REVIEW: The Leather Bottle pub in Blackmore
PUBLISHED: 17:37 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:37 21 May 2020
Stephanie Mackentyre visits The Leather Bottle, a classic village pub located just off The Green in Blackmore
Unfortunately, a collision on the A12 at Chelmsford meant a countryside detour on our way to Ingatestone so we arrived 30 minutes late for our table and, apologies accepted, sat at a very comfortable window seat overlooking the village green.
You can park right outside but its rather popular on a Sunday and so we parked in a nearby side road.
The place was already full of diners in the restaurant which makes up the right-hand side of the recently refurbished pub, with folks meeting for a lunchtime drink to the left of the restaurant.
The menu began with a selection of tempting nibbles including honey and mustard chipolatas and halloumi fries with a sweet chilli tip.
As we’d arrived late, we thought it best to go straight to starters. I ordered the mushroom and mozzarella arancini with black garlic aioli and my guest picked the creamy curried parsnip soup which came with warmed bread and butter.
There was also a variety of flavoured homemade Scotch eggs and a caramelised stilton and shallot tart with a rocket salad as a starter. Ours were well presented and the flavours didn’t disappoint.
The interior is very modern despite the more rustic exterior – the pub was given a more modern, contemporary look in 2018.
There’s some interesting animal art on the walls and a wooden goat in the restaurant, which itself isn’t huge with a mix of bench and armchair seating to go with chunky wooden tables.
There’s more room in the garden on a warm summer’s day, plus a wooden garden room outside too.
The service was swift and friendly, and our main courses arrived very promptly; mixed roast which included roast lamb, beef and chicken with a slice of sausage meat stuffing served with extra potatoes and two individual gravy boats per person.
It was ideal for me as I love plenty of gravy and ideal for my dining partner as he only likes a small amount and was able to add his own, which he appreciated. The roasts came with a side of seasonal vegetables, cauliflower, beans, carrots and peas.
We knew our table was needed again at 2.30pm so sadly there wasn’t time to enjoy the mint aero chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, apple and rhubarb crumble with vanilla custard or perhaps the baked vanilla cheesecake with banana, toffee sauce and honeycomb.
However, despite our tardiness we never felt rushed and the staff were helpful and courteous throughout our visit.
If we had the table for the afternoon we might have also been tempted to try the rather appealing cheese selection which includes Brie de Meaux, Black Bomber cheddar, oak smoked Dorset red and blue veined creamy Montagnolo. Blessed are the cheesemakers.
Useful to know
The total bill came to £61.10 for two courses plus drinks for two people. This is an independent review, featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and wine editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.
Table Talk with Gina Daldry, her son Richard Daldry and his friend Espen Trossen
Where do you live and what do you do? I live in Blackmore and I’m retired.
What did you choose from the menu? I had baked camembert to begin with and then the roast beef.
Why were you at The Leather Bottle? I was celebrating my birthday.
Describe your dining experience: I find it a friendly place and I’ve lived in Blackmore for a long time. Its been refurbished and I have been a regular for about 50 years. I feel very comfortable there.
Is there anything they could do better? No, I can’t think of anything. In the summer you can also eat in the garden and there’s a garden room there. They are always doing different things and are quite innovative.
How would you rate the value for money? It’s not overly expensive and our roast beef was £16 a head. My son lives in Acton in London and so he thought it was very reasonable.
Worth visiting again? Yes, I go there quite a lot.
What was the best part of your visit? The service is very good and I just always feel very happy to go in by myself. It has a friendly feel to it.
Book a table
The Leather Bottle, The Green, Blackmore, Ingatestone, CM4 0RL | 01277 821891