The Candlestick

3.8
33 reviews
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£25 and under
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Gastro Pub
Top tags:
  • Sunday Lunch
  • Casual
  • Lunch
The Candlestick Freehouse and Restaurant - A Gastro Pub renowned for excellent food and a superb wine list, is located in the picturesque hamlet of West End near Essendon in Hertfordshire.
Being located in such a peaceful setting allows for a relaxing visit throughout the year, in the summer why not take advantage of our two beer gardens with extensive seating or in the winter keep warm and cosy by our real log fires.
The Candlestick is known for its relaxed atmosphere and good food. We serve a selection of locally brewed real ales from Hertfordshire breweries such as Tring or 3 Brewers.
We can also offer a good selection of fine wines to delight your palate or accompany your meal.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Gastro Pub, British
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Hours of Operation
Wednesday - Saturday: 12:00 - 23:00
Sunday: 12:00 - 20:00
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Phone number
01707 261322
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Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Business Casual
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Executive Chef
Roy Paul Derricutt
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Parking Details
We have a good hard surface parking with road side parking as well.
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Public Transit
11 minutes drive from Hatfield station.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine

Special Offers

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1,000 point tables

Wed - Sat 6:00PM - 9:00PM

Reviews from verified diners
33 reviews
3.8 out of 5 stars
Outstanding
35%
Very Good
37%
Good
9%
Fair
12%
Poor
7%
3.9
food
3.9
service
3.8
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined on 20 June 2018

Been here a few times for lunch with friends, for which the menu is o.k. However, the 'A La Carte' menu is just the lunch menu with bigger portions. What may be suitable for lunch does not translate into a meal that is in any way special for an evening. The chef specials are usually sold out early because (I suspect) clientele are disappointed with the mundane fare on offer. I also think that the meal was expensive for what was on offer.
Disappointing, because I like the location and the staff are friendly enough.

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2.0Dined on 17 June 2018

Visited the Candlestick for Father's Day late lunch. Had also been before the change of ownership and can see the changes. On the plus side the outdoor area is much improved, nice seating options and play area. The service was very friendly, welcoming and attentive. Sadly the food was only ok, where on previous visits it had been great. We ordered a small version of a dish from the adult menu for our daughter (had been told this was possible when booking) but she was brought the next nearest thing from the children's menu without the waitress checking if that was ok or we'd like to choose something different. We had the middle table which is right by the main entrance and thoroughfare to the toilets. Overall not fantastic but not awful, improve the food to justify the prices and it will be worth the drive.

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4.0Dined on 17 June 2018

Nice food beautiful setting. I went with family for Father's day and really enjoyed it. Will be visiting more often!

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5.0Dined on 17 June 2018

Very nice food and service! The workers are very nice and the food came quickly.

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4.0Dined on 31 May 2018

Lovely dinner with very friendly staff. I was a chilled relaxing evening with friends

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3.0Dined on 18 March 2018

we had the Sunday lunch, and as it was not shown as a menu online based our choice on the regular daily menu, which seemed reasonable. Generally the food was tasty, although the portions were a little small for the price paid on the main course. Service was a bit hasty, being asked if we were ready to order twice within the first 3 minutes of sitting down, put this down to enthusiasm & lack of experience by the staff. Overall a nice place to eat with friends.

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5.0Dined on 11 March 2018

Our first time at his restaurant

Really packed Mothersday lunchtime

They were super accommodating and helpful with my son’s egg allergy, and the spoke to us and sorted out a special dessert

Portions were great

We left comfortable not cramped, nice people serving too.

Definitely recommend and return THANK YOU for making it such a nice day

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2.0Dined on 11 March 2018

Having read the reviews I thought this might be ok for a Mother's Day lunch. I should have been warned when they had a table available at only 2 week notice for Mother's Day.

Food. There is no point asking how you want your beef cooked. Medium rare = well done. Well done kids meal = medium/ rare in places. Kids meals - there were none, no fish fingers, no chicken tenders. A sausage beans and mash came as sausage peas and chips! We were charged for a random Ice cream that appeared on the table.

Service. You have to laugh when your waiter comes out with a starter and says I have no idea what this is. A roast pork was described as lamb, no success were made available without asking at the bar, despite the beef being billed as with horseradish. When the waitress asked what was wrong with the peas that had been left, and we advised they weren't beans this was simply meet with a shrug.

Fundamentally it seems that this is somewhere that just needs to train the staff and have a bit of organisation in the kitchen. At the moment however it is shocking. You'd eat better in a Beefeater or possibly even a Wetherspoons.

Or if you want to look at it another way, this is the place to go if you want to take yourself back to the early 90's.

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4.0Dined on 11 March 2018

Went for Mother’s Day which was lovely although OpenTable didn’t provide menu so I thought there would be more option than there was. Tad expensive for what it was - around £15-20 for a roast dinner. Although saying that it was lovely food.

