The Trenchers


St Albans


I’ll mention the name of each Pub in the Town,
North-Western, The Marlborough, The Anchor, The Crown,
The Malster, The Post Boy, The Trumpet and then
White Hart, Two Brewers, and the famous Peahen.

Cross Keys, Potter’s Arms, and the Queen’s Hotel
The Duke, Bat and Ball, The Lamb, and The Bell;
The White Horse, The Wheat Sheaf, and Queen Adelaide,
The Cock, and The Peacock, and the naughty Mermaid.

The two Red Lions and the Fleur de Lys,
The Boot and New Inn, and the old Crab Tree;
The Wellington Inn, King’s Head, and King Will.,
The Old Rising Sun, and the Little Windmill.

The Plough, The Harrow, The Stag, and the Hope,
The Bull, and Victoria, and the old Antelope;
The Vine, and Black Horse, Sugar Loaf, and Green Man,
The George, and George Tap, King’s Arms, and The Swan.

The Farrier’s Arms, the Verulam also,
The Rule and Compass, and the little black Crow,
The Lower Red Lion, Royal Oak, and the Queen,
The Cock and Flower Pot near the Woodman is seen.

Down to the Blue Anchor I have often gone,
And to The Black Lion, and Old Unicorn;
To The Rose and Crown, and little Six Bells,
Then back to The Painter to see Mrs. Wells.

The Blacksmith’s Arms are close to his shop,
Then we go to The Sailor Boy, there must we stop;
We pass by the Cricketers on our way back,
And find The Beehive behind The Wool Pack.

There’s old Garibaldi with a flaming red coat,
The savage White Lion and the tame little Goat;
The Hare and the Hound are in Sopwell Lane still,
And the two Fighting Cocks are down by the Silk Mill.

There’s The Prince of Wales and Crystal Palace,
The young Farmer’s Boy - the old Steeple Chase;
The Acorn, The Alma, The Eagle and Child,
And bold Robin Hood of the Forest so wild.

The Midland Inn and the Midland Hotel,
Three beershops kept by Blanks, Luck, and Bell;
The White Hart Tap is not in my list,
The old Golden Harp I nearly had missed;
Two in Pound Field whose signs I’ve forgot,
And the Pineapple is the last of the lot.


Travel Information

by Train

Trains run from London Kings Cross (Thameslink) approx every few minutes, taking 20-30 minutes depending on fast or slow (all stations) service. Returning to London, trains take approx 30 minutes leaving the station at 22:02, 22:06, 22:32, 22:36, 22:52, 23:28, 23:52… The Thameslink service also runs right through to Sutton !!! 

The other Kings Cross service (WAGN) could be used to go to Potters Bar station (via Finsbury Park – Victoria & Piccadilly Line on tube), then pick up the 84 bus (see below).

by Bus

The 84 bus runs from New Barnet Station, via Potters Bar Station (15 minutes from Kings Cross) every 20 minutes. This drops right outside the café for breakfast. Timetable shown below. 

Metroline Bus Route 84 – New Barnet to St Albans

New Barnet, New Barnet Station                  0930 0950 1010 1030 
Barnet, Barnet Hill, Dandy Lion PH              0937 0957 1017 1037 
Hadley Highstone, Gt North Rd, Memorial         0942 1002 1022 1042 
Potters Bar, Barnet Rd, opp The Lion PH      	0947 1007 1027 1047 
Potters Bar, High Street, Bus Garage            0950 1010 1030 1050 
Potters Bar Station, Stop B                     0957 1017 1037 1057 
Potters Bar, Mutton Ln, opp Cranborne Rd        1001 1021 1041 1101 
South Mimms, St Albans Rd, White Hart PH 	1006 1026 1046 1106 
London Colney, Sainsbury's, Stop 1              1012 1032 1052 1112 
London Colney, High Street, Kings Road          1017 1037 1057 1117 
St Albans, London Road, The Grill Bar     	1022 1042 1102 1122 
St Albans, St Peters Street, Stop 11      	1030 1050 1110 1130


Metroline Bus Route 84 – St Albans to New Barnet

St Albans, St Peters Street, Stop 2       	2130 2230 2330 
St Albans, London Rd, opp The Grill Bar         2137 2237 2337 
London Colney, High Street, opp Kings Rd        2142 2242 2342 
London Colney, Sainsbury's, Stop 2              2146 2246 2346 
South Mimms, St Albans Rd,opp White Hart   	2152 2252 2352 
Potters Bar, Mutton Lane, Cranborne Road   	2156 2256 2356 
Potters Bar Station, Stop B                     2159 2259 2359 
Potters Bar, High Street, opp Bus Garage  	2205 2305 0005 
Potters Bar, Barnet Road, The Lion PH           2208 2308 .... 
Hadley Highstone, Gt Nth Rd,opp Memorial        2211 2311 .... 
Barnet, Barnet Hill, Park Road                  2216 2316 .... 
New Barnet, New Barnet Station                  2223 2323 ....

