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11th

annual edition

ESSEX

The offical guide to eating out in Essex Restaurants • Cafés • Bars • Pubs • Hotels


T H E O L D B E L L STA N ST E D 0 84 4 5 0 2 35 32

• 200-person capacity • large bar area • welcoming staff • catering • full entertainment equipment and DJ booth • heated outdoor terrace • ample parking Perfect for any occasion, from business meetings and corporate events to parties and celebrations.

A characterful events space that combines 14th-century charm with contemporary amenities.

The dedicated team tailors events to individual requests and is on-hand to ensure your event runs smoothly. Get in touch with the team to see exactly what The Old Bell can do for your special occasion.

P i n e s H i l l , S t a n s t e d M o u n t f i t c he t , C M 24 8 E Y w w w. t he o l d b e l l s t a n s t e d . c o . u k t he o l d b e l l s t a n s t e d @ o u t l o o k . c o m


Welcome Welcome to the Essex Food & Drink Guide 2019-2020. On the following pages you’ll find a wide range of options for eating out in the region. To help you make your selection, each review features a coloured tab to denote the restaurant’s location – just reference the map and key below. Lavenham

Clare Sudbury Saffron Walden Clavering

Sible Hedingham

SW

Br

Braintree

Great Dunmow

Great Waltham Witham

Sf Co

Manningtree Harwich

Colchester

CS

Wivenhoe Tiptree West Mersea

Tollesbury Chelmsford Chipping Ongar Ch Maldon Ma Epping Ingatestone Mundon Burnham HE -on-Crouch BB Loughton Wickford SR Brentwood Rochford Romford Basildon Southend-on-Sea Barking Stanford-le-Hope

HE Harlow & Epping Forest

£25 to

£30

TR

Southend-on-Sea SR & Rochford

Brentwood & BB Basildon

Ch Chelmsford

Editor

Senior Editorial Assistants

Harlow

Grays

Food & Drink Guide 2019-2020

Hannah Burton-Grieve

Hadleigh Boxted

Halstead

Stansted Mountfitchet

Essex

Ma Maldon

Walton-onthe-Naze Clacton-on -Sea Sf Suffolk Saffron SW Walden Br Braintree Co Colchester CS Clacton-on-Sea Thurrock & TR Romford

Many of the reviews include a price tab. This is the typical cost per person you can expect to pay for two courses from the à la carte menu, plus a drink (unless otherwise stated). This is for guidance purposes only and prices may vary. Restaurants featuring this symbol have both disabled access and a toilet suitable for wheelchair users (this information has been provided by the restaurants in question and should be confirmed prior to visiting). Restaurants featuring this symbol have accommodation.

You’ll notice that some restaurants in the guide have an 084 telephone number. Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Just like the weather, ownership, opening times and prices are subject to change throughout the year. Have a look at our website – www.foodanddrinkguides.co.uk – to see reviews of restaurants nationwide and to request other regional Food & Drink magazines.

Robbie Masters, Tori Sharpe Editorial Assistants Oli Bishop, Ella Fisher, Kate Avetoomyan, Celia Rowland Graphic Designers Tamara Osborn, Jess Porter Photography Paul Matthews (paulmatthewsphotography.com) Journalists Kate Hurford, Robert Lidster, John Trevellion Project Manager Joe Packer Advertising Sales Matt Brentley, Paul Balshaw, Sam Terrett

Contents Foreword.................2 Fine Dining..............3 Modern British.........4 British...................13 Gastropub..............20 Fish & Chips..........22 Seafood.................23

Bistro......................25 Brasserie................27 Modern European....29 American...............30 Italian....................30 Mediterranean.......31 Turkish...................31

Mexican.................32

Traditional.............43

Tapas......................33

Japanese................67

Spanish..................35

Indian....................68

Bar & Restaurant....35

Thai.......................69

Café.......................41

Chef Profiles..........70

Tearoom.................42

Index.....................72

The cost of producing this guide has been met by advertising revenues from the restaurants featured within. We only include restaurants that we know, from either experience or recommendation, provide a quality service, and our journalists review the majority of the establishments. However, some reviews are supplied by third parties, and no review in this guide should be taken as a direct recommendation by Food & Drink Guides. Printed November 2019.

Essex Guide 2019-2020

1


Foreword

Chris Jones The dining scene in Essex is changing and improving year on year. We’re fortunate to have access to the finest coastal produce, so restaurants can serve the freshest oysters and seafood each day, as well as close proximity to the seasonal produce from our surrounding forests. This county is also a great area for growing vegetables, which means we chefs can showcase the best of the bunch on our menus; I’m lucky enough to be able to work with the veg we grow in our own gardens at Down Hall Hotel. In terms of local producers, chefs like myself are blessed with plenty of top-notch options. Wilkin & Sons and Maldon Salt have made a name for themselves throughout the whole of the UK, and there are plenty of smaller-scale producers that we rely on too. Living in an area rich in natural beauty means that we have even more reason to get out and explore. I thoroughly recommend visiting food festivals near you to learn more about the wonderful food on offer in your area. Essex is home to a number of exciting food and drink events throughout the year, from the Essex Vegan Winter Festival to the Colchester Food and Drink Festival, which are unmissable. One of the best things about Essex and the UK more widely is the range of food available, with restaurants differing in both style and cuisine. The eating out scene in Essex has never been more exciting, and it’s great to see how the industry is developing to meet the needs of diners. I’m always impressed by the exceptional range of restaurants found here in Essex. Whether you’re looking for a traditional pub or an award-winning fine dining establishment, there’s something for every occasion. I hope you enjoy reading this year’s Essex Food & Drink Guide and continue to explore some of the finest eateries Essex has to offer – and I hope to see you at Down Hall Hotel soon.

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Essex Guide 2019-2020


The Cranleigh

Fine Dining

 Location 84 Station Lane, Hornchurch, RM12 6LX t: 0844 625 0085 w: www.thecranleighhornchurch.co.uk e: info@thecranleighhornchurch.co.uk

TR The Cranleigh is a stunning restaurant that features contemporary decor and a lovely bar area in which to soak up the fine atmosphere and enjoy pre-dinner drinks. The venue is open every evening from Tuesday to Saturday, serving a £20 fixed-priced menu and an à la carte menu, both of which offer vegetarian and to gluten-free options. £35 The signature starter, Salad Cranleigh, consists of smoked turkey breast, celeriac, grapes and crispy bacon bound with mayonnaise and topped with croutons and orange segments. Other options include garlic king prawns, smoked duck breast, prawn cocktail, mushroom farci and many more. One of the most Open: Tues-Sat 6.30pm-close; popular main-course dishes is the poached sole wrapped in smoked salmon and finished with whisky, cream sauce and prawns. Another favourite is the Sun noon-close succulent fillet steak filled with Stilton, wrapped in bacon and served with Port sauce. Desserts are a perfect finale, with offerings such as tiramisu, crème brûlée, citrus cheesecake, sherry trifle, and Viennese biscuits coated with chocolate and filled with raspberries and cream. On Sundays, a traditional Sunday lunch is served. All menu details are available on The Cranleigh’s website. As The Cranleigh has a policy that each table is booked only once per evening, guests can relax in the knowledge that they will always be assured of an unhurried visit. The team is dedicated to providing attentive service and ensuring that the individual needs of each guest are met, based on the idea of giving a quality product and level of service that the staff themselves would like to receive.

Russells Restaurant

Fine Dining

 Location Bell Street, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 7JS t: 0844 502 6694 w: www.russellsrest.co.uk e: russellsrestaurant@hotmail.com

Ch

Based in a 14th-century, Grade II listed building, Russells Restaurant features impressive beams and stripped-back stonework. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a tipple and light snack in the lounge area or a main meal in the restaurant, there’s plenty to enjoy here. Barry Warren-Watson has been executive head chef since 1991, and has developed the restaurant’s reputation for delicious, creative food. The team strives to use the freshest local and international ingredients, and every dish is cooked to order. To start, highlights include the likes of freshwater black tiger prawns cooked in flavoursome garlic chilli butter and served on a bed of sautéed peas and spinach. If you fancy a hearty main course, the loin of wild boar is truly exceptional and comes accompanied by heritage beetroot and sautéed potatoes and drizzled with rich blueberry jam jus.

£26 to

£38

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-2pm, The mushroom pithivier is ideal for vegetarians and is filled with Portobello 6.30pm-8.30pm; mushrooms, kale, sweet peppers and Fri noon-2pm, 6.30pm-9pm; creamy Brie, and served with roasted Sat 6.30pm-9.30pm; tomato sauce. For dessert, diners can Sun noon-2.30pm plump for the likes of caramelised brioche bread and butter pudding served alongside a refreshing marmalade ice cream. The table d’hote menu offers three courses for £23, with highlights such as beef Bourguignon with creamy mash and Chantenay carrots. This restaurant also has a spacious room available for private hire, making Russells the perfect spot for a special occasion. Essex Guide 2019-2020

3


Modern British

The Bell Inn

Modern British

 Location High Road, Horndon-on-the-Hill, Nr. Stanford-le-Hope, SS17 8LD t: 0844 502 6532 w: www.bell-inn.co.uk e: info@bell-inn.co.uk

TR

The Bell Inn, set in the historic village of Horndon-on-the-Hill, is an award-winning 15th-century coaching inn that has been run by the same family for over 75 years. While often described as one of the original gastropubs, it is also a proper pub where people are made to feel comfortable and can spend an evening beside open fires with a pint of real ale.

£20 to

£32

‘…award-winning 15th-century coaching inn…’ The menu changes daily, with seasonal and local produce used wherever possible. Vegetables, leaves and herbs come from The Bell’s own kitchen garden and game is sourced from the local shoot. The Bell has been named in The Good Pub Guide as one of the top ten UK pubs for 2020, and has retained the title of Essex Dining Pub of the Year for the last eight years. If offering top-notch food and drink wasn’t enough, upstairs Food Served: in The Bell and the beautiful Sun-Fri noon-2pm, Georgian properties nearby are 6.30pm-10pm; 26 individually styled bedrooms Sat noon-2pm, 6pm-10pm featuring modern and period features. The Bell is also noted by The Telegraph as being one of the best hotels in Essex, and is recommended in The Times’ Cool Hotel Guide. Modern British

Grain  Location 11a North Hill, Colchester, CO1 1DZ t: 0844 625 0079 w: www.grain-colchester.co.uk e: info@grain-colchester.co.uk

Co

Tucked away in a cosy nook of Colchester is a venue at the forefront of modern cuisine within the area. Grain offers something unrivalled and unique to all of its gleeful diners, serving small plates that are bursting with the most sumptuous £20 to flavours. Diners are invited to create their own tasting menu, categorised into £30 four main sections: garden, water, land and sweet, which change with the seasons, but never compromise on quality. Some of the utterly delectable options include black pudding, one-hour egg, hash brown and mushroom ketchup, and grilled plaice enhanced by fennel, tarragon and brown crab mayonnaise. The festive offerings are equally tempting and are rounded off with a tasting menu on New Year’s Eve that showcases the year’s best dishes. Open: Tues 6.30pm-9pm; This exceptional fare is made all the more exciting by the fact that it is created Weds & Thurs noon-2pm, using the finest local produce. Butter is churned in-house, providing the perfect 6.30pm-9pm; accompaniment to the team’s freshly baked sourdough. Owners Jordan and Fri & Sat noon-2pm, Paul have personally hand-picked 6.30pm-9.30pm the ever-evolving wine list, as well as serving hand-crafted cocktails that are all made using homemade syrups and infusions. These can be enjoyed with dinner or while relaxing post-dinner in the newly refurbished lounge that can be found upstairs. The Moscow Mule and Tom Collins continue to be a hit with the regular crowd, and have been a mainstay on the menu since day one. For first-rate contemporary cuisine and a fantastic range of drinks, Grain is a befitting choice for any occasion. 4

Essex Guide 2019-2020


West Street Vineyard

Modern British

 Location West Street Wine Barn, West Street, Coggeshall, CO6 1NS t: 0844 625 6585 w: www.weststreetvineyard.co.uk e: jane@weststreetvineyard.co.uk

Br

High-quality, reasonably priced local food and wine are the hallmark of West Street Vineyard in picturesque Coggeshall. The wine cannot get more local – the restaurant rests amongst the vines that make the award-winning wine. With awards for both its service and food, you can be sure of a warm welcome and wonderful experience, whether you’re dropping in for a coffee during a dog walk along the nearby Essex Way or celebrating with family and friends. There’s a terrace for enjoying sunny days and private rooms including a cellar bar for private parties, as well as the main restaurant with large glass windows through which you can admire the vineyard views.

£24 to

£37

As well as their own wine, Jane and her team offer over 40 English wines and 50 from abroad. Wine tastings are a great introduction to English wine and the all-day Introduction to Wine course is a fun way to learn about wine making and varieties from around the world. Although West Street Vineyard takes its wine seriously, there isn’t a whiff of pretension or snobbery; Jane is all about wine with personality that people want to drink because they enjoy them. West Street is definitely not just about wine, though. Fresh, local ingredients are beautifully cooked and presented for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as decadent afternoon tea with delicious West Street fizz. The current set lunch menu features the likes of vegetarian soup of the day, braised pork belly slow cooked in lobster bisque, and goat’s cheese crumble with broccoli. The offering changes to showcase the latest seasonal produce, which is often sourced from growers in the nearby village. The evening menu boasts delights such as venison in rich chocolate, succulent beef fillet served with pearl barley, vegan ratatouille (there are always vegan and gluten-free options) and fish of the day fresh from the Essex coast. In summer you can also expect sharing platters with hummus, olives, tzatziki, sundried tomatoes and fresh pitta bread, or for meat-lovers, a range of charcuterie. To finish, why not treat yourself to a toffee apple tart with crème anglaise, or perhaps brandy snap trio with raspberry mousse, raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake and a raspberry and white chocolate cup.

Open: Weds & Thurs 9am-5pm; Fri & Sat 9am-11pm; Sun 9am-5pm

Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Modern British

The Windmill  Location Chatham Green, Little Waltham, Nr. Chelmsford, CM3 3LE t: 0844 502 1677 w: www.thewindmillchathamgreen.com e: info@thewindmillchathamgreen.com

Ch

The husband-and-wife team behind The Windmill is made up of award-winning chef Mick Binnington (chef profile page 70) and maitre d’ Lydia, who brings a wealth of hospitality experience to welcome guests to this historic pub. Originally founded in 1829, the beautiful Chatham Green windmill was a focal point of village life, and today it maintains much of its original brickwork and timbers, including the millstones once used to grind the wheat to provide the village with freshly baked bread.

£27 to

£39

‘...today it maintains much of its original brickwork and timbers, including the millstones...’ Having benefitted from a sympathetic refurbishment to maintain its character, The Windmill now combines outstanding food with a selection of real ale, cocktails and an extensive wine list. Chef and owner Mick has worked in some of the country’s top Michelin-starred restaurants and has created a menu that showcases the finest hand-picked ingredients. Food is at the heart of everything the team does, and it’s clear to see in the superb dishes on offer. Everything is cooked on-site and made to order using fresh, hand-picked ingredients.

‘...The Windmill now combines outstanding food with a selection of real ale...’

Open: Weds & Thurs noon-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-late; Sun noon-9pm

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Essex Guide 2019-2020

Focusing on good honest food and the reimagining British classics, you might start with such delights as the celeriac risotto with autumn truffle and chives or Great Garnetts pork Scotch egg with mustard mayonnaise. The main courses are a real celebration of British produce, with the likes of roast stone bass served on colcannon with brown shrimp and a lemon and white wine sauce, garnished with dill oil. These delicate flavour combinations make the most of the fresh seafood flavours, allowing them to shine through in each bite.


The offering of sublime local produce continues with the fillet of Stokes Marsh Farm beef with The Windmill chips and a Béarnaise sauce, and the market fish du jour. Vegetarian diners won’t go hungry thanks to a flavoursome smoked Cheddar, onion and almond crumble tart. Make sure to save room for dessert – with the likes of steamed Seville orange marmalade pudding and the highly recommended white chocolate crème brûlée with passion fruit on offer, you’ll want to sample all three courses.

‘...food is at the heart of everything the team does...’

During Friday and Saturday lunchtimes, the fixed-price menu offers two courses for a very reasonable £23, and three courses for £28. On Sunday, visit for the exceptional roast – it’s renowned in the local area. Choose from the likes of perfectly rare beef rib and roast rump of lamb, and enjoy the impeccably cooked roast potatoes, homemade Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings. Finish off a lazy Sunday afternoon with the British cheeseboard, with each option carefully selected and explained by the owners. To complement your meal, the owners have hand-picked an incredible selection of lager, real ale, wine and spirits they know guests will love. Everybody is welcome at this friendly establishment, so even if you’re not dining, relax in the bar or outside on the terrace and sample one of the signature cocktails as you take in the peaceful surroundings of this charming rural hamlet. If you’re looking to extend your stay, there are two luxury double bedrooms available to stay in. Rooms are priced from £100 a night which includes breakfast and allows guests to relax in the large double ended bath tubs and king-sized beds with Netflix and a coffee machine for convenience. The Windmill has earned an enviable reputation for the quality of the service – nothing is too much trouble for the attentive and knowledgeable staff. The cosy interior is the perfect setting in which to sample exquisitely presented dishes, enabling guests to have a fantastic fine dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere. Mick and Lydia have really put their stamp on this beautiful venue; it’s a must-try for any foodie in the area.

Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Restaurant Modern British

Category 1935 Rooftop Restaurant & Bar

 Location Holiday Inn Southend, 77 Eastwoodbury Crescent, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6XG t: 0844 502 6680 SR w: www.hisouthend.com e: restaurantmgr@hisouthend.com Known for its exceptionally high standards, 1935 Rooftop Restaurant has emerged as a go-to destination for diners. Head chef Micky Walker has worked £20 to tirelessly with his team to bring high-quality dishes to their guests. This is Essex’s £40 first rooftop restaurant and its location on the top floor of the Holiday Inn gives wonderful views over the brightly lit Southend airport. For our visit, the vibrant atmosphere and contemporary surroundings created the perfect backdrop to an Restaurant Food Served: evening of fine food and drink. Mon-Thurs 6am-9.30am, As I tucked into my tempura crispy prawns and calamari, which were refreshing noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm; and superbly balanced with chilli and lemongrass salsa, my partner dived into a Fri & Sat 6am-10.30am, trio of salmon accompanied by refreshing lemon and dill dressing. Chicken Kiev noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10pm; Sun 6am-10.30am, noon-9pm arrived next for me, coated in crispy breadcrumbs, and stuffed with garlic and herb butter. It looked and tasted wonderful. For my fellow diner, the lamb duo, Bar Food Served: featuring rump and pulled shoulder, Mon-Sun 8am-11pm was finely presented with a great balance of colour and taste, accompanied by tempting Dauphinoise and buttered greens. Our feast ended with indulgent handmade chocolates and a seasonal Christmas special of smooth maple pecan pie with locally renowned Rossi’s ice cream – scrumptious. Every dish was packed with flavour and all ingredients are sourced as locally and freshly as possible. There’s also a function room and a private dining area, making it an ideal meeting place for business and family events. Modern British Restaurant

The Chophouse BraintreeCategory  Location 34 New Street, Braintree, CM7 1ES t: 0844 625 1101 w: www.thechophousebraintree.co.uk e: info@thechophousebraintree.co.uk

Br

Situated in the heart of Braintree, The Chophouse is a delightfully individual and stylish restaurant. The building dates back to the 1800s, and was originally a home for ‘wayward women’. It first become an eating establishment in 1982 and opened £24 to as The Chophouse in 2015. £44 Owner Robert Ely has created a unique experience for guests, combining both the traditional values of a chophouse with contemporary food and decor. From vintage bicycles to the display of handless clocks, there’s plenty to amuse and delight guests between courses. Thoughtful touches include a wall-mounted rack of reading glasses, which guests are welcome to use if they’ve forgotten their own – ideal for reading the menu. Whether you’re choosing as I did from the extensive à la carte, or from the exceptionally good value midweek special menu, there will be something to please even the most discerning Open: Tues-Sat noon-late; palate. Head chef Richard, who Sun noon-6pm has a wealth of experience in professional kitchens, has put together a mouth-watering menu that’s simply faultless. I chose bacon and mussel risotto to start, followed by baked hake with cockle butter, and concluded with a very generous portion of Bakewell tart. My dining companion selected dishes from the midweek special menu, and delighted in chicken liver parfait, classic fish and chips, and chocolate brownie. Each morsel was as delicious as the last. We left feeling extremely satisfied, already planning our next visit. 8

Essex Guide 2019-2020


GreyFriars

Modern British

 Location High Street, Colchester, CO1 1UG t: 0844 625 6602 w: www.greyfriarscolchester.co.uk e: reservations@greyfriarscolchester.co.uk Arriving at GreyFriars, we knew we were in for a treat. The luxury hotel and restaurant is situated in the centre of Colchester yet feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of town. This Michelin-recommended venue has two AA rosettes and is a lush bolthole that gave us one of the most relaxing getaways we’ve had in years. Our East Hill Suite was comfortable yet sophisticated, grand without being imposing. Before dinner we enjoyed a drink in our private walled garden before I retired for a pre-dinner soak in the deepest bathtub I’ve ever reclined in. If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate in style, GreyFriars is the perfect choice; a suite would make a wonderful base for a bridal party preparing for the big day. Refreshed and feeling revitalised, we headed to Cloisters, GreyFriars’ stylish restaurant. Joining the well-heeled clientele, we were immediately impressed with the chic decor, which includes an open bar at one end of the restaurant and a beautiful stained glass window at the other. Ambient lighting and mirrored walls lend a spacious feel while still maintaining the intimate atmosphere that Cloisters is known for. We recommend ordering a few Mersea Rock or Colchester Native oysters with a glass of Prosecco while you peruse the menu, which features modern British and European dishes presented with flair. I chose to start with pan-fried Norfolk pigeon breast, served with quail egg, sautéed girolles, and a rich game jus. Making the most of our proximity to the coast, I continued with seafood, ordering the pan-fried sea bass dressed with pappardelle, capers, fresh lemon, pine nuts and a butter sauce – the dish was, quite simply, perfect. My husband’s starter of Colchester seafood cocktail, packed full of local lobster, crab and prawns, was delightfully light before his hearty main course of beef Wellington with sautéed potatoes. Unable to resist dessert after two such delectable courses, I plumped for the signature sticky toffee pudding with cinnamon tuile and ice cream, while my husband ordered the chocolate orange fondant. His rich dessert was accompanied by clementine ice cream, a deliciously indulgent treat. From start to finish, our stay at GreyFriars was an absolute treat; we’re counting down the days until we can return.

