PARENTAL ADVISORY – CONTAINS NON-COMPLIANT PLOUGHAMANS
Mrs RM and I have just completed the Beer Guide entries for Essex. Yesterday the pubs were all heaving with Christmas bookings, which gave us a chance to moan about the once-a-year pub goers that keep our pubs going till February.
But at the end of November in wildest Essex, there were some very quiet village pubs.
Just for a change, here’s the lovely Navigator extract, with West Hanningfield next to the big blue blob of reservoir.
Five miles away, the entire OAP population of Chelmsford would no doubt be descending on the antiques centre at Battlesbridge. Here, a few ramblers had just left the Three Compasses on their way to the sludge treatment reed beds. Sludge treatment works are No.177 on the Trip Advisor “Things to do in Chelmsford” rankings.
Mrs RM humoured me and we set of for a walk that took us about half a mile along the banks of the water, before mud saved her from further exertion.
A joy for lovers of Pubmaster insignia, the Three Compasses also has classic hours, open every lunchtime and evening.
I’d expected something quite foody, but this is Essex, where unpretentious unmodernised village pubs survive better than anywhere else apart from the Marches. The hunting prints and red plastic menus won’t get it on the National Inventory of Classic Pubs, but this is still one to treasure.
And we had to it ourselves. Just us and the longs-serving landlady (watching soap operas on a portable TV like they do in Germany), and a slight worry the pub is in the Beer Guide as a reward for long service.
Not at all, the Maldon Gold was well presented and a solid NBSS 3+.
We sat by that fire at the top and worked out that a Ploughman’s lunch would be easiest for the landlady to knock up without fuss.
To amuse ourselves while we waited, we set up a special art shot of condiment bottles from smallest to largest. Just for you.
It was a very ’70s Ploughman, certain to break every rule in the Pub Curmudgeon Book of Ploughmans. Mrs RM was expecting sourdough bread, I think.
But it was cheap and filling, and you can’t always say that.
Classic art in the Gents, too;