Where we ate:The Viper, Mill Green, Ingatestone
The only pub with its name in Britain, The Viper is a traditional real ale pub in idyllic, peaceful surroundings. Totally unspoilt by local woodland – the car park is sheltered by trees – the pub offers indoor seating and a plentiful beer garden, perfect in this weather! In fact, I’ve only ever sat outside; although it does get busy – often attracting cyclists and dog walkers (everyone is welcome!). You could certainly call it a little gem and it’s on the outskirts of Ingatestone. The only thing is, they don’t accept credit or debit cards, so make sure you have cash on you – you won’t be disappointed. The Viper is perfect.
Dad – a pint of Jake the Snake, followed by V.I.P.A
Me – apple and mango J2Os
What we ate:
Dad – the ‘famous’ jumbo sausage (baguette with fried onions)
Me – BLT sandwich on granary bread (served with crisps and salad)
Other than the natural beauty of the surroundings and general quietness of the area, the food is another reason people come back to The Viper. To sum up, it’s simple but very good. So many pubs now are chains or try too hard with their food but at The Viper, enjoy a sandwich or jacket potato, or even push the boat out with a Ploughman’s.
I opted for a BLT (probably one of my favourite sandwich fillings) on granary bread (a doorstep wedge), served with crisps and salad. The salad wasn’t anything too fussy either, which was lovely, and how a salad should be. A classic combination of lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onion with cress – with no fancy salad dressing.
Pricewise, you’re looking at around £4-5 per person – but the sandwiches are well worth the money, proper pub lunches! If you can sit outside, even better! Plus everything is homemade and fresh, even the guest beers are their own. We paid under £20 for the two of us, which also included a couple of drinks each, not bad going I thought.
I don’t think I could say anymore to persuade you to visit The Viper and it’s possibly one of the nicest pubs in Essex. Failing that, The Cricketers is a couple of minutes down the road and is equally as good, we visit the two in equal measure. If you’re after a real homely country pub, they are for you.