The Gate Pub, Chorleywood

As much as I love London, sometimes it’s nice to escape away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Especially when the sun is shining and you’d prefer something more green than the capital’s skyline can offer. So last weekend, when you may remember the sun made an appearance after a 6 month disappearance, David and I joined the M25 and headed to Chorleywood – for a summery pub lunch.

We’d chosen to visit The Gate Pub in Chorleywood, which is a little village not too far from Watford. It’s somewhere that still offers luxurious settings and a well put together menu – just without having to hop on a tube. Open from 11am – 11pm, it’s a hub for locals and those venturing away from the city, to meet together for a posh pub lunch and a drink (or two). The decor is a variety of grey hues, cosy armchairs and open fires – making for a really relaxed, homely feel (all while still being rather Instagram-able – which of course, is an important factor in any pub visit, obviously).

Arriving just after 1pm, we sat outside to enjoy the sun with a glass of wine – revelling in the fact that summer could finally be on its way. The head waiter came to get us when our table was ready (we could have eaten outside, but it’s just a tad too chilly for me – not just yet) and we were seated next to the window, among a variety of families, women on a ‘ladies who lunch date’ and couples. It was a real mix of guests, but everyone seemed to be having a really lovely time and enjoying their food – which is always a positive point.

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I always get a little too carried away when it comes to ordering – and the array of tempting dishes on offer on The Gate’s menu meant that this occasion was no different. They have a huge variety of starters and sharers to suit all tastes – ranging from the rather fancy sounding Bury black pudding potato cake, to the exceedingly delicious Deep-fried Somerset Brie. I tried to persuade David to get the latter option but eventually, we decided upon the ‘Sticky Platter’ – a selection of spiced lamb koftas and chilli jam, chicken skewers, BBQ ribs and flatbread. Typically, this dish isn’t dairy free – as it comes with tzatziki and dressings, however they kindly make up a special version so that I could enjoy it.

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The portion sizes were VERY generous (far surpassing anything you’d get in London) and we could have easily shared the platter with another two people – as we struggled to finish the lot. I always think sharing options are a great addition to any menu, because not only do they provide a talking point for the table but you get to taste such a variety of flavours. My favourite part was the grilled chicken – of which I’m sure the photographs don’t do it justice – because they were mouthwateringly delicious – chargrilled with a sprinkling of herbs. The chilli jam was also incredible (mopped up by copious servings of flatbread) and the ribs were sitting on a bed of fresh melon, which gave them a really subtle sweet kick.

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PS: I have no idea what I was doing with my hands in the above two photos. Probably wafting away David as I screeched about looking awful in the lighting. Girlfriend brownie points. Oops.

Anyway, we thought we might have spoiled our main course with such a mammoth starter, however luckily – when the next course arrived at our table, we couldn’t resist them either. David opted for the Wagyu Burger, which is a new addition to the menu in the run up to Spring – and a rather spectacular looking display. Wagyu, if you’re not familiar (I wasn’t either) refers to the way a cow has been raised (some are massaged or have sake and beer within their feed) – and apparently, it tastes a whole lot better than normal beef. This particular burger seemed to disappear fairly quickly, so I suppose that’s only a good sign?

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I chose the lemon and garlic spit-roasted chicken with jus and sweet potato fries. It was incredibly delicious – everything you’d expect from roasted chicken and so much more. The jus was rich but complimentary to the dish, adding flavour and a very tasty dipping sauce for the fries. Sweet potato fries, as I’m sure you know, are the best thing ever – but notoriously difficult to master. Some places just ruin the sweet potato altogether, but these were sweet, crisp and soft in the middle.

Now some might argue by this point, we’d have no room left for pudding. And they’d probably be right. But the menu was almost half a page long when it came to desserts – and it felt rude to leave without giving at least one a sample.

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So, eventually, we decided to opt for another sharing platter. Strawberries for me and a selection of options for David – the lemon tart, the melting chocolate brownie, the creme brûlée and the double chocolate cookie ice cream sandwich. When it comes to desserts – there’s no holding back (*insert slightly-embarrassed-but-definitely-not-sorry-covering-mouth monkey emoji*).

We left feeling very full – but oh so satisfied. And I’m still thinking about those sweet potato fries as I write this.

If you’re on the lookout for somewhere outside of London, that still offers the incredible food and comforts that the city provides, this place is definitely an option to consider. The staff were so friendly and accommodating to intolerances – even on a busy Sunday lunchtime – and we just got a really lovely feel for the venue and surrounding area. The outside area will be even more fantastic when the sun properly starts to shine (I can’t wait) and having a little taster has got me all excited for lazy Sunday afternoons sat in the garden, with a glass of wine in hand and a BBQ on the go. We’re nearly there!

What do you think of the food offerings above? Are you excited for summery Sunday pub lunches again? 

The Gate Pub | link

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  • Morgan Miller

    I know exactly what you mean, I live in London too (which is amazing!) but sometimes it’s just nice to take a break from it and see what London can’t offer. Love your blog x
    Morgan | http://www.justmorgs.com

    • Scarlett London

      Thanks so much Morgan! Yes definitely, especially in the summer – it’s nice to see a bit of greenery! x

  • Mmm everything looks so nice! I’m used to giant portions here up north, but I hate when there are giant portions but not good quality, so it’s good that it isn’t the case here. Sweet potato fries are everything.

    Pretty Mad Things .. xo