Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Restaurant review: The Hawk


Where we ate:
The Hawk, Hawk Hill, Battlesbridge
At the end of last week I went for a family meal to The Hawk. My birthday plans in January were cancelled because of the snow so it was really nice to get everyone together for a belated treat. We were going to my grandparents’ house anyway, so it was the four of us and Jake as well as my nanny and grandad.
The Hawk is a country pub with restaurant and although it is a part of the Vintage Inn chain, we’ve never had a bad meal there. Everything is reasonably priced and everything about the pub and its surroundings make for a lovely experience – open log fires, cosy interior and rustic character.
The village of Battlesbridge is situated in Wickford and is the home to an antiques centre, if that’s your kinda thing! On departure there is also a white van selling fresh seafood, which are great for taking away!

What we drank:
The majority of the party were on soft drinks but there is so much to choose from, from a number of menus. For something a little different there is currently an autumn/winter menu which boasts cocktail combinations with a seasonal twist. ‘Spiced apple’ (sailor jerry and apple juice) is a real winter warmer, or if you’re more of a berry person ‘Berry Clementine’ (cointreau, crème de cassis and bitter lemon) would be up your street.
There are real ales on draught and your usual selection of lagers.
The wine list is also extensive and reasonably priced with glasses from £3.55 and bottles from £11.95.
After a diet pepsi, I had a glass of Chablis as the pub were running a ‘Fish Friday’. Basically if two people chose from the fish menu, you’d receive a bottle of Chablis for half-price (£9-something instead of £19-something). It was the perfect accompaniment.

What we ate:
Grandad – seasonal soup (tomato and basil served with multi-seed bread and butter) followed by scampi medley (crumbed scampi and king prawns, served with garden peas, tartare sauce and seasoned chips) and spotted dick with custard
Robert – toad in the hole (served with garden peas, mash and caramelised onion gravy) followed by churros sundae (warm Spanish doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate fudge sauce)
Nan – trout fillet (with woodland mushrooms and spinach, topped with a mixed seed crumb and served with baby potatoes and white wine cream) followed by Kentish bramley apple pie with custard
Jake – toad in the hole followed by chocolate brownie with ice cream
Me – cod and chips (served with chips and mushy peas) followed by churros sundae
Mum – cod and chips
Dad – beef and merlot pie (slow-cooked diced British beef with shallots and roasted portobello mushrooms in a rich Merlot red wine sauce with buttered pea, broad and green bean medley and steak cut chips)
Mum and I both ordered from the ‘Fish Fridays’ menu, where there were four or five options. You can’t go wrong with fish and chips though and the cod was beautiful; flaky and it melted on the fork. It was the first time I’d had mushy peas and to be honest, I’m not too sure what they’re about – do I like them? I don’t really know, weird.
Grandad and Robert ordered from the fixed price menu, which is served from Monday to Friday. With main courses at £6.50 and every starter and dessert £2, you can have a three-course meal for £10.50. The menu never changes other than the starter which varies dependent on what’s in season (last time we went, it was spiced pumpkin).
The churros sundae is mine and my brother’s favourite and it reminds me of breakfast in Spain so much. I’m constantly craving the doughnutty delight and the combination of hot churros with chocolate fudge sauce and ice cream is just perfection in a bowl! It was a little heavy after the cod and chips, but I just could not resist!

All in all it was a lovely afternoon with good food and company, in a warm and friendly setting. I know we will definitely be going back (my granddad loves the scampi too much!) and it’s a really good place to go for a family meal or even coffee or cocktails with friends.

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