Harpenden’s Cote Restaurant. Review Sat June 23

As an award winning restaurant* my wife and I were looking forward to having dinner on a late June evening. Stepping inside you see what a transformation has taken place, from the old post office to a smart French style restaurant. And being a Saturday it was already buzzing with business. Choosing a centre table at the far end it enabled us to see all the ‘action’ taking place with guests arriving and waiters doing their work. And work they did!  With genuine smiles, attention to detail and top notch service.

Our main waitress ( Star) for the evening brought the menus along with complimentary glasses of Kir Royale. She explained the many specials on offer and left us to peruse the menu whilst we sipped the Champagne and set our taste buds alive with a dish of mixed olives.

There was a large choice on offer from light summery mains to many fish and meat dishes cooked ‘french’ style  plus several 30 day aged steak options. They have made wine selection easy with a number of ‘recommended’ ones by the glass and the bottle. If you are comfortable choosing from the main list then there are some exciting ones available.

I chose a glass of Chablis, being a good partner for fish.

With so many delicious items on the menu it took us some to decide...

When our starters arrived we were more than pleased. I had smoked salmon served with dill, shallots, baby capers a crème fraîche dressing and lightly toasted sourdough. The full flavour of the salmon contrasting nicely with the savoury elements. My wife, a vegetarian had the seasonal english aspargus with a holandasie sauce. A classic early summer dish.

Then the mains: I had roast sea bass fillets with braised fennel and a champagne beurre blanc, chives, tomato concasse and a sprig of watercress. The balance of flavours were exquisite with the fennel adding a subtle overtone. My wife’s choice, a classic french dish of roasted vegetables on a bed of lentils looked superb. Sadly the perfectly cooked vegetables concealed an overcooked mush of unedible lentils. Calling over our waitress she agreed that a replacement was needed. The chefs were quick to rectify the problem and new dish was returned with a side dish of Dauphinoise potatoes. Much improved.

Finally the desserts: My wife adores Creme Brulee provided the top is brown and crunchy. Voila, it arrived but a little over dark. I had the Crepe Chantilly with strawberries and a chocolate sauce.

Rounding off the meal with an expresso for me and a fresh mint tea for my wife.

Service was exemplary throughout.

The menus are changed regularly with seasonal offers and there are deals for early diners and ‘Prestige Set Menus.

The restaurant is centrally located in Station Road and has built a solid reputation since it opened pre Christmas.  Booking at weekends is advised and can be made via their website. Reservations:,

Phone: 01582 957391

Ron Taylor. Editor

*The Harpenden Society Letter of Commendation for 2017. Côte Brasserie restaurant in Station Road was nominated for the Award by Society members and the Awards committee who said ‘it has enhanced an otherwise dull building with attractive awnings and window boxes’.

Chefs: Celina, Mohammed and Marius

Team: Sofia, Danny (the Manager) Star and Pedro

Feb 2019. Sunday Lunches ---As popular as ever??

I had a traditional lunch in Redbourn’s Holly Bush Pub on Feb 17.

Fabulous food, great service, warm welcome, packed out even some people in the large pub garden and plenty of space in the car park.

Astonishing value for the quality.

I had a fabulous Thai lunch in Harpenden’s Bangkok Lounge on Jan. 20.

So fresh with incredible Thai flavours, great service and special offers made a change from traditional ‘Sunday lunch.

Sadly there were only 3 tables occupied so little atmosphere.

Feb 2019. New Menu options each month at Harpenden’s Cote Brasserie in Station Road.

How’s that to keep you returning to one of Harpenden’s recently opened restaurants. -They will be one year old in March!

Shown below are the February offers for Lunch and Early Evening PLUS the Prestige Set Menu.

March 10. 2019. Traditional Sunday lunches and so much more for all the family at the White Horse in Hatching Green.

Sunday lunch time was packed with families all enjoying the super food and attentive service from the excellent staff.

Traditional lunches and great vegetarian options.

The barns aim to revive the historic farm courtyard character of the site and will be at a similar height as the pub. There would be a glass walkway to link the existing buildings with the extensions.

Director of The Peach Pub Company, Jo Eames, said:

“These changes are intended to ensure the continued survival, use, and viability” of the pub. We are as keen as anyone to see the historic fabric of The White Horse protected and enhanced.”

The White Horse is in a Harpenden Conservation Area. Planning permission must comply with the recently approved Harpenden Neighbourhood Plan .

March. Planning proposal for The White Horse.  A bigger kitchen and restaurant plus building two barns for B&B accomodation. (With 15 rooms and 47 parking spaces in total)

New Italian Restaurant NOW open in Harpenden at the bottom of Vaughan Rd...ROSANNA’S

Fantastic food and flavours from early morning to late afternoon from this family run restaurant.

Harpenden’s new outdoor eating place.

On the concourse by the Library.

Starters- A choice of freshly squeezed fruit juices & smoothies, how healthy is that!

Mains- A choice of Lebanese meat and vegetarian dishes from Emilio’s

Deserts. A choice of cakes and coffees also from Emilio’s

PLUS Free seating