Hertfordshire’s Hidden Gems
18 September 2020 / Lifestyle / What To Do /
Looking to explore the local area during your stay? Why not avoid the most popular attractions and discover something a little more under the radar. From unique shopping experiences to boutique bars, take a look at our handpicked selection of Hertfordshire’s hidden gems.
A spot of shopping…
1. The Dressing Room, St Albans
A multi award-winning fashion boutique founded by Deryane Tadd, The Dressing Room has become one of the UK’s most respected independent shops. It’s won 6 Drapers awards and was featured in the Top 50 Independent Boutiques in Stella Magazine 2019.
As well as it’s carefully curated edit of on-trend pieces from fresh and exciting brands, what sets The Dressing Room apart is it’s styling services. You can book a complimentary, premium session with one of the trained stylists. There’s a variety of different appointments to suit your style needs, whether you need that perfect party dress or just a seasonal update. Prepare to be inspired!
2. Osprey, St Albans
Located just outside St Albans city centre, the Osprey Home and Osprey London store here is no ordinary outlet. When browsing, you’ll find an exclusive combination of previous season stock, new developments and one off pieces that may not be available in any other Osprey stores.
The setting alone is stunning; follow country roads to traditional black barns which open up onto a beautiful courtyard. An essential part of your shopping experience here is a stop at The Saddlery Café for tea served in vintage cups and traditional homemade cakes. As it is run by Osprey, expect eclectic furniture and characteristic furnishings.
3. Ashridge Estate
You can have your choice of country walks when visiting this 5,000 acre area of outstanding natural beauty in the Chiltern Hills. Expect miles of footpaths and bridleways that take you through different landscapes, including beech and oak woodland, commons and chalk downlands. Look out for fallow deer in autumn and rare butterflies in summer.
Browse the estate map to choose your walking route or head to the visitor centre for advice on where to explore.
4.Turville Circular Walk
This 6 mile walk starts and finishes at Turville, a beautiful village with picture-perfect cottages, a quaint church and a breathtaking backdrop of the Chiltern Hills. If you find the village familiar, that will be because it is better known as Dibley from the BBC TV series, The Vicar of Dibley.
As you start the walk through scenic countryside, you’ll spot The Cobstone Windmill which was featured in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The path through the Chilterns is flat and easy to follow – a fantastic way to build up an appetite for a feast at The Glasshouse that evening!
For culture vultures…
5. The Rex, Berkhamsted
Enjoy movie night with art deco decadence at the Rex in Berkhamsted. The cinema first opened in 1938 and has kept its unique character and stunning interiors ever since. From classic to quirky, even the film programme offers something a little different to other cinemas. So grab a drink at the bar, sit back and relax – the ultimate date night activity.
6. Waddesdon Manor
Those hungry for a culture fix can head to Waddesdon Manor. Although technically in Buckinghamshire, this glorious country house is just a 45 minute drive from The Grove and is one of the National Trust’s most visited properties.
Built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 1870s to display his collections and entertain his elite guests, you can now meander the grounds and gardens and admire French 18th-century furniture, porcelain and textiles inside the house. Christmas at Waddesdon Manor is particularly magical, but just make sure you book your slot in advance as it’s very popular!
A drink with a difference…
7. Dalling and Co, Kings Langley
Dalling and Co is first and foremost a wine shop and deli, meaning it is a real hidden gem if you decide to make use of their cosy seating area for an evening glass, or bottle of wine. As well as a marvelous wine list to choose from, be sure to take advantage of the team’s expertise. They can source vintages from specific years (a fabulous birthday gift idea), share tips on food and wine pairing and source the perfect wine for you based on your personal taste.
8. Tring Brewery
The team at Tring Brewery are very proud of their Hertfordshire location, based in the picturesque market town and surrounded by countryside. That’s why each of their unusual beer names has a connection to the surrounding area. Learn more about the company’s heritage and how they brought brewing back to Tring on one of their brewery tours. Of if you’d prefer, simply stop by the shop and purchase some of their beers to try, the team there will be happy to make recommendations based on your taste.