Co £28 to

£50

Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm

Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Restaurant Modern British

The New London

Category

 Location 147 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0AA t: 0844 502 6679 w: www.thenewlondon.co.uk e: info@thenewlondon.co.uk

Ch

The award-winning New London restaurant has been one of the highlights of Chelmsford’s dining and social scene since October 2013, and it continues to provide a relaxed yet sophisticated dining experience. The restaurant exudes £18 to elegance and glamour – now more than ever following an incredible redesign in £28 March 2018. The New London has a reputation for serving seasonally inspired menus with a unique approach to homemade food, which makes this restaurant a special place to visit. Provenance is key to the team’s success, with an emphasis on building strong relationships with the best suppliers to maintain consistently high quality. The venue prides itself on having picked up numerous awards, including Restaurant of the Year at the Essex Life Fine Food and Drink Awards 2016, and Best Open: Newcomer and Head Chef of the Year (chef profile page 70) at the Essex Tourism Tues-Thurs noon-9.30pm; and Hospitality Awards 2015. Fri & Sat noon-late; The restaurant’s à la carte menu is Sun noon-4pm served throughout the day between Tuesday and Saturday and midweek visitors can take advantage of the stellar set menus that start at £15.50 for two courses. A popular Sunday lunch is available, which costs £20.50 for two courses and £26.50 for three. If you fancy something different, why not try the bottomless Prosecco lunch? Available every Saturday, it comprises two courses and unlimited Prosecco for just £29.50. Modern British Restaurant

The Ship Inn

Category

 Location 52 High Street, Burnham-on-Crouch, CM0 8AA t: 0844 502 6762 w: www.theshipinnburnham.co.uk e: info@theshipinnburnham.co.uk

Ma

The Ship Inn is a local pub in the heart of picturesque Burnham-on-Crouch, serving fine food, classic pub lunches, and a wide selection of drinks, in a casual and relaxed setting. £15 to Following an extensive and sympathetic renovation, The Ship Inn re-opened its £20 doors in November 2015 as a pub and dining room. Imagine a unique mix of stylish design, indulgent comfort and a very warm welcome and you’ll know what to expect at The Ship Inn, where service comes first. You’ll feel instantly at home in one of the three boutique-style bedrooms. By changing the menus seasonally, the head chef succeeds in serving good, honest food that’s locally sourced wherever possible. Equal care is taken at every step, Open: Mon-Sat noon-late; from initial preparation to final presentation, and all dishes are homemade – Sun noon-10pm whether you’re sampling daily baked bread or freshly churned ice cream, the team of skilled chefs prepares it all. Throughout the year, regularly revised menus reflect the best of Britain’s wonderful produce and feature dishes that are warming, affordable and packed full of flavour. Homemade sharing boards and craft drinks are served in the pub throughout the day. In the dining room, visitors can enjoy The Ship Inn’s seasonally changing dining room menu that includes dishes such as a sumptuous homemade burger, Scotch egg and many more. Every Sunday visitors can enjoy two courses for £18.50 or three courses for £23.50. Dining at The Ship Inn is an experience not to be missed; the ambience and fine food will soon work their magic, along with the pub’s relaxed and effortless charm. 10

Essex Guide 2019-2020


Galvin Green Man

Modern British

 Location Main Road, Howe Street, Chelmsford, CM3 1BG t: 0844 625 6575 w: www.galvinrestaurants.com e: betty@galvinpubco.com

Ch

Michelin star-awarded brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin started their family-run collection of restaurants in 2005, and work with quality farmers, fishermen, winemakers, game suppliers and cheesemongers to create fresh, seasonal and daily changing menus. Essex born and bred, the brothers’ inspiration comes from early memories of fishing and scrumping in the beautiful countryside around Brentwood.

£26 to

£50

At Galvin Green Man, you’ll find an excellent showcase of the brothers’ talents and local produce on the menu. To start, the Old Spot Scotch egg is a firm favourite – served with watercress and pickles, it receives rave reviews from those who try it. Main-course options are packed with big flavours, from the wood-roasted fillet of plaice with coco de paimpol, palourde clams and white wine velouté, to the tea-smoked pork fillet with kohlrabi, peach and calamansi. Vegetarian diners may take the chance to try the beautiful roast aubergine with charred baby leeks, cumin yoghurt and smoked tomatoes. The dessert menu offers a range of vibrant ingredients, with options including tangy greengage and frangipane tart with lemon curd ripple ice cream, and honey-roasted black figs with fig leaf ice cream, and lavender and lemon balm. The intense sweetness of the figs is lifted perfectly by the fruity accompaniments – a beautifully balanced dessert, which would round off any meal flawlessly. The menu represents fantastic value for money and options to suit the whole family. There’s a set menu option for lunch and dinner, as well as dedicated vegetarian, vegan and children’s menus. On Sundays, the lunch menu boasts three-courses for £29.50. Choose from local meat like Suffolk corn-fed chicken, Herefordshire beef and slow-roasted Essex leg of lamb – paired with all the trimmings, this will be a Sunday lunch to remember. Families are also able to share a joint of meat accompanied by bowls of seasonal vegetables in a private dining room. The main restaurant offers stunning panoramic views and the pub section is open all day. In the summer, the garden terrace is a popular spot for al fresco dining. Despite being a thriving and therefore often busy pub, the Galvin Green Man benefits from a spacious feel and relaxed ambience, not to mention the polite and attentive staff.

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-9.30pm

Essex Guide 2019-2020

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The Oyster Smack Inn

Modern British

 Location 112 Station Road, Burnham-on-Crouch, CM0 8HR t: 0844 625 1137 w: www.theoystersmackinn.co.uk e: info@theoystersmackinn.co.uk Named after the oyster trawlers once frequenting the River Crouch, The Oyster Smack Inn lives up to its name. The oysters are collected daily from the local Maldon Oyster Company – they don’t come fresher than that. The Oyster Smack Inn is a hub of delicious culinary delights with dishes prepared in house by a team of passionate chefs. Changing to suit the seasons, the menu offers a variety of sumptuous fare, but its quality is never in doubt. From meltingly tender pork belly to exciting daily specials, fresh fish dishes and unique vegan choices, there’s something for everyone on the menu. An express lunch is available from noon until 2.30pm Monday to Saturday; enjoy two courses for just £12.95 and three for £15.95. You can even extend your stay by spending a night or two in one of The Oyster Smack’s ten beautifully appointed and ever-so-welcoming rooms.

Ma £20 to

£35

Food Served: Mon-Sat noon-9.30pm; Sun noon-8pm

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An official guide to eating out in Kent Restaurants • Cafés • Bars • Pubs • Hotels

CAMBRIDGESHIRE

A comprehensive guide to eating out in the region Restaurants • Cafés • Bars • Pubs • Hotels

A comprehensive guide to eating out in London Restaurants • Cafés • Bars • Pubs • Hotels

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Essex Guide 2019-2020


Heseltines Restaurant

British

 Location De Rougemont Manor, Great Warley Street, Brentwood, CM13 3JP t: 0844 502 1703 w: www.derougemontmanor.com e: info@derougemontmanor.co.uk

BB

Hesteltines Restaurant is a bright, modern and relaxing dining destination set in the luxurious De Rougemont Manor, which welcomes both residents and £17 visitors alike. The front-of-house staff provide a very professional, friendly to £38 and welcoming face to diners at the hotel. The restaurant is open for breakfast in the mornings, followed by a delicious selection of lunch, afternoon tea, light bar snacks and dinner served throughout the day. Children are well catered for and there’s a special menu for younger diners available. The menu provides a superb range of traditional dishes produced to a high standard, with care and attention given to each individual element, which keeps diners coming back time and again. My dining partner and I were delighted to see the ever-popular British favourites of Food Served: battered cod and chips and a mixed grill on the menu. During my visit I chose from Mon-Fri 6.30am-9.30am, the specials and opted for a warming 10am-10pm; Sat & Sun root vegetable soup. I followed with 7am-10am, 10am-10pm chicken curry accompanied by an onion bhaji, naan bread and mango chutney, which was utterly delicious. With exciting and innovative vegetarian options also available, Heseltines Restaurant is perfect for all tastes. For dessert, I couldn’t resist the Carpaccio of pineapple with mango sorbet, a deliciously refreshing dish to finish our dining experience. My partner plumped for the indulgent chocolate tart, which was accompanied by sweet strawberry dulce de leche.

The Three Horseshoes

British

 Location 74 Church Road, Fordham, CO6 3NJ t: 0844 625 0825 w: www.threehorseshoes-fordham.com e: thethreehorseshoes@saintarnold.co.uk

Co

If you’re on the hunt for somewhere with a warm welcome and a relaxed, casual atmosphere, look no further than The Three Horseshoes in Fordham. It flung open its doors in 2017 after a sympathetic refurbishment; ever since, this wonderful village pub has been very much the hub of the community.

£17 to

£27

‘…hub of the community…’ The building dates back over 500 years, and features beautiful old beams and a splendid open fireplace. As well as the three main dining areas, there’s a garden with a covered seating area where The Shire, a delightful children’s play area, can be found.

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-8pm Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-2.30pm, 5pm-9pm; Sun noon-6pm

From the main menu you can expect to find pub classics with a modern reinterpretation to keep things exciting, and a traditional roast is served every Sunday. Everything is cooked from scratch by a team of talented chefs – you’re sure to be impressed by the delicious fare on offer. Tempting mains include cumin-spiced lamb rump, coriander and pomegranate couscous, red cabbage with radish salad, and there’s a mouth-watering selection of dishes from the grill. This family-friendly pub offers an excellent-value children’s menu as well, making it a fantastic spot for the whole brood. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Restaurant British

Five Bells

Category

 Location Mill Lane, Colne Engaine, CO6 2HY t: 0844 502 4808 w: www.fivebells.net e: thefivebells@saintarnold.co.uk Br The Five Bells is a family-friendly bar and restaurant with a long history. Records of registered landlords date back to 1579, but it’s likely that it was in business before then. It’s situated on the edge of the picturesque Colne Valley, £18 and the stunning views can be enjoyed from a lovely terrace. to £28 Expect freshly prepared British food crafted with locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by a great selection of real ale and wine. The bar has comfy seating, a log burner, a large-screen TV, a pool table and darts, should you wish to indulge. The partially covered terrace provides outdoor seating come rain or shine. There are a number of guest ales on tap, which frequently change to offer plenty of variety, while old favourites such as Adnams Southwold Bitter and Visor are always available. In the adjoining barn, you’ll find the recently Food Served: refurbished restaurant, which has been sensitively updated to retain its historic Mon-Thurs noon-3pm charm and wooden beams. This area can seat parties of up to 14 at a time (last orders 2.30pm), on one table, or more if it is being 6pm-9.30pm; used for a function. Fri & Sat noon-9.30pm; The food offering at the Five Bells Sun noon-8.30pm is quintessentially British, with a fine selection of classics such as ham, egg and chips, fish and chips, and sausage and mash, as well as varied daily specials. The menus change regularly to ensure that you’re never short of choice. The team can ably cater for vegetarian and vegan diners, in addition to gluten-free diets. British Restaurant

Category

 Location 6 The Green, Sandon, Nr. Chelmsford, CM2 7SH t: 0844 502 2107 w: www.crownsandon.co.uk e: info@crownsandon.co.uk

Ch

In the heart of the village of Sandon, situated opposite the church and next to the village green, The Crown serves classic pub grub cooked with love. Benefitting from a recent refurbishment and under new management, this family-friendly, family-run pub welcomes locals and visitors to enjoy the beautiful modifications.

£17 to

£25

The Crown

The Sunday roasts come highly recommended, with your choice of tender meat or Quorn roast served with Charlotte’s crisp roast potatoes, stuffing, homemade Yorkshire puddings and seasonal vegetables Throughout the week, the main menu features a range of unpretentious homemade dishes. You might start with The Crown’s signature blooming onion served with garlic mayonnaise, before choosing between old favourites such as hunter’s chicken, steak and ale pie and Food Served: the vegetarian five bean chilli. Order the traditional fish and chips and choose Tues-Thurs noon-8pm; how your fish is cooked – either battered, poached or fried. Pair your meal Fri & Sat noon-9pm; with a drink from the extensive beer and wine list for a perfect pub classic. Sun noon-7pm The lunchtime offering includes a variety of jacket potatoes and baked baguettes, as well as the classic ploughman’s. A dedicated children’s menu keeps the little ones happy. The beautiful tearoom serves afternoon tea for just £8.95 per person, so why not treat yourself to freshly made sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of delicious cakes, all served with a pot of tea or coffee? For an extra-special treat, add a glass of Prosecco for £3. 14

Essex Guide 2019-2020


Samphire Restaurant

British

 Location County Hotel, 29 Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2PZ t: 0844 502 1694 w: www.countyhotelchelmsford.co.uk e: restaurant@countyhotelgroup.co.uk

Ch

Situated inside the stunning County Hotel Chelmsford, Samphire Restaurant is a smart, sophisticated eatery known for its unique dishes and innovative flavours. From the à la carte menu, you can start with the likes of salt-baked Norfolk-grown heritage beetroot, topped with torched goat’s curd, red chard and candied walnuts – a favourite during the autumn months. For the main, the succulent game pie is filled with Yorkshire venison, rabbit and partridge, served with smooth celeriac mash. This menu also includes popular favourites such as the beefburger, served with sweet onion marmalade in a brioche bun and accompanied by a side of fries. For dessert, you can choose from the classic crème brûlée or glazed lemon tart with raspberry sorbet – the perfect dessert to cleanse your palate.

£22 to

£32

‘...delicious food and excellent service...’ With an extensive wine list, there’s plenty available to complement your meal. If you’re looking for a treat to enjoy with friends, the afternoon tea is a must. With classic and vegan versions served, this restaurant caters for everyone. The Best of British afternoon tea is a delicious twist on the classic, which includes puffed pork scratchings, free-range pork and apple Scotch egg complete with a runny yolk, and free-range Coronation chicken sandwich, in addition to a selection of sweet treats to finish. From the Sunday menu, start with the likes of ham hock with piccalilli, crispy crackling and micro herb salad with toasted sourdough. The chefs’ focus on locally sourced ingredients is reflected in the mains, including the succulent braised leg of lamb served with fondant potato, seasonal vegetables and rich lamb jus. Samphire Restaurant welcomes both residents and visitors every day of the week, catering for private events and celebrations. This restaurant is a popular spot for families, and little ones love the tasty kid’s menu. If you’re looking to stay overnight, this stylish, modern hotel boasts an array of luxurious rooms and serves a hearty full English breakfast plus a Continental breakfast, with fresh pastries. With delicious food and excellent service, Samphire Restaurant is well worth a visit.

Open: Mon-Fri 7am-9.30am, noon-9.45pm; Sat & Sun 8am-10am, noon-9.45pm

Essex Guide 2019-2020

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British

Linden House  Location 1-3 Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet, CM24 8HA t: 0844 502 1680 w: www.lindenhousestansted.co.uk e: info@lindenhousestansted.co.uk

SW

Located a convenient ten minutes from Stansted Airport, Linden House provides the perfect calming oasis for busy travellers and relaxed locals. Nestled in the historic village of Stansted Mountfitchet, this 19th-century boutique hotel offers a unique experience with à la carte dining, great-value lunch offers and private dining.

£17 to

£35

‘...19th-century boutique hotel...’ The restaurant at Linden House features modern British dishes prepared with fresh, carefully sourced, seasonal ingredients. The à la carte menu and lunch menu change regularly, with emphasis placed on the quality of the ingredients. From the à la carte, choose from a range of finessed starters such as classic moules marinières or Parma ham salad with feta, figs, pine nuts and balsamic vinegar. Main dishes such as marinated rump of lamb served alongside braised lentils and vegetable crisps highlight the chefs’ masterful culinary skills. Vegetarian diners can enjoy a hearty treat of fried potato gnocchi with roast butternut squash, spinach and courgette. The dessert menu puts a spin on many classic favourites, and you may expect to find the likes of sticky toffee pudding with salted popcorn and vanilla ice cream, and lemon and honey posset with fresh raspberries and ginger nut crust gracing the menu. If you feel like stopping by for an on-the-go lunch or fancy enjoying a delicious evening meal before watching a show, the lunch and pre-theatre menu features many favourites from the à la carte and will set you back just £12.50 for two courses or £15 for three.

Food Served: Mon-Fri 7am-9pm; Sat 8am-9pm; Sun 8am-8pm

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Essex Guide 2019-2020

Add a final flourish at the end of your meal with one of the after-dinner cocktails, all of which have been tailored to pair perfectly with the selection of dishes on the menu. An Irish coffee or espresso Martini will provide you with a caffeinated kick, or try an Old Fashioned to wind down as you relax with friends. With many events taking place throughout the year, Linden House is becoming the go-to venue in Mountfitchet. Why not pop in to enjoy 50 per cent off wine and cheese on selected evenings, or enjoy one of the live saxophone or piano nights? Be sure to check the website for information on upcoming events.


The Crown

British

 Location Little Walden, Nr. Saffron Walden, CB10 1XA t: 0844 502 1836 w: www.thecrownlittlewalden.co.uk e: info@thecrownlittlewalden.co.uk

SW

Situated just outside the picturesque market town of Saffron Walden, The Crown is a charming country pub. Whether you’re after a hearty Sunday roast or a spot of lunch, The Crown is the perfect place in which to enjoy a meal with family and friends. All food is freshly prepared to order and showcases the finest seasonal ingredients. To start, you can plump for the likes of crispy fried king prawns paired with sweet chilli dip. The succulent fillet of pork cooked in a spicy Cajun sauce is a deliciously warming dish, while the steak and mushroom pie is a firm favourite. The dessert board is regularly updated and often features spiced apple crumble, which is the perfect choice for the winter months. Other favourites include a classic bread and butter pudding and indulgent chocolate sponge with vanilla ice cream. On Wednesday, The Crown also hosts a live jazz evening which features local musicians, and the monthly quiz is always well attended. With a separate dining area, this is an increasingly popular place for business meetings and special occasions.

£18 to

£22

Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm

This venue also has several luxurious rooms for you to stay in, which is ideal if you’re hoping to explore the local area or pop to the historic city of Cambridge. With friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere, The Crown is a lovely place to unwind with a tipple and meal.

Jubilee Restaurant at Mulberry House

British

 Location Chelmsford Road, High Ongar, CM5 9NL t: 0844 625 6569 w: www.mulberry-house.com e: reception@mulberry-house.com

HE Nestled in 22 acres of breathtaking grounds, Mulberry House is a stunning destination to retreat to and let the stresses of daily life melt away. This palatial hotel offers 22 en-suite bedrooms, a versatile events space and a fantastic £22 restaurant to boot. to £30 If you’re looking for a wonderful setting in which to dine, where first-class cuisine is served without the high price tag usually associated with fine food, Jubilee Restaurant might just be the perfect destination. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by charming attentive staff who ensure that all who visit walk away feeling thoroughly spoilt. The decor is as opulent as you’d expect from such a revered establishment. Gilded mirrors, chandelier lighting and jacquard wallpaper create a superb environment in which to dine; the experience is made even more special thanks to stunning Open: Mon-Fri 7.30am-9pm; views overlooking the beautiful lake. When the weather is fair, head outside to the Sat & Sun 8.30am-9pm picturesque terrace and enjoy an al fresco meal, or take afternoon tea with a backdrop of Mulberry House’s tranquil grounds. The menu changes with the seasons to showcase the finest local produce, with fish, seafood and meat all sourced from sustainable suppliers. The kitchen brigade uses fresh eggs from the hotel’s own hens, as well as herbs grown within the grounds. Dishes like asparagus and garden pea risotto, and pan-fried salmon fillet accompanied by roasted vegetable and garlic couscous are guaranteed to delight the tastebuds. On Sundays you can indulge in a fantastic traditional lunch with all the trimmings. Essex Guide 2019-2020

17


British

The Creek  Location Flag Hill, Great Bentley, CO7 8RE t: 0844 625 8479 w: www.thecreekgreatbentley.co.uk e: contact@thecreekgreatbentley.co.uk

CS

The Creek, which takes its name from the nearby stunning Flag Creek, is a cosy restaurant and bar set in a beautiful Grade II listed 17th-century building. The warm and inviting atmosphere allows diners to enjoy the simple but perfectly prepared cuisine in comfortable surrounds. Dishes benefit from the use of locally sourced produce, and the quality is evident in every bite.

£26 to

£40

Head chef Terence Howard brings a wealth of experience from landmarks such as the Savoy and other premier London hotels to the menu at The Creek, which features classic combinations and age-old British favourites. Under Terence’s guidance, The Creek was awarded Restaurant of the Year in 2017 by Essex Life. Choosing from the à la carte menu, the light but indulgent grilled asparagus served with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, pistachio, raspberry vinaigrette and yoghurt is sure to get your tastebuds tingling. The main course options are equally packed with flavour; choose from the likes of beautifully presented calf’s liver with grain mustard and roast potatoes and duck breast with cauliflower cheese and crispy leeks. Alternatively, lemon couscous with tenderstem broccoli, Gorgonzola and olive tapenade is a delicious vegetarian option. For a fruity finish, go for the delectable cheesecake, which is flavoured with passion fruit, mango, pineapple and coconut and served with orange coulis. Alternatively, try The Creek’s own Creek Split: caramelised banana enhanced by salted caramel ice cream, walnuts and crème Chantilly.

Open: Weds-Fri 12.30pm-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm; Sat 12.30pm-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Sun 12.30pm-4pm

18

Essex Guide 2019-2020

On a Sunday, The Creek roast is cooked to order and options include beef sirloin and slow-roasted pork loin. For something a bit different, choose to carve your own roast and enjoy family-style dining away from the main restaurant. As host, you can carve your own meat and, just like at home, choose who gets the biggest portion. The host will be supplied with a branded Creek apron, chef’s hat, carving knife, fork, carving block and gloves, to serve the grand feast in style. Suitable for parties of six to 12, starters and mains are included, and a three-course meal ranges from £28.95 to £30.95 per person. You can even buy a gift card to treat someone special to a delicious meal, showcasing the best of the Essex food scene.


The Crown at Wormingford

British

 Location Main Road, Wormingford, Colchester, CO6 3AB t: 0844 502 1841

Co

The Crown is a traditional village pub and restaurant located in the rural village of Wormingford. The chefs regularly update the menu, serving deliciously fresh seasonal dishes. Highlights of the menu include baked Camembert paired with home-baked bread and a sweet red onion chutney, which is ideal to share with a partner. The sweet potato falafels are a tempting vegan alternative. For mains, you can enjoy the likes of classic sausage and mash, which features the finest local sausages, presented in a homemade Yorkshire pudding and served with all the trimmings. The ploughman’s includes a variety of creamy cheese, hand-carved gammon, homemade bread, sharp pickled onions and sweet chutney. Follow this with warming sticky toffee and date sponge for dessert, which is topped with lashings of vanilla custard.

£17 to

£22

‘...an enjoyable dining experience for everyone...’ The salted caramel brownie is a luxurious choice that is also gluten-free and vegan, which you can pair with vegan ice cream. The Sunday lunch is always thriving, with regulars returning for a hearty plate of succulent meat, served with fresh seasonal vegetables, crispy roast potatoes, fluffy mash and homemade Yorkshire puddings. To accompany your meal, there’s a large selection of local cask ale, fine wine and refreshing non-alcoholic drinks available. This pub is a popular spot for friends and family, with a tasty children’s menu making The Crown an enjoyable dining experience for everyone. Why not have a game of pool or darts in the bar area? The Crown is a must-visit destination for those in Wormingford, with regular events such as games nights, open mic nights and coffee mornings proving popular with both locals and visitors alike. This pub is split into a lively bar area and a relaxed restaurant, with fireplaces in both to keep you warm in the winter months. The picturesque garden is busy in the summer, when guests can enjoy a refreshing drink as they take in the view. Dogs are also welcome in the garden and bar area, making this a perfect spot to visit if you’ve been exploring the surrounding area. The Crown is a well-loved, welcoming village pub serving delicious food and a selection of quality drinks.

