The Great Northern in London Road, St Albans, is no longer as you know it, after a revamp of its interior and its menu.

Now, with an injection of haute cuisine by Harry Lumsdon, a former sous chef at St Michael’s Manor Hotel, the pub has moved on from its slightly shabbier beginnings into a place where people can benefit from a set meal on their way to The Odyssey cinema, or be treated to an extended dinner from the a la carte menu, which changes as fresh ingredients become available from UK producers.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

For starters there was a wide range of options - fish, vegetarian and meat, along with starter-menu favourites such as a soup of the day. The pork cheek (£7), which was served on mashed potato with a rich, luxurious gravy, was so soft and tender it melted in the mouth.

The fruitiness of the gravy also added a delicious sweetness to what was already shaping up to be a fantastic meal. Other options included mackerel served with red cabbage and mustard (£6), which had a rich, oily flavour contrasting with the tang of the mustard and sweetness of the cabbage.

For mains, it was onto another pub favourite: a burger (£12.50), which many believe can make or break a good dinner. This was full and big, with the patty itself being soft and rare inside but with a crisp searing on the outside. The chips were a great accompaniment Cosy setting with a pinch of finesse while inside the burger were all the trimmings in exactly the way they should be.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Also on the menu for the main event was also a roast chicken severed with buttery potato fondant and pickled carrot (£15.50), which again mixed sweet and tang perfectly while being surrounded by a rich sauce. Another “cheeky” option came in the form of beef cheek, also served with creamy mashed potato and rich gravy. All was delicious, with melt-in-the-mouth meat making a second appearance.

The desserts were also rich and luscious: the dark chocolate torte was smooth and perfectly matched by a milk sorbet to cleanse the pallet (£6.50), while the brown sugar cheesecake (£6), paired with gin and tonic “snow” was zingy with a perfectly buttery and crunchy base.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

The ambience in the restaurant was also wonderful - the mismatched tables and chairs with dim lighting gave the Great Northern all the charm of a pub but with the refinement of a restaurant.

While the menu has changed since we visited, there is no doubt Harry will be cooking up a storm for our next visit, and with the whispers of a new tasting event with 10-course tasting menu, we will certainly be turning up again.

The St Albans Reviews gives The Great Northern in London Road, St Albans, four stars.