Sandra Dean - BACP Registered member

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Author (Amanda Green), Blogger, Life Writing Workshop coach, BACP Counsellor Dip., Aerial Photographer and Orangutan, Animal and Mental Health campaigner in Essex

The Cricketers, Clavering, Nr Saffron Walden, Essex, restaurant review

We stayed in the Cricketer’s accommodation for two nights in December when we had the thick snow all over the UK, and it was freezing, but the rooms, pub and restaurant were warm and cosy with a log fire in the bar area, and lots of places to sit, drink and dine in various rooms. They have real ales and a good wine list to compliment the food, which is British in the main. With a varied choice of fish and seafood dishes on the specials board, plus meat dishes from Sunday roast, to steaks, to rabbit pasta, home made suet pies, and vegetarian options, it was hard to choose what to have!

We dined there for Sunday lunch on our first day there, and dinner on the second, and apart from my prawn spaghetti starter, it was all very good. (the dish was too salty and I was a little disappointed that the waitress didn’t ask me why I had left it uneaten)  Actually, the breakfast was not as fabulous as I had expected either.

(photos to follow soon…)  It is owned by Jamie Oliver’s Mum and Dad, and apparently much of their vegetable ingredients come from his organic garden, so that is a nice touch and I have to say all vegetables we were served were fresh, delicious and held their flavour like only organic veg can.

The rooms are comfortable, with tea and coffee facilities and a telephone, but they only thing was that, when I required something from reception, they never answered, so I had to go out in the cold, along the road to the pub (the rooms are in a separate building) to speak with them. I was met with a ‘Well we are busy in the restaurant as you can see and I have to look after our diners first!’ when I told them I had been trying to call, which I found a little rude, since we were staying and eating with them and were customers too!

It still wouldn’t put me off though, and, as we had to leave at 5am to catch a flight on our last morning, we asked for a sandwich as we wouldn’t be having breakfast and they did make us a ham sandwich, which was handy, as there was nowhere else to get breakfast on the way. The weekend over, on Mondy the staff were friendly and attentive, and it was a much better service and atmosphere than the weekend, when it seemed chaotic and the staff were not as good as the food and restaurant deserve.  I think we had about 3 waiting staff on Sunday lunch and I think they would benefit by allocating tables to waiters/waitresses.  I used to work in the hotel/dining arena and that would be my tip.  Overall, our stay and dining experiences were pleasant.

It is in easy reach of Stanstead airport and I would recommend it as a great alternative to an airport hotel. It is rather expensive for the quality of room, but no more than you would pay at an airport hotel. We spent one day in Cambridge, and it was not too far to the park and ride, making it very easy to get into the town centre. It would be worth staying there for the food alone, but there’s lots to do in the local area, since it is close to Saffron Walden, many sights in North Essex, and the M11.

Date of visit: December 2010

My marks out of 10: (10 being the highest)

Food – 8

Service – 6

Atmosphere – 8

Value for money – 8

The Cricketers, Clavering, Nr Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4QT

Telephone: 01799 550442

Fax: 01799 550882



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