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri noon-3.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Tues-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-7pm

Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Gastropub

Bread & Cheese  Location 520 London Road, Benfleet, SS7 1AA t: 0844 625 6605 w: www.breadandcheesepub.com

SR £18 to

£36

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-9pm

A family-run gastropub, Bread & Cheese is renowned for its welcoming atmosphere and home-cooked fare. Thanks to the well-stocked bar, those popping in for a drink will be spoilt for choice by the pub’s wide range of wine, beer, ale and spirits and the cosy interior provides the ideal environment for a relaxed catch up. In the summer you can sit outside in the beer garden to enjoy a wide range of drinks in the sun, and on weekends you’ll be treated to live music, a barbecue and a stone oven for fresh fish and pizza. During the Christmas season, the restaurant’s charming decorations will help you get into the festive spirit.

Just a short drive from London, Bread & Cheese is the perfect stop on the way to the Essex coast, especially as the restaurant is both child- and dog-friendly. To start your meal, why not split a sharing board? The mezze board comprises hummus, tomato crostini, falafel and couscous while the seafood board offers a mouth-watering selection of tempura squid, king prawns, smoked salmon, Devonshire crab and wholetail scampi. Alternatively, choose three small plates for just £15. Other tempting mains include a plant-based vegan burger with smashed avocado, slow-cooked beef short rib and a posh dog, as well as an array of pub classics. This friendly eatery also serves a traditional afternoon tea, gentlemen’s afternoon tea and a bread and cheese afternoon tea with a fine selection of cheese, chutneys and homemade Stilton panna cotta.

Restaurant Gastropub Sf

The Angel Inn

Category  Location Polstead Street, Stoke by Nayland, CO6 4SA t: 0844 502 0323 w: www.angelinnsuffolk.co.uk e: info@angelinnsuffolk.co.uk The Angel Inn is a stunning 16th-century coaching inn situated in the historic village of Stoke by Nayland. This country inn oozes character, with an open fire, original brickwork and oak beams. To start, you can opt for the flavoursome whitebait and calamari with tartare sauce, which is a lovely and light dish. For the main course, highlights include the likes of local venison and red wine ragu with homemade pappardelle ribbons. For a vegetarian alternative, the butternut squash and mushroom risotto is a delicious choice. To round off your meal, the lemon posset topped with raspberry sorbet and biscuit crumb is an indulgent treat, while the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce is always a firm favourite.

£25 to

£29

The Angel Inn also serves a selection of ale and spirits and an extensive gin menu is also available. If you’re looking for a treat with friends, the bottomless brunch is perfect at just £25 per person. The unique take on afternoon tea is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike, with a range of freshly prepared finger sandwiches, scones and homemade cakes. In addition to the exceptional food, this venue also has six luxury bedrooms, perfect if you’re looking for a country escape. The Angel Inn is an ideal place to indulge yourself and relax whilst visiting neighbouring countryside and picturesque market towns. Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun noon-8pm

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Essex Guide 2019-2020


The Bull & Willow Room

Gastropub

 Location 2 Maldon Road, Great Totham, Maldon, CM9 8NH t: 0844 625 6628 w: www.thebullatgreattotham.co.uk e: reservations@thewillowroom.co.uk With a dedicated team of talented chefs and a charming and welcoming front of house, The Bull & Willow Room has maintained its reputation for outstanding food and unrivalled service. Sleek furniture, ornate lighting and mirrors are combined within the classy dark oak in this 16th-century gem. The bright, elegant space of the Willow Room is available for private lunch and dinner parties as well as wedding receptions. It is renowned for hosting exclusive dining experiences as well as regular cabaret and music evenings. A wide range of wine is available by the glass to complement your choice from the menu in the laid-back space of The Bull’s award-winning restaurant. Perhaps begin with the freshly prepared bread board as you peruse the extensive food and drink menus. Dishes are exquisitely presented and crafted using the finest fresh, seasonal ingredients, which are locally sourced where possible. To start, the peppered carpaccio of venison with smoked truffle aioli pickled wild mushrooms comes highly recommended. Follow this with your choice of tempting mains; perhaps the oven-roasted tandoori cod served with roast vegetables, saffron broth and tzatziki dressing, or the 10oz rib-eye steak cooked perfectly to your liking. Vegetarians can indulge in the likes of Thai curry with kaffir lime, ginger, coriander rice and a poppadum, while the pumpkin and sage ravioli with grilled smoked tofu in a chimichurri sauce is an equally popular dish. Children are made welcome with a separate menu. Owner Satin Singh was born and raised in Delhi and brings an array of authentic Indian dishes to the menu. The head chef is always willing to cater to customers’ tastes. Be sure to try the Mughlai Karahi gosht, slow-cooked lamb with onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, or the delicious chicken tikkas and mouth-watering lamb seekh kebabs. A delicious range of light lunches and snacks are also served at the bar – perfect after a long walk in the beautiful surrounding North Essex countryside. If you’re looking to stay in the area, The Bull & Willow Room’s cottage has four feature rooms that are as luxurious and smartly appointed as the restaurant. Best of all, after a peaceful rest the breakfast in the morning is sure to impress. Be sure to visit the website where you’ll find a calendar packed full of exciting events and dining experiences.

Ma £20 to

£36

Open: Mon-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-5pm

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Gastropub

The Cuckoo  Location Radley Green, Ingatestone, CM4 0LT t: 0844 625 0047 w: www.cuckooradleygreen.co.uk From the picturesque exterior of The Cuckoo in Radley Green, it is clear that this is a wonderful place to dine and make merry. The pale blue seating outside provides the perfect spot for a drink in the sun, and gives a warm welcome that’s echoed by the attentive service. Food is as fresh as it comes, with a herb garden in situ and locally sourced produce including asparagus and honey. The dishes on the menu mirror this fresh, local ethos, with the likes of sumptuous honey- and garlic-roasted guinea fowl and gratin potatoes taking centre stage. In winter, look out for Brendon’s steamed suet steak and kidney pudding. Fresh bread is baked on-site daily using Marriages flour, and The Cuckoo team makes its own delicious ice cream. Cosy yet refined, The Cuckoo is the ideal spot in which to host a special occasion, including small weddings, with the seating extending out into the gardens in the summer.

HE £26 to

£42

Open: Tues-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-11.30pm Food Served: Tues-Thurs noon-1.45pm, 6.30pm-8.30pm; Fri & Sat noon-1.45pm, 6pm-9pm Fish & Chips

Louis Fish Bar  Location 162 Long Road, Canvey Island, SS8 0JP t: 0844 502 5542 w: www.louisfishbar.co.uk For fish and chip aficionados, Louis’ is an absolute treat. Intent on providing only the best-quality traditional fish and chips, Savvakis and his team only serve fish delivered daily from Peterhead and Billingsgate. They also provide a range of items for those wanting something different; whether it’s roast chicken, spare ribs, one of 11 types of burger or something from the ever-changing daily specials on offer. My partner chose the grilled cod while I opted for baby back ribs in subtle barbecue sauce. Both were presented impeccably, accompanied by chips and a side salad. Customers can eat in at the counter or at one of the two tables, but the takeaway service is unsurprisingly very popular, considering the quality of the fare. Great service, unrestricted parking and wheelchair access make this venue all the more popular, and the addition of gluten-free fish and chips between Monday and Thursday ensures that all are welcome. *Price represents the cost of medium cod and chips.

SR

*

£8

Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-2.30pm, 4pm-10.30pm; Fri & Sat 11am-11pm

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Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Oldhams

Fish & Chips

 Location 13 West Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9AU t: 0844 502 4798 w: www.oldhamsofwestcliff.co.uk

SR

Open seven days a week in Westcliff-on-Sea, Oldhams is a family-owned fish restaurant that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of serving some of the finest fish and chips in Essex. The team’s aim is simple: serve the highest-quality fresh ingredients, fried in top-quality oil, by experienced staff who care. It is this consistent approach, matched with friendly service, that gained them the prestigious Fish & Chips Quality Award presented by the National Federation of Fish Friers – they’re one of only a few places in Essex to be given such an award. Where possible, Oldhams supports sustainable fisheries in their purchasing and ethical sourcing of other products. The menu ranges from traditional fish and chips to locally sourced sausages, as well as tasty vegetarian dishes, and, to round things off, a range of Rossi ice creams. Alongside the ever-popular takeaway, there are two fully licensed and serviced restaurants, which can accommodate 32 diners on the ground floor and 42 diners upstairs.

£15 to

£20

Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-9.30pm; Sun noon-9pm

A selection of ale and lager is available, as well as a good choice of wine by the glass or bottle. Bookings for groups of ten or more are taken, otherwise the restaurant operates on a first-come first-served basis. Bradley Oldham and his staff look forward to seeing you soon.

Pier One

Seafood

 Location 35 Connaught Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea, CO13 9PN t: 0844 502 1823 w: www.pieronefrinton.com e: pierone.simplyfish@yahoo.com

CS

If awards were given to the friendliest restaurant, Pier One in Frinton-on-Sea would easily walk away with the prize. On arrival, my dining companion and I were greeted by the convivial staff, who showed us to our table and were delightfully attentive at all times throughout the evening. This was also true of the owners Peter and Maxine, who were effortlessly overseeing the front of house and taking time out to chat with customers.

£21 to

£31

‘...a wonderful array of seafood delights...’ Pier One offers a mixture of seating styles, from intimate tables for two to booths by the window. The decor lends a nod to the restaurant’s coastal location, with eye-catching seaside photographs adorning the walls. The comprehensive menu features a wonderful array of seafood delights. Whilst my partner enjoyed smoked mackerel pâté followed by grilled haddock, I Open: Tues-Thurs noon-8pm; opted for a scrumptious starter Fri & Sat noon-8.30pm; of smoked salmon followed by Sun noon-4pm moreish scampi and chips. We decided to share a rather indulgent chocolate brownie and ice cream for a devilishly delicious dessert. The owners pride themselves on using only sustainable fish that’s sourced locally, and their core ethos is ‘awesome food served in a fantastic location’. Indeed, that’s exactly what we experienced during our visit. Essex Guide 2019-2020

23


Seafood

The Rosebud  Location 66 Hurst Green, Brightlingsea, CO7 0EH t: 0844 502 2094 w: www.rosebudpub.co.uk e: tom@rosebudpub.co.uk

CS

It wasn’t just the heat from the roaring log fire that exuded warmth as I stepped over the threshold of The Rosebud; I felt the friendliness and homeliness of this local pub and restaurant immediately. Owners Tom and Sarah work tirelessly to create a home-from-home atmosphere, and given the number of regulars, this has obviously been a success. There is a convivial, family-friendly feel, evident in the number of children happily enjoying the evening with their parents.

£18 to

£30

‘...family-friendly feel...’ Settling down at our table, which was wonderfully situated to take full advantage of the blazing fire in the brick fireplace, my dining companion and I browsed the menu. The Rosebud is a seafood restaurant at heart, but a number of alternative dishes are also offered. On Sunday, diners can enjoy a traditional roast or relax in the conservatory with afternoon tea. The menu changes on an almost daily basis, dependent on the availability of the locally sourced produce. My companion chose chicken liver pâté with mixed salad and red onion chutney, followed by a slow-braised lamb shank so tender it simply fell off the bone. This was followed by chocolate brownie and ice cream. Meanwhile, I indulged in a delicious dressed Cromer crab starter, followed by seared sea bass with broccoli and crushed potato. I rounded things off with an excellent apple and cinnamon crumble. Every dish is expertly prepared by Tom, who recommended a very palatable South African sauvignon blanc to complement my sea bass – it was a perfect choice.

Open: Tues-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-4pm

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Situated in the Essex town of Brightlingsea, with enviable panoramic views over Brightlingsea Creek and the open sea beyond, The Rosebud dates back to the early 19th-century and was originally two fisherman cottages. The restaurant can accommodate around 40 guests, while the conservatory, which overlooks the creek and features a magnificent grape vine, has seating for a further 30 diners. There is also a delightful garden and terrace, ideal for relaxing in on warm summer days. Whatever the time of year and whatever the weather, you are always assured of a warm welcome at The Rosebud.


La Petite Pétanque

Bistro

 Location Cambridge Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1EY t: 0844 502 1820 w: www.lapetitepetanque.co.uk e: info@lapetitepetanque.co.uk

SR A real gem of a bistro, La Petite Pétanque is set within the grounds of Alexandra Bowling Green in Southend-on-Sea. The elegant Art Deco venue invites guests to sample a superb afternoon tea offering, Friday fish nights and bumper £20 Sunday roasts. Alongside a full breakfast menu available daily, the lunch options to £30 include a range of fresh favourites and light bites, from wild mushroom, truffle and Parmesan en croute to a range of jacket potatoes, sandwiches and burgers. At the weekend, specials include breakfast pancakes and a Bucks Fizz brunch. Desserts include homemade cheesecake of the day and tart of the week. However, the star of the sweet treats remains La Petite Pétanque’s popular afternoon tea, which includes finger sandwiches, homemade scones, cakes, and chocolate-covered strawberries. You can choose to have it with tea, coffee or Prosecco as you enjoy a leisurely afternoon looking out over a match on the bowling green. The last Friday of every month is fish night, with a live acoustic or jazz set to entertain diners. Open: The delightful set menu showcases Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; seafood delights; choose from the Sat 9am-6pm; likes of pan-fried scallops with Sun 9.30am-7pm chorizo and peppers, and vodka-cured cod with horseradish mousse to start. For the main course, the classic fish and chips sits alongside grilled plaice, pan-fried sea bass and crab, chilli and lime risotto. The venue can accommodate small and large parties for private dining and also doubles as a great wedding venue. Why not let the in-house wedding planner take a bit of the stress off your shoulders?

Avenue Bistro

Bistro

 Location 145 Connaught Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea, CO13 9AH t: 0844 502 6687 w: www.avenuebistro.co.uk e: info@avenuebistro.co.uk

CS

The team at Avenue Bistro lives by a very simple ethos: serve great food with passion. Located in the centre of the small seaside town of Frinton-on-Sea, the bistro’s warmly welcoming atmosphere reflects the spirit of coastal village life, providing a relaxed yet sophisticated environment in which to enjoy a meal with friends and family. The bistro’s large outdoor terrace is perfect for sitting out in the sunshine in the summer months, watching the world go by while sampling superb food and drink.

£25 to

£30

Avenue Bistro’s menu reflects modern Continental cuisine at its finest, with Mediterranean influences regularly observed. Menus are revised in accordance with the seasons, but a typical offering might include courses of wild mushroom fricassee served on fresh brioche; rack of lamb served with spinach, tzatziki, fresh mint and crushed new potatoes; and chargrilled fillet of sea bass dressed in mixed herbs and extra-virgin olive oil. Finish with indulgent chocolate and Open: Tues-Sat orange cheesecake or one of several 11.30am-2.30pm, other homemade sweet treats. The 6.30pm-9.30pm; bistro’s bill of fare is complemented Sun noon-3pm by a list of daily specials that take full advantage of the finest local and seasonal produce. The team at Avenue Bistro prides itself on maintaining high quality and exceptional standards. An impeccable record spanning over 40 years of business attests to that fact that they are succeeding in this pursuit. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Bistro

Blue Strawberry Bistrot  Location The Street, Hatfield Peverel, CM3 2DW t: 0844 502 5540 w: www.bluestrawberrybistrot.co.uk e: info@bluestrawberrybistrot.co.uk

Br

Blue Strawberry Bistrot exudes that sought-after mix of quintessential English charm and French class. It’s no surprise that the relaxed atmosphere, enthusiastic staff and excellent food have attracted a loyal clientele over the past 21 years. Housed in converted Victorian cottages, the dining area is arranged over two floors and offers ample seating for small parties, and cosy nooks for intimate meals.

£26 to

£35

We began by browsing the extensive wine list and intriguing mocktail menu, before sampling a refreshing drink made with gin from a local distillery, Fever-Tree tonic, ice and fruit. We soon turned our attention to the varied food menu, created by head chef Benny, who updates the dishes daily with fresh, seasonal produce. Our starters of homemade leek and sweet potato soup, and homemade chicken liver pâté with toasted bread proved how familiar favourites can be adapted and updated for modern tastes. We followed with sunblushed pepper, Red Leicester and spinach tart served with sweet potato frites and a side salad, and pan-fried calf’s liver served on bubble and squeak, topped with crispy pancetta and caramelised onion gravy. Both dishes lived up to the promise of home-cooked quality. The dessert menu proved equally tempting, and the warm evening called for a final serving of refreshing mango sorbet. Thoroughly satisfied, we were left to relax and appreciate the beautiful restaurant a while longer. Given the exquisite quality of food on offer, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there are some pretty eye-watering prices too. However, there’s exceptional value to be had with the two-course lunch, running from Monday to Saturday at just £18.95, with an additional course from £4.50. Options include sage and onion pulled pork with celeriac remoulade and onion and thyme toast, and smoked haddock and spinach fishcakes with a mild curry yoghurt dipping sauce and fresh dressed pea shoots, with ample vegetarian and gluten-free choices available. Open: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-late; Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-late; Sun noon-4pm

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If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for a friend or family member, Blue Strawberry Bistrot also offers gift vouchers that can also be redeemed at their sister venue The Lion Inn. What better treat can you give than fantastic food in stunning surroundings?


The Old Moot House

Bistro

 Location 1 St James Street, Castle Hedingham, CO9 3EJ t: 0844 625 6530 w: www.moothouserestaurant.co.uk e: sarah@moothouserestaurant.co.uk

Br

The charming village of Castle Hedingham is home to The Old Moot House, a delightful bistro dating back to the 15th century. Families, couples and groups of friends all assemble here to enjoy fantastic food and drink in a delightfully convivial ambience. Pop by and treat yourself to afternoon tea, or go the whole hog and indulge in a three-course feast. The à la carte menu features a plethora of tempting options, such as a starter of sautéed scallops wrapped in pancetta with pea shoots and a maple syrup glaze or a tempting main of braised lamb shank with balsamic and red wine jus. On Wednesdays enjoy steak night – for just £12.95, you can choose from a sirloin, rump or rib-eye and add peppercorn, Stilton or Diane sauce. The team also caters for private parties, small weddings and outside events, so get in touch if you’ve got a special occasion coming up.

£18 to

£32

Open: Weds-Fri noon-4pm, 7pm-11pm; Sat 6pm-11pm; Sun noon-4pm

Ranfield’s Brasserie

Brasserie

 Location 4-6 Stoneham Street, Coggleshall, CO6 1TT t: 0844 625 6697 w: www.ranfieldsbrasserie.co.uk e: food@ranfieldsbrasserie.co.uk

Br

Ranfield’s Brasserie upholds an esteemed reputation for serving modern cuisine in a relaxed and sophisticated brasserie ambience with a chic Parisian feel. Originally established in 1986 under famed chef Peter Langan of Langan’s of London, the restaurant was then run by Mark Baumann and known as Baumann’s Brasserie for 30 years. In 2015, award-winning head chef JB took the reins, giving Ranfield’s its new name. This young chef has driven Ranfield’s Brasserie forward with vigour and picked up a string of accolades along the way, including two AA rosettes and Best Restaurant in Essex at the British Restaurant Awards 2018. The charming brasserie offers a range of options for every occasion. The seasonal à la carte is second to none, while the menu du jour and Ranfield’s tasting menu both provide a fantastic opportunity for diners to explore JB’s cuisine. Expect local produce showcased in exceptional dishes with modern European flair, and an extensive wine list to match.

£25 to

£35

Open: Tues-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun noon-5pm

CALLING ALL BLOGGERS, WRITERS AND JOURNALISTS WE NEED YOU! Drop us a line at writers@foodanddrinkguides.com for more information Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Restaurant Brasserie Ch

Channels Brasserie

Category  Location Channels Estate, Pratts Farm Lane, Little Waltham, CM3 3PT t: 0844 625 1124 w: www.channelsestate.co.uk If you’re looking for a top-quality eatery with a soothing ambience, look no further than Channels Brasserie. It’s pretty special; this family-run brasserie is set within 300 acres of lush parkland and housed in the original 14th-century farmhouse. Having recently been refurbished, Channels is a relaxing dining destination that combines style and comfort. We were charmed by the list of rules canine companions must obey if they’re in the bar.

£21 to

£35

Open: Mon-Fri 7am-9.30pm; Sat 8am-9.30pm; Sun 8am-4.30pm

Chef Dan has created an imaginative menu that stays in line with the seasons and features British favourites, seasonal specials and Asian fusion dishes. There’s something for everyone. We began with a delicious tomato soup with chorizo, and beetroot-cured salmon. Our main courses of calf’s liver and bacon, and hearty steak and mushroom pie were delicious. The generous portions were beautifully cooked and served by friendly, knowledgeable staff in the bright and airy dining room. We finished with caramelised white chocolate with fig jam and pear with yoghurt sorbet and tonka bean cream, which tasted just as good as it looked.

Weddings, conferences and special celebrations can be held in a choice of four restaurants or the converted Essex Barn. Future plans will turn 100 acres of surrounding parkland into a child and dog-friendly area, and picnics will be available to take away and enjoy al fresco. Brasserie Restaurant

Wivenhoe House

Category

 Location Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ t: 0844 502 3531 w: www.wivenhoehouse.co.uk e: info@wivenhoehouse.co.uk Offering a winning combination of relaxed, atmospheric surroundings, excellent food and first-class service, the brasserie at Wivenhoe House hotel is vastly popular with those staying in the area, and with long-standing £25 locals. Inspired by the lively brasseries of Paris, the restaurant is a vibrant to £30 and exciting environment in which to dine. On the menu, a delicious choice of uncomplicated dishes are created to highlight the fantastic array of local produce, with special dishes available every day. The first Friday of every month is dedicated to fish, with a mouth-watering seafood buffet among the many options. There is also an enticing Edge Lunch Club menu available Monday to Friday, offering three courses for just £15. The award-winning Sunday roast is always popular with families and for a more casual evening, you can dine at the bar while basking in the lively atmosphere. Open: Mon-Fri 7am-9.30pm; An impressive beer selection with plenty of hand-picked local ales ensures that Sat & Sun 8am-10.30pm the bar area is an ideal space for Food Served: pre-dinner drinks. Quench your Mon-Sun noon-9.30pm thirst with delicious cocktails or perhaps share a bottle of wine, all of which can be ordered by the glass. With private areas available for dining, The Brasserie is a fantastic spot for celebrations and special occasions. Here, you can meet, drink and dine, and be assured of a warm welcome and superb food. When the festivities quieten down, why not retreat to one of the luxury four-star hotel’s 40 stunning guest rooms? Co

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The Old Siege House Bar & Brasserie

Modern European

 Location 75 East Street, Colchester, CO1 2TS t: 0844 625 8498 w: www.theoldsiegehousebarandbrasserie.co.uk The Old Siege House Bar & Brasserie in Colchester is a family-run establishment that offers modern European cuisine with a traditional English influence. The venue is steeped in history – built in the 15th century, it witnessed one of the most important events of Colchester’s past, the Siege of Colchester in 1648. Now a contemporary European brasserie, the impressive menu features firm favourites such as slow-cooked belly of pork, lemon-battered fish and chips and sirloin steak served with chunky chips and salad. In addition, the brasserie presents a tapas menu from which you can choose an array of Mediterranean delights such as chorizo cooked in red wine sauce and crispy whitebait, as well as a host of vegetarian offerings like homemade hummus with grilled pitta. In the summer, there’s no better place to enjoy these small plates than in the garden area which is the perfect spot for casual dining and drinks. The dessert menu gives you the chance to try the brûlée of the day served with homemade biscuits or go fruity with the banana mille-feuille with salted caramel sauce. Finish in style by enjoying a glass of Quintra Port. During lunch there’s a selection of lighter meals including seared chilli beef stir-fry, and potato, mushroom and Stilton pie. The set lunch menu offers three courses for £15.95 from Tuesday to Saturday, so you can enjoy crispy mac and cheese balls to start, and indulge in mouth-watering lemon and lime tart with raspberry coulis for dessert. The Old Siege House also offers an indulgent afternoon tea menu and Sunday lunch is not to be missed. As if any further encouragement to return is required, the main menu is seasonal and changes every three months, while the lunch menu is updated every two weeks, so you should be sure to plan another visit to try new options. The extensive cocktail menu features all the classics, as well as the Seige House’s own sparkling Royal or the Heavenly Siege – a fruity mix of Malibu, orange juice, pineapple juice and cranberry juice. With a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere, this is the perfect venue for intimate dining or a meal with family and friends. An event space is available for large parties and the team can also accommodate outside catering. There’s plenty of events too, with two-for-one cocktails on Fridays, supper clubs, wine tastings, quiz nights and fish and fizz evenings. Thanks to a winning combination of excellent food and drink, a unique setting and attentive staff, The Old Siege House Bar & Brasserie is the perfect destination for any foodie.

