A fortnight ago (and the day after my mum’s birthday), we took my Nan out for her birthday – and when deciding where to go, she suggested The Old Windmill, having not been there for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever been, despite being at a couple of the pubs nearby, but it’s at South Hanningfield, on the way to Chelmsford – and not too far from where Nan lives.
Mum booked a table for five, for 2:30pm and it was the perfect time to devour a roast dinner! It’s a good job we booked, as the bar, dining room and beer garden were all busy. We sat in the dining room and there was plenty of space and natural lighting, as it was next to the garden. One thing I will mention is the sign outside saying ‘Dogs Welcome’ also extended to inside the pub. There were two dogs in the dining room, which I found quite unusual – but thankfully, we didn’t notice they were there. Next time, I would be more inclined to sit somewhere where there are no animals though.
On a Sunday, The Old Windmill offers two menus: the standard a la carte option, alongside traditional roast dinners. With a selection of meats, including a mixed roast of beef and pork, there was plenty of choice. Of course, being Sunday, we all decided on the roast – and as the portions were so generous, we didn’t need feeding for the rest of the day... although it didn’t stop us looking at and ordering dessert.
My mum, Nan and brother all chose the braised shoulder of lamb; Ash picked the rare topside of beef with giant Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce; while I went for my favourite: roast loin of pork, with sage & onion stuffing, apple sauce and shards of crackling. All the meals came served with roast potatoes, red & green cabbage, leeks and lashings of gravy. I really enjoyed my dinner, particularly the pork, which wasn’t at all fatty. The gravy added enough seasoning to the rest of the meal, so luckily the vegetables weren’t seasoned, but were cooked perfectly. Although I was really hungry, I struggled to eat all three potatoes!
Like I said, we managed to have dessert and as I was limited as to what I could have, I chose the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. It was just as good as it looks – light sponge, rich sticky toffee sauce and ice cream simply melted. As always, I ate it far too quickly and honestly, I could have eaten it twice over! Robert picked the American waffle with strawberries, clotted cream ice cream and Pimm’s syrup, which looked incredible – I was SO jealous.
Everyone else ended the meal with coffee and it wasn’t long until we then got the bill. Despite being a pub, there was table service and it was very good. From the moment we arrived, we were taken straight to our table and our drinks order was soon taken – there was no waiting around at the bar. We don’t go out for Sunday lunch often, so it made a change and I would return.
Love, Lucy xx