Channels Estate, Pratt’s Farm Lane, Little Waltham, Chelmsford, CM3 3PT

Nestled within 300 acres of picturesque parkland between Little Waltham and Beaulieu, Chelmsford and long established as one of the finest wedding venues in Essex, Channels Estate in Chelmsford makes an idyllic place to eat, drink and be merry and more than deserves to be on your must-visit list. Whether you’re visiting for an elegant private dining experience, an extravagant celebration, or even a round of golf on the estate’s Little Channels 9 hole Pay & Play golf course, few venues in the Essex region offer as much versatility as Channels Estate.

Foodies searching for something special will certainly find it at Channels Bar & Brasserie. Recently refurbished and housed in the original 14th-century farmhouse, this charming brasserie boasts the number 1 spot on TripAdvisor for fine dining restaurants in Chelmsford and was a finalist at both the Essex Life Food & Drink awards in 2017 for destination dining, and at the Essex Life Food and Drink awards 2018 for its customer services.

Perfectly combining style and comfort to create a relaxed dining destination that Chelmsford diners agree can’t be matched, when we visited Channels Brasserie, we were impressed by the venue’s soothing ambience and were immediately won over by the charming list of rules canine companions must obey if they want to hang out within this incredibly dog-friendly bar. In fact, Channels Bar & Brasserie is considered by far the most dog-friendly restaurant in Chelmsford and was the first to launch a Doggie Dining menu that includes favourites such as Proctor sausages, a cheeseboard, and Pawsecco; just a few of the treats your four-legged friends will simply love. The venue is even home to a dog agility course situated on the lawn behind Channels Bar & Brasserie. Free to use and the perfect way to keep your dog’s mind and body active, this variety of obstacles will help strengthen your pampered pooches’ muscles, keep them fit, improve their coordination, and increase their endurance.

Sat within the light and airy dining room, when we perused the tempting menu we were impressed by talented head chef Dan Pitt’s imagination, offering a scrumptious selection of seasonal dishes including British favourites and Asian-fusion dishes. We began with a delicious tomato soup with chorizo, and rabbit and quail pate, before moving onto mains of calf’s liver and bacon, and hearty steak and mushroom pie. Served by attentive, friendly staff and expertly prepared, after we had reached the end of our fantastic three-course feast, perfectly rounded off by an indulgent chocolate and orange parfait and tonka bean cream, we understood exactly why this one-of-a-kind bar and brasserie is held in such high regard across the Essex region.

If you’ve never visited Channels Estate before, why not plan a trip next month and join the estate for their Christmas Fair 2019 – a magical weekend of Christmas fun and celebrations? Starting on Friday 22nd November, the fair will welcome over 30 Christmas market stalls to the grounds, as well as Santa’s Grotto, plenty of street food and mulled wine and cider, and live music from 8pm until 10pm, with complimentary hot chocolate and mince pie on arrival. Santa’s sleigh will land on Saturday, with candy canes for all the children and other activities including a soft play area, bouncy castle, kids’ creative crafts and games, and entertainment from Frozen’s Elsa and a juggling elf. Sunday is dog’s day, with Doggie’s Christmas Pawty, Santa’s sleigh arriving with a gift for all the doggies, a dog agility course and even competitions including best fancy dress and best trick.

With live music on the last Friday of every month, Jazzy Sundays on the second Sunday, and ChanThai every Wednesday, if you just can’t wait until Christmas, there’s always a reason to visit Channels Bar & Brassiere.

Look out for our review of Channels Brasserie in our upcoming Essex Food & Drink Guide 2020.

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