Co £26 to

£33

Open: Tues-Thurs noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Fri noon-10pm; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-3pm

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Restaurant American

Garrards

Category

 Location 136 Broadway, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 1AA t: 0844 502 2078 w: www.garrards.co e: info@garrards.co

SR £18 to

£29

Open: Mon 11am-9pm; Tues-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-1am; Sat 10am-1am; Sun 11am-10pm

Starting off as a street food venture, Garrards was so popular with locals that it’s now been opened as a permanent establishment in the heart of Leigh-on-Sea. With a rustic and industrial feel, this stylish eatery is a great place in which to enjoy quality, mouth-watering British-American food. To start, the barbecue chicken chunks are a delicious bar snack, while the succulent pork ribs are an excellent choice for mains. All the food is prepared and cooked in-house, including an exceptional range of house-made sauces used in a range of dishes. For dessert, why not opt for an indulgent salted caramel brownie with vanilla ice cream? Garrards stocks a selection of craft beer from around the world, and the house cocktails are an equally refreshing choice.

Together, the chefs have 35 years’ experience and are passionate about serving quality food, made from scratch. Garrards is often bustling thanks to the casual, relaxed atmosphere that makes it popular with regulars. It’s the perfect spot for a family event as it’s extremely accommodating of larger groups and children. Diners can look forward to a number of popular midweek deals, and the weekend boozy brunches include delicious options such as chicken and waffles with maple syrup, and fluffy vegan pancakes. People travel from all over the surrounding area to visit Garrards, and it’s easy to see why. Italian Restaurant

La Toscana

Category

 Location Old Barn Court, High Street, Billericay, CM12 9BY t: 0844 502 1673 w: www.latoscanabillericay.co.uk e: latoscanabillericay@gmail.com This independent, family-owned restaurant has been a firm favourite in Billericay and the surrounding areas for many years, offering modern Italian dishes of exceptional quality in relaxed and comfortable surroundings. The kitchen is £26 headed up by owner and executive chef Antonio along with head chef Natalia, to £48 while the friendly and efficient front-of-house team is looked after by Joao. Fresh ingredients are used from local suppliers and direct from Billingsgate and Smithfield markets and every dish is cooked to order. This restaurant also offers a selection of gluten-free pasta and caters for those with specific dietary requirements. The menus change regularly, so you can sample a different seasonal delight every time you visit. Alongside pasta classics like the delicious spaghetti marinara, you’ll find a range of exciting starters and main dishes that showcase how La Toscana has designed its menu around the modern cuisine now found in Italy. Why not try the filetto di struzzo, ostrich pan roasted with garlic and lemon juice or the sogliola which sees fresh Open: Dover sole pan fried and served Mon-Sat noon-3.30pm, with a white wine, lemon and butter 6.30pm-9.30pm sauce. La Toscana is renowned for the quality of produce and the care with which it’s prepared and served. The lunch and evening set menus allow diners to sample two courses for just £15.50 and £21.50 respectively, with a variety of pasta, fish, meat and vegetarian options available. Treat yourself to one of the delectable homemade desserts and see why regulars return time and again to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at La Toscana. BB

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The Lion

Mediterranean

 Location High Street, Earls Colne, CO6 2PA t: 0844 625 0096 w: www.lionearlscolne.co.uk e: thelion@saintarnold.co.uk

Br

The Lion comprises four buildings, with the earliest dating from the 13th century and another originally a guildhall. Many of the features of the old buildings have been retained and enhanced during a comprehensive renovation. The Lion’s open-plan interior boasts multiple seating areas, including two terraces at the rear (one with a heated canopy) and the exquisite Hunt Room with its large open fire. The Lion boasts a unique combination of bar, oven and cellar, ensuring there’s something on offer for everyone. The bar serves everything from real ale to cocktails, a real wood-fired clay oven enables the team to produce a wide variety of great dishes, and an extensive wine cellar stocks superior wine at great prices. From the menu you can expect tapas-style small plates, wood-fired pizzas and own-recipe pasta dishes, all influenced by the Mediterranean.

£18 to

£28

Open: Mon-Thurs 9am-11pm; Fri & Sat 9am-midnight; Sun 10.30am-11pm Food Served: Mon-Sat 9am-9.30pm; Sun 10.30am-8pm

With easy access from the High Street, The Lion is the ideal place to meet friends for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or for a quick catch up over coffee and pastries. Spend the evening sampling from the collection of wine, spirits and beer on offer. Keep an eye out for regular events, from the annual paella party to the great Sunday sessions, which showcase laid-back music at its best.

Abbey Bar & Grill

Turkish

 Location 18a Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EE t: 0844 502 1697 w: www.abbeygrillrestaurant.com e: info@abbeygrillrestaurant.com

HE Serving authentic Turkish cuisine, Abbey Bar & Grill has become a firm favourite amongst locals in the charming market town of Waltham Abbey. The chefs’ skills are reflected in the excellent range of dishes produced. £19 to To start, you can enjoy the likes of the hot meze plate, comprising deliciously £32 crisp calamari, seasoned chicken strips, lamb sigara borek and mozzarella sticks. Or you can opt for the feta and melon starter, which is a wonderfully light alternative to start to your meal. For the main course, the chef’s special of lamb meatballs are flavoured with fresh onion and a selection of herbs, and served with chips and salad. The succulent chicken shish kebab is always a popular choice with regulars. This restaurant is also great for vegetarians, with the likes of moussaka featuring a delicious selection of vegetables topped with rich Béchamel sauce, accompanied by a side of fluffy rice. Abbey Bar & Grill also offers an extensive Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm selection of drinks, including Food Served: Mon-Sun a range of refreshing cocktails 11am-10.30pm and warming spirits, which will complement your meal perfectly. The staff are always welcoming and attentive, adding to the relaxed atmosphere as you enjoy a mouth-watering meal. With a spacious dining area, this restaurant can easily cater to your event, and offers an excellent three-course party menu for £22.50, which finishes with treats such as sweet Turkish baklava. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Mexican

Mexican Kitchen  Location 9 Runwell Road, Runwell, Nr. Wickford, SS11 7PS t: 0844 502 1674 w: www.mexicankitchen.co.uk e: info@mexicankitchen.co.uk

Ch

Upon entering Mexican Kitchen, the rich and enticing aromas from the open kitchen instantly hit you. This restaurant is cosy and rustic, with a bijou tequila bar on the side and Mexican music adding to the atmosphere. The street food-inspired menu focuses on authentic flavours and is cooked fresh each day using quality ingredients. Cesar, the chef and owner, focuses on producing delicious flavours, rather than spicy dishes. However, spicy salsas and chillies can be added for those who like an extra kick. There are various starters and sharing platters, such as panuchos, guacamole and nachos, while the main menu includes the likes of burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas and tacos. There’s a wonderful selection of fillings on offer, including the popular tinga de pollo, a chicken dish with a chipotle pepper sauce.

£15 to

£20

‘...enticing aromas...’ Alternatively, you can sample something a bit different, such as flame-cooked cactus or mole poblano – tender chicken cooked in a unique sauce of blended nuts, spices, chilli and chocolate. Each dish is made to order, allowing guests to request a spice level to suit their palate. The vegetarian options are all suitable for vegans, and many dishes also happen to be suitable for those with a dairy or gluten intolerance. Desserts are always tempting, including the divine lime cheesecake mousse which is an incredibly light dessert to finish with. The rich chocolate tart has a subtle hint of chilli, whilst the tequila and lime sorbet and churros are always firm favourites.

Open: Mon-Sat noon-10pm

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In addition to the varied selection of wine and bottled beer available, Mexican Kitchen boasts a choice of 30 different tequilas. The friendly team is always willing to help you choose from the various white, gold or flavoured options to ensure you’ve made the right choice. The salted caramel tequila is one of the most popular tipples. There is also a great range of tequila-based cocktails, including the classic Margarita and the adventurous Smoked Chilli Punch. This restaurant is often thriving, so booking in advance is recommended. The ambience is relaxed and informal, and the team is helpful and knowledgeable. This is the place to go for an authentic taste of Mexico.


Pincho’s Restaurant

Tapas

 Location 3a Baddow Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0BX t: 0844 502 1693 w: www.pinchosrestaurant.com e: info@pinchosrestaurant.com

Ch In the heart of Chelmsford, this wine bar and tapas restaurant offers a delicious range of authentic Spanish tapas dishes. An extensive wine and beer list gives diners the chance to accompany their meal with their favourite beverage. Chris * Jagger, who took over the business at the beginning of 2019, has introduced a £18 to number of exciting events including speed dating, Spanish classes, a sherry tasting £28 menu, and bottomless brunch at the weekends, with popular festive events held at Christmas and New Year. This friendly, atmospheric bar and restaurant is a must-visit destination for lunch and is a thriving spot for dinner. If you’d prefer to dine in the comfort of your own home, an excellent takeaway service is also available. We visited for a weekday dinner and, as recommended by the friendly team, we selected six tapas plates to share. Our first dish was champiñones con queso – a deliciously creamy mushroom dish, which was flavoured with garlic and topped with rich cheese. We also plumped for baked aubergine with goat’s cheese Food Served: and a mouth-watering plate of Mon noon-3pm; Tues-Thurs Galician-style octopus. A special noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; mention must go to the succulent Fri & Sat noon-3pm, wild boar cheeks, which were divine. 6pm-10.30pm; It was interesting to see the array of Sun noon-4.30pm dishes that our fellow diners chose, with plenty on the menu to keep everyone happy. Although our meal was filling, I couldn’t resist the churros con chocolate – an indulgent end to an excellent meal. *Price range represents the cost of three tapas and a drink.

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Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Tapas

Marco’s Tapas Bar  Location 30 Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, SS6 7JQ t: 0844 502 5609 w: www.marcosbar.co.uk e: info@marcosbar.co.uk

SR

Marco’s Tapas Bar is a remarkable venue set in the heart of Rayleigh with a vibrant restaurant, beautiful suntrap garden and buzzing wine bar. The family-run business has been established for over 16 years and has continued to go from strength to strength.

£18 to

£30

The team has received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the past seven years and has recently been awarded a Certificate in their Hall of Fame. There is a wide selection of flavoursome, authentic dishes on offer. From the wild black boar cheeks, butterfly king prawns sautéed with chilli, honey and garlic to a traditional paella cooked with arroz redondo A.T D.O Valencia, a high quality rice imported from Valencia. Many ingredients are sourced directly from Spain, such as the cured serrano ham, Manchego cheese, and chorizo sausage. As well as traditional imported meats the bar also offers a beautiful selection of hand-picked wine from Spain, hailing from regions such as Rioja, Muga and Rueda. Visit on a Friday or Saturday night and enjoy the sound of talented DJs and live singers. You could take a virtual tour of the restaurant by visiting their website or social media pages. The venue is also ideal for any celebration with buffet packages available to suit your needs. Be sure to visit their social media pages for the latest deals, events and promotions. Open: Mon 6.30pm-late; Tues-Fri noon-3pm, 6.30pm-late; Sat & Sun 6.30pm-late

Tapas

The Market House  Location 9 Market Place, Saffron Walden, CB10 1HQ t: 0844 625 6576 w: www.themarket-house.co.uk e: info@themarket-house.co.uk

SW

The medieval market town of Saffron Walden is one of Essex’s prettiest towns, and with such a wealth of historic buildings to admire it’s certainly worth a visit. While you’re there, you must seek out The Market House, an exceptional tapas restaurant that deserves to be top of every foodie’s hit list. A chic, sophisticated vibe and plenty of personal touches ensure that The Market House stands out as a first-rate venue. The restaurant operates an adults-only policy, so it’s ideal for a relaxing evening away from the kids, or a catch up with friends over a cocktail or two.

*

£16 to

£28

The kitchen team has crafted an unbeatable menu of small plates that’s packed with tempting offerings for all tastes and preferences. If it’s seafood you’re after, opt for breaded whitebait with tartare sauce, or king prawns cooked in chilli and garlic butter. Other irresistible plates include grilled halloumi accompanied by pesto-coated peppers and garlic-roasted courgettes with Parmesan shavings, Open: alongside lamb kofta skewers Tues-Thurs 10am-11pm; served with minted yoghurt, and Fri & Sat 10am-midnight; pork meatballs in tomato and sage Sun 10am-6pm sauce. The drinks offering is equally impressive, thanks to an exciting cocktail menu and expertly curated wine list featuring bottles from around the world, all of which can be enjoyed in the vibrant bar area. *Price range represents the cost of three small plates and a glass of wine. 34

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Latino’s

Spanish

 Location 205 London Road, Hadleigh, SS7 2RD t: 0844 502 1686 w: www.latinosrestaurant.co.uk e: info@latinosrestaurant.co.uk

SR

Established in September 2005, Latino’s regularly attracts diners from across Essex and Greater London. The team is driven by a desire to serve high-quality food and wine at reasonable prices. From the main menu, the baked four cheese starter served with rich tomato and herb sauce and sliced ciabatta is a delicious choice. If you fancy a filling main course, you can sample the likes of the espetada de pollo y chorizo: a popular dish comprising succulent chicken breast and chorizo flavoured with garlic butter and served on skewers. The chef’s speciality is paella, which is a firm favourite with regulars. The tapas menu is perfect for relaxed dining with friends. Why not share a selection of delicious small plates, such as king prawns cooked in homemade piri piri sauce, chorizo cooked in red wine, and the ever-popular patatas bravas. Latino’s also serves a range of pizzas and pastas, so there’s something for everyone here.

£19 to

£37

Open: Mon-Weds 6pm-11pm; Thurs-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sun 1pm-10pm

Crofters of Witham

Bar & Restaurant

 Location 25 Maldon Road, Witham, CM8 2AA t: 0844 625 1130 w: www.crofterswinebar.co.uk e: info@crofterswinebar.co.uk

Br

Crofters wine bar is one of the oldest independently owned and family-run restaurants in Witham, run by Croc and Emma Whitnell who have been welcoming people through the doors since 1981, gaining a top-notch reputation in the process. Located just off Witham’s bustling High Street, the uniquely decorated venue boasts the best parts of an old English wine bar and a French brasserie, with some of the finest food and drink that the area has to offer. The eclectic menu has been carefully considered, with a view to provide local produce and something for everyone. The smoked salmon and mussel penne pasta with a lemon and cream sauce and Parmesan is a stand-out option, and a selection of chef’s specials are available every day. The walls are adorned with an array of delicious wine to choose from. Regular evening entertainment makes Crofters a hot-spot for those seeking a fantastic evening out.

£15 to

£40

Open: Tues-Sat 11am-late; Sun noon-6pm

Waterfront

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Lower Marine Parade, Harwich, CO12 3ST t: 0844 625 6391 w: www.waterfrontharwich.co.uk e: events@waterfrontharwich.co.uk

CS

As its name suggests, this charming establishment is located right on the waterfront, so you can enjoy delicious cuisine with some of the finest sea views around. Inside, the interior is stylish, clean and contemporary, providing a comfortable setting in which to drink or dine. Whether you’re visiting for a drink with friends, a quick bite to eat or a full-blown family meal, you can be sure of a warm welcome from the friendly team. Those dining can enjoy starters such as deep-fried whitebait with tartare sauce, or perhaps a warming bowl of homemade soup. Follow with the fresh catch of the day served with chips and peas, or plump for comforting homemade lasagne accompanied by garlic bread and salad for a dish that’s sure to satisfy. If you’re looking for somewhere to hold a special event, be sure to check out Sally’s, the Waterfront’s magnificent events venue.

£18 to

£28

Open: Mon 10am-4pm; Tues-Sat 10am-11pm; Sun 11am-7pm Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Bar & Restaurant

The Cork House  Location 40 Lower Street, Stansted Mountfitchet, CM24 8LR t: 0844 625 6534 w: www.thecorkhouse.co.uk e: info@thecorkhouse.co.uk

SW

Housed in a stylish building in Stansted Mountfitchet, The Cork House is a superb wine bar and restaurant that has become a focal point for local foodies. Head upstairs to the bistro, where you’ll find beautifully presented food on a £20 to menu that’s constantly evolving. The lower level is dedicated to a sleek, attractive £30 bar that’s the perfect place to unwind. If you’re visiting for a few tipples in the bar, you can also order from the bar menu to get a taste of what the bistro offers. We recommend booking a table upstairs though, to really make the most of this foodie favourite. Start with black pudding Scotch egg with homemade piccalilli, or perhaps share an antipasti board of meat and olives with balsamic and homemade bread. Main courses are varied, with something for everyone Open: in your dining party. The halloumi burger with sweet potato fries is always popular, Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; as is the chicken supreme with chorizo and fennel, and the gnocchi served with Fri & Sat noon-midnight; ragu of mushrooms, chorizo and peas. Seafood-lovers are sure to enjoy the smoked Sun noon-6pm haddock bubble and squeak, while vegetarians can warm up with a delicious veggie curry. If the hearty portions have left you with little room for something sweet, round things off with a mini dessert alongside a coffee or tea. Choose from sticky toffee pudding with brandy snap and custard, chocolate and tiramisu or strawberry Pavlova. The Sunday lunch menu is equally delicious, with a sumptuous selection of meats including pork belly and crackling, served with seasonal veg, roasties and a Yorkshire pudding. Bar & Restaurant

The Bakers Arms  Location Common Road, Stock, CM4 9NF t: 0844 502 4453 w: www.bakersarms.co.uk e: jane@bakersarms.co.uk

Ch

This traditional free house in the quaint village of Stock is truly welcoming, whether you want the full works or just a drink and snack at the bar. A family-run business for 26 years, with a fantastic team of staff, The Bakers Arms offers freshly cooked food and a wide range of lager, real ale and fine wine in a cosy, friendly atmosphere.

£25 to

£30

‘...a delightful gastronomic experience...’

Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Fri & Sat noon-9.30pm; Sun noon-9pm

The pub is sympathetic to its traditional character. The light, airy restaurant is a charming place in which to dine, and you’re always guaranteed a warm welcome. Everything on the menu is homemade and cooked to order and you’ll only find the finest local ingredients on your plate. All year round you’ll find traditional pub favourites, including steak and ale pie, home-baked ham, egg and chips, and beer-battered cod. For those who fancy straying from classic pub fare, a full à la carte menu is available, which can only be described as a delightful gastronomic experience.

Throughout the summer, you can relax in either the beer garden or on the sunlit patio. There is also a private garden for al fresco dining, which can be hired along with the restaurant for private functions. The Bakers Arms is definitely worth a visit. 36

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Swallowtail Restaurant & Bar

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Foundry Lane, Burnham-on-Crouch, CM0 8BL t: 0844 625 6529 w: www.swallowtailrestaurant.co.uk e: swallowtail@burnhamyachtharbour.co.uk

Ma

Sitting on the River Crouch within Burnham Yacht Harbour you’ll find Swallowtail Restaurant & Bar, a beautiful restaurant boasting great food, real ale, and quality beer and wine, all with a backdrop of spectacular views. Located on one of Burnham’s picturesque coastal walk routes with plenty of wildlife to discover, this delightful restaurant is the ideal pit-stop for those looking for a mid-ramble treat.

£15 to

£20

Upon arrival you’ll be delighted by the open and airy dining room, which can hold up to 100 diners. Cream walls, light oak tables and floor-to-ceiling windows perfectly framing the beautiful harbourside combine to create a relaxing atmosphere. Once seated, take your time to peruse the menu – with so many delicious dishes on offer, you’ll find it hard to choose just one. While you’re waiting for your meal to arrive why not order a selection of nibbles for the table? Marinated Mediterranean olives, Italian garlic ciabatta and sausages cooked in honey and mustard are perfect for sharing. Highly recommended starters include plump and juicy prawns cooked over charcoal served with sweet chilli sauce. The homemade smoked mackerel pâté is equally satisfying; smooth and flavoursome, it’s an absolute delight. Moules marinières, sticky barbecue ribs and pan-roasted cod loin cooked with mussels and chorizo are just a few examples of main meals that are sure to delight. For an authentic taste of Spain, plump for the Swallowtail’s take on paella. Made with your choice of seafood, chicken or an assortment of vegetables, you’re guaranteed to be impressed. To round off your meal, indulge in one of the decadent desserts. The lemon posset with a shortbread biscuit is a welcome palate-cleanser after a two-course meal, while the sticky toffee pudding with custard is a tried-and-tested favourite. What’s more, Swallowtail also holds regular events including 80s evenings and blues nights, where you’re invited to dance the night away with a tipple of your choice. With all-inclusive wedding packages and the option to hire the restaurant, which seats 100 people, for functions, it’s no surprise that Swallowtail is such a popular destination for any occasion.

Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat 8am-10.30am, noon-9pm; Sun 8am-10.30am, noon-6pm

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Restaurant Bar & Restaurant CS £20 to

£25

Open: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat & Sun noon-11pm Food Served: Mon-Fri 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat & Sun noon-9pm

Samuel Pepys Wine Bar & Restaurant

Category  Location 31 Church Street, Harwich, CO12 3EA t: 0844 502 6549 w: www.samuelpepysharwich.co.uk e: info@samuelpepysharwich.co.uk The historic figure Samuel Pepys would certainly have appreciated this 16th-century hostelry, situated in the old part of Harwich close to the harbour. This charming inn remains a convivial establishment where diners can satisfy a love of good food and great wine. The restaurant boasts a fine wine list and a comprehensive menu, which includes fresh seafood sourced daily from local fishermen. The main menu features delicious dishes made with expertly prepared top-notch ingredients. There are vegetarian options and a children’s menu, as well as a tempting specials board. I chose the smoked fish platter – comprising trout, salmon, mackerel, pâté, plump prawns and a warm baguette – to start. My partner chose the soup of the day, a seasonal combination of leek and potato. I was delighted with my main course of succulent lamb shank served on a bed of bubble and squeak, and my partner was equally pleased with a fish pie generously filled with salmon, white fish and prawns.