(NOTE: last bus terminates at Potters Bar)

The 724 bus runs between Harlow and Heathrow, but goes through Hatfield Hertford and St Margarets, offering some possibilities for routes to other train lines.


Arriva Bus Route 724 Harlow to Heathrow

Stanstead Abb,St Margarets Station,Stp B      	0757 0912 1012 
Ware, Hertford Road, Stop A                     0805 0919 1019 
Hertford, Bus Station, Bay 5                    0820 0927 1027 
Hertford, North Road, County Hospital           0825 0930 1030 
Hertford North Station, North Rd, Stop B  	0826 0931 1031 
Hertingfordbury, opp White Horse PH      	0828 0933 1033 
Birch Green, The Old Coach Road, War Mem 	0835 0938 1038 
W G City, Moors Walk, Watchlytes                0844 0946 1046 
W G City, Bessemer Road, opp Business Pk        0846 0948 1048 
Welwyn Garden City, Bus Station, Stop 5  	0853 0953 1053 
W G City, Heronswood Rd, Haynes Close           0856 0956 1056 
W G City, Howlands, QEII Hospital Stop A  	0902 1002 1102 
Hatfield, Station Forecourt, Stop B             0910 1010 1110 
Hatfield, Queensway, Gracemead House            0912 1012 1112 
Hatfield, Cavendish Way, Galleria Stop A  	0914 1014 1114 
St Albans, Hatfield Rd, Colney Heath Ln      	0918 1018 1118 
St Albans, Hatfield Road, Safeway               0921 1021 1121 
St Albans, Station Interchange, Stop B          0925 1025 1125

Arriva Bus Route 724 Heathrow to Harlow

St Albans, Station Interchange, Stop A          2003 2048 2148 2318 
St Albans, Hatfield Road, Fleetville PO      	2005 2050 2150 2320 
St Albans, Hatfield Rd, Oaklands College 	2009 2054 2154 2324 
Hatfield, Cavendish Way, Galleria Stop C  	2014 2059 2159 2329 
Hatfield, Queensway, Market Place               2015 2100 2200 2330 
Hatfield, Station Forecourt, Stop A             2016 2101 2201 2331 
W G City, Howlands, QEII Hospital Stop B  	2024 2109 2209 2339 
W G City, Heronswood Road, Haynes Close   	2026 2111 2211 2341 
Welwyn Garden City, Bus Station, Stop 6  	2031 2116 2216 2346 
Welwyn G C, Bessemer Rd, Business Park    	2033 2118 2218 2348 
W G City, Moors Walk, opp Watchlytes            2036 2121 2221 2351 
Birch Green, Old Coach Road, opp War Mem 	2043 2128 2228 2358 
Hertingfordbury, White Horse PH                 2045 2130 2230 2400 
Hertford North Station, North Rd, Stop A  	2048 2133 2233 0003 
Hertford, Bus Station, Bay 4                    2052 2137 2237 0007 
Ware, Hertford Road, Stop C                     2059 2144 2244 0014
Stanstead Abb,St Margarets Station,Stp A       	2105 2150 2250 0020

Did You Know That?

·        St. Albans began as a major settlement in the Late Iron Age?

·        Verulamium, that settlements Roman successor, became the 3rd largest city in Roman Britain?

·        Alban was the earliest Christian martyr in northern Europe?

·        The only English Pope was educated in St. Albans?

·        Magna Carta was drafted in St. Albans?

·        The First Battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought in the Streets of St.Albans?

Something to read on the journey to St Albans...

The Brewing Process

Fundamentally beer is the product of the alcoholic fermentation by yeast of extracts of malted barley. Whilst malt and yeast contribute substantially to the character of beers, the quality of beer is at least as much a function of the water and, especially, of the hops used in its production.

Barley starch supplies most of the sugars from which the alcohol is derived in the majority of the world's beers. This starch is enclosed in the cell wall and proteins within the barley, and these wrappings are stripped away in the malting process (essentially a limited germination of the barley grains), leaving the starch preserved.

In the brewery, the malted grain must first be milled to produce relatively fine particles, which are for the most part starch. The particles are then intimately mixed with hot water in a process called mashing. The water must possess the right mix of salts. For example fine ales are produced from waters with high levels of calcium. Famous pilsners are from waters with low levels of calcium. Typically mashes have a thickness of three parts water to one part malt and contain a stand at around 65°C, at which temperature the granules of starch are converted from an indigestible granular state into a 'melted' form which is much more susceptible to enzymatic digestion.

The enzymes which break down the starch are called the amylases. They are developed during the malting process, but only start to act once the gelatinization of the starch has occurred in the mash tun. Some brewers will have added starch from other sources, such as maize or rice, to supplement that from malt. These other sources are called adjuncts.

