PUBLISHED: 13:02 11 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 20 February 2013
Gill and Peter Tydie of The Victory, Mersea Island
The Victory 01206 382907 For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
ARRIVING at The Victory, the beauty of Mersea Island never fails to take my breath away, writes Stephanie Mackentyre.
Gill and Peter are originally from Hertfordshire, where they ran a successful pub for three years, and came to Mersea after deciding they needed to expand and take on a new challenge.
The couple are a real double act and both keen sailors too. They met 30 years ago in a pub called The Victory, so was it fate that brought them to the romance of Mersea Island and The Victory I wonder.
The couple took it over in February 2007 then closed for a major refurbishment. It's now smartly lambent yet still manages to retain that lovely welcoming snugness of a more traditional hostelry.
Both Gill and Peter believe that, alongside great cuisine, customer service has to be the top priority. This should come in handy when the AA arrives for a mystery shop - they have three guest bedrooms and recently applied for a four-star AA rating. A further five bedrooms are planned too for early 2009. Martin Lavansch is head chef, with David Jenkins as general manager.
Inside, the spacious restaurant comfortably seats 40 diners, with the cheery conservatory which takes in the coastal views. In the summer their generous frontage enables them to regularly turn around 300 al fresco lunches in a day too. The Victory menu changes twice a year and all products are sourced locally. The steak is a popular request and it, along with all the meat, comes from Wick Farm.
Our lunch arrived with freshly-landed Cornish sardines, lightly flavoured with garlic and herb butter, rocket and a drizzle of balsamic sat on top of warm foccachia bread. Then shoulder of lamb. It was impressively served with honey-glazed carrots and dreamy, creamy mash.
To finish Martin spoilt us with an assiette of three desserts - apple and gooseberry crumble, marbled chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and an individual chocolate pudding.
A perfect end to an entertaining lunch.
92 Coast Road
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