After such a satisfying meal, we were unable to resist the tempting desserts, and plumped for a refreshing trio of ice cream and a trio of sorbets. On a Thursday evening, the atmosphere was infectious, encouraging us to relax and stay a little longer to soak up the warm ambience. Bar & Restaurant

Ocean Beach  Location Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2YG t: 0844 625 1121 w: www.ocean-beach.co.uk e: info@ocean-beach.co.uk

SR

Located right on the beautiful beach at Thorpe Bay you’ll find Ocean Beach, a charming bar and restaurant serving top-notch food and drink. The relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere makes this the perfect spot for the whole brood, £16 to while the excellent children’s menu ensures that little ones are just as well £35 catered for as the adults. Ocean Beach’s enviable seaside location means that the menu boasts a range of tempting seafood options. Those dining can expect starters such as coconut tiger prawns, and smoked haddock croquettes alongside sumptuous meat dishes like Provençal meatballs, and vegetarian options including patatas bravas. Delicious main courses include sirloin steak, breaded langoustine scampi, and prawn and smoked salmon tagliatelle, as well as a range of burgers and tasty salads. If you’ve got room for dessert, the lemon Open: Mon noon-11pm; cheesecake and classic tiramisu come highly recommended. Ocean Beach Tues-Sat 9am-11pm; also serves breakfast, so why not Sun 9am-9pm pop down in the morning and set yourself up for the day? Popular options include eggs Benedict and the generous Ocean Beach big breakfast. A magnificent spot for a special occasion, the restaurant can also cater for private functions like weddings, bar mitzvahs, christenings and birthdays. If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere and fantastic food all served up in an incredible location, you won’t find better than Ocean Beach. 38

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Down Hall Hotel & Spa

Bar & Restaurant

 Location Matching Road, Hatfield Heath, CM22 7AS t: 0844 625 6646 w: www.downhall.co.uk Relax and unwind in the beautiful surroundings of the one of the UK’s most established country house hotels. The Down Hall estate was established in 1322 and now serves as a luxury country house hotel and spa, boasting landscaped gardens, a tranquil spa, and a variety of excellent dining options.

SW £21 to

£42

Upon entering the hotel, take a moment to take in the character of the place and admire the ornately decorated ceilings, the crystal chandeliers and the careful balance of old and new which permeates the decor. If you’re visiting during summer, be sure to pre-order one of the chef’s gourmet picnic hampers. Available from May until September, these baskets are packed with your choice of classic British treats. The hotel’s terrace also provides a great place to drink and dine during the summertime. Bring a group of friends and chill out at the outdoor bar, where there’s a selection of beer, wine, Champagne and cocktails available, as well as over 25 gins. In recent years, Down Hall has developed a great reputation for its afternoon teas. After taking a seat in Ibbetson’s tea lounge, you’ll be served a selection of freshly prepared sandwiches, scones and cakes alongside your chosen tea, with flavours ranging from Earl Grey to apple cinnamon. The crowning jewel of Down Hall is The Grill Room. Decorated with Italian wood flooring, vintage light fixtures and dark wood tables, this restaurant retains the charm of the 14th-century manor while offering a relaxed dining experience. The menu is inspired by traditional British cuisine and crafted with the finest local ingredients, many of which come from the hotel’s own vegetable garden. Begin by perusing the starters: the roasted white onion soup is packed with flavour, while the heritage tomato salad – served with olives, apple and blood orange – is wonderfully refreshing. For your main, select a dish from the grill; perhaps a juicy sirloin or a succulent marinated lamb steak. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something different, why not try the guinea fowl, or the vegetarian Parmesan gnocchi? Finally, end the evening with a sumptuous dessert – the tonka bean panna cotta is especially popular – or one of the restaurant’s mouth-watering cheeseboards.

Food Served: Mon-Sun 12.30pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm

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Bar & Restaurant

The Flitch House  Location 39 High Street, Great Dunmow, CM6 1AE t: 0844 625 6596 w: www.theflitchhouse.co.uk e: info@theflitchhouse.co.uk

SW

Located on the buzzing High Street of Dunmow, The Flitch House combines a classy late-night bar with an impressive tapas offering for the ultimate social hub. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed lunch in the sunny terraced garden, a * £14 catch up with friends over delicious food and drinks in the afternoon, or a night to of great cocktails and entertainment, The Flitch House does not disappoint. £18 The interior boasts plenty of stylish seating, including cosy booths for groups, against the backdrop of exposed brick and heavy wooden beams for a rustic Open: vibe. If you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, you’re sure to be blown away by Mon-Thurs noon-11pm; the range of tapas and sharing boards on offer, all made fresh to order by Fri & Sat noon-1am; the talented kitchen team. Helpfully divided into meat, fish and veggie tapas Sun noon-6pm and sharing boards, the menu boasts moreish delights such as chorizo braised in red wine and onion chutney with harissa yoghurt, smoky barbecue ribs, Food Served: pan-fried chilli and lime squid and garlic-buttered mushrooms on toasted Tues-Thurs noon-3pm, bloomer. On Sundays the team also 6pm-9pm; serves a delicious roast. By night, Fri & Sat noon-9pm; the venue transforms into a sleek Sun noon-4pm cocktail bar, offering late-night entertainment in the form of live music and DJs on select Fridays and Saturdays. Plenty of offers and events make The Flitch House a local favourite – keep an eye on the website for details. *Price range represents the cost of two tapas dishes and a glass of wine. Bar & Restaurant

San Fairie Ann

 Location 43 Alexandra Street, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1BW t: 0844 502 2087 w: www.sanfairieannrestaurant.co.uk e: events@sanfairieannrestaurant.co.uk Described by The Telegraph as the pearl of Essex when its Sunday lunch was voted the best in Southend, San Fairie Ann offers guests an experience like no other, in a wonderful shabby-chic dining emporium. This quirky family-friendly venue * £19 serves hugely popular afternoon teas, with fresh pastries laid out on the piano – the warm decor is made truly memorable thanks to the old-fashioned furniture and oddities that this eatery is known for. If you’re saving the afternoon tea for a special occasion, there’s still plenty to choose from. The hot smoked salmon starter comes highly recommended, served on rye croute with lemon and dill gel and pickled cucumber. For the main course, you might plump for the cannon of lamb served with walnut pesto, Béarnaise Food Served: potato, fine beans and Port jus – a real treat. Desserts change daily but might Mon-Thurs 9am-3pm, include the likes of grapefruit and rose curd tart. Or perhaps you’ll round things 6pm-9pm; off with a liqueur coffee? The menus change seasonally, including the cocktail Fri & Sat 10am-9.30pm; list, which boasts everything from Sun 10am-5pm festive treats in December to fresh flavours in spring. For an exclusive experience of this lively venue, you’ll find a private function room that seats 20 and includes a bar, lounge and event facilities with no hire charge. With frequent live music and a two-course set menu for just £18.90, it’s easy to see why San Fairie Ann has so many regulars. *Price represents the cost of two courses from the set menu from Monday to Thursday. SR

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The Artcafé

Café

 Location 2 Coast Road, West Mersea, Nr. Colchester, CO5 8QE t: 0844 502 1702 w: www.islandartcafe.co.uk

Co Chef Maggie, artist James and their daughter Jenny make up the family team behind The Artcafé in West Mersea. Now in its 16th year, the friendly café was borne out of their love for real, homemade food and the aim to create a £13 place for customers to grab a coffee and relax surrounded by local original and to £29 inspiring artwork. The Artcafé aims to buy local and free-range where possible and the sustainable ethos carries through to the use of seasonal ingredients. The menu offers a variety of freshly made fare, from light meals including eggs ‘Mehalah’ and Mersea rarebit, to the substantial main courses like the smoked haddock fillet with herb Hollandaise on cannellini bean casserole with seasonal vegetables. Vegetarian diners will love the sweet potato, spinach and lentil dahl. Locally renowned for homemade cakes, offerings include a unique sticky orange cake and an incredibly light Victoria sponge. For a true taste of nostalgia, try the homemade treacle tart with vanilla custard. Aside from the friendly hospitality and relaxed atmosphere, it’s the Open: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm breakfast menu that has really made a name for the café. Served between 9am and 11am, breakfast plates range from a hearty full English with crispy homemade bubble and squeak, drop scones with crispy bacon and maple syrup, porridge, and croissants with Tiptree jam. What better way to start your day?

Gluttons

Café  Location 13a King Street, Saffron Walden, CB10 1HE t: 0844 502 1671 A well-known and long-standing feature in Saffron Walden, Gluttons has been SW serving homemade delicacies to regulars and visitors for years. With a bright and inviting interior, this upmarket café provides a calm and welcoming space where you can meet with friends and enjoy a rest from the bustling market town outside. * £8 From breakfast and lunch to homemade cakes and afternoon tea, Gluttons will keep to you going throughout the day. Whether you want a full English, eggs Benedict or £15 a sweet treat of blueberry pancakes served with fresh berries and bananas, this is the perfect place to find fuel for a busy working day or to relax on a Saturday morning. Throughout the week, grab lunch on the go or pop in to try the tempting range of toasties, sourdough sandwiches, quiches and salads. Packed with flavour, the specials board changes every day to provide a constant selection of fresh seasonal delights. With heartier mains such as moules marinières and crayfish, prawn and chorizo jambalaya on offer, return visits are a must. The menu changes regularly, so there’s always something new to try. Open: Mon-Sat 7.30am-5pm Nothing is too much trouble for the friendly staff and visitors are looked after from start to finish, ensuring every visit is as enjoyable as the last. Renowned for moreish homemade desserts, Gluttons invites you to pop in and sample highlights such as lemon meringue cake or upside-down honey, salted caramel and almond cheesecake. Indulge in a hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows or choose from the extensive range of tea and coffee. Alcoholic tipples are also available – perfect for a lazy lunch. *Price range represents the cost of a meal and a drink. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Mersea Barns

Café

 Location East Road, East Mersea, CO5 8TQ t: 0844 502 1843 w: www.merseabarns.com e: info@merseabarns.com

Co

Serving a range of options from sandwiches to Sunday lunch, Mersea Barns café and restaurant is perfect for a meal out or a catch up with friends over tea and cake. The chefs pride themselves on using the freshest ingredients and strive to source their food from local suppliers where possible. Everything is made from scratch each day, from the Hollandaise sauce to triple-cooked chips and baked ham. There are several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu, and the chefs are happy to adapt dishes where possible. The menus change seasonally to make the most of fresh local products, which are showcased in the daily specials.

*

£10 to

£15

Highlights of the lunch menu include the likes of slow-roasted pork belly with braised red cabbage, a delicious bubble and squeak cake and rich red wine sauce. With a large playing field and a children’s play area located in the café garden, Mersea Barns is popular with families. Dogs are also welcome in the large outside Open: Mon-Sun 8am-6pm seating area, which is ideal if you’ve (hours vary seasonally, please been exploring Cudmore Grove and see website for details) the beautiful surrounding area. There are also plenty of bicycle racks. The outdoor space is great to relax in, especially during the warm summer months. This café sells local produce in the shop and also stocks beautiful homeware items and locally crafted gifts. Why not treat yourself to a handmade pie to enjoy in the comfort of your own home? *Price range represents the cost of lunch and a drink. Tearoom

Category Orchard Kitchen at Marks Hall Estate  Location Coggeshall, CO6 1TG t: 0844 502 1842 w: www.markshall.org.uk e: enquiries@markshall.org.uk

Br

Marks Hall Estate is a beautiful 2200-acre heritage landscape with a 200-acre arboretum at its heart, in the north Essex countryside. The arboretum features impressive trees and stunning lakeside gardens. Visitors can enjoy walks around * £8 the lakes and along the leafy paths through ancient woodland. The arboretum and to gardens have been designed to reveal new vistas and colours each time you visit. £12 The estate has a long and varied history from Norman times to WWII. Several heritage buildings still exist, including the well-presented Essex Barns – which house the ever-popular Orchard Kitchen and gift shop – and the Coach House events venue. With a range of delicious homemade food and freshly baked cakes on offer, the Orchard Kitchen is the perfect spot in which to relax while exploring the estate. Breakfast is served from 10am, and lunch from midday until 2.30pm. You’ll find daily specials, homemade soups, freshly made Open: sandwiches, jacket potatoes and a selection of children’s meals. You can pick up Mon-Sun 10am-4.45pm something tasty and recharge with Food Served: a selection of drinks throughout Mon-Sun 10am-2.30pm the day, or book an afternoon tea for the perfect family day out. This restaurant happily caters for those with dietary requirements. Christmas lunches at the Orchard Kitchen are always popular, so be sure to book in advance. The Coach House is a first-class award-winning country wedding venue, available year-round for all kinds of events, from parties to corporate launches. *Price range represents the cost of a meal and a drink. 42

Essex Guide 2019-2020


Beaumont Coffee Club

Café

 Location 61-71 Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6EB t: 0844 502 1704 w: www.beaumontcoffeeclub.co.uk

SR

The perfect destination for the ultimate coffee lover, Beaumont Coffee Club’s beans are locally roasted, freshly ground and served in a warm and friendly environment. The menu consists of light and healthy breakfasts, smoothies, sandwiches, milkshakes and a large selection of homemade cakes and pastries. All of the ingredients are sourced locally and you’ll find vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes alongside a regularly changing specials board. Those with a sweet-tooth can make their hot chocolate experience more indulgent with whipped cream and marshmallows or indulge in a chocolate milkshake or fruit smoothie. Special live music evenings offer the chance to feast on the Beaumont burger or homemade pizzas, paired with something a little stronger from the substantial wine list or range of bottled beer and cider.

£16 to

£25

Open: Mon-Sun 7am-7pm

Fox & Hounds

Traditional

 Location Birchwood Road, Cock Clarks, CM3 6RF t: 0844 502 1690 The Fox & Hounds is a pretty pub that oozes traditional character. It’s a cosy retreat in winter with log fires and warming comfort food, while the expansive beer garden provides a great place to bask in the summer sun with a pint in hand. A simple food offering satisfies locals and visitors alike with traditional favourites such as local sausage and mash with market-fresh veg, and beef lasagne with chips and salad. Steaks and burgers are always popular and there’s a great selection of tasty seafood dishes, while vegetarian and vegan diners will be delighted by the selection of plant-based dishes on offer. If you’re stopping by for a light lunch, you can choose from a range of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, a delicious lamb doner kebab or a cooked all-day breakfast. There’s also an excellent-value lunchtime set menu available from Monday to Friday, which offers two courses for just £10 and three for £12. For more information, check out Fox & Hounds Birchwood on Facebook.

Ma £16 to

£22

Open: Mon-Sun 10am-midnight

Alma Arms

Traditional

 Location Brentwood, CM14 5ST t: 0844 502 1596 w: www.almaarms.com A traditional pub that serves homemade, freshly prepared meals and light bites to regulars, hikers, bikers and passersby, Alma Arms is a no-nonsense establishment. The pub has been in owner Jane Speight’s family since 1970, and has become renowned for its famous homemade steak pie. They sell around 60 portions of this shortcrust pastry delight every day. Other popular menu classics include beer-battered cod, lamb Madras curry and homemade quiches. A vegetarian and vegan menu is also available, and breakfast is served from 11am. On Sunday, the pub offers a choice of three roasts alongside the usual menu. There’s a daily specials board, and a two-course senior citizen deal for £10.25, which includes a choice of homemade desserts. With the bar staying open after service for late diners, this really is a relaxing place to eat – no wonder Alma Arms is so popular.

BB £14 to

£19

Open: Mon-Weds 11am-3.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm; Thurs & Fri 11am-3.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm; Sat 11am-3.30pm, 5pm-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Mon-Sat 11am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-8.30pm; Sun noon-7pm Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Traditional

The Cricketers Arms  Location Penny Royal Road, Danbury, CM3 4ED t: 0844 625 6570 w: www.cricketersarmsdanbury.com e: thecricks2018@hotmail.com

Ch

Occupying a picturesque spot overlooking Danbury Common’s heathland, The Cricketers Arms is a welcoming shelter for all. It’s the perfect spot for a drink and bite to eat before a ramble or cycle across the common, and the pub is both £18 to family- and dog-friendly so you can bring the whole brood. The Cricketers is £26 known for its warm convivial atmosphere; you’re guaranteed to be welcomed with a smile by the friendly staff. The interior strikes the perfect balance between traditional style and modern comfort – think cosy log burner and original beams combined with comfy leather seating and fresh new decor. Between Tuesday and Sunday, guests can enjoy a fantastic menu of homemade British dishes. Tempting starters include dusted whitebait served with lemon mayonnaise and dressed salad, and a warming bowl of homemade soup of the Open: Mon 4pm-9pm; day with French stick and butter. If you fancy going all out, try the Cricketer’s Tues-Sat noon-11pm; homemade salmon, horseradish and dill pâté with slices of granary toast. Follow Sun noon-6pm with sea bass fillets accompanied by crushed new potatoes and tenderstem broccoli in lemon vinaigrette, or the sumptuous spiced butternut squash, chickpea and coconut curry with rice, poppadoms and mango chutney. On Sundays the team serves up a delicious traditional roast with all the trimmings. Landlady Zoe took over the pub in 2018, and has worked hard to make The Cricketers a welcoming destination for families as well as couples and friends. With its friendly atmosphere and stellar food and drink offering, it’s no surprise the venue is so popular with all who visit. Traditional

Bretts Country Restaurant  Location Bretts Farm Market, Chelmsford Road, White Roding, CM6 1RF t: 0844 502 1691 w: www.brettscountryrestaurant.co.uk e: john@brettscountryrestaurant.co.uk

SW

Just a short drive from the city of Chelmsford, Bretts Country Restaurant is open seven days a week, offering delicious food throughout the day. This family-run restaurant offers a wide range of reasonably priced food, serving popular crowd-pleasing options throughout the day. We visited for Sunday lunch and the dining room was buzzing with chattering guests. I opted for the soup of the day, which was a flavoursome broccoli and Stilton special. I couldn’t resist following with the roast pork with all the trimmings – head chef John certainly doesn’t skimp on portions. My main course was excellent, yet I still found room for traditional Spotted Dick and custard.

£19 to

£25

‘...friendly front-of-house staff...’

If you want to try something different, there’s plenty of Open: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm choice; my dining partner had the slow-roasted lamb shank, which was served with lashings of mint gravy, creamy mash and seasonal vegetables, and was simply divine. For an extra-special night out, this restaurant hosts regular entertainment events, which include a four-course meal. You can find a schedule on Bretts’ website. John, Staci and their friendly front-of-house staff make you feel welcome and well catered for, so it’s no surprise this is a popular destination all year round. 44

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The Waggon & Horses

Traditional

 Location High Street, Great Yeldham, CO9 4EX t: 0844 625 1109 e: worrow85@gmail.com

Br

The Waggon & Horses is a traditional Essex pub with bed and breakfast accommodation, just a few miles from Hedingham Castle. Family-run and family-friendly, it offers hearty, affordable meals and a warm welcome. With a lounge bar, restaurant area, private function room and al fresco gardens, there are plenty of places in which to kick back, drink or dine. Guests find The Waggon & Horses spacious and easy-going, while locals love the selection of real ale, beer and wine – I couldn’t help but notice the North West Essex CAMRA award for Cider Pub of the Year 2019 on display. At the heart of the venue is a menu of great quality dishes that represent excellent value. My dining partner and I started with battered king prawns and breaded garlic mushrooms, followed by two of the specials: lamb hotpot with fresh vegetables, and seafood linguine with garlic bread. Every dish was beautifully presented and absolutely delicious – the seafood linguine was a real highlight. Generous servings of toffee waffle and rum pudding and Irish cream gateau rounded off our meal perfectly.

£15 to

£20

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-10.30pm

Music is another big part of the pub’s draw, hosting regular events from live acts to karaoke, and everything in between. With its lunch, dinner and party menus, The Waggon & Horses can easily cater for celebrations of any kind, taking the stress out of planning.

The Ship

Traditional

 Location Stock Road, West Hanningfield, CM2 8LB t: 0844 502 1824 w: www.shipwesthanningfield.co.uk

Ch Located in the village of West Hanningfield and perched on the edge of the Hanningfield Reservoir, The Ship is a charming community pub with a host of attractions. Housed in a Grade II listed building that’s been a pub since the 15th £16 century, The Ship presents an attractive sight to passersby with its pink exterior, to £28 sash windows and pub garden at the front. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The interior seamlessly blends traditional features with all the trappings of modern comfort – think original oak beams and cosy wood burners combined with comfy leather tub chairs and chic tartan upholstery. Both family- and dog-friendly, this lovely country pub is the perfect spot in which to while away the hours with loved ones. As you’d expect from a traditional local pub, there’s a great selection of real ale, craft lager, cider, and wine, as well as a carefully selected gin collection. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, the tempting menu is sure to impress, with a Food Served: Tues-Sat range of hearty favourites including noon-3pm, 5pm-8pm; vegan options. Start with the prawn Sun noon-5.30pm and crab platter or perhaps the fried halloumi with sweet chilli dip, before moving on to one of the sumptuous mains. The vegetarian hot pot is a flavoursome and comforting dish, and there’s a great choice of dishes from the grill, including Cajun-spiced chicken breast with chips, slaw and corn on the cob. On Sundays you won’t want to miss out on the famous roast, and seniors receive ten per cent off their bill at lunchtime on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Traditional

The Angel Inn  Location Parsons Corner, Shoeburyness, SS3 8UD t: 0844 625 6587 w: www.angelinnpub.co.uk e: info@angelinnpub.co.uk The charm of this authentic dog-friendly country inn is apparent from the moment you step inside. This historic listed timber-framed structure dates from circa 1650 and was formerly the Shoebury Post Office and Blacksmiths Shop along with the adjoining thatched Wheelwrights. Flagstone floors and oak beams create a traditional English feel and friendly ambience. Cosy up next to the roaring fire in winter or make the most of the outside seating area, which is perfect for a refreshing tipple in summer. This traditional pub delivers all year round, without loud music or televisions blaring.

SR £18 to

£35

Those dining can expect seasonally inspired menus that cater for all dietary requirements, including several vegan and gluten-free options. The restaurant menu features tempting options such as corn-fed chicken breasts with Dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal vegetables and wild mushroom and pesto cream sauce, alongside Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; mouth-watering salmon and seafood en papillote with prawns, mussels, clams, Sun noon-10.30pm white wine, fennel and dill. Visit on a weekday to sample the fantastic lunchtime set menu, with two courses priced at just £12 and three for £15. The bar menu features classic dishes such as battered cod and chips, Cumberland sausage and mash, and homemade lasagne. No matter what you choose, expect it to be made to order using fresh, local ingredients. The Angel Inn also presents a popular pie and pint night every Tuesday evening. The team also makes the restaurant available for private hire, with set menus and buffets designed to cater to your needs and make your event memorable. Traditional

The Victory  Location The Green, Wickham St Paul, Nr. Halstead, CO9 2PT t: 0844 625 0654 w: www.thevictoryinn.com e: info@thevictoryinn.com

Br

In the idyllic village of Wickham St Paul, patrons of The Victory can expect a warm welcome from Kevin and his team. Dating back to the 1700s, this quaint village pub and restaurant boasts a great selection of real ale and locally sourced food. In summer, visitors can enjoy cricket on the green with a pint, while in winter the roaring log fire creates the perfect cosy atmosphere. There’s also outside seating for up to 80 people, and room for 55 inside the pub – if you’re arranging an event or celebration, look no further than The Victory.

