot if you want to take a walk with your dog then grab a drink. As well as the main bar area, snug bar, and restaurant, there’s a secure beer garden for dogs to play in safely. The pub itself dates back to the 16th century and although it’s been refurbished it’s full of traditional character, with a beautiful open fire place, exposed beams, and thatched roof.
There’s a great choice of real ales from local breweries on tap and the restaurant serves thoughtfully prepared dishes which are made using high-quality ingredients that are locally sourced where possible. There are daily specials available in addition to both lunch and dinner menus, and there’s also a kid’s menu. Pub quiz nights are held once a month and on Thursdays you can get beer-battered fish and chips for £8. Dogs love their homemade dog biscuits which are available on the bar, they go down well with a nice fresh bowl of water.
2. The King Stag
Address & Map: Bournehall Road, Bushey, WD23 3EH
The King Stag is a family-run gastro pub in the heart of Bushey Village that greets dogs with a bowl of water and a saucer of dog biscuits on arrival. And they’ll appreciate it if they’re returning from a walk on the nearby Attenborough fields and Merry Hill. If your dog prefers beer to water, you can order a pint of Snuffle dog beer to quench their thirst. For humans there’s a selection of locally sourced ales, craft lager and ciders, an extensive range of gin and a wine selection to suit all tastes—oh, and on Tuesday nights wine is half price! If you’d like to enjoy a meal with your dog in tow let the team know so that they can reserve a table for you in their bar area. They have a seasonal menu that ranges from proper pub grub through to bistro-style dishes made with ingredients sourced from small local businesses. There’s a vegan menu and, most importantly, a menu for dogs! Your little buddy can choose from Arden Grange chicken and rice, a pigs ear or how about some Cumberland sausages?
They might also like to meet resident pub dog Charlie the border collie who loves to make new friends. And if you hit it off you can even join in on their monthly community dog walk on the last Sunday of every month.
3. The George & Dragon
Address & Map: 19 High Street, Hitchin, SG4 7LE
The owners of The George & Dragon have three rescue dogs of their own so their pub is super dog-friendly. Within the gorgeous red-brick facade awaits a newly renovated country pub and restaurant, and a small farm shop selling local produce like jam, chutney, cheese and cakes. Outside there’s a large shaded terrace where your little guy or gal can make new friends when the weather’s nice.
While you get stuck into a nice Sunday roast or a homemade chicken and leek pie, your dog will have their own menu to choose from with a number of dishes including options for puppies and senior dogs. Each meal comes with a complimentary doggy toothbrush chew and poo bag! You can also buy bottles of Bottom Sniffer dog beer if your little mate fancies an alternative to the fresh water provided. Entertainment-wise, not only do they host a pub quiz on the first Tuesday of every month, they also throw dog parties so look out for those!
4. The Robin Hood
Address & Map: 1 Brook Street, Tring, HP23 5ED
The Robin Hood Tring is a lovely 17th Century pub right on the edge of Tring town centre. Both you and your dog will receive a warm welcome at this traditional pub. Log burning stoves and cosy low ceilings add to this watering hole’s cosy atmosphere. As well as excellent real ales—the pub usually has half a dozen real ales available at any one time—there’s great pub grub available and your dog can sit with you while you eat. The owners who have two dogs of their own (a resident Yorkshire terrier and Westie), ask that dogs are kept on their leads but they’ll be treated to a bowl of water and some lovely doggy biccies. There’s also a walled courtyard garden (with patio heaters) where you can dine al fresco too. Wednesday is quiz night at The Robin Hood, plus there’s a Thai food pop-up on Sunday nights.
5. The Horse & Chains
Address & Map: High Street, Bushey, WD23 1BL
The Horse and Chains is a grade II listed slice of Bushey history that dates back to the 16th century. Through the original sash windows, below the traditional wooden beams, you’ll find a family-run pub and restaurant with a vibrant yet relaxed ambiance. The resident pub dog, Lizzie, is the friendliest little gal around and she loves making new pals—she’s more than happy to share her treats with four-legged guests. There’s also fresh water for dogs while humans can choose from seasonal cocktails, craft beers, and a nice selection of wines.
You can dine with your dog in the bar area, and there are food-themed events all year round, from tapas to French-themed nights. The Horse and Chains team pride themselves on creating classic European as well as British dishes with a contemporary twist. Yum!
6. The Cricketers
Address & Map: Damask Green Road, Hitchin, SG4 7DA
The team at The Cricketers don’t care if you and your dogs arrive covered in mud from a walk in the local nature reserve nearby—everyone is given a warm welcome at this lovely village pub. Dogs are welcome in the restaurant, bar and the acres of garden, so while they enjoy their very own bowl of water and some treats, you can get stuck into one of the pub’s famous thin-based, stone-baked pizzas (all of which go by various cricketing names). Wash it down with a drink from their cracking selection of ales, ciders, wines and gins.
If you like home-cooked food, real ale, and log fires, you’ve come to the right place. This down-to-earth boozer has a contemporary feel but all the characteristics of a traditional pub, including friendly staff. If you’re new to the area there are maps in the pub and the team are happy to give tips on where to ramble. Head there in the summer when they host pop-up cinema nights in the huge garden.
7. The Alford Arms
Address & Map: Frithsden, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3DD
Walkers, dog owners, and foodies alike adore the Alford Arms, a gem of a country pub on the edge of Ashridge Forest. The Good Pub Guide named it Hertfordshire Dining Pub of the Year in 2019 for the tenth time, and it made it into The Times’ Top 20 Gastropubs list. And no wonder, four-legged patrons are given delicious dog biscuits plus bowls of fresh water when they arrive.
There are loads of walking routes right next to the high-end gastropub and there’s a path into Ashridge Forest right outside the door so you and your dog can explore the rolling meadows or do a bit of forest bathing before you pop to The Alford Arms for a tipple or a bite to eat. You can enjoy their superb food in the bar area with your dog (guests with fur aren’t allowed in the restaurant). They specialise in classic tucker with a contemporary twist, and use fresh, seasonal and local produce such as free-range chicken from Tring, fresh bread from village bakeries and wild garlic and forest fruits foraged from the surrounding woodlands. The Alford Arms like their drinks to be as local as possible too, they always have at least three real ales in stock including brews from the award-winning Chiltern Brewery and Tring Brewer, both just down the road.
These pubs are guaranteed to welcome four-legged patrons but if you’re not sure whether a bar is dog-friendly it’s always worth calling, Tweeting, emailing, or just stopping by without your dog to ask to ensure your furry drinking buddy isn’t turned away. Some establishments can get quite busy in the evening so the little fella might prefer to be tucked up in bed if the surroundings are too loud for them. You can find a great local pet sitter who provides dog boarding or a dog walker on Rover.com if your dog prefers to stay at home when you go out.
Featured image via THE THREE TUNS