Eating out: Home’s where the heart is for original Oakman

The Akeman in Tring and Peter Borg-Neal (below)
The Akeman in Tring and Peter Borg-Neal (below)

When Tring entrepreneur Peter Borg-Neal started his journey with Oakman Inns it was very much a case ‘home is where the heart is’.

A man with his roots firmly in the local community, Peter had spent his entire career developing pubs and restaurants, and was previously founder and managing director of Forno Vivo, which is now home to Prezzo just around the corner from Oakman’s original’Inn’ – The Akeman.

The Akeman opened in December 2007 and proved a hit with locals and the wider ‘foodie’ circuit alike.

Like the other successful pub restaurants it spawned in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted The Akeman offers a high standard of food, drink and service (particularly if Mimmi is serving) within a contemporary and comfortable atmosphere.

The focus is very Mediterranean and ‘choice’ is the buzz word.

Buzz is another... and there is a tangible one the minute you step foot in the door.

The atmosphere is the first thing that grabs you. To get to the restaurant you walk through the bar area and one of the first sights that greets you is the chefs beavering away, on show to all, at their various stations.

The noises fill the room and help build the anticipation, you can see revellers enjoying drinks in the garden area outside (which is now home to a pizza oven), Peter has got this just right.

If you visit the Akeman unaware of its local significance you will leave knowing it is not just somewhere to go for a drink or slap up meal, it is genuinely a hub for this increasingly popular town.

They always say the originals are the best. The Akeman is a testament to that.