£16 to

£18

‘...one of the real gems of the Essex countryside...’ With locally renowned head chef Paul Drury providing quality homemade meals such as roast rump of lamb with bubble and squeak, celeriac purée and mint and Open: Mon-Sat noon-late; redcurrant jus, and sea bass fillets with asparagus and fondant potato, you’re Sun noon-10pm sure of a superb supper. For walkers exploring the surrounding countryside, Food Served: Mon-Sat The Victory shines like a beacon, noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; offering top-notch food and a casual Sun noon-4pm ambience that’s sure to help you relax as you refuel. Perhaps you’ll plump for griddled Cajun chicken served with focaccia and guacamole, or the delectable wild mushroom and rocket omelette, accompanied by hand-cut chips, saffron mayo and salad. However sizeable your appetite, you’ll find something to satisfy at this much-loved establishment. The Victory is one of the real gems of the Essex countryside. 46

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The Top Oak

Traditional

 Location Oak Hill Road, Stapleford Abbotts, Nr. Romford, RM4 1JL t: 0844 502 1822 w: www.thetopoak.co.uk e: enquiries@thetopoak.co.uk

HE

Set in the heart of Stapleford Abbotts, The Top Oak is a charming country pub and restaurant. The stylish, contemporary bar area offers a delicious all day menu, whilst the main restaurant area offers an à la carte dining experience. Using fresh ingredients sourced from local farms and suppliers, the chefs create dishes that showcase the finest produce from the area. Fish is sourced from the Suffolk-Norfolk borders on a daily basis, and every dish is made in-house. The main menu includes the likes of chicken liver parfait to start, served with mouth-watering house chutney and toast. For mains, the succulent steak with creamy peppercorn sauce is a delicious choice.

£22 to

£40

‘...a fantastic venue for weddings and private events...’ For vegetarians, the wild mushroom, spinach and olive risotto is a perfect alternative, which comes topped with Parmesan shavings and toasted nuts. Follow this with a honeycomb cheesecake for dessert or the berry Pavlova, which comes highly recommended if you’re looking for a wonderfully light dish to round off your meal. The Top Oak also offers an exceptional range of vegan dishes, which are always popular. The bar menu features a range of equally tempting dishes, including a starter of salt and pepper squid with sweet chilli sauce. Other highlights include the likes of lamb chops served with creamy mash, fresh green beans, and thyme-infused jus. For a memorable dining experience, the afternoon tea is a delightful treat to share with friends. You can enjoy a variety of fresh sandwiches, homemade scones with rich clotted cream and strawberry jam, and a selection of cakes, all accompanied by a pot of tea or coffee. Alternatively, why not treat your family to a spot of brunch? With enticing options that include a hearty full English and the popular eggs Benedict, there’s plenty to tempt you. The Top Oak also boasts a stunning al fresco dining terrace and patio area, making it the perfect spot in which to enjoy a refreshing beverage in the summer months. Regular live music and tribute events make this a popular haunt come evening. The restaurant also boasts seating for 60 guests, providing a fantastic venue for weddings and private events.

Bar Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm; Sun noon-10pm Restaurant Open: Weds-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-6pm

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Traditional

The Wick Lodge Bar & Restaurant  Location 145 Jaywick Lane, Clacton-on-Sea, CO16 8BG t: 0844 625 6638

CS

You’ll find The Wick Lodge Bar & Restaurant just a stone’s throw from the coast, in the bustling seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea. An enviable location makes this a popular destination with visitors, while its friendly atmosphere has earned The Wick Lodge Bar & Restaurant a loyal following of regular locals. Indeed, the pub has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in recognition of its consistently good reviews.

£15 to

£25

After being taken over by new management, The Wick Lodge Bar & Restaurant was treated to a thorough refurbishment. This renovation brought the pub into the 21st century, giving it a fresh feel while maintaining the character of a traditional British pub. Since its takeover, the pub has also gained a reputation for great service and attentive staff – visitors are guaranteed a warm welcome and the pub is very family-friendly. As well as choosing from seating inside, guests can also dine and drink al fresco, affording a chance to soak up the summer sun and the beauty of the rural surrounds. The Wick Lodge Bar & Restaurant also provides a great spot for meeting friends, watching some football or simply chatting over drinks. The bar is well stocked, offering a variety of wine, ale, beer and spirits as well as delicious snacks – including a chunky fish finger sandwich – to accompany them. In terms of food, the pub serves meals all day until late, making it easy to fit a visit into your schedule. Whether you’re stopping by for lunch, dinner or something in between, you can enjoy a selection of pub classics, ranging from lamb shank and pie of the day to burgers and daily specials. Sunday roasts are a fixture here too, and you can opt for one, two or three courses, with the main event showcasing your chosen meat served with a range of freshly cooked vegetables and trimmings.

Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

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If you’re looking for somewhere to host a private event or celebration, be sure to contact the staff. The restaurant is also a registered and licensed wedding venue, and if you decide to hold your special day here, you will have full access to the private dining room, bar, conservatory, garden and function suite, which can be decorated however you please. What’s more, The Wick Lodge Bar & Restaurant also holds regular live music nights so you can dance the night away, with your favourite tipple in hand.


The Haystack

Traditional

 Location 96 Furtherwick Road, Canvey Island, SS8 7AJ t: 0844 502 4435 w: www.thehaystack.co.uk

SR

The Haystack is a family-friendly pub in the heart of Canvey Island’s town centre. Promising great food, excellent value for money and so much more, this pub appeals to a wide range of drinkers and diners.

£12

‘...great food, excellent value for money and so much more...’

to

£14

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, the pub classics, authentic East End pie and mash and ultimate burgers (served from noon until 4pm every day) are guaranteed to please, as is the easy-going atmosphere. Other popular dishes include the delicious hunters chicken and Whitby scampi and chips, served with fresh garden peas and tartare sauce. As you might expect, the bar is well stocked with plenty of draught beer, wine, Open: Sun-Weds noon-11pm; spirits and soft drinks for your enjoyment. There is always something going Thurs noon-midnight; on here, whether it’s karaoke on Fri noon-2am; a Thursday or live entertainment Sat noon-midnight on a Saturday. As for sports fans, they can sit back and enjoy live sport on the big screens – the excited crowds only to add the atmosphere of this lively, sociable establishment. If you decide to stay out later, the pub is open until 2.30am every Friday and Saturday for club nights. The Haystack will also happily cater for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. For details on upcoming events, visit the website.

The White Hart

Traditional

 Location Bridge Road, Moreton, CM5 0LF t: 0844 502 1837 w: www.thewhitehartmoreton.co.uk e: info@thewhitehartmoreton.co.uk

HE

Winner of Essex Life Pub of the Year in 2018 and 2019, The White Hart – based in the heart of Moreton – is a thriving pub that dates back to 1640. The White Hart has a loyal client base, with regulars returning time and again to enjoy delicious food and excellent service.

£17 to

To start, you might opt for the likes of smoked ham hock and chicken terrine, which is accompanied by crispy chicken crackling, poached apple, sour apple gel and garlic brioche croutes. The seared pigeon breast starter is an equally tempting choice and is finished with a rich dark chocolate sauce. For the main course, plump for the succulent venison burger, which is topped with Red Leicester, smoked bacon, sweet red onion jam and roasted garlic mayo. For dessert, regular diners are always tempted by the iced lemon parfait, which is popular during the summer thanks to its light, refreshing lime curd and lemon Open: sherbet accompaniment. In colder Tues-Thurs noon-11pm; months you can’t go wrong with Fri & Sat noon-midnight; the classic sticky toffee pudding, Sun noon-10.30pm topped with boozy butterscotch and salted caramel ice cream. Alternatively, round off your meal with a glass of Port. The White Hart hosts a range of popular music nights, quiz nights, and sport events. With a popular afternoon tea available, there’s plenty to enjoy at this relaxing, family-friendly pub, which also welcomes four-legged friends. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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£27


Traditional

The Prince of Wales  Location 2 Prince of Wales Road, Great Totham, Maldon, CM9 8PX t: 0844 502 1830 w: www.princeofwalesgreattotham.com

Ma

Offering a warm and relaxed atmosphere and furnished with memorabilia from over the years, The Prince of Wales enchants both drinkers and diners with roaring log fires in the winter and a peaceful garden retreat in the summer.

£12 to

£19

Open: Mon 4pm-9pm; Tues-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri noon-midnight; Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-9pm Food Served: Tues-Sun noon-2.30pm, 6pm-8.30pm

The food offering boasts a range of pub classics and curries, including the light and crispy battered fish and chips, and there’s also a daily changing specials board designed by the expert team of chefs. To start, you may get to sample tasty fare such as salt and pepper squid with a sweet chilli dip, or perhaps breaded Brie wedges with cranberry sauce. For the main event, vegetarians are well catered for with the flavoursome vegetable balti, whilst meat eaters might opt for the Moroccan spiced lamb served with rice and fine beans. The pies are encased in melt-in-the-mouth pastry, and the steaks are cooked to perfection. Food is served seven days a week and is homemade using local produce.

The Sunday roasts are reasonably priced and keep the locals coming back week after week. Served with all the trimmings, options include a fantastic nut roast which receives rave reviews as the best in the area. Visit every other Thursday for quiz night, and enjoy one of the themed food nights. For relaxed drinks, a group meal or a fun night out, The Prince of Wales is a great choice for any occasion.

Traditional

The Queen’s Head  Location 15 North Street, Tolleshunt D’Arcy, CM9 8TF t: 0844 502 6457 w: www.thequeensheaddarcy.co.uk

Ma

The Queen’s Head in Tolleshunt D’Arcy, where Sue, Richard and Scott welcome you to enjoy some of the finest cooking in and around the region, is a perfect example of the traditional village pub. The pub boasts a beer garden with an epic children’s playground, and a bouncy castle in summer months. The separate snug area is perfect for quiet drinks. The snug was featured in CAMRA’S Inventory for Historic Pub Interiors, and has hardly changed in 100 years. The bar offers a great selection of beer, including Abbot ale, London Pride and a great IPA, and four different types of lager.

£15 to

£20

‘...a great selection of beer...’

The menu showcases fresh, seasonal produce, which features both British and Open: Mon 3pm-late; European cuisine, including a great selection of steaks, and all-time favourites Tues-Sun noon-late such as steak and ale pie, lamb’s liver, beer-battered cod and much more. You Food Served: simply must try the traditional Tues-Fri noon-3pm, Sunday roast. You’ll find a choice of freshly roasted meat accompanied 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-9pm; by all the classic trimmings. Push Sun noon-5pm the boat out and upgrade your roast with tasty extras like cauliflower cheese and leek and bacon – you won’t regret it. Desserts change regularly but are always served with custard, cream or ice cream – keep an eye on the dessert board to find out what’s on offer when you visit. This wonderful venue is also dog-friendly in the bar and garden. 50

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Brentwood Brewery

Traditional

 Location Brentwood Brewery, Ongar Road, Pilgrim’s Hatch, CM15 9HS t: 0844 625 8546 w: www.brentwoodbrewing.co.uk e: enquiries@brentwoodbrewing.co.uk

BB

Expertly brewed to suit all tastes, Brentwood Brewery’s range of real ales is available in shops, pubs and restaurants throughout Essex, including many featured in this guide. The brewery is also proud to produce house beers for some of the county’s most prestigious pubs and restaurants. Since starting production in 2006, Brentwood beer has been winning awards and gaining fans around the world. The Essex microbrewery is run by a family with a passion for making and drinking the finest craft beer. A wide range of quality real ales in cask, keg and bottles is available online and from the brewery shop. Visitors to the brewery’s bar, The Tap Room, can expect a warm welcome and a choice of draught beers.

*

£14

‘...a wide range of quality real ales...’ The Tap Room and Brewery Shop are open six days a week. Brewery tours, usually held on the first Saturday of the month at 11am and 1pm, are so popular that extra tour dates often have to be added to the calendar. Tickets cost £14, which includes a pint and a free gift, and must be booked in advance by calling the brewery. Gift vouchers for Brewing Experience Days are also available. Food is available at the White Horse in Coxtie Green, their Brewery Tap. As well as offering beer festival services, Brentwood Brewery is now an established beer festival venue, hosting several beer festivals throughout the year. All Brentwood beer is now gluten-free and bottled ales are vegan-friendly too. Brentwood Brewery won LUX Life’s national award for best gluten-free and vegan-friendly beer producers in England 2019. In 2018 Brentwood Brewery won the Society of Independent Brewers’ National Brewers in the Community award. Keen to be green, the brewery recycles spent grain and hops. Allotment holders use hops as a soil improver and local farmers use the grain for cattle feed. Spent grain is also used to produce luxury hand-made dog biscuits, which are sold in the brewery shop. Great-tasting Brentwood beer is available throughout Essex, London and the UK. It is now being exported across the globe. *Price represents the cost of the brewery tour package.

Open: Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm; Sat 10.30am-3.30pm

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Traditional

The Bell

 Location 55 High Street, Ingatestone, CM4 0AT t: 0844 625 0781 w: www.thebell-ingatestone.co.uk e: admin@thebell-ingatestone.co.uk Nothing quite beats the charm of an unashamedly old-fashioned family pub, boasting oak beams, a huge Elizabethan fireplace and 500-year-old history, and that’s just what you can expect from The Bell in Ingatestone. New visitors will experience the friendliest of welcomes, while the oodles of returning locals feel right at home. Steve the landlord earned a coveted Cask Marque for the excellence of his cask ales. His wife Linda makes all the specials, using the freshest local produce. The most delicious crumble-topped home-grown rhubarb, a tender, flavoursome lamb shank in red wine and rosemary sauce, and steak and ale pie graced our table and all were top-notch. Look out for the sensational bangers, which are made to a secret recipe and seasoned with Spitfire beer. The pub hosts many events, including regular live music nights on Saturdays. The recent beer and music festival culminated in a fly past of the RAF’s Red Arrows, a Spitfire and even Sally B – the last British B17 bomber from WWII.

BB £15 to

£25

Open: Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm; Fri & Sat 11am-midnight Food Served: Mon, Weds-Fri noon-3pm; Sat & Sun noon-4pm Traditional

The Black Lion

 Location The Street, High Roding, Nr. Dunmow, CM6 1NT t: 0844 502 5285 In the quaint village of High Roding sits The Black Lion, which has occupied this spot since the 14th century, initially as a coaching inn. Today, it retains its historic charm while providing all of the modern luxuries you could want from a village pub. The food menus have a seasonal touch and comprise traditional pub fare, freshly prepared onsite. Opt for battered fish with moreish thick-cut chips, or choose from a selection of steaks, cooked to your preference and served with fresh mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and peas. On Sundays, tuck into a roast dinner served with all the trimmings. Round off your meal with a selection of homemade desserts served with custard, ice cream, or fresh cream. Alternatively, choose the cheeseboard, piled high with carefully chosen cheese, crackers and chutney. The pub also serves a variety of beverages, including a changing selection of guest ales, alongside lager and cider. There’s a large garden to enjoy the sun in, while winters can be spent beside the open log fire. Whether young or old, part of a large party or after an intimate meal, all are welcome at The Black Lion.

SW £15 to

£25

Food Served: Mon-Sat 7pm-9pm; Sun noon-7pm Traditional

The Woodbine

 Location Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3QT t: 0844 625 1161 w: www.thewoodbine.co.uk e: info@thewoodbine.co.uk Situated on the edge of Epping Forest, The Woodbine offers traditional food accompanied by an extensive wine list. Run by passionate owners Rob and Julie Chapman, the pub won CAMRA Essex Pub of the Year 2018 and is in the CAMRA top four cider pubs of England 2019. Ale is brewed in Rob’s own micro-brewery and the menu features a wide choice of homemade dishes alongside an ever-changing specials board. I sampled shredded chilli beef followed by perfectly cooked liver and bacon, with sweet caramelised onions. My partner enjoyed crispy whitebait, before tucking into a sumptuously tender 28-day-matured rib-eye steak, packed with flavour. To finish, the homemade Captain Morgan’s rum and raisin ice cream was rich and boozy – a real winner. The superbly fresh dishes reflect the team’s dedication to providing traditional food using quality local produce. The Woodbine is a great spot for refreshment after a walk in the forest or a great meal with a top-notch atmosphere.

HE £16 to

£26

Open: Mon-Sun 11.30am-midnight 52

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The Old Windmill

Traditional

 Location South Hanningfield Road, South Hanningfield, Nr. Chelmsford, CM3 8HT t: 0844 502 5606 w: www.oldwindmillpub.co.uk e: old.windmill@brunningandprice.co.uk

Ch

The Old Windmill is a classic 18th-century English pub set in rural South Hanningfield. Inside, the venue has various dining areas, making it the perfect place for both intimate get-togethers and larger gatherings.

£15 to

The daily changing menu comprises both traditional and modern options. All meals are freshly prepared and the quality is consistently high. My seared pigeon breast with bubble and squeak and blackberry jus was delicious and perfectly proportioned for a starter. It was a tasty, heartwarming dish, perfect for the approaching autumnal chill. My companion’s choice of sweet potato, lime and coconut soup served with crusty bread was declared divine. The same imaginative flair was evident in my grilled sea bass fillets with potato and shallot terrine, chervil and lemon cream sauce. My partner opted for one of his favourites – chicken ham hock and leek pie served with buttery mash Open: Mon-Sun noon-9pm and white wine sauce – and was thoroughly impressed. If you can manage dessert there’s plenty of choice, from classic sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream to passion fruit cheesecake with blood orange sorbet.

£25

Guests can also partake in local walks organised by the pub’s staff members, which conclude with a rewarding pint or meal in the pub. In the summertime, enjoy all of this in The Old Windmill’s very attractive garden.

The Two Brewers

Traditional  Location 57 Lambourne Road, Chigwell Row, Chigwell, IG7 6ET t: 0844 502 4414 w: www.brunningandprice.co.uk/twobrewers HE e: two.brewers@brunningandprice.co.uk On the edge of the historic village of Chigwell you’ll find the exceptionally inviting Two Brewers. Step inside and you’ll discover an open fire, comfortable £18 furniture and a warm atmosphere – The Two Brewers has all of the necessary to £30 components for a quintessential country pub. Dining tables are found in every nook and cranny, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy an intimate meal with their nearest and dearest. On our evening visit we slid into one such private spot. The extensive menu was filled with tempting options, and it took us some time to decide what we wanted to tuck into. My friend began with halloumi chips with tomato salsa, while I started with pan-seared scallops with ham hock fritters, cauliflower Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm and apple dressing. Continuing with seafood, I then feasted on pan-fried sea Food Served: bass paired with confit potato, spinach and garlic velouté and sauce vierge. Mon-Thurs noon-9.30pm; All of the elements complemented Fri & Sat noon-10pm; each other perfectly and I devoured the meal with gusto. Meanwhile, Sun noon-9pm my friend tucked into mushroom Bourguignon pie with olive oil mash, sautéed greens and red wine jus. Toasted waffle with toffee sauce and a delectable cheeseboard then followed. Our visit was made all the more wonderful by staff who were both attentive and smiley, and we will definitely be returning soon. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Restaurant Traditional

The Travellers Friend

Traditional Restaurant

The Ship

Category  Location 496-498 High Road, Woodford Green, Woodford, IG8 0PN t: 0844 625 6604 w: www.thetravellersfriendwoodford.co.uk TR e: info@thetravellersfriendwoodford.co.uk Known locally as the Spivs, this charming pub is the hub of the community. It started out in the 1800s as a beer shop, and has been lovingly restored by £23 the current owners to celebrate its traditional features combined with modern to £45 style and comfort. The decor achieves the perfect blend of old and new, with wood panelling, pendant lighting and cosy nooks in the bar area, and a stylish, contemporary dining room that’s flooded with natural light. The striking cobalt blue bar is stocked with a fantastic selection of tipples, from real ale, lager, and craft beer to the ever-expanding spirits collection. The team takes its food seriously, and as such you’ll find a fantastic selection of dishes from the seasonal à la carte and daily specials board, as well as a mouth-watering Sunday roast. You might start with the likes of wild mushroom Open: Sun-Tues noon-11pm; and chicken terrine accompanied by spicy tomato chutney and a sourdough Weds-Sat noon-midnight croute, or perhaps the goat’s curd and roasted beetroot tarte fine with frisée, candied walnuts and balsamic reduction. Follow with the house pie served with buttered greens and mash, or slow-roasted pork belly paired with roast potatoes, roasted root vegetables and a Bramley apple, cider and sage jus. As you’d expect from such a popular venue, the service is second to none. This stellar establishment is a must-visit for local foodies.

Category

 Location 35 Walton Road, Kirby-le-Soken, CO13 0DT t: 0844 625 6608 w: www.theshipkirbylesoken.co.uk e: theship.kirbylesoken@gmail.com A warm welcome and delicious food await you at The Ship, a 17th-century pub that’s full of rustic charm. The large enclosed beer garden is the place to be in summer, as you can lounge in the sun while nursing a pint of real ale or cider. Unwind in the dining room when the nights draw in – the low ceilings, exposed beams and vintage lighting create a superbly relaxing atmosphere.

CS £24 to

£28

The menus here change seasonally in order to offer the freshest produce possible. Goat’s cheese and truffle mousse, served with fig chutney and honey-roasted walnuts, and beetroot-and gin-cured salmon are just a couple of examples of the exceptional starters that grace the menu. Meanwhile, impressive dishes such as baked salmon supreme with roasted balsamic beets, pan-fried hake with tarragon-buttered new potatoes, and slow-roasted pork belly served with bacon and onion choucroute, fondant potato and a sherry jus are to be expected on the list of mains. Don’t let the desserts pass you by either; examples include the warm apple, fig and rosemary crumble – a sheer delight – as well Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm as the peach Melba tart, served with macerated raspberries, almond cream and raspberry coulis. Although these dishes are subject to change, the talented chefs here can ensure that you’re guaranteed a memorable meal all year round. Ample parking space, disabled and baby changing facilities and a dog-friendly policy make The Ship a welcoming destination for all. 54

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The Cock Pub & Kitchen

Traditional

 Location 218 High Street, Ongar, CM5 9AB t: 0844 502 1701 w: www.thecockongar.co.uk e: info@thecockongar.co.uk

HE

Step back in time and visit The Cock Pub & Kitchen, the oldest alehouse in Ongar. The historical building is full of character and features a welcoming fire and an even warmer atmosphere. A local landmark since 1580, the alehouse featured its own brewhouse as early as 1766.

£16 to

£19

Several incarnations of the historic venue later, it is now a much-loved local bolthole. The staff at the Cock pride themselves on the friendly and welcoming service they provide and are led by owner Jack Bell who trained as a chef in Cornwall and fell in love with the town of Ongar after moving to work at a local restaurant.

‘...bring together the true pub values of great beer and entertainment...’ While the bar continues to serve quality cask ale, craft beer and a fine selection of wine, Jack took over the pub and brought his expertise to renovate the venue. With a new menu crafted by Jack to concentrate on traditional pub classics, he and his dynamic team aim to bring together the true pub values of great beer and entertainment alongside a modern dining experience. You will find West End-style food and British pub classics next to each other on the seasonal menu.

‘...a modern dining experience...’ The care and attention from the talented kitchen team really comes across in the quality and presentation of the food. Visit with a sizeable appetite for the generous portions, and after your hearty main indulge in a cheesecake to share. Whether you’re looking for a light bite, a mouth-watering Sunday lunch or a cosy corner in which to catch up with friends, you’ll find a great atmosphere at The Cock. Throughout the year there’s a variety of live music nights, beer festivals and themed DJ nights to keep you entertained. Your first visit to The Cock Pub is guaranteed to be one of many.

