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Info Sought on Essex Country Pub with Great Food

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Dear UK Chowhounders (or anyone else who can help)

I am returning to England (I grew up in Ilford--I know . . . how on earth did I develop an appreciation for good food!) to visit family in SouthEast Essex (Great Wakering). I would love to take my American wife for lunch to a cozy, traditional country pub with great food and real ale. Somewhere in the Raleigh-Maldon-Burnham on the Crouch-Southend-on-Sea quadrant would be ideal but we are happy to travel further for the right place.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have!

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  1. Essex is a foriegn country to me but the Good Food Guide lists a number of pubs:

    Bluebell, Chigwell (cooking 1)
    Sun Inn, Dedham (3)
    Bell Inn, Horndon on the Hill (2)
    Mistley Thorn. Mistley (2)

    1. I went to school in Chigwell. Eaten at The Bluebell a few times. Expect to walk into an episode of Essex Wives. I think the food is fairly decent, iirc. Nothing outstanding though. We had Christmas Lunch there one year.

      1. Hi Andy, seconded on the Sun at Dedham - a lovely spot. Other than that, the Oyster Smack in Burnham isn't the most traditional of pubs, but the food's really good, the best I know of in that area.

        Is the Peldon Rose at Mersea a bit far? You could double up with a visit to the Company Shed...
        Would love to know of a decent pub around Maldon - if you hear of one, mention it here!

        2 Replies
        1. re: bodessa

          Definitely - I'm going to Maldon for the weekend in a couple of weeks and would love a recommendation!

          1. re: bodessa

            We have a friend who lives in Maldon and he once recommended The Jolly Sailor to us. We've never eaten there, so I am loathe to recommend it to anyone else, but maybe someone knows it or there are reviews somewhere. I think it's right near the Quay and in town.

          2. The Hoop in Stock is good, and I had a very good cockle chowder at the Peter Boat in Old Leigh, which is a charming little fishing village. (Leigh itself is very nice too.)

            2 Replies
            1. re: sunclytie

              Depends on how far you want to go?

              The Crown in Nayland and The Anchor in Nayland are both excellent.

              The Swan in Lavenham also has really good food...

              Heard great things about Mistley Thorn and I have also enjoyed The Sun Inn in Dedham.

              As I think of more I will let you know!

              Can give you plenty of reccomendations for Restaurants too, if it doesn't have to be a pub!

              1. re: ShekhaV

                The Anchor in Hockley is great, as is Bacchus in Southend - both very close to Wakering :)