Chatham Green, Little Waltham, Chelmsford, CM3 3LE
The husband-and-wife team behind The Windmill is made up of award-winning chef Mick Binnington and maitre d’ Lydia, who brings a wealth of hospitality experience to welcome guests to this historic pub. Originally founded in 1829, the beautiful Chatham Green windmill was a focal point of village life, and today it maintains much of its original brickwork and timbers, including the millstones once used to grind the wheat to provide the village with freshly baked bread. Having benefitted from a sympathetic refurbishment to maintain its character, The Windmill now combines outstanding food with a selection of real ale, cocktails and an extensive wine list. Chef and owner Mick has worked in some of the country’s top Michelin-starred restaurants and has created a menu that showcases the finest hand-picked ingredients. Food is at the heart of everything the team does, and it’s clear to see in the superb dishes on offer. Everything is cooked on-site and made to order using fresh, hand-picked ingredients. Focusing on good honest food and reimagining British classics you might start with such delights as the celeriac risotto with autumn truffle and chives or Great Garnetts pork scotch egg with mustard mayonnaise. The main courses are a real celebration of British produce, with the likes of roast stone bass served on colcannon with brown shrimp and a lemon and white wine sauce, garnished with dill oil. These delicate flavour combinations make the most of the fresh seafood flavours, allowing them to shine through in each bite. The offering of sublime local produce continues with the fillet of Stokes Marsh Farm beef with The Windmill chips and a Béarnaise sauce, and the market fish du jour. Vegetarian diners won’t go hungry thanks to a flavoursome smoked cheddar, onion and almond crumble tart. Make sure to save room for dessert – with the likes of steamed Seville orange marmalade pudding and the highly recommended white chocolate crème brulee with passion fruit on offer, you’ll want to sample all three courses. During Friday and Saturday lunchtimes, the fixed-price menu offers two courses for a very reasonable £23, and three courses for £28. On Sunday, visit for the exceptional roast – it’s renowned in the local area. Choose from the likes of perfectly rare beef rib and roast rump of lamb, and enjoy the impeccably cooked roast potatoes, homemade Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings. Finish off a lazy Sunday afternoon with the British cheeseboard, with each option carefully selected and explained by the owners. To complement your meal, the owners have hand-picked an incredible selection of lager, real ale, wine and spirits they know guests will love. Everybody is welcome at this friendly establishment, so even if you’re not dining, relax in the bar or outside on the terrace and sample one of the signature cocktails as you take in the peaceful surroundings of this charming rural hamlet. If you’re looking to extend your stay, there are two luxury double bedrooms available to stay in. Rooms are priced from £100 a night which includes breakfast and allows guests to relax in the large double ended bath tubs and king sized beds with Netflix and a coffee machine for convenience. The Windmill has earned an enviable reputation for the quality of the service – nothing is too much trouble for the attentive and knowledgeable staff. The cosy interior is the perfect setting in which to sample exquisitely presented dishes, enabling guests to have a fantastic fine dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere. Mick and Lydia have really put their stamp on this beautiful venue; it’s a must-try for any foodie in the area.