Open: Mon-Sat 9am-12.30am; Sun 9am-11pm Open: times; Food Food Served: Served: times; Mon & Tues noon-3pm; Weds-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sun 12.30pm-late

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Traditional

Thatcher’s Arms

 Location Warley Road, Great Warley, CM13 3HU t: 0844 625 8441 w: www.thethatchersarms.com e: info@thethatchersarms.com The Thatcher’s Arms has been sitting pretty as a picture in the village of Great Warley since the 16th century. Since then, it has maintained its reputation within the community as a great place to gather for a relaxing drink and a scrumptious, hearty meal. Visit in the morning and treat yourself to smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast or crispy bacon on fresh bread. In the daytime, traditional homemade pub fare graces the menu, accompanied by a range of the chef’s daily specials that utilise the season’s offering. There’s a popular roast dinner served on Sunday, which offers diners a choice of beef, lamb, pork or chicken, accompanied by a plethora of delicious trimmings. Special occasions can also be celebrated at the Thatcher’s Arms, and a hot or cold buffet spread can be laid on.

BB £15 to

£20

Open: Sun & Mon 10am-9.30pm; Tues-Thurs 10am-11pm; Fri & Sat 10am-midnight Food Served: Mon 10am-3pm; Tues-Fri 10am-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sat 10am-9.30pm; Sun 10am-6pm Traditional

Oddfellows Arms Smokehouse

 Location 195 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, CM2 6JP t: 0844 625 0093 w: www.theoddfellowsarms.com e: info@theoddfellowsarms.com The newly transformed Oddfellows Arms Smokehouse is a friendly, traditional pub serving tasty, honest food. Renowned for its authentic American-style barbecue plates, it is currently the only speciality smokehouse in Chelmsford. Using hickory, beech, whisky-soaked oak and apple wood to create their unique flavour, the smokehouse dishes are available to enjoy in the venue or order for delivery so you can tuck in at home. The full menu also features a range of pub classics and attractive offers including a generous buy one get one free deal on selected main courses. Expect roasts on a Monday night, chicken and rib night on Tuesday and burgers every Wednesday. Wash it all down with a drink from their extensive range of cask ale and craft beer. A catering service is also available if you’re throwing a party and want to impress guests with flavoursome smoked dishes, delivered to your home, workplace or venue.

Ch £15 to

£20

Open: Sun-Thurs noon-11pm; Fri & Sat noon-midnight Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Sat & Sun noon-9pm Traditional

The Hare Inn

 Location High Street, Long Melford, CO10 9DF t: 0844 625 0543 w: www.hareinn.com e: info@hareinn.com The Hare Inn proudly boasts the best pub garden in Long Melford, and they’re right to be proud. It’s a haven of tranquillity; a delightful place to relax and enjoy superb food and drink. With its location opposite the Tudor estate of Kentwell Hall, and just a short walk from Melford Hall, this traditional country pub is ideally located.

Sf £18 to

£25

A warm, friendly, welcome is assured from the moment you enter this delightful and charming restaurant. The attentive staff are kept busy serving excellent homemade food seven days a week. The menu includes all of the usual pub favourites as well as delicious pizzas and a traditional Sunday roast. The Hare Inn certainly provides value for money across the board; dishes on the children’s menu are priced at just £6. Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm; Fri & Sat 11am-11.30pm; Sun noon-10pm 56

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The Fox Inn

Traditional

 Location The Green, Matching Tye, Nr. Harlow, CM17 0QS t: 0844 502 4427 w: www.thefoxinn.com e: info@thefoxinn.com

HE

The Fox Inn is an 18th-century pub that has been under the stewardship of the Gibson family since 2002. Plenty has been done to maintain the pub’s characterful features, and the extension to the restaurant and 12 en-suite bedrooms were built with care to complement the original decor and other historic touches, like the original ceiling beams and old fireplace. The Gibsons also ensure that The Fox doesn’t lose its place as a go-to venue for the Matching Tye community. This restaurant hosts occasional live music and karaoke nights, plus a monthly quiz night. In July, The Fox hosts a summer beer festival, with a winter beer festival held in February. Punters can also look forward to the now-famous New Year’s Eve fancy dress party, too. Visit The Fox at any time to enjoy the hearty traditional food that’s helped this pub make a name for itself.

£15 to

£20

Open: Mon-Sat 11.30am-3.30pm, 6pm-11.30pm; Sun noon-11.30pm Food Served: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sat noon-3pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-8pm

Begin with the ever-popular breaded mushrooms with garlic mayonnaise or classic prawn cocktail, and follow with a plate of homemade lasagne with garlic bread and salad, or a hearty portion of lamb’s liver and bacon with onion gravy, mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. Equally, the desserts are all long-running classics, and will see you home with a full tum.

The Vine Inn

Traditional

 Location 105 The Street, Black Notley, CM77 8LL t: 0844 502 1844 w: www.vineinn.co.uk e: manager@vineinn.co.uk

Br

If you’re on the lookout for a traditional pub that serves well-executed pub classics, look no further than The Vine Inn in Black Notley. This distinctive period pub and restaurant, with its low ceilings and original beams, has warmth and character all of its own. The long, narrow building can accommodate around 28 diners, with seating for another 25 guests in the recently renovated Gin Garden. On our recent visit, my dining companion and I were ably attended to by Teal, who warmly welcomed us and showed us to our window table for two. It was a quiet weekday lunchtime visit, with only a few other guests present.

£21 to

£30

Owners Rob and Zoe Smith have run The Vine Inn for around three years and are keen to retain the traditional pub atmosphere, using local suppliers whenever possible and updating the menus every month or two, with dishes to reflect the seasons. After some deliberation, my companion chose smoked mackerel Food Served: with beetroot and new potato salad Tues-Thurs 5pm-9pm; to start, followed by chicken, leek Fri & Sat noon-9pm; and ham pie with creamy mash and Sun noon-7pm seasonal vegetables. I opted for whitebait with tartare sauce, followed by a delicious 8oz rump steak cooked to perfection over charcoal. To finish, my companion enjoyed a chocolate brownie, while I indulged in an apple and berry crumble. All the food was expertly prepared and presented by head chef Liam, making it a most pleasant lunchtime experience. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Traditional

Queen’s Head  Location Church Road, Boreham, CM3 3EG t: 0844 502 6457 w: www.grayandsons.co.uk e: info@queensheadboreham.co.uk

Ch

Tucked behind St Andrew’s Church in Boreham, you’ll find the Queen’s Head – an old fashioned family-run pub serving tasty unpretentious food and well-kept real ale, cider and wine. Max and Jess Castledine welcome visitors and locals alike £18 to to this traditional venue, which hosts regular live music nights, family-friendly £30 charity fund-raisers, and festivals celebrating beer and sausages, cider and gin. The menu is made up of traditional homemade pub classics, with favourites including crispy scampi and chips and a spicy bean burger for vegetarian diners. Offering generous portions at a reasonable price, the bill of fare also includes a regularly changing specials board. Specials range from pan-fried sea bass to chicken in white wine sauce. For a relaxed treat with friends, try the Queen’s Open: Head’s afternoon tea, which comprises a selection of mini sandwiches and Mon & Tues 3pm-10pm; savoury pastries, scones with clotted cream and jam, and your choice of Weds-Sun noon-midnight unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate. On Sundays, the three-course roasts Food Served: include a variety of meat and Weds-Sat noon-2pm, vegetarian options and come 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-2pm served with roast potatoes and all the trimmings. With the friendly team on-hand to help you plan your event, the Queen’s Head has a private hire space available for parties and events. You can also add a deliciously varied buffet to keep revellers fuelled. In addition to all your favourite spirits, the pub boasts an extensive gin list for connoisseurs to get stuck in to. Traditional

The Bull  Location Church Road, Corringham, SS17 9AT t: 0844 625 6539 w: www.bull-pub.co.uk e: info@bull-pub.co.uk

TR

The Bull is one of Corringham’s oldest buildings, with a history that stretches back to the 1600s and includes tales of smugglers. Now it’s a beloved pub at the heart of the local community that offers superb food, an excellent pint and a great base for socialising, be it for a midweek catch up after work or a special occasion.

£15 to

£20

The menu has something for everyone. Start with a hearty dish like the mushrooms simmered in crème fraîche and topped with Cheddar and Parmesan – it’s a delectable dish that really showcases the talent of the kitchen team. For something a little different, plump for the chicken tikka skewer. There’s a main course to suit every appetite, whether you’re just in the mood for a light bite – we recommend the chicken fajita wrap and the Greek salad – or you’re visiting for a full three-course feast. The escalope of pork tenderloin, served in creamy tarragon, white wine and mushroom sauce, is one of Open: the most popular main courses, Sun-Thurs noon-11pm; and it’s easy to see why. Equally Fri & Sat noon-12.30am popular are the minted lamb and halloumi burger served in a toasted brioche bun with skinny fries, and pub classics like hand-carved ham, egg and chips. There’s a children’s menu, and plenty of choice for vegetarians – thank goodness nobody has to miss out at The Bull. 58

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The Greyhound

Traditional

 Location 12 School Lane, Harlow, CM20 2QD t: 0844 625 6659 w: www.thegreyhoundharlow.co.uk

HE

Situated in the relaxing surroundings of Harlow Town Park, The Greyhound is a charming 16th-century inn that serves high-quality food and drink to regulars and new visitors alike. For lunch, you can choose from a range of tasty hot and cold sandwiches, and filled jacket potatoes. In addition to the extensive lunch menu, The Greyhound also offers a popular evening menu. To start, you can enjoy the likes of the bruschetta with a delicious blend of fresh tomatoes, herbs, onion and a sprinkling of cheese. The Cajun chicken burger comprises a spicy chicken fillet topped with melted cheese, served in a soft brioche bun, and accompanied by a hearty portion of chips and side salad. Why not opt for a side of crispy homemade onion rings to complete your meal? The fillet of sea bass, topped with pesto and served with roasted tomatoes is a vibrant and flavoursome choice for fans of seafood.

£13 to

£31

‘...perfect for a catch-up with friends or family...’ Diners with dietary requirements are well catered for at The Greyhound; the jackfruit burrito is a delicious option for vegans, for example. The indulgent chocolate and white chocolate brownie is a luxurious dessert, while the cheeseboard is perfect if you want to finish your meal on a savoury note. A range of daily specials and well-loved favourites is available, showcasing an array of seasonal flavours. The Greyhound offers a large selection of drinks, including fine wine, spirits and local ale. Why not stop by during the summer for a refreshing pint to cool you down? If you’re after a non-alcoholic drink, you’ll find a range of soft drinks and barista-style hot drinks. This pub is a popular meeting place for locals, who return time and again to enjoy delicious food and exceptional service. The team also hosts monthly quiz nights and live music events, which are always well attended. The Greyhound is perfect for a catch-up with friends or family, and staff are happy to cater for large parties and special requirements. You can also hire the venue for all manner of occasions. Just a stone’s throw from the centre of Harlow, this is a great place to visit after a stroll through the town or a visit to the park.

Food Served: Mon-Sun noon-9pm

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Traditional

The Live and Let Live  Location 12 Millers Lane, Stanway, Nr. Colchester, CO3 0PS t: 0844 625 8545 w: www.theliveandletlive.co.uk e: theliveandletlive@btinternet.com

Co

Just off London Road in Stanway, away from the hubbub, The Live and Let Live is a good old fashioned pub serving unpretentious, crowd-pleasing classics that hit the spot every time. Start your meal with the likes of deep-fried whitebait, £13 to and for the main course, choose from favourites such as steak and ale pie, or £20 gammon with chunky chips. Seafood fans will be pleased to find the likes of salmon and prawn tagliatelle featuring alongside the traditional cod and chips on the menu. The dedicated vegetarian menu includes satisfying choices such as vegetable lasagne, vegetable Madras and the option to build your own burger – which can also be enjoyed as a meaty main course. Finish up with an indulgent dessert – apple pie, meringue mountain or hearty rhubarb Open: Sun-Thurs noon-11pm, crumble served with custard or vanilla ice cream. Fri & Sat noon-midnight Beer connoisseurs will be happy with the extensive range on offer; one Food Served: of the regular ales available is brewed especially for the pub and named Mon-Thurs noon-2.30pm; after landlord Pete Freeman’s Fri & Sat noon-9pm; granddaughter. There is also the Sun noon-3pm opportunity to try an extensive range of local tipples from Essex breweries. With a host of events throughout the year from the beer and sausage festival to quiz nights, cocktail nights and a Burns Night supper, there’s always something lively planned at The Live and Let Live. With large bar and lounge areas, this family-and dog-friendly pub provides a comfortable space in which to dine, drink and relax. Traditional

The Bonnie Blue Oak  Location 40 Oak Road, Tiptree, CO5 0NF t: 0844 502 1699 w: www.theoaktiptree.co.uk e: info@theoaktiptree.co.uk

Co £14 to

£22

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-midnight; Fri & Sat noon-1am; Sun noon-11.30pm

The Bonnie Blue Oak is a friendly, family-run pub located in Tiptree. With a large enclosed patio, garden and play area, this magnificent venue is a popular choice for families and thrives during the summer. Throughout the year, it’s the perfect destination to enjoy lunch, with an array of fresh sandwiches, jacket potatoes and a hearty ploughman’s lunch served. On the main menu, you’ll find starters like French onion soup and rich pâté of the day. Next, the truffle oil-infused butternut, Brie and beetroot tart is a delicious vegetarian option. The slow-cooked beef Bourguignon is the perfect choice for winter and is accompanied by new potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Those with a sweet-tooth will enjoy the indulgent raspberry frangipane tart or the classic sticky toffee pudding.

Sunday lunch is a firm favourite, with regulars returning time and again for dishes such as herb-infused chicken breast and succulent roast leg of lamb. The talented kitchen brigade sources the finest ethically reared meats where possible, which are paired with fresh seasonal ingredients. This restaurant also serves a tasty miniature roast for children, in addition to a selection of other popular dishes. The Bonnie Blue Oak plays host to a range of events, including a darts team and pool team, with quiz nights on Wednesdays. With delicious food and friendly staff, what more could you wish for? 60

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The Anchor Inn

Traditional

 Location Court Street, Nayland, CO6 4JL t: 0844 625 8557 w: www.anchornayland.co.uk e: info@anchornayland.co.uk

Sf This traditional country pub is set in the heart of Nayland, and serves delicious home-cooked food and a range of cask ale. The Anchor Inn is situated on the banks of the River Stour and is the perfect place for al fresco dining in the summer £22 months. In addition to the fresh, seasonal à la carte menu, the chefs also smoke a to £31 range of locally sourced meats, fish and cheese in their own smokehouse. The skilled chefs add herbs to the woodchips, which add flavour and depth to dishes such as their signature smoked brisket cottage pie and smoked barbecue ribs. The lunchtime and evening set menu are great value and offer an array of popular options, with the likes of crisp, golden Scotch egg with a soft centre being a firm favourite to begin. For those opting for the à la carte menu, dishes such as the pork belly main is served with creamy cauliflower mash and colourful beetroot terrine, showcasing the finest Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; seasonal produce. Sun 11am-10pm The miso-glazed aubergine, accompanied by soft jasmine rice and a fresh Asian Food Served: salad, is a delightfully fragrant Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, vegan alternative. To finish, indulge 6pm-9pm; Sat noon-3pm, in peach treacle tart and ice cream, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-8pm which hits the spot when paired with a pot of chamomile tea. The Anchor’s menu is regularly updated as the chefs utilise the best seasonal and local produce on offer. The Anchor Inn is a popular place to enjoy a hearty Sunday roast, and the chefs have created an excellent children’s menu, making this establishment a great spot for friends and families to come together.

The Cricketers

Traditional

 Location East End Road, Bradwell-on-Sea, CM0 7PT t: 0844 502 1670 e: info@thecricketers.co.uk

Ma

The Cricketers is a welcoming and homely space that serves up great food in its farmhouse-feel restaurant. The staff are known for their friendly and inviting attitudes, ready to have a chat with diners enjoying the country pub inside, or out in the sunny garden area in summer months. With a range of traditional pub classics on offer, including ham, egg and chips and a daily specials board, the landlords also make their own Mexican lasagne and carve their own boiled ham. However, it is the pub’s excellent homemade real chips that get great reviews time and time again and come highly recommended by visitors old and new. There is a great range of options for vegetarians on offer too – such as the filo pie served with salad and chips – making it a great spot for any diner to stop off at after a blustery coastal walk.

£25 to

£28

With an adjoining tea room serving up afternoon treats, the clean and bright Open: interior can cater for any occasion. Mon-Sun noon-late The Sunday roasts come highly Food Served: recommended, with tender beef or Mon-Sun noon-8pm lamb shank served alongside plentiful vegetables. The seaside location makes for a wonderful atmosphere, and the ideal spot to stop for breakfast for those staying in the area. Nearby spots of interest also include St Peter’s Chapel and a coastal walk that takes in the power station and sunken barges, making this pub the perfect location for a bit of respite and refreshment. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Traditional

The Halfway House

Category

 Location Arterial Road, West Horndon, Nr. Brentwood, CM13 3LL t: 0844 502 1839 w: www.half-way.co.uk

BB

The Halfway House has made its name as a wedding venue that provides affordable excellence to happy couples and their guests. The bar and restaurant is open throughout the week to locals and visitors looking to enjoy a fine selection of drinks, and to sample the impeccably cooked traditional pub grub. From hearty lasagne to the melt-in-the-mouth beef and ale pie with mash, you can’t go wrong with these old favourites. The spaghetti carbonara is fresh and tasty, and the lamb served with potato rosti is true comfort food. This family-friendly pub delights with the likes of burgers, ribs and wings, and the whole family is sure to enjoy the oat-topped apple crumble for dessert. Visit on a Sunday to enjoy a quality roast with a choice of three meats, and benefit from the friendly atmosphere and top-notch service.

£16 to

£22

Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

‘...a gem of a venue...’

Cocktail connoisseurs can take advantage of the expertise of the bar staff, who are happy to whip up a bespoke cocktail to suit your taste – make sure you sample something from the substantial gin collection. Traditionalists have plenty of beer and wine to choose from, too. The perfect venue in which to host any event, from the weddings they’re known for to christenings and private parties, The Halfway House is a gem of a venue, whatever the occasion. Traditional

The Bath House  Location Princes Esplanade, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8PZ t: 0844 625 6554 w: www.thebathhouserestaurant.co.uk

CS

Since David Green took over The Bath House in 1990, the pub has gone from strength to strength. David and his partner Lenka pride themselves on making guests feel at home as soon as they walk through the door, and it’s this relaxing, family-friendly £15 to atmosphere – in addition to the delicious British fare – that has kept diners coming £20 back time and again. With bar snacks, award-winning Sunday roasts – named 3rd best in Essex by Essex Live – vegetarian options, daily specials and traditional pub classics all on offer, the owners have ensured there’s a dish for everyone at The Bath House. Monday and Wednesday nights are reserved for steak, and for just £29.95 you and a companion will receive two steaks cooked to your liking and served alongside chips, onion rings, peas, mixed salad and a bottle of wine. Steaks are also available on a Friday, or you could go for Fish Fridays which offers two seafood dishes and a bottle of Open: wine for the same price. Choose from treats including lemon sole or salmon served Sun-Fri 11am-midnight; with crushed potatoes and green Sat 11am-1am beans in a dill caper sauce, poached cod or traditional battered fish and chips. The provenance of ingredients is of the utmost importance to David and his team, who use only the freshest locally caught fish in their seafood dishes. Beer-aficionados are also in their element at The Bath House, which boasts a healthy choice of beer and lager from around the world. Enjoy a pre-dinner pint while admiring the breathtaking views of Walton-on-theNaze’s beach, and you’ll soon see why this friendly local is so popular. 62

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Plough & Sail

Traditional

 Location East End, Paglesham, SS4 2EQ t: 0844 502 4498 w: www.theploughandsail.co.uk

SR

If you head down to this historic timber-clad pub, you’ll be in for a treat. The menu is extensive and covers everything from gastropub classics to a variety of vegetarian dishes. Set in beautiful Essex countryside by a delightful little stream, this picturesque, traditional pub brims with charm, boasting imposing beamed ceilings that frame the cosy interior. In winter, pop in for a drink in the evening to hide from the cold, or in the height of summer, if you’re in need of refreshment during a country walk, there’s a lovely garden in which to enjoy the sun and sip your favourite tipple. The building is over 300 years old and has been a pillar of the Paglesham community for generations.

£10 to

£20

Open: Mon-Fri noon-3.30pm, The extensive menu has been expertly crafted, with everyone’s favourite 6.30pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm; dishes making an appearance, such as lasagne, steak, calamari and prawn Sun noon-10.30pm cocktail. But what makes the Plough & Sail stand out is its ability to serve Food Served: Mon-Fri these classics alongside dishes noon-2pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; like smoked duck in raspberry Sat noon-9.30pm; dressing, crab and avocado Sun noon-8.30pm salad, and sea bass fillet with lemon in caper butter. Everything is home-cooked and served in a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, so you’re guaranteed to leave completely satisfied. If you’re not from the area, it’s well worth a visit to take in the wonderful surroundings and sample the delicious food at the Plough & Sail.

The Swan

Traditional

 Location School Road, Little Totham, Nr. Maldon, CM9 8LB t: 0844 625 1141

Ma

Situated in the wonderfully picturesque village of Little Totham, The Swan has a truly homely feel, with hanging baskets and greenery outside and an incredibly warm welcome once you enter through its doors. This Grade II listed venue boasts oodles of character; as a two-time winner of CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year, you can expect top-notch quality when it comes to food, drink and charm. With six to eight gravity-fed real ales on offer at all times, including two guest ales and a guest lager on tap, there’s an ample selection of drinks to get your hands on. If you’re a gin-lover, you’re in luck, too. The Swan boasts 12 different gins, all exquisitely refreshing, and perfectly paired with tonic. An extensive wine list completes the complement of wonderful potable options.

£20 to

£30

Open: Mon-Sat noon-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm Food Served: Mon & Tues noon-2pm; Weds-Sat noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-5pm

If you’re planning on stopping by for food, the menu changes with the seasons and Sunday lunch at The Swan is like no other. Each dining party is allocated a table for the day, with a fresh roast cooked just for them, including all of the delicious trimmings. Ingredients are bought especially for each table, affording the meal the feel of a family affair, without the hassle of hosting. With well-stocked beer festivals in summer and winter, regular open mic nights and charity quizzes all year round, The Swan has plenty going on. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Traditional

The Compasses  Location Littley Green, Chelmsford, CM3 1BU t: 0844 502 4558 w: www.compasseslittleygreen.co.uk e: compassesslittleygreen@gmail.com

Ch £15 to

£18

Open: Mon-Weds noon-3pm, 5.30pm-midnight; Thurs-Sun noon-midnight Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sat noon-4pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-8.30pm

Surrounded by rural Essex countryside, this is an ideal getaway for walkers, cyclists and those simply enjoying a day out. Owned by a member of the Ridley family (of the Essex brewery), the pub offers the humble, traditional simplicity of a bygone era. All beer is stored in the cellar and comes straight from the tap. In fact, The Compasses was named Essex CAMRA Pub of the Year for 2012 and 2013 – a testament to the quality of their ales. Food-wise, the pub is well known for its huffers – bread baps packed with tasty fillings, either hot or cold, which are as delicious as they are big. Homemade dishes, including curry, fish and chips, jacket potatoes, salads and traditional Sunday roasts are also available.

