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10 cosy country gastro pubs in Essex

PUBLISHED: 15:35 24 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:38 18 November 2016

Beer © Vicheslav, Getty Images

Beer © Vicheslav, Getty Images

Archant

As the days get shorter and colder, we all need a little sanctuary to unwind in, so why not choose a cosy pub in the Essex countryside? We have selected 10 of the finest for you.

The Lion Inn, Boreham

Tucked in the countryside in the village of Boreham, just outside Chelmsford, this award-winning pub is well worth the drive to spend an evening relaxing and getting festive with lots of good food. Enjoy some real ales or order from the continental inspired gastro pub menu. Recently renovated with a Victorian style conservatory, you can enjoy the winter scenery without the chill. www.lioninnhotel.co.uk

The Bull, Brentwood

High quality, locally sourced, and seasonally-changing food can be found in the Bull pub in Brentwood. With an extensive wine and real ale menu you can find a new favourite and bask in the wintery atmosphere. www.thebullbrentwood.com

The Square and Compasses, Fuller Street

Located in between Great Leighs and Terling in the scenic hamlet of Fuller Street, this traditional country pub is set in a lovely refurbished 17th century building. With a rustic interior, you can enjoy your drinks or meal in an old-worldy setting. www.thesquareandcompasses.co.uk

The Bull and Willow Room, Great Totham

With weekly events including luncheons and cabarets, and two dining areas, the Willow Room restaurant and the Bull Gastro pub there is a lot to do in this 16th century coaching inn. With fresh, seasonal produce and two AA rosettes, you won’t be disappointed with this charming pub. www.thebullatgreattotham.co.uk

The Hoop Free House, Stock

This pub, located on the High Street in Stock has a rich history: starting life in 1460 as a set of weavers’ cottages, it was transformed into an alehouse 450 years ago. An extensive and award winning wine list will tempt you in but stay for the cosy atmosphere with grand fireplaces and timber beams, not to mention the gourmet restaurant and gastro pub food too. www.thehoop.co.uk

Pig and Whistle, Chignall Smealy

This country restaurant set in a small village in the Chelmsford countryside is a relaxed and traditional place with high quality, hearty classic dishes and a great selection of drinks. The cosy atmosphere and country surroundings will provide a warm winter feeling that we are all looking for at this time of year. Bookings are required on the weekend so call now. www.pigandwhistlechelmsford.uk

The Bell Inn, Horndon-on-the-Hill

Winner of the Good Pub Guide Essex Dining Pub of the Year for 4 consecutive years, this pub has a daily changing menu that will keep you coming back time and time again. Family run for over 75 years and with a 500 year history as a coaching inn, this is the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Relax in the traditional but understated bar area and move on to a table in the restaurant for delicious homemade food. www.bell-inn.co.uk

The Plough, Saffron Walden

A traditional pub with a twist: you can indulge in delicious classic pub food, or branch out for their small Bulgarian inspired menu including Kavarma, a steak and vegetable casserole, and Baklava, a delicious sweet filo pastry dessert. Also hosting vintage vehicle gatherings, this cosy place has more to it than meets the eye. www.ploughgc.co.uk

Whitmore Arms, Orsett

With a refined beer and wine menu and an eclectic food menu with daily specials, this pub in the village of Orsett is a hidden gem in the country. The award winning pub has an interesting history, starting life as a coaching house 300 years ago and won as a bet along the way by the Whitmore family leading to its current name. Be sure to choose a recommended beer and something off the specials menu and forget about the day. www.whitmorearms.co.uk

The Rose and Crown, Stansted Mountfitchet

With home cooked food and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, the Rose and Crown is an ideal place to enjoy a leisurely winter evening. Snuggle up next to the fire with some real ale and you are set for an evening of conversation and relaxation. www.facebook.com/theroseandcrownstansted

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