REVIEW: The New Times in Tiptree

PUBLISHED: 16:43 10 May 2018

New Times

New Times

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Stephanie Mackentyre reviews this pub and all-you-can-eat carvery

WITH ever-increasing demands on precious family time, often Sunday is the only time you can all sit down together around the table, although the idea of taking small children out to eat, in a grown up restaurant can heighten the stress levels for parents and grandparents alike.

However we picked The New Times this month as its dining facilities appear popular with both young and old. What it lacks in curb appeal it makes up for with a warm and gracious welcome and a down to earth, value for money menu which clearly appeals as the restaurant was fully subscribed.

Not surprising as they offer a carvery all week and also on Sundays at £14.45 for two courses with desserts from £4.25 (£11 for two courses Tuesday to Friday evenings only). The restaurant setting was more old times than new with dated décor, but it’s a place where if your elderly aunt only wants a bowl of their homemade soup, that’s not a problem.

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Or perhaps your children only want to eat roast chicken and stuffing – they wouldn’t bat an eye lid.

The waiting staff were genuinely friendly and the traditional three meat carvery was plentiful. Starters were limited to either soup – leek and potato when we dined or there’s a central salad bar where you help yourself to a selection of pate, egg mayonnaise, smoked mackerel and whole sea prawns, all served with a selection of salads.

While checking out the starters, fresh rolls had been delivered to our table. Meats for our mains (beef, gammon and turkey) were generously plated by their cheery chef and you help yourself to vegetables. I’d have liked to have seen cauliflower cheese and perhaps another vegetable there too, along with crisp roasties, mashed swede, carrots, shredded cabbage and peas, as well as perfectly puffy Yorkshire puddings, of course.

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There was only one type of gravy on offer, but it was rich, steamingly thick and tasted full of meaty goodness. The other tables were full of several generations of the same families, all happily enjoying a relaxed Sunday lunch together without the prospect of any washing up to fight over.

There’s a modest wine list with six whites, four reds and three rose wines to choose from, plus some sparkling wines and a Champagne. If you have a sweet tooth there’s a surprisingly long list of desserts to sample too. We tried the caramel apple pie with cream and honeycomb cheesecake with two large scoops of ice cream.

The bar area has two log burners and outside there’s a pretty garden with tables and chairs if you find you’ve chosen a sunny Sunday on which to dine. Just minutes up the road is Tiptree Heath Nature Reserve, spanning 60 acres with gorgeous grazing Exmore ponies, which is an ideal place to take the dogs and children for an afternoon stroll after lunch.

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Useful to know

The total bill came to £43.60 for a three-course Sunday carvery for two including soft drinks. 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.

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