The Horns closing AGAIN, Ofsted delight for a “remarkable” school, and a pizzeria being hailed among the UK’s best were some of our most-read stories this week.

Watford FC permanently appointing Tom Cleverley also hit the headlines, as did Starbucks bringing forward plans for its new branch.

Check out some of the Watford area's big stories in our round-up below.

The Horns

Watford Observer: The Horns

One of Watford's most iconic venues had its future thrown into doubt after being listed as permanently closed over the weekend.

It was the third time in three years the Hempstead Road venue had shut - as the website was taken down and bands were forced to cancel gigs at short notice.

It had only just undergone a refurbishment at the start of this year and unveiled a reworked bar area, flooring, and new decorations in February.

However, days later the hokey-cokey continued as owner Stonegate told the Watford Observer: “We're pleased to confirm that The Horns, Watford, will be reopening in the coming weeks, with a fresh direction under new management. 

“The aim will be to enhance the pub experience overall, focusing on quality food and drink while maintaining its status as a valued community favourite."

Punters also shared their thoughts on what was needed to make it a success, with several claiming the music needed to be catered for a wider audience.

'UK's best pizzeria'

Watford Observer: Food blogger bosfinesse visited Vincenzo's pizzeria in Bushey High StreetFood blogger bosfinesse visited Vincenzo's pizzeria in Bushey High Street (Image: bosfinesse)

“One of the best pizzerias in the UK” has scooped another glowing review and provided a mouth-watering glimpse into its kitchen.

Bushey-based Vincenzo’s left a social media food reviewer howling “unbelievable Jeff” after sampling its New York-style pizza over the weekend.

Owner Tom Vincent, 41, opened in October 2022 and quickly cooked up a reputation that saw thousands “make the pilgrimage” to the High Street restaurant.​

Food and entertainment blogger ‘bosfiness’, who has over 62,000 Instagram followers, said Vincenzo’s “is a name that echoes across the land when it comes to pizza”.

“Tom is a certified G in the game,” he wrote. “People are coming far and wide to his cute and quirky gaff. Worth it? In terms of pizza it doesn’t get much better, if not any! I travelled well over 100 miles and I could spin it back and do it all again!”

Watford appoint Cleverley 

Watford Observer: Tom Cleverley

Tom Cleverley has been appointed the new permanent head coach of Watford.

The 34-year-old took over as the interim boss following the departure of Valerien Ismael at the start of March.

Since then Cleverley has guided the Hornets through a particularly tricky run of fixtures that has seen them play the teams second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh in the Championship table.

His appointment means the club has hired a permanent boss from within for the first time since the Pozzo family took ownership of the club in 2012.

The new head coach will take charge of his first game since being confirmed when Watford host Sunderland at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The news was met warmly by plenty of familiar faces on social media, and was also approved of by the Watford Observer's Andrew French.

New Starbucks 

Watford Observer: Woodside Leisure Park.

Customers may be able to pick up their morning coffee earlier than expected, as Starbucks appears to have brought forward its Watford location launch.

Part of the former Chiquito’s unit at Woodside Leisure Park, off the A405, is set to be turned into a Starbucks while the larger part will become a Nando’s.

The coffee chain had said it hoped to open by "late summer 2024", but has now provided a more precise expected opening date indicating that things are progressing ahead of schedule.

A spokesperson for the franchisee, Cobra Coffee, told the Watford Observer that it still cannot provide an exact opening date but now plans to open “at the end of June”.

'Outstanding' Ofsted

Watford Observer: Headteacher Sylvia Tai with Watford Grammar School for Girls pupils.Headteacher Sylvia Tai with Watford Grammar School for Girls pupils. (Image: Watford Grammar School for Girls)

Ofsted inspectors lavished one of Watford's top secondary schools with praise in its recently published inspection report.

Watford Grammar School for Girls in Lady’s Close achieved 'outstanding' in all areas and was labelled "remarkable". 

After the well-received news, we published the Ofsted report in full here.

Headteacher Sylvia Tai told the Watford Observer: “The outcome of the Ofsted inspection is a pleasing recognition of the long-established quality of pastoral and academic standards at Watford Girls.

“We are delighted they recognised the strength of the community and the hard-working staff that create this ‘remarkable school’.”

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