County Hotel, 29 Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2PZ
With spring on the horizon, there’s so much to look forward to in the next few months, with plenty of occasions coming up that will only be made better if you know where the finest places to eat and drink in the region are. Whether you’re taking the family out on Easter, treating your mother and grandmothers to a special afternoon tea or hearty Sunday lunch for Mother’s Day, or just want to get out of the house on the bank holidays and make the most of the very welcome sunny skies, start this joyous season off wisely by choosing to dine at the always stunning Samphire Restaurant in the charming city of Chelmsford in Essex.
Housed within the classic yet contemporary County Hotel Chelmsford, a welcoming and refined hotel established in 1928 on the grounds of the Old Rainsford Manor, Samphire Restaurant never fails to delight discerning diners thanks to its stylish and colourful interiors and menu that features a tempting choice of unique dishes boasting innovative flavours. Awarded a red rosette for its creative cuisine, a typical three-course dinner at this must-visit restaurant might start with the likes of salt-baked Norfolk-grown heritage beetroot topped with torched goat’s curd, red chard and candied walnuts, or risotto with Yorkshire-grown girolles mushrooms and grated hard cheese. Follow your delicious starter with a mouth-watering main like the succulent game pie filled with Yorkshire venison, rabbit and partridge, paired with smooth celeriac mash, or favourites like the house-made 8oz beef burger served with sweet onion marmalade in a brioche bun and accompanied by a side of fries. You’ll also never pass up dessert when the choice is this tempting; choose from enticing treats you’ll swoon over like the refreshing glazed lemon tart with raspberry sorbet, rich and dreamy dark chocolate delice with pistachio ice cream, and comforting prune and almond tart with custard.
This Mother’s Day (March 22nd), show your mother how much you appreciate her by surprising her with a three-course dinner or special afternoon tea at Samphire Restaurant. For just £30 per person for a three-course dinner or £24.95 per person for their special afternoon tea, which both includes a special gift for mothers, after a morning spent soaking up the spring sunshine and exploring this vibrant and energetic city just exploding with culture, there’s no finer destination in which to unwind and relish one another’s company than at this characterful and sophisticated hotel.
If you’ve never experienced afternoon tea at Samphire Restaurant, you’re in for a real treat. With classic and vegan versions available to ensure no one needs to miss out, if you really want to spoil yourself, we recommend booking their brilliant Best of British afternoon tea, offering a seductive spin on this always popular classic. Begin with a selection of fresh leaf teas, tisanes, or freshly brewed coffee before indulging in the likes of puffed pork scratching sticks, free-range pork and apple scotch eggs, spicy free-range coronation chicken and roast beef, watercress and horseradish sandwiches, chunky sausage rolls, and battered whitebait with French fries. The sweet dishes are just as delectable as the savoury, with brownies, cakes, and éclairs that’ll have you licking your fingers and immediately marking your next visit to Samphire Restaurant in your diary.
The Sunday lunch menu is also one of the county’s best. To begin, choose from the likes of Cornish fishcake with poached egg, white wine and dill velouté and micro herbs, or ham hock with piccalilli, crispy crackling and micro herb salad with toasted sourdough, before digging into mains like succulent braised leg of lamb served with fondant potato, seasonal vegetables and rich lamb jus, or pan-fried fillet of sea bass with saffron Parmentier potatoes, sautéed spinach, clam, mussels and tomato fondue. Finish with Bailey’s crème brûlée, apple and rhubard crumble with vanilla ice cream, or chocolate and pistachio brownie with rossi vanilla ice cream and you’ll never want to end your week in any other way.
Be sure to also look out for our review of Samphire Restaurant in our recently released Essex Food & Drink Guide 2019-2020.