Friday, 6 September 2013

The Kings Arms Berkhamsted - Welcome Home!

So yesterday I made it back safe and sound from Cannes and am trying to find my feet again! I got on the plane, avoiding any tears; I was so close at one point then realised people around me would think that I was a bit weird, crying in the queue to board, so pulled myself together!

I landed in London to glorious sunshine and hopped in the car with my dad and did the M25 with the roof down and wasn't cold. However it is now chilly and wet, I'm not impressed and a bit scared to venture outside today. I was greeted home by a big banner across our dining room window, some balloons and my mummy. It is good to be back!

Rather than eating at home, we decided to go out for dinner. It was a toss up between two and we decided we wanted to walk rather than drive to the Alford Arms, so chose the Kings Arms Berkhamsted. This restaurant and bar also has 15 en suite bedrooms, and is part of the local chain of Oakman Inns & Restaurants, which are all lovely venues! I remember going to the Red Lion for breakfast on A Level results day with some friends to celebrate getting in to university.

I think the Kings Arms has a lovely home-like feel about it. When you enter, the bar seating area has something of a country farmhouse feel about it, with mismatched chairs and in the winter a roaring fire in the middle. There are large wooden tables for dining, and the restaurant at the back has big glass windows so it's very light.
Gin & Tonic at the Kings Arms Berkhamsted
Cheeky G&T
We chose the fish platter to share between the three of us as a starter. A plate of fishy yumminess, with deep fried whitebait (/fried fishies if you're me, petites fritures if you are from la France), smoked salmon, crab meat and marinated tiger prawns. Served with soft bread, creamy butter and a lemon mayonnaise. I would have preferred the mayonnaise to be a bit more garlicky, à la aioli, but then I clearly have spent too long in France enjoying that Provencal goodness! Needless to say, it was all polished off rather quickly.
Fish Platter Kings Arms Berkhamsted
Lots of fishy goodness
Dad and I kept with the fish theme for mains, and chose the special of the day. Risotto with anchovies, smoked salmon, tomato and pesto. There was also a hint of parmesan in there, and for a risotto was quite liquidy, but good. I was only upset that the anchovies were more there in flavour, I would have liked a couple sitting on top of the dish for me to enjoy.
Salmon and anchovy risotto
My risotto
Mum chose the tagliata di manzo, or in English, beef salad. A salad of rocket, red onion, cherry tomatoes, grana padano with an olive oil and balsamic dressing, topped with some nicely grilled slices of beef sirloin. It did look good! And she said it tasted good too, so all is well.
Tagliata di manzo Kings Arms Berkhamsted
Beef salad
Deserts didn't manage to be photographed, they were gobbled up a bit too quickly. Imagine Eton mess, a mash up of meringue chunks, cream and raspberries, and a chocolate raspberry sundae with amaretto soaked chocolate brownie pieces, whipped cream and flaked almonds.

I was a bit confused in all honesty, sitting there last night. The urge to say merci to the waiter was overpowering, and I didn't know where to start with the menu - the choice was so different to the typical Mediterranean fresh fish etc. that I have become accustomed to this past year! A fantastic meal to say 'Hello, I am home!'.

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