After perhaps an hour of mashing, the liquid portion of the mash, known as wort, is recovered, either by straining through the residual spent grains or by filtering through plates. The wort is run to the kettle (sometimes known as the copper, even though they are nowadays fabricated from stainless steel) where it is boiled, usually for 1 hour. Boiling serves various functions, including sterilisation of wort, precipitation of proteins (which would otherwise come out of solution in the finished beer and cause cloudiness), and the driving away of unpleasant grainy characters originating in the barley. Many brewers also add some adjunct sugars at this stage and at least a proportion of their hops.

The hops have two principal components: resins and essential oils. The resins (so-called a-acids) are changed ('isomerised') during boiling to yield iso-a-acids. which provide the bitterness to beer. This process is rather inefficient. Nowadays. hops oils are often extracted with liquefied carbon dioxide and the extract is either added to the kettle or extensively iso- merised outside the brewery for addition to the finished beer (thereby avoiding losses due to the tendency of the bitter substance to stick on to yeast).

The oils are responsible for the 'hoppy nose' on beer. They are very volatile and if the hops are all added at the start of the boil then much of the aroma will be blown up the chimney. In traditional lager brewing a pro- portion of the hops are held back and only added towards the end of boiling, which allows the oils to remain in the wort. For obvious reasons, this process is called late hopping. In traditional ale production, a handful of hops is added to the cask at the end of the process, enabling a complex mixture of oils to give a distinctive character to such products. This is called dry hopping. Liquid carbon dioxide can be used to extract oils as well as resins and these extracts can also be added late in the process to make modifications to beer flavour.

After the precipitate produced during boiling has been removed, the hopped wort is cooled and pitched with yeast. There are many strains of brewing yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and brewers jealously guard and look after their own strains because of their importance in determining brand identity.

Fundamentally brewing yeast can be divided into ale and lager strains, the former type collecting at the surface of the fermenting wort and the latter settling to the bottom of a fermentation (although this differentiation is becoming blurred with modem fermenters). Both types need a little oxygen to trigger off their metabolism, but otherwise the alcoholic fermentation is anaerobic. Ale fermentations are usually complete within a few days at temperatures as high as 20° C, whereas lager fermentations at as low as 6°C can take several weeks. Fermentation is complete when the desired alcohol content has been reached and when an unpleasant butterscotch flavour which develops during all fermentations has been mopped up by yeast. The yeast is harvested for use in the next fermentation.

In traditional ale brewing the beer is now mixed with hops, some priming sugars and with isinglass finings from the swim bladders of certain fish, which settle out the solids in the cask.

In traditional lager brewing the 'green beer' is matured by several weeks of cold storage, prior to filtering.

Nowadays, the majority of beers, both ales and lagers, receive a relatively short conditioning period after fermentation and before filtration. This conditioning is ideally performed at -1°C for a minimum of three days, under which conditions more proteins drop out of solution, making the beer less likely to go cloudy in the package or glass.

The filtered beer is adjusted to the required carbonation before packaging into cans, kegs or glass or plastic bottles.

The Planned Route


1. The Victoria Café c1970 (well the furniture anyway), 82a Victoria Street – A traditional greasy spoon offering a set breakfast including toast and tea for £2.90.

2. The Farmers Boy c1831, 134 London Road – St Albans very own micro-brewery, selling it’s own beers, Farmers Joy (dark), IPA and Special.



3. The White Hart Tap c1841, 4 Keyfield Terrace – offers London Pride and Deuchars IPA plus 2 guest ales.




4. The Goat Inn c1578, 37 Sopwell Lane – previously a brothel, offers guest beers from micro-breweries and good food



5. Ye Olde Fighting Cocks c1600, 16 Abbey Mill Lane – In the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest surviving freehouse, the regular beers include 6X, Bombardier and Old Speckled Hen. Hint of a beer festival…



6. Blue Anchor c1869, 145 Fishpool Street – Friendly staff welcome you to this McMullens pub offering AK and Country (and Sweet Chariot if it’s still on).



7. The Lower Red Lion c1756, 34 Fishpool Street – The Wenlock Arms has competition… serving a minimum of 9 real ales and an A4 sheet of Belgium beers (some on draft) this is indeed the best pub we found in St Albans.  Lets hope they have the cellar range open as well.


8. The Tudor Tavern c1400, 27 George Street – a 14th Century building offering Bombardier, Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA



9. The Peahen c1480, 14 London Road – a McMullens pub offering AK and Country



10. The Vindaloo c1999, 156 London Road – Don’t let the looks of this place fool you, the food is stunning… copy of menu enclosed.



11. The Great Northern c1866, 172 London Road – If there’s time for a swift one, this pub offers Great Northern bitter (very nice and very cheap) and Courage Best.