“ Address: Market Place / Abridge / Essex / RM4 1UA „
~~ABOUT THE BLUE BOAR~~ The Blue Boar is situated in the village of Abridge which is in the county of Essex. It consists of a pub, restaurant and a small boutique hotel. The Blue Boar public house was refurbished back in 2009. It is now more than just a village pub and attracts clientele from the surrounding areas of Essex and indeed even further away. It is easy to reach by public transport and also, I feel, makes a pleasant drive on a nice day or evening for those living in Essex and also in the city of London. I don't live too far away from here and I find that the short drive to this pub is a pleasant and also a quite rural one which makes a nice change from travelling to pubs located in more built up areas. But the actual pub itself has village view rather than 'green and leafy' ones, although there are plenty of green spaces very close by. In my opinion The Blue Boar is perhaps what one would expect from a decent public house, with accommodation and restaurant facilities, in this part of Essex; maybe just slightly 'TOWIE' at peak times). I don't mean this in a derogatory manner as it is clean, offers good food in comfortable, bright surroundings, yet I still choose to visit here on a Sunday afternoon, early evening or during the daytime in the week for a drink or sometimes even a late lunch. LOCATION The Blue Boar is situated in the Roding Valley and in my opinion it is in a great location to be reached from London, outer London boroughs such as Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham as well as nearby Romford, Epping and Loughton. It is close to both the M25 and the M11 motorways; Romford rail station isn't too far away by car or taxi and closer still are underground tube stations which makes travelling from and into the city easy. When my husband and I visit The Blue Boar he either drives here or, if my husband plans to have two or three pints, then we will use a local taxi service. RESTAURANT I have eaten in The Blue Boar several times over the past few years but had had quite a lengthy gap of eating here (no particular reason) until earlier this year; as the experience was good this was soon repeated. At other times we have popped in for a drink when in the area. I am impressed with the menu here and find it quite imaginative. My meals have always been nicely cooked as well as being well presented. Tables are dotted around inside the bar area and restaurant. The Blue Boar also boasts a private dining or party room called 'Table 50' which can be booked for a more private dining experience. The pub also offers a larger celebration room. On my last lunch time visit here with my husband we chose to sit in the main pub area. It was a quiet time and there were plenty of tables to choose from. This isn't always the case at weekends. BAR There are comfy bar stools placed around the service bar and seats and tables dotted around. Some tables are in the style of booths. I consider the décor in The Blue Boar in general and around the bar to be welcoming. It is quite bright and airy and not too crowded with furniture. The bar is well equipped offering beers, lagers, real ales, spirits, a good selection of wines, cocktails and soft drinks, tea and coffee. If I go out for dinner then I prefer to eat in the restaurant but for lunch or snacks I am happy to dine in the bar and the bar at The Blue Boar I would say is an ideal place to eat informally yet comfortably. MENUS The restaurant offers snacks and full meals of one, two or three courses. There are daily specials and a Sunday menu as well as the main 'All Day Menu.' I think the food choice here is excellent for a pub restaurant and so I would like to give you an idea of what's on offer. FISH ON FRIDAY MENU The Blue Boar also offers 'Fish on Friday' menu which offers a catch of the day fried in the chef's Ruddle's real ale batter at the price of £9.95. Just to whet your appetite here are a few examples that you could possibly be tempted by on this menu: Starters include Cajun spiced whitebait with a horseradish mayonnaise (£4.95) Avocado, smoked salmon and prawn tian with a mixed leaf salad (£6.95) Mains include pan fried fillet of sea bass on sauté potatoes served with French beans and a chive cream sauce (£12.95) Swordfish steak with mixed leaf salad, cherry tomatoes and salsa verde (£12.95) OR deep fried Lowestoft cod fillet served with chips and house tartare sauce (£8.95) Desserts include fruit salad, crème brûlée Or ice cream. TWO COURSE MENU I think that the Blue Boar's two course menu at £10.00 (or add a third course for the price of £12.95) offers great value; with two of the four starters and one main course being suitable for vegetarians such as soup of the day and bruschetta. Main courses currently include breaded lemon sole fillet served with chorizo mash and lemon caper butter and oriental sticky beef wrap with crunchy vegetables served with seasoned skin on fries. ALL -DAY MENU The all-day menu is served from midday until evening (until 9.30pm, Mon--Thurs and until 10pm on Sat) This menu includes starters such as marinated olives for £2.95 and breads and cheeses. These are nice to have as nibbles with a drink even if not eating a meal. There's a good choice of starters both for meat eaters and vegetarians. You could try crispy tempura king prawns served with a sweet chilli sauce (£6.95) but not for me! Or toasted walnut bread topped with goats cheese, red onion chutney and watercress (£5.50). Mains too show some imagination and lamb, curry and salmon dishes are among the main courses available or you could opt for fish and chips. Most main courses are priced at around £11 to £15. Side dishes are not forgotten neither are pasta, salads and steaks. VEGETARIAN There isn't a separate vegetarian section on the menu at The Blue Boar but all foods suitable for vegetarians are clearly shown. I think, as a non-meat eater there are some appealing choices although, as I eat some fish dishes (not shellfish), I do have a wider choice than true vegetarians. There are veggie options among the pre-starters, starters and mains on all menus so I think it is fair to say that herbivores aren't forgotten by the chefs at this pub/restaurant. One interesting choice, I think, is field mushroom stuffed with spinach, red onion marmalade, pine nuts, sun blushed tomatoes, topped with a two cheese glaze, served with crushed new potatoes, asparagus and a chive cream sauce (£11.95) OUR MEALS On our latest visit to The Blue Boar (myself and my husband) for some reason both decided on the same choice for both the starter and main course and both went for the 'Two Course' menu. We chose breaded mushrooms and I did think my husband might choose this starter. The breaded mushrooms were served in a small wire basket along with a garlic mayonnaise dip and also a salad garnish. We both agreed that this starter was perfect with the outside coating of breadcrumbs being perfectly crunchy and when cut the mushrooms inside were lovely and juicy. The garlic mayonnaise dip was delicious. My only complaint (just kidding!) was that this dish was in fact more filling than we had expected and so we felt compelled to ask the waitress to give us longer before the main course was served. We don't usually choose the same meal as I have mentioned as my husband is a meat eater and I am not. he usually will choose a steak or a pie but I think neither of us were starving at this time just peckish and he thought the fishcake might be a lighter option than other meals on offer. Therefore on this occasion we chose the same starter and main course. Actually we both felt that we had made very good choices from the menu. So for our mains we both decided on the fishcake served with chips, salad and a 'home-made' tartare sauce. Well when our meals arrived we thought that the fish cake was surprisingly large and again, as with the first course, this proved to be very filling. The chips were steaming and served in a wire basket. The fish cake was also steaming hot and a large wedge of lemon was supplied to squeeze over it. The salad was good and delightfully presented; lovely crisp mixed lettuce leaves, tomatoes, cucumber and slices of peppers and a light garnish. It really was crunchy and tasty and even my fussy husband enjoyed it; he isn't generally a lover of salad. I was so sorry that I had to leave the generous wedges of cucumber supplied as it doesn't agree with me but it did look so nice. I always end up picking cucumber away from my salad. The chips were home-made and were crispy on the outside and soft inside. I didn't quite manage to finish my main course but that was only because I was so full. My husband just about managed to finish his meal. Quality wise neither of us could have complained at all. SERVICE The service was good, both at the bar and at our table, being informal yet polite and efficient. Our waitress was friendly and asked if we required any more sauces or garnishes with our meals. She also reappeared a few minutes after serving both courses to check that everything was alright and to ask if we wanted more drinks. The service at the bar is good, in our opinion, in this pub but we do tend to visit here during quieter times. AL FRESCO The Blue Boar has a pleasant patio/garden which has been well furnished. Meals can be served here. It also has a decked area to the side which is equipped with comfortable chairs and tables and is ideal, I think, to enjoy a drink or two, in nice weather. DISABLED ACCESS The Blue Boar is wheelchair accessible both inside and out. Those with mobility difficulties and any carers considering visiting The Blue Boar will be reassured to know that there is a wheelchair ramp for easy access to the restaurant. Added to this is the fact that the pub has a disabled toilet which has a large door for a wheelchair to fit through and is also equipped with hand rails makes this, hopefully, a suitable and manageable choice for a trip out. FAMILY FRIENDLY? The Blue Boar offers useful baby changing facilities. Children are welcome and there is a children's menu especially for them. However, I haven't visited with children and so cannot honestly give an opinion as to how good it is for children. But it certainly isn't like my local Wetherspoons where children seem to be let loose to run around. ACCOMMODATION As I haven't stayed in one of The Blue Boar's six rooms I can only relay information but cannot vouch for it. I understand that it's a popular choice for an overnight stay for guests attending wedding receptions or events at nearby venues. For your information all six rooms are double and en-suite, offering king size beds, tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen television as well as free Wi-Fi. Prices start at £60 per night and a continental breakfast (served in the rooms) is available for £5.95 per person. CAR PARK To the side of the pub is an access road to The Blue Boar's car park. This car park is