Blue Strawberry Bistrot
The Street, Hatfield Peverel, CM3 2DW
Blue Strawberry Bistrot exudes that sought-after mix of quintessential English charm and French class. It’s no surprise that the relaxed atmosphere, enthusiastic staff and excellent food have attracted a loyal clientele over the past 21 years. Housed in converted Victorian cottages, the dining area is arranged over two floors and offers ample seating for small parties, and cosy nooks for intimate meals. We began by browsing the extensive wine list and intriguing mocktail menu, before sampling a refreshing drink made with gin from a local distillery, Fever-Tree tonic, ice and fruit. We soon turned our attention to the varied food menu, created by head chef Benny, who updates the dishes daily with fresh, seasonal produce. Our starters of homemade leek and sweet potato soup, and homemade chicken liver pâté with toasted bread proved how familiar favourites can be adapted and updated for modern tastes. We followed with sunblushed pepper, Red Leicester and spinach tart served with sweet potato frites and a side salad, and pan-fried calf’s liver served on bubble and squeak, topped with crispy pancetta and caramelised onion gravy. Both dishes lived up to the promise of home-cooked quality. The dessert menu proved equally tempting, and the warm evening called for a final serving of refreshing mango sorbet. Thoroughly satisfied, we were left to relax and appreciate the beautiful restaurant a while longer. Given the exquisite quality of food on offer, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there are some pretty eye-watering prices too. However, there’s exceptional value to be had with the two-course lunch, running from Monday to Saturday at just £18.95, with an additional course from £4.50. Options include sage and onion pulled pork with celeriac remoulade and onion and thyme toast, and smoked haddock and spinach fishcakes with a mild curry yoghurt dipping sauce and fresh dressed pea shoots, with ample vegetarian and gluten-free choices available. If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for a friend or family member, Blue Strawberry Bistrot also offers gift vouchers that can also be redeemed at their sister venue The Lion Inn. What better treat can you give than fantastic food in stunning surroundings?