If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the beautiful town of St Albans, The Abbey restaurant will be your excuse to go. I’d never been to St Albans before even though it’s only a 25-minute drive away and I’d only ever heard good things about it. But, after receiving an invite to visit The Abbey on their opening night I was glad of the opportunity to finally visit. The town centre reminded me of a smaller, quieter Oxford. It was immaculately preserved. Boutiques, independent retailers and major stores feature in quaint listed buildings which makes outtings and shopping all the more enjoyable when they’re set on a pretty backdrop. Not only can you visit your upper market high street stores such as Hobbs, Reiss, Whistles and The White Company but you can explore St Albans one off boutiques such as Gladrags, Simply French, The Dressing Room and Chloe James Lifestyle.
Arriving outside The Abbey which is situated on George Street, the first thing I noticed was the restaurant’s black exterior and gold branding. It looked stunning and inviting straight from the off. Once you step foot inside you’re met with a snug and homely feeling. The interior was modernised with cream walls and a conservatory area towards the back of the restaurant which featured a 3D rose and peony flower wall. The complimentary drinks which included champagne and Fico Grande red and white wine were provided all evening and the staff made sure your glass was never empty.
The night was held in conjunction with St Richard’s Hospice who offered the guests a chance to take part in their raffle which would enable the lucky winners a free three course meal with a bottle of their choice. As everyone mingled with one another, Ben, one of The Abbey’s restaurant owners took to the microphone to thank everyone who came to the launch and to announce the winners of the charity’s prize draw. Once the winners has been announced Ben and the team kindly treated everyone to a prize of their own which was a 50% off food and drinks invite which you could use on a Monday, at any time with a complimentary bottle of prosecco on the first visit. After Ben ended his speech staff came out with locally sourced, seasonal canapés. I was able to try chalk stream trout tartare, cracked wheat, creme fraiche, pomegranate and vinegar crisps, lamb spring rolls with fennel and curry leaf mayo and broad bean bruschetta with celeriac, pumpkin seeds and lovage oil. All of them were absolutely delicious!
After we’d had our fill of canapés we went to explore the upstairs of the restaurant which is available for private hire such as birthdays, weddings, corporate and private events. The upstairs featured a sage painted room with a long table which seated 10, perfect for family dinners and get togethers. The second room featured a a grey marble fireplace and television in a beige painted room which would be the perfect setting for catch ups with friends.
(source @theabbeystalbans instagram)
Overall, we were really impressed with the efforts The Abbey team had gone to. The staff could not have been more accommodating and friendly and we are looking forward to returning to try the seasonal dishes the restaurant proudly prides itself on.