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1.0Dined on 10 March 2018

The chef spoke to my son about gluten free options. He decided on the duck but when placing the order was told the duck was not available having just been told it was an option. The food was indifferent to poor. My son asked for gluten free bread with his soup, no bread was served for him. My mash was tepid and vegetables burnt. My son's girlfriend's meal was supposed to come with sauté potatoes but arrived with mash, which she is unable to eat due to digestive problems. I asked for cheese cake and it took 30 minutes for a waitress to come back to tell me it was not available. I then selected a crumble and the fruit was burnt I suspect before being made into a burnt crumble. My husband asked for clotted cream ice cream and was given lemon and vanilla, my son's girlfriend ordered chocolate and orange dessert with clotted cream ice cream, it was delivered with cream poured over it and no ice cream. These 2 desserts were replaced. The whole shambolic meal took 3 hours which I wouldn't have minded if it had been worth the wait. We were not offered any compensation.

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4.0Dined on 18 February 2018

Pretty good food at a reasonable price for Sunday lunch - both fish and 3xroast were enjoyed by our table. Would go back if I was in the area again.

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5.0Dined on 16 February 2018

Service was very good and excellent choice of menu. Only slight delay due to the location but telephoned and received prompt directions

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1.0Dined on 11 February 2018

We went for sunday lunch a week ago
The roast lamb was very thin and tasteless
We ordered three adult portions and one child .even the waitress couldn't tell which one was the childs. They were all small.
I sent an e-mail via there website twice,both times it failed. So i called the restaurant to get there correct address
twice,to be told both times ,the owners were out,no-one knew the web adddress
And they would call me on there return.
I can only asume they are still out,as i didn't get a call back. Very poor show.

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4.0Dined on 9 February 2018

Food and service were great , nice open fires and comfortable seating

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3.0Dined on 1 February 2018

Had the leek and potato soup it was so peppered it could have been anything,chicken salad was nothing special and very salty,a disappointing experience!

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5.0Dined on 31 December 2017

Slightly limoted menu for me as i dont eat beef products. I would like to see more varied menu. Always feel welcome. Family friendly including furbabies. Friendly staff and reasonable pricing. Wohld recommend for the country feel of the pub.

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5.0Dined on 22 November 2017

When we arrived I gave my booking number from open table and the Candlestick hadn’t received it and knew nothing about our booking. The staff were fantastic, straight away got the tables together, gave us complimentary nibbles and looked after us very well. Luckily it was a Wednesday so not too busy.
Not sure now whether I should book through Open Table again.

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5.0Dined on 12 November 2017

We were impressed by the roast dinner, one of the best we have ever had. Great atmosphere, good range of beers

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4.0Dined on 12 November 2017

Very good and great portion size. Service also good.

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4.0Dined on 10 November 2017

Fantastic meal , great options and wonderful service

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2.0Dined on 15 October 2017

I was really upset not to like this restaurant as I really thought it was going to be great for Sunday lunch. It's such a fab location to go for a long walk and cone back to eat. I love that it accepts dogs in the dining area but unfortunately the food was really not good.
The roast chicken was so dry it was inedible and the roast beef was def not even med let alone med rare as asked for.
The waitresses were lovely and it was very busy but that should not be an excuse for overcooked food. I overheard another table complaint about dry chicken as well.
We politely mentioned about the dry inedible chicken as most of it was still on the plate. She kindly took the drinks off the bill but that's not why I said it. I would much prefer to pay for everything and get good food.

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4.0Dined on 8 October 2017

Visiting our daughter who has just started at the local university so used open table to recommend a nice pub for Sunday lunch
Small country pub well maintained and the food was of a very high quality and was well received by all
Staff were mostly good and with a small amount of training and experience they will become exceptional im sure
Small let down the locals on the next table were a little loud and their friends were visiting the table often so we got a view of there backsides right next to our plates as we were eating but as I said it is quite snug and the friends eventually moved to the bar
However that said an enjoyable afternoon and I can see us visiting once a month when we are in the area visiting our daughter
Our thanks for a nice meal and afternoon

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4.0Dined on 7 October 2017

Very good food. Friendly staff. We will be going back to eat again. Pub dog was ok and very well behaved. Yappy, howling other customer dog, with owner constantly shouting to it to be quiet was a bit annoying but they went after a while. Don't take that as a reason not to go, just an observation. We will be eating there again soon.

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4.0Dined on 7 October 2017

We were in Hatfield looking for a place to dine after a visit to the Eight Bells and took a chance on this place. It is really secluded and down a country path. I wish we'd gone earlier so we could have taken in the surroundings, but we'll go back and use the footpaths sometime. The outdoor seating area must get packed in nice weather, as it was lovely.