A glimpse at the surrounding countryside will leave you wanting to explore, so maybe take advantage of the inn’s well-appointed guest rooms. You’ll have a delicious cooked breakfast to wake up to, plus a choice of muesli, yoghurt and fresh fruit – a great start to a day spent exploring the beautiful surrounding streams, cycle routes, walks, woodlands and historical sites. The Compasses boasts a spacious beer garden and hosts a monthly folk night and two beer festivals – one in August (featuring vintage tractor ploughing) and one in December – with proceeds going to Farleigh Hospice. Traditional

The Brewers Arms  Location 1 Victoria Place, Brightlingsea, CO7 0BX t: 0844 502 1705 A warm welcome awaits you at The Brewers Arms, a thriving community pub in the heart of Brightlingsea. Upon arrival the first thing you’ll notice is the relaxed and friendly atmosphere and traditional pub decor. There’s also ample outside seating so you can make the most of the rare British sunshine. As the weather cools down the pub becomes a cosy retreat from the elements where you can warm up by the fire.

CS £16 to

£24

‘...honest home-cooked food...’ The food menu is unpretentious and the prices are pocket-friendly; expect daily specials like fisherman’s pie with seasonal veg and delicious chilli con carne served atop a jacket potato. For dessert you might sample the likes of homemade chocolate brownie or Knickerbocker Glory. The team prides itself on serving honest home-cooked food, and the portions are always generous. You’ll find a wide range of drinks to complement your meal at the well-stocked bar, Open: from local ale and cider to wine, Mon-Thurs noon-midnight; gin and more. Every day between Fri & Sat noon-1am; 4pm and 6pm is happy hour (4pm Sun noon-10.30pm to 7pm on Fridays), when all draught beers are £2.60. Whether you stop by for a few drinks with friends or take your family for one of the popular Sunday roasts, you’re in for a treat. In the evenings, the pub comes to life with karaoke every Thursday and live bands every Saturday. Be sure to check out The Brewers Arms’ Facebook page for upcoming events. 64

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Theydon Oak

Traditional

 Location 9 Coopersale Street, Epping, CM16 7QJ t: 0844 625 1128 w: www.thetheydonoak.co.uk e: info@thetheydonoak.co.uk

HE

The Theydon Oak in Epping has quite the reputation in its local area and even further afield, which has earned it its place in The Good Pub Guide. Just one look at its beautiful painted exterior and spacious gardens is enough to entice many through its doors. Inside, you are instantly struck by the quirks and charm of this popular venue, with various curiosities hanging from the ceiling and horse brasses adorning the majority of the exposed timber beams. The exposed brick fireplace and log burner afford the Theydon Oak a homely glow, as do the waiting staff who provide the warmest of welcomes. The key to running a great pub is surely in offering the finest hearty food, and Theydon Oak certainly doesn’t disappoint. Feast on a fantastic selection of familiar favourites including the likes of Old Epping sausage served with creamy mash and onion gravy, or the homely steak and kidney pie accompanied by fresh vegetables and a choice of chips or mash. Desserts provide a blast from the past with the likes of Spotted Dick and treacle sponge just a couple of the tried and tested delights, fit to round off any meal.

£22 to

£36

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun noon-7pm Food Served: Mon-Thurs noon-2.15pm, 6.30pm-9pm; Fri & Sat noon-9pm; Sun noon-5pm

With a stunning selection of wonderful beer and delicious dishes on offer, this Grade II listed pub is the ideal hub for getting together with great company, for any occasion.

Six Bells

Traditional

 Location Main Road, Boreham, Nr. Chelmsford, CM3 3JE t: 0844 502 5270 w: www.sixbellspubandrestaurantboreham.co.uk e: sixbellsboreham@hotmail.co.uk

Ch

Originally three adjoining cottages built in the 18th century, the Six Bells has since gone through some major transformations. However, the building remains true to its original purpose, with an inviting exterior and an air of homeliness and comfort within. Having served meals to hungry guests for over three decades, the award-winning Six Bells has honed its culinary offering to ensure that all tastes are catered for. The chefs’ ever-changing specials are extremely popular, probably due to the terrific use of seasonal and local ingredients. The focus of these delectable dishes is on both freshness and flavour. An eclectic à la carte is also available, showcasing homemade cuisine such as slow-roasted pork belly with apple mash and cider jus; smoked haddock and spring onion fishcakes served with sweet chilli sauce, and quality 28-day-matured cuts of beef steak. Gluten-free dishes are on offer too.

£18 to

£35

Food Served: Mon noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm; Tues-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Sat noon-9.30pm; Sun noon-8pm

If it’s liquid refreshment you’re after, you’ll be pleased to know that the Six Bells recently received a Cask Marque award for its fantastic real ale offering. Wine, lager and hot beverages are also available and can be enjoyed in the pretty garden, which has a play area for the little ones. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Restaurant Traditional Br

The Square and Compasses

Category  Location Fuller Street, Fairstead, CM3 2BB t: 0844 502 5288 w: www.thesquareandcompasses.co.uk e: info@thesquareandcompasses.co.uk

This award-winning 17th-century free house is something of a local secret. The pub has a loyal clientele of regulars from the local area and from further afield, and is also popular with walkers and cyclists enjoying the beautiful surrounding £20 countryside. The building has been sympathetically refurbished throughout, to keeping its original beams, inglenook fireplaces and antique furnishings intact. £25 The oak tables and eclectic mix of chairs create a cosy, welcoming feel downstairs in the bar and restaurant, while upstairs there is a stylish private dining room, Open: Mon-Fri which can seat 14 people. 11.30am-11pm; The food served at The Square and Compasses is homemade by head chef Sat noon-midnight; Craig Loveridge and his team using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, including Sun noon-11pm asparagus, lamb, beef and fish, as well as game from the surrounding estates Food Served: Mon-Fri during winter. The menu features hearty classics cooked to perfection, including noon-2pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm; proper pastry pies with spring onion mashed potato and fresh vegetables. Just one Sat noon-2.30pm, of the delicious dishes you may 6.30pm-9.30pm; find on the regularly changing Sun noon-6pm specials menu is fresh wing of skate with lemon, parsley and caper butter sauce. The selection of fantastic desserts includes warm sticky toffee pudding with indulgent black treacle sauce and vanilla ice cream. A roast is also served every Sunday. With a growing reputation for providing quality, gravity-fed, cask-conditioned real ales, a great choice of wine and excellent food, The Square and Compasses is a must for discerning diners everywhere. Traditional Restaurant

The Red Lion

Category

 Location 7 Newland Street, Witham, CM8 2AF t: 0844 625 1143 w: www.redlionwitham.co.uk e: redlionwitham@outlook.com At the heart of the busy town of Witham and just a brief meander from the train station and local library, The Red Lion is a wonderfully traditional venue. Whether you’re looking for a quiet pint or fancy a generous helping of comforting home-cooked grub to fill your belly, The Red Lion is a great shout. The exposed beams that adorn the ceilings hark back to the building’s history, affording it a familiar feel, and its close proximity to all the local amenities means that locals flood through the doors in droves.

Br £10 to

£14

If you’re hankering for a scrumptious lunch, the lengthy list of sandwiches and baguettes makes for an enticing range of lighter bites. Sweet chilli chicken, sausage and onion, and prawn cocktail are just some of the delicious choices, with the option to add chips or curly fries for those who have a larger appetite. If you’re after something heartier, there are plenty more dishes to tempt. Open: Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm; Classic options of ham, egg and chips and homemade pie of the day with mash, peas and gravy provide Fri & Sat 11am-1am; ample homely appeal, while a Sun noon-10.30pm children’s menu and dedicated vegetarian options mean that everyone is catered for. A well-stocked bar, live sports from Sky and BT, and a brimming calendar of events – including regular open mic nights, karaoke evenings and discos – mean that The Red Lion is the place to go for a great evening out. 66

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wagamama

Japanese

 w: www.wagamama.com The ethos behind wagamama is a celebration of Asian food inspired by Japanese ramen bars; it’s a truly unique way to eat. There are three convenient locations in Essex situated at Lakeside Shopping Centre, Chelmsford and the recently opened Basildon branch. With a menu created to soothe, nourish and sustain, you can choose a little ginger to warm you up, chillies that kick or noodles to nourish the body and soul. The chefs at wagamama create all kinds of rice and noodle dishes alongside fresh salads and shareable sides. There are desserts, fresh juices, hot drinks, wine, sake and expertly crafted East Asian beers too.

Ch TR BB

‘...created to soothe, nourish and sustain...’

£12 to

In the name of kaizen (which translates as good change), standards are high; the ingredients are fresh and dishes are delivered with care. Every bowl and plate is served as soon as it’s ready, so the colours, aromas, flavours and spices are always at their best when they touch the tables, and dishes are perfect for those in a bit of a hurry.

£18

‘...the ingredients are fresh and dishes are delivered with care...’ Choose a bowl of bold ramen, or try a tempting teppanyaki. If you would rather a rice bowl you’re in luck – the wagamama menu features many Japanese favourites and the fresh menus are updated seasonally. There are also vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus, and a popular kid’s menu for little ones. The wagamama philosophy has always centred around positive living so the chefs cook with heat and love to satisfy both the senses and the soul.  Location 127-129 Bond Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1GD t: 0844 625 8563 Open: Sun-Thurs 11.30am-10pm; Fri & Sat 11.30am-11pm  Location The Boardwalk, Lakeside Shopping Centre, West Thurrock Way, Grays, RM20 2ZN t: 0844 625 8565 Open: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun noon-9pm  Location Festival Leisure Park, Basildon, SS14 3WB t: 0844 625 8569 Open: Sun-Thurs 11.30am-8pm; Fri & Sat 11.30am-11pm

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Indian

PakWaan  Location 1 Bridge Street, Writtle, Nr. Chelmsford, CM1 3EY t: 0844 502 1826 w: www.pakwaan.co.uk e: info@pakwaan.co.uk

Ch

Specialising in Indian Punjabi cuisine, Pakwaan is an award-winning restaurant in the village of Writtle, just outside of Chelmsford. Customers are given an exclusive fine dining experience by owner Rajesh Chouhan and his talented team, who have a passion for providing a combination of authentic Indian cuisine, top-class hospitality and sophisticated entertainment. Rajesh has used his impeccable taste and meticulous eye for detail to build up Pakwaan’s reputation as one of the UK’s top Indian fine dining restaurants.

£18 to

£50

‘...top-class hospitality and sophisticated entertainment...’

A huge amount of imagination and creative flair has gone in to both the decor of the restaurant and the extensive menu, both of which have a fresh, clean and vibrant feel. The à la carte menu is prepared to suit all preferences and tastes, and the experienced chefs are happy to adapt dishes to provide bespoke meals to individual diners. Start your refined dining experience by selecting one of the delicious starters. Choose from the classic but expertly cooked onion bhaji or more inventive offerings like tandoori prawns, spicy Bombay calamari and chilli paneer. Whatever you choose, your tastebuds are sure to be tingling, ready for the main course.

‘...your tastebuds are sure to be tingling...’

Open: Mon-Thurs noon-2.30pm, 5pm-10pm; Fri & Sat noon-2.30pm, 5pm-10.30pm; Sun noon-10pm

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There’s plenty to choose from to suit all tastes, including vegetarian specialities. For a meat-free spin on an old favourite, try the jackfruit kofta with spinach, or go for the satisfying tarka dahl. Age-old classics such as the punchy lamb rogan josh sit alongside the likes of sea bass cooked in a coconut cream sauce with mussels. The ever-helpful staff are on-hand to advise which dishes to go for, guiding you towards the right level of heat for your palate. Also able to cater for corporate events, weddings, boardroom lunches, cocktail parties and bespoke dining experiences, Pakwaan is the perfect venue for any occasion.


Chilli Pickle

Indian

 Location 40 Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1BS t: 0844 502 1828 w: www.chillipicklewalthamabbey.co.uk

HE

Chilli Pickle is a fantastic Indian takeaway that serves delicious cuisine to residents of Waltham Abbey and the surrounding area. Everything is made fresh to order so you can be sure of a tasty, authentic meal. Let the chefs at Chilli Pickle craft a flavoursome feast for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home – what could be better for a night in with loved ones?

£12 to

£20

‘...a tempting array of dishes...’ The menu is extensive, covering all regions of India as well as showcasing specialities from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. You’ll find all your favourites on the menu, from rich and creamy korma through to fiery vindaloo. Perhaps you’ll opt for one of the chef’s recommendations – there’s a tempting array of dishes including chicken hunza, a flavoursome curry with a hint of orange zest, and king prawn malai, which Open: Mon-Sat 5pm-11pm; is infused with aromatic herbs Sun 12.30pm-10.30pm and spices. For something a little different, check out the special Sylhet dishes such as fish shatkora, a delicious hot and sour dish that’s brimming with flavour. The quality of every dish is even more impressive given the reasonable prices – you’d be hard pressed to find better value elsewhere. Next time you’re craving satisfying authentic Indian cuisine, look no further than Chilli Pickle.

Sugar Palm

Thai

 Location First Floor, 10 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1SN t: 0844 502 1825 w: www.sugarpalmrestaurant.com

Ch

Accessed via Railway Street, Sugar Palm serves traditional Thai cuisine, which can be sampled in the stylish restaurant, or can be ordered to take away and enjoy at home. The staff are always welcoming and provide great service, which keeps customers returning. Sugar Palm strives to serve traditional Thai cuisine that’s fresh and healthy. To start, opt for the likes of the Thai fishcake spiced with red curry paste and combined with chopped lime leaves, served with sweet chilli sauce.

£15 to

£30

For the main course, the grilled scallops are coated in a chilli and garlic sauce, which is a delicious mild option perfect for fans of seafood. The duck and vermicelli noodle soup is a popular noodle dish, while Sugar Palm also serves a range of dishes to suit those with food intolerances, and offers a vegan and Open: vegetarian menu. From the well-stocked bar, why not opt for a fruity cocktail, Tues 5pm-11pm; Weds-Sat a refreshing beer or a glass of noon-2.30pm, 5pm-11pm; wine from the varied wine list to Sun noon-2.30pm, accompany your main meal? The 5pm-10pm desserts offer the perfect end to your meal and are always presented beautifully. This restaurant is also able to cater for events, with guests able to enjoy a set meal and karaoke entertainment in one of the annexed private rooms. It’s easy to see why this restaurant is a favourite for locals looking for authentic Thai cuisine. Essex Guide 2019-2020

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Chef Profile

Mick Binnington – The Windmill – Pg 6 To be a good chef, Mick Binnington believes you need to be honest, hard-working, self-motivated, creative and slightly unhinged. He credits Omero Galluci for installing his self-belief, Andy McCleish for his self-discipline and Gordon Ramsay – for whom he worked as a head chef – for showing him that anything is possible.

‘...you need to be honest, hard-working, self-motivated, creative and slightly unhinged...’ Mick’s simple, clean and precise method has earned The Windmill a Michelin Bib Gourmand – which he hopes will one day become a star – although he maintains that the best reward he receives are all the great reviews from happy guests. His most memorable cooking experience was preparing everything on the bucket list of a terminally ill diner who had always wanted to try a range of dishes, from frogs legs to kangaroo and everything in between – Mick was able to prepare and serve her requested dishes and she was over the moon. Chef Profile

Adam Townsend – The New London – Pg 10 Having found that cooking provided a unique form of escapism from an early age, Adam Townsend has invested a wealth of time and emotion into perfecting his culinary skills. Citing Dan Barber, Grant Achatz and Massimo Bottura among his influences, Adam enjoys the creativity that comes with working in the kitchen, whether it be on the pass producing edible artwork on each plate or taking known flavour combinations and reinventing them when putting new menus together.

‘...taking known flavour combinations and reinventing them...’ Adam is the first to admit that trying new things doesn’t always produce the best results on the first attempt. In fact, he believes that the learning curve is far greater when things do go wrong, because it provides an invaluable opportunity for growth. With multiple awards already under his belt, it’s clear that his daring approach is paying off. Chef Profile

Daniel Lee – Galvin Green Man – Pg 11 Daniel Lee is head chef at the Galvin Green Man. He’s had a number of career highlights, including being a finalist for the Roux Scholarship in 2015. He loves to work on the grill section, which requires precision, skill and a knowledge of the produce used.

‘...always aims to let the produce speak for itself...’ He’s constantly inspired by chef-patrons and Michelin-star-awarded brothers, Chris and Jeff Galvin, with the restaurant having achieved many awards under their guidance. Daniel describes his cooking style as focusing on simply cooked food that features local, seasonal and fresh ingredients. He always aims to let the produce speak for itself with simple flavour combinations. Daniel loves the game available in Essex, which often features on the menu during autumn. He is passionate about using diverse and colourful root vegetables found at this time of year. His favourite seasonal ingredient is the pied bleu mushroom, which he describes as delicious and meaty. 70

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James Harris – The White Hart – Pg 49

Chef Profile

After enjoying cooking lessons at school, James trained at Harlow College, where he learned from his tutors’ practical experience of the industry. As head chef at The White Hart, James loves being on the pass, to ensure that every plate of food is perfect. He loves the creativity that comes with his job, as he likes to experiment with new flavour combinations and presentation.

‘...likes to experiment with new flavour combinations and presentation...’ James defines his cooking style as modern British, using classic flavours. He was first inspired to follow a career in cooking by Heston Blumenthal’s exciting combination of food and science. In his local area, James loves to forage for ingredients, such as wild herbs, mushrooms, apples and berries, which are often featured on the specials board at The White Hart. James’ favourite time of year is autumn, when he uses delicious slow-cooked meats alongside seasonal vegetables.

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Index 1935 Rooftop Restaurant & Bar – Southend-on-Sea............ 8 Abbey Bar & Grill – Waltham Abbey................................. 31 Alma Arms – Brentwood................................................... 43 Anchor Inn, The – Nayland, The........................................ 61 Angel Inn, The – Shoeburyness......................................... 46 Angel Inn, The – Stoke by Nayland................................... 20 Artcafé, The – West Mersea.............................................. 41 Avenue Bistro – Frinton-on-Sea........................................ 25 Bakers Arms, The – Stock................................................ 36 Bath House, The – Walton-on-the-Naze............................. 62 Beaumont Coffee Club – Southend-on-Sea......................... 43 Bell Inn, The – Horndon-on-the-Hill.................................... 4 Bell, The – Ingatestone..................................................... 52 Black Lion, The – High Roding.......................................... 52 Blue Strawberry Bistrot – Hatfield Peverel........................ 26 Bonnie Blue Oak, The – Tiptree......................................... 60 Bread & Cheese – Benfleet................................................ 20 Brentwood Brewery – Pilgrim’s Hatch.............................. 51 Brett’s Country Restaurant – White Roding....................... 44 Brewers Arms, The – Brightlingsea................................... 64 Bull & Willow Room, The – Maldon.................................. 21 Bull, The – Corringham.................................................... 58 Channels Brasserie – Little Waltham................................. 28 Chilli Pickle – Waltham Abbey.......................................... 69 Chophouse Braintree, The – Braintree................................. 8 Cock Pub & Kitchen, The – Ongar..................................... 55 Compasses, The – Chelmsford........................................... 64 Cork House, The – Stansted Mountfitchet.......................... 36 Cranleigh, The – Hornchurch.............................................. 3 Creek, The – Great Bentley............................................... 18 Cricketers Arms, The – Danbury....................................... 44 Cricketers, The – Bradwell-on-Sea.................................... 61 Crofters of Witham – Witham........................................... 35 Crown, The – Little Walden.............................................. 17 Crown, The – Sandon........................................................ 14 Crown at Wormingford, The – Colchester.......................... 19 Cuckoo, The – Ingatestone................................................ 22 Down Hall Hotel – Hatfield Heath..................................... 39 Five Bells – Colne Engaine............................................... 14 Flitch House, The – Great Dunmow................................... 40 Fox & Hounds – Cock Clarks............................................ 43 Fox Inn, The – Matching Tye............................................. 57 Galvin Green Man – Chelmsford........................................ 11 Garrards – Leigh-on-Sea.................................................. 30 Gluttons – Saffron Walden................................................ 41 Grain – Colchester.............................................................. 4 GreyFriars – Colchester...................................................... 9 Greyhound, The – Harlow................................................. 59 Halfway House, The – West Horndon................................ 62 Hare Inn, The – Long Melford........................................... 56 Haystack, The – Canvey Island.......................................... 49 Heseltines Restaurant – Brentwood................................... 13 Jubilee Restaurant at Mulberry House – High Ongar.......... 17 La Petite Pétanque – Southend-on-Sea.............................. 25 La Toscana – Billericay..................................................... 30 Latino’s – Hadleigh.......................................................... 35 72

Essex Guide 2019-2020

Linden House – Stansted Mountfitchet.............................. 16 Lion, The – Earls Colne ................................................... 31 Live and Let Live, The – Stanway...................................... 60 Louis Fish Bar – Canvey Island......................................... 22 Marco’s Tapas Bar – Rayleigh........................................... 34 Market House, The – Saffron Walden................................ 34 Mersea Barns – East Mersea............................................ 42 Mexican Kitchen – Runwell............................................... 32 New London, The – Chelmsford......................................... 10 Ocean Beach – Southend-on-Sea....................................... 38 Oddfellows Arms Smokehouse – Chelmsford...................... 56 Old Moot House, The – Castle Hedingham......................... 27 Old Siege House Bar & Brasserie, The – Colchester........... 29 Old Windmill, The – South Hanningfield............................ 53 Oldhams – Westcliff-on-Sea.............................................. 23 Orchard Kitchen – Coggeshall........................................... 42 Oyster Smack Inn, The – Burnham-on-Crouch................... 12 PakWaan – Writtle........................................................... 68 Pier One – Frinton-on-Sea................................................ 23 Pincho’s Restaurant – Chelmsford..................................... 33 Plough & Sail – Paglesham............................................... 63 Prince of Wales, The – Maldon......................................... 50 Queen’s Head – Boreham.................................................. 58 Queen’s Head, The – Tolleshunt D’Arcy.............................. 50 Ranfield’s Brasserie – Coggleshall..................................... 27 Red Lion, The – Witham................................................... 66 Rosebud, The – Brightlingsea............................................ 24 Russells Restaurant – Chelmsford........................................ 3 Samphire Restaurant – Chelmsford................................... 15 Samuel Pepys – Harwich.................................................. 38 San Fairie Ann – Southend-on-Sea.................................... 40 Ship Inn, The – Burnham-on-Crouch................................. 10 Ship, The – Kirby-le-Soken............................................... 54 Ship, The – West Hanningfield.......................................... 45 Six Bells – Boreham......................................................... 65 Square and Compasses, The – Fairstead ........................... 66 Sugar Palm – Chelmsford................................................. 69 Swallowtail Restaurant & Bar – Burnham-on-Crouch........ 37 Swan, The – Little Totham................................................ 63 Thatcher’s Arms – Great Warley....................................... 56 Theydon Oak – Epping...................................................... 65 Three Horseshoes, The – Fordham..................................... 13 Top Oak, The – Stapleford Abbotts.................................... 47 Travellers Friend, The – Woodford..................................... 54 Two Brewers, The – Chigwell............................................. 53 Victory, The – Wickham St Paul....................................... 46 Vine Inn, The – Black Notley............................................ 57 wagamama – Chelmsford, Grays, Basildon........................ 67 Waggon & Horses, The – Great Yeldham........................... 45 Waterfront – Harwich...................................................... 35 West Street Vineyard – Coggeshall..................................... 5 White Hart, The – Moreton............................................... 49 Wick Lodge, The – Clacton-on-Sea.................................... 48 Windmill, The – Little Waltham.......................................... 6 Wivenhoe House – Colchester........................................... 28 Woodbine, The – Waltham Abbey...................................... 52


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Essex Food & Drink Guide 2019-2020  

The official guide to eating out in Essex

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The official guide to eating out in Essex

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