Watford

    

                             Nascot Arms                                                           Estcourt Arms (Lynch's)                                                       Druids    

Watford used to be a brewery town, with the corresponding large number of pubs in the town centre that you would have expected. There are now situated in their place the becoming evermore common Wetherspoons, Walkabout, O'Neills, etc., as you would expect to find in modern town centres. However, there are a number of other fine bars in town, and not too far from either the station (Watford Junction) or the football ground (about 20 minutes or so walk), although you may wish to book a taxi to Vicarage Road, and most of these pubs are very football or rugby influenced.

The first place I have to mention, because it is my personal favourite in Watford, is the Nascot Arms 11 Stamford Road, WD17 4QS (01923 231 336), a Greene King pub, but serving up a nice selection of ales including at least one guest beer. This is the sort of pub I really like, good beer, a nice homely feel about it, though not over-comfortable, if you know what I mean, friendly staff, and, though I haven't tried the food there yet, Thai food, which is always a plus for me. I love those flavours, ginger (or galangal), garlic, shallots, lime juice, chillies, lemon grass, and my favourite herb, coriander. All-in-all, The Nascot Arms is a great pub, also having plasma screens for those who watch sport with a pint in hand, including a decent sized screen under a covered area in the garden. I left much too early on my last visit, but had a train to catch, sadly.

A few pubs close by each other also spring to mind when visiting Watford, eg the Estcourt Arms, 2 St John's Rd WD17 1PT (01923 220 754), aka Lynch's. Lynch's always has a couple of real ales on tap, but is well known for serving good Guinness, for me, a sign that they sell lots of Guinness, consequently, it's getting through the pipes quickly. Another pub to watch sport in, apparently, horse racing in particular, and I have been informed the food is pretty good.

Opposite the Estcourt Arms is the Wellington Arms, 2 Woodford Rd WD17 1PA (01923 220 739). The Wellington serves up 3 real ales, usually including a beer from Tring brewery, with a good food menu too. Another sports pub, with quite a few screens for all sports, but particularly rugby again. It is also a hotel, and offers good value bed and breakfast accommodation. On my last visit, except for visiting the bar, we spent most of our time sitting outside, well, it was warm.

Talking of rugby pubs in Watford and I have to include Druids, 17 Estcourt Rd WD17 2PT (01923 246 824), renowned as "Everyone's rugby club in a pub". OK, I know the website states this, but as soon as I mentioned the Druids to a friend who lives in Watford, he said exactly that phrase, so it certainly is well known as such to the locals. Serves real ale, good food, sport (NB rugby), what more could they offer, except good and friendly service and a warm welcome.

Finally, opposite Druids is the Estcourt Tavern, 25 Estcourt Rd WD17 2PY (01923 225 733), another Green King pub. The Tavern usually has at least 3 well looked after real ales on at any one time and a good range of the usual pub food on their menu. The Tavern is much larger than Druids across the road, and less rugby friendly, if you would like to avoid too much talk about that particular sport or wish to concentrate on your own particular love. 

 

Many thanks to Kieran for this update for opposition football fans visiting Watford.

To avoid confusion, The Estcourt Arms on Woodford Road has been known for years to locals as either "Lynch's" or the "Bottom Estcourt”.This is due to the pub's proximity to the Estcourt Tavern which sits across from Druid's at the top of Estcourt Road (close to the entrance to the Harlequin Shopping Centre). The pub has recently changed hands and is being run by a family who have made improvements to what was already a very nice pub to visit. An outside decked area has been added to the rear and wonderful, yet affordable, home cooked food has been added to the menu. The Bottom Estcourt is a real hit with Watford fans on matchdays, but is usually friendly enough for opposition fans to visit as long as their team colours are discreet and not Orange. Watford fans it is fair to say, do not much care for the colour Orange.

Away fans visiting Watford are usually met at Watford Junction Station by our friends from the Hertfordshire Constabulary and marched to, or advised to visit, one of the Town Centre pubs such as Yates' or, as more often is the case, The Moon Under Water. Both pubs are large and efficiently run but wouldn't it be a shame to only visit what you have in your own town and on your own doorstep? Branch out a little!

In recent years due to transport connections to the New Wembley Stadium and London itself, Watford has become a popular overnight stop for fans of clubs with away games in the Capital. As a result a number of mid-priced hotels have sprung up around the town and visitors can expect a lively night out in Watford, particularly in the amusingly named "Cafe Quarter" where girls and boys of all ages can be found falling out of clubs and kebab houses at all hours. 

 

 

www.drinkaware.co.uk

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