Last Monday was my birthday and as I had booked the day off from work and my mum wasn’t working, she said she would take me out for lunch. She recommended The Two Brewers, as she’d been just before Christmas with some former work colleagues and the food was decent. Better still, on her last visit, she received an envelope which had to be presented prior to paying for a future meal in January or February. Each envelope had a money off coupon – 25%, 50% or an incredible 100% off food (drinks not included) – and just to spoil it, we received the 25% off. The pub is just outside Chigwell, so a bit of a mission from Brentwood, but it was certainly worth it.
The last time my mum was there, she ate in a completely different area – where I think they must accommodate larger parties. This time we sat around the corner from the bar, in the ‘snug’. There was a really lovely table in a bay window, but we decided to sit down the far side of the room, where there was a lot more space. It was so comfortable, with a padded bench and plenty of cushions – and the table was decorated with a candle and flowers. The decor was lovely, so homely and just perfect for a leisurely lunch. Although we ordered drinks at the bar on arrival, it was table service – I definitely prefer that, than having to get up to order my food!
As I wasn’t sure on our dinner plans that evening, I decided to choose something reasonably light (or so I thought) and mum had recommended the crispy chilli beef salad from a previous visit. And it was incredible! I love shredded beef from the Chinese and this was much the same: strips of beef in a crispy coating, on a bed of carrot ribbons, julienned peppers, red onion and pea shoots. Topped with toasted cashew nuts and with just the right amount of sweet chilli sauce, it wasn’t too spicy but incredibly filling. It made a change from the usual boring, lifeless salads on offer at pubs and the ingredients were exciting, fresh and crunchy. I particularly liked the dehydrated tomato chips scattered on the plate. Mum had the rump steak ciabatta with tarragon mayo, chunky chips and tomato relish. It would have been my second choice, but it’s fair to say, there was no food envy on my part! Sometimes steak can be quite chewy, but this wasn’t the case and even the ciabatta roll was lovely. I can’t have been that full, as I helped mum out with the chips and we both decided we’d have dessert.
We did have some level of control though and with birthday cake on the cards later on, we shared a dessert. Luckily, we both had our eyes on the same one – the dark chocolate parfait with boozy cherries and pistachio ice cream. It was really light and the chocolate wasn’t too rich, or sickly. There’s no way I’d have been able to manage a whole dessert to myself. But we did accompany it with a coffee – an Americano for me and a latte for mum.
For a casual lunch or catch-up, I couldn’t recommend The Two Brewers more. It was fairly quiet by the time we arrived (2pm), so we didn’t need to book. But it also meant we were able to chat away without any background noise. Sitting in the snug ensured we weren’t rushed, although the service was good. Even though there are similar pubs and restaurants closer to home, I think I’d return.
Love, Lucy xx