Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
The homely, country feel of this traditional pub on the outskirts of South Ockendon, conveniently located just a short drive from the motorway, will make you feel as though you’re miles from anywhere. Originally a coaching inn dating from 1485, the Royal Oak has retained its characterful Tudor features in the cosy and quaint pub area, while the open-plan layout of the family-friendly restaurant, with large windows that let in plenty of light, has created a spacious dining room that’s perfect for cosy meals for two and larger groups alike. Outside, the expansive beer garden is ideal for enjoying some lunch or a cold beer in good weather.
Traditional pub fare takes centre stage here, and the well-stocked bar is filled with a range of draught and bottled lagers, as well as ale, wine and spirits. On the evening of our visit, we decided on the deliciously light seafood platter, packed with smoked salmon, prawns and crabmeat, and a plate of cured meats, laden with prosciutto, Napoli salami, bresaola, sunblushed tomatoes and olives. From the regularly changing specials board, I sampled the sizeable mixed grill, which includes steak, gammon, sausage, lamb chop, black pudding and a side of very chunky chips – but be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted. My partner selected the succulent sirloin steak, which was cooked exactly to her liking and served with all the trimmings, plus a side of mixed seasonable vegetables. The dessert menu proved irresistible, so we finished off with Spotted Dick and custard, and a pineapple fritter with vanilla ice cream.
We were told that other firm menu favourites include grilled salmon, breaded scampi and cod and chips, but whatever you select from the extensive, reasonably priced menu, you’re guaranteed to get plenty for your money. We left feeling well and truly satisfied, so we’ll definitely be back to sample more of what is on offer.