The pub itself is in need of an update, but overall the food and wine were superb. They were a bit understaffed on our visit, but the young staff were very pleasant. Make sure to order the Chateaubriand if it's on the specials menu. It was superb!

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5.0Dined on 1 October 2017

The new team are excellent and lots of friendly attentive staff
Sunday lunch is a must

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4.0Dined on 23 September 2017

Made welcome by the landlord. Food was very good but service was a bit haphazard.
Down side was the pub dog wondering around....well behaved but should not be where people are eating.

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3.0Dined on 27 July 2017

I can't fault the Candlestick on friendliness or quantity. Isolated in open country near Hatfield House, the Thursday evening we visited they were expecting clientele attending the Games Fair starting the next day . A nearby field was for parking and there was temp AA signage to the pub. Did this influence our experience? Maybe regular staff were off, as they would be needed at the weekend?

Two bar staff and the pub was not busy, but service was slow (hopefully as things were being prepared fresh). Not a problem for us, as we were enjoying chatting with friends, but would be bad for anyone on, say, a lunch break.

A limited "pub grub" menu, and I struggled to find anything that appealed to me. Others chose either burgers or fish and chips. A glowing endorsement by the waitress made me choose Cajun Chicken. Half a small chicken roasted with Cajun spices on the skin, but the taste had not reached the meat. It was served with an upturned pint-sized mound of rice. The small amount of melted butter on the accompanying mange tout was the only source of moisture and it needed something to ameliorate the cloying, bland dryness. I couldn't finish it.

Gherkin was missed from both burgers. Upon request, the waiter brought a separate ramekin dish of gherkins.

Only a few desserts on the wall blackboard, including ice creams and sorbets and yet the waiter didn't know what those selections comprised! Not sure the lemon cheesecake had seen any lemons. My husband and I chose the oddly named "sticky toffee with white chocolate". Again, the waiter hadn't a clue when asked where white chocolate fitted in, but we decided to risk it - the missing word was icecream! My husband said his pudding was like bread pudding, at which point we saw that our two puddings bore no resemblance to each other, either in colour or texture! Mine was nice - not sure about his!

This restaurant needs to up its game - there is so much that they could do better and I hope that they do!

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4.0Dined on 22 July 2017

We had a very nice meal here on a Saturday evening. It was quiet but still had a good atmosphere and the staff are friendly and helpful.

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2.0Dined on 25 June 2017

We went to the Candlestick for a Sunday lunch on a birthday occasion.
It was a party of 10ppl, booked in advance. We also had some guests from overseas .
No one was happy with the food, it took ages to arrive, no options for vegetarians.
Chicken wasn't cooked properly, very dry and pale, beef was dry and chewy, vegetable overcooked and gravy tasted burned.

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5.0Dined on 21 May 2017

We have been to Candlestick on numerous occasions and each time have the food to be of high standard.

The bar staff are very friendly and accommodating.

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4.0Dined on 12 May 2017

Nice food, nice sttting, we dined a little late and so were the last to leave. So atmosphere dropped but still a lovely evening

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4.0Dined on 7 May 2017

Great atmosphere and good food, staff were helpful and made us feel at home.
If you want a traditional Sunday roast I would recommend it, I had the 3 roasts on a plate, the lamb was excellent.

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3.0Dined on 1 May 2017

Great location but probably our first trip to the Candlestick didn't occur on the most favourable day.
The veggie starter for my wife and a friend of ours was good, albeit not outstanding, and mine was OK although the menu didn't mention that the risotto balls with smoked haddock were battered and deep fried.
My duck as main was quite good but overly peppery. I do love pepper but I felt that the chef exceeded with it. Our friend complained that her duck was over-cooked and a bit dry, while the veggie main for my wife was good but nothing to write home about.
The service bordered on fawlty-towerness. First, the waitress dropped a dirty fork on our friend's top while collecting the starter dishes, saying sorry for a number of times although we didn't reach a truly Monty Python stage of embarassment. Then my dessert, a good apple and rhubarb crumble requested with custard, was served with cream. I mentioned this to the waitress but she said that mine was custard. Then we find out that our friend, who asked for the crumble with cream was given the custard. Finally I and my wife ask for two espressos, I ask for some additional cold milk on the side, and then I get served a large cup of coffee instead of an espresso. When we point this out the waitress says that she thought that I wanted a normal coffee since I asked for the milk on the side... and the icing on the cake comes when our friend asks for another coffee like the large one I got, and for some reason she gets served an even larger cup of coffee.
The waitress said multiple times that she was sorry, she said that they were also more tense than usual due to a new chef starting on that day, we have been given a dessert for free as a nice gesture and I have also left some tip because the young waitress was humanly nice but other customers experiencing what we experienced would have probably rated this gastropub with one or two stars.

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