Lunch with The Three Tuns, Finchingfield
As you drive through the pretty village of Finchingfield, you'll pass the thatched cottages on each side of the road and then, overlooking the bijou village green, you'll find The Three Tuns.
AS you drive through the pretty village of Finchingfield, you’ll pass the thatched cottages on each side of the road and then, overlooking the bijou village green, you’ll find The Three Tuns. Prepare for a surprise when you step inside. The exterior blends in perfectly with the traditional village setting, but you’ll find a much more contemporary d�cor within. Mike and Maria Stone opened The Three Tuns as a restaurant with bar in November 2008. ‘We purchased the 18th century building in May 2008, but it was in such a sorry state it took us that long to rebuild the interior.’
The couple invested in a new kitchen, bar area and created two double bedrooms, one with a luxury bathroom complete with roll-top bath, while the larger of the two doubles has a flat screen TV and its own en suite shower room.
Now The Three Tuns offers a cosy atmosphere with a relaxing bar area complete with leather sofas. The restaurant is set on another slightly lower level and comfortably seats around 30 diners. It’s a perfectly-sized restaurant for private parties and is regularly booked for special occasions with guests able to book out the entire building.
Mike and Maria work well together and neither are strangers to the trade. Mike’s background was as a club owner in London’s East End and together the couple ran another pub near Brentwood. Mike’s naturally gregarious character lends itself to the front of house operation, while Maria’s flair for traditional home-cooked food means her menus bring in a loyal band of regular diners.
The couple work incredibly hard – there’s been no holiday since the opening – and they take only one day off each week which is spent on the premises catching up on all those must-do jobs.
Our lunch together began with a colourful dish, salmon and tarragon mousse with lemon and black pepper toast and a side serving of crisp salsa. The salmon had a lovely citrus after taste and the salsa was a good accompaniment. Mike had told me about our main course, he’d sampled it the day before to be sure it was just right. It didn’t disappoint, open steak and pancetta pie, served with mash and fresh vegetables.
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The steak was slow-braised in red wine with a rich gravy and the pancetta really took the flavours to another level. As we ate, Mike explained about their varied and interesting selection of wines. They use a bespoke wine merchant who provides them with competitively-priced wines you won’t find elsewhere. To complete our meal, Maria brought out individual dishes of freshly-baked chocolate cake drizzled with fresh cream on an amaretti biscuit base – dark, rich and still wonderfully warm from the oven. A fabulous end to a wonderful meal.
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The Three Tuns Public House and RestaurantWethersfield RoadFinchingfieldBraintree CM7 4NR01371 810165