Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pub review: The Fox & Raven

OOTD: Top - Boohoo, Leggings - New Look,
Shoes - Forever21, Bag - Ted Baker
Where I ate:
The Fox & Raven, Barnes Mill Road, Chelmsford
The Fox & Raven is a gorgeous little country pub near Chelmer Village, away from the hustle and bustle of Chelmsford high street. Part of the Vintage Inns chain, the interior is beautifully homely and cosy, as so many of their pubs are. The pub has a rustic charm, from the outside, which is emphasised once you’re inside: low ceilings, beams, a nice woody smell. The surroundings are also picturesque – it’s within a stone’s throw of the River Chelmer. So what better way to shelter from the winter freeze than with a lovely pub lunch somewhere with a roaring open fire?
What I ate: 
Grilled rib eye ciabatta (with mustard mayo and onion rings) and chips, followed by rhubarb crème brûlée
I knew I was going out that evening, so didn’t want anything to heavy and there was no way I was going to be able to manage three courses from the fixed price menu. Nothing really jumped out at me and after umming and ahhing for ages, I settled for the sandwich menu. The last time I went to The Hawk with family, I remember brother having the steak ciabatta and saying how good it was. It did look nice.
There’s no scrimping on the portion sizes and I struggled to eat over half the chips – the sandwich was a meal in itself! I usually have my steak very rare; it arrived medium, but it was still very good – and not at all tough. The onion rings were also a welcome addition, but it was just missing a bit of rocket, or something.
Ordering from the light bites or fixed price menu allows you to choose from a selection of desserts priced at £2. I normally opt for the churros sundae, but knew that would be far too filling – particularly as I was also having birthday cake when I got home – and I wanted something different. Crème brûlée is one of my favourite desserts, but I’d never had it with actual fruit in it (I once had a passion fruit flavoured brûlée which was amazing). I was actually quite disappointed: the rhubarb at the bottom ruined the usual texture of the custard, although the sharpness of the fruit worked well with the sugary sweet brûlée topping. My friend went for the chocolate brownie – definitely a good choice!
If you’re after a good value meal in a lovely countryside location, then look no further. The food may not be spectacular but you always know what you’re getting. I had a lovely afternoon, celebrating my post-birthday and it was so nice to catch up outside of working hours with LJ.

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