Friendly old pub with seats in riverside garden, a good choice of drinks and highly regarded food
The good pub guide review
This late 15th-c pub set in countryside has a prettily planted garden that runs down to the sleepy River Roding. In order to bag a seat here in good weather, customers tend to arrive early at the weekend ' when the place is usefully open all day. The compact, low-beamed, L-shaped bar has exposed timbers, pretty lamps on nice sturdy elm tables and comfortable seating from wall banquettes to attractive, unusual high-backed chairs, some in a snug little side booth. In summer, two facing fireplaces have church candles instead of a fire; background music. Adnams Southwold and Ghost Ship and Franklins Citra IPA on handpump and 15 good wines by the glass. Our readers particularly like the enterprising food; the upstairs restaurant is more formal. Dogs are allowed in the garden.
The good pub guide food review
Imaginative food includes scotch egg with mustard mayonnaise and bois boudran sauce, pan-roasted scallops with cauliflower, toasted hazelnuts and shallot dressing, skate with brown shrimp and caper beurre noisette and new potatoes, roasted spiced cauliflower masala dhal with onion bhaji and cucumber, coriander and onion salad, and puddings such as blackberry soufflé with gingernut biscuit ice-cream and chocolate mousse with chantilly cream, fresh berries and raspberry chocolate matchsticks. They also offer a two- and three-course set menu (not Saturday evening or Sunday).
Queens Head, Queen Street, Fyfield, Ongar, Essex, CM5 0RY
Weekdays: 11-3.30, 6-11.30; closed Mon