8 great fine dining venues in Essex to try this winter

Essex's fine dining venues (c) Jay Wennington on Unsplash

Essex's fine dining venues (c) Jay Wennington on Unsplash - Credit: Archant

If you’re looking for somewhere with the county’s best chefs and finest local produce then you’ll want to book a table at one of these top eateries. Here are 8 great fine dining venues in Essex

The Seven Hotel

The Seven Hotel - Credit: Archant

- The Seven Hotel

7 Clifton Terrace, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1DT | 01702 900010

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The Seven Hotel is a brand new luxury boutique hotel set on the picturesque Thames Estuary in the heart of Southend-on-Sea.

Since opening its doors in early February 2018, The Seven Hotel has quickly established itself as a premiere destination in Essex. Recently entered into the Michelin Guide for 2019, the hotel boasts 36 uniquely designed rooms and suites, balconies offering a panoramic view including the famous Southend Pier, and the critically-acclaimed Aurum Restaurant.

Aurum offers seasonal and local produce in a contemporary elegant setting. Of course there is an emphasis on local fish and seafood but Aurum also offers a good range of fresh meats and home-made vegetarian and vegan food too.

Afternoon tea is a firm favourite at Seven, offering an elegant nostalgic experience whilst enjoying the panoramic view. Their gin-centric cocktail bar offers speciality cocktails as well as a great range of champagnes and wines.

Chelmsford City Racecourse

Chelmsford City Racecourse - Credit: Archant

- Chelmsford City Racecourse

Moulsham Hall Lane, Chelmsford, CM3 1QP | 01245 360300

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The Club Restaurant at Chelmsford City Racecourse envelopes the customer with a sense of class and sophistication as soon as they walk in.

With the fine dining offered in this racecourse Member’s area, all guests will be offered a meal to satisfy the most discerning palate accompanied by table drinks service undertaken by discrete and efficient waiting staff.

The Club Restaurant offers an almost panoramic view of the racecourse, allowing VIP racegoers to watch the horses parade around the paddock pre and post-race as well as an eagle-eye view of the runners making their way up the home straight and fighting out the finish of each race.

The betting booth within the restaurant itself and the betting couriers who walk throughout the room mean this really is the ultimate place to spend your raceday (alongside the award winning “Lovely Loos” of course!).

The Creek

The Creek - Credit: Archant

- The Creek

Flag Hill, Great Bentley, CO7 8RE | 01255 317950

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The Creek is an award-winning family-run restaurant set in a beautiful Grade 1 listed building in Great Bentley near Colchester. Terence and Caroline Howard offer classical British dishes with European influence using only the best locally sourced ingredients accompanied by hand picked wines to help compliment your dining experience. The festive season is now here and they have a number of exciting dining experiences happening:

Festive Parties – enjoy a fabulous three-course menu including festive crackers from £26.95 per person

Christmas Day – Enjoy a glass of prosecco di Maria followed by a three-course meal and a small gift from the team at your table £90 per person

New Years Eve Lunch – Come and join them for a glass of champagne and a two-course lunch at £29.50 per person or three-course lunch at £33.50

Wivenhoe House

Wivenhoe House - Credit: Archant

- Wivenhoe House Hotel

Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ | 01206 8636666

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Lionel Lachasseigne, the Sommelier at Wivenhoe House, near Colchester, has put together his own fine dining menu now on offer in the brasserie restaurant, alongside the regular menu, for diners looking for something extra special.

Menu de Lionel is a four-course feast of food, which begins with a celebratory Kir Royal to get you in the mood for the excellent meal to come. Lionel said: “I have really enjoyed putting this menu together for our guests. It is a selection of dishes that are close to my heart and, of course, my stomach”.

Lionel is very happy to share his encyclopaedic wine knowledge with you to recommend wines to enhance your enjoyment of this special menu, which will be served every day, except Sundays, and the monthly fish evenings on the first Friday of the month.

The four-course menu, including the welcome cocktail, is £45 per person and must be pre-booked by calling Wivenhoe House on 01206 863666.

The New London

The New London - Credit: Archant

- The New London Restaurant & Lounge

147 New London Rd, Chelmsford, CM2 0AA | 01245266288

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The award-winning New London restaurant has been on Chelmsford’s dining and social scene since October 2013 and it still is a relaxed yet sophisticated dining venue.

The restaurant is full of elegance and glamour – now more than ever after an incredible redesign in March 2018.

They have a reputation for seasonally inspired menus with a unique approach to homemade food which makes this restaurant a special place to visit.

Provenance is key to their success and they have developed relationships with the best suppliers to keep consistency of quality.

The Old Moot House

The Old Moot House - Credit: Archant

- The Old Moot House Restaurant

1 St James Street, Castle Hedingham, CO9 3EJ | 01787 4603421


Sarah and her team would like to welcome you to their delightful 15th century restaurant and wine bar in Castle Hedingham.

They offer fresh food with a modern twist with fine wines to complement the food, a wide range of gins and afternoon teas.

Wednesday evenings they have steak night and Thursday evenings Tapas.

They also cater for private parties and small weddings. Please come to this pretty countryside location and give them a visit.

Orsett Hall

Orsett Hall - Credit: Archant

- Orsett Hall

Prince Charles Ave, Orsett, Grays RM16 3HS | 01375 891402

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If there is one thing The Garden Brasserie at Orsett Hall gets absolutely right, it is relaxed fine dining, complete with warm and attentive service. Dine on tasty British cuisine amidst stylish, floral-inspired décor and dazzling views of the hotel grounds.

Head Chef Shaun Sales - under the guidance of Executive Chef Robert Pearce - brings his experience and creativity to Orsett Hall, delivering a scrumptious, brasserie-style menu with a range of delightful dishes.

Chef Shaun thoroughly researches his menus to guarantee they are of the highest standard; he loves to recreate traditional recipes with a modern twist, and to dream up new and exciting flavour combinations. He and his kitchen team ensure their ingredients are in keeping with current trend – and have even been known to start a few new trends of their own!

Diners can indulge in the six-course Chefs Tasting Menu where the cuisine is kept a delicious secret. You can expect to be pleasantly surprised with a succession of dishes to delight your palate.


- The Square and Compasses

Fuller Street, Essex, CM3 2BB | 01245 361477

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This award-winning 17th century freehouse is something of a local secret tucked away in the Ter Valley. A favorite amongst locals for its delicious home-cooked local seasonal food, gravity-fed real ales, fine wines and a warm friendly atmosphere.

The menu is honest and simple with hearty pub classics alongside blackboard seasonal specials, all cooked to perfection by esteemed chef Craig Loveridge.

Menu selection includes homemade proper pastry pies with spring onion mashed potato, local deep smoked salmon with beetroot and horseradish relish, chicken, pistachio and asparagus terrine, local wing of skate with lemon parsley butter, sticky toffee pudding with black treacle sauce and raspberry panna cotta with a short-crust biscuit.

Expect game from the surrounding estates in winter and a traditional roast is also served very Sunday.


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