This charming pub and restaurant, situated conveniently close to Colchester, offers the very best in hearty food, quality drinks and friendly service. A wonderful array of seasonal dishes feature on a monthly changing menu, which showcases the best local produce, as well as high-quality ingredients sourced from further afield - including outstanding Shetland mussels. A talented young chef heads up the kitchen team, preparing all ingredients on the premises before they are cooked fresh to order. Even some of the necessary butchery is carried out on-site for dishes such as the venison - the bones from which are used to produce the finest stock. To start, we relished mussels with bacon in a cider cream sauce on toast and delicious twice-baked Gruyère and watercress soufflé with toasted pine nuts and tomato salad. Moreish rump of lamb with braised shallot tarte tatin, spinach and a Port jus came next and made a wonderful main, as did the pan-fried pheasant breast with braised leg, parsnip purée, potato rosti and red cabbage. The baked raspberry ripple cheesecake and treacle and pecan tart with clotted cream that followed were both absolute perfection. Seafood lovers simply must enquire about the superb, mainly fish-based specials, although all those in favour of fine, hearty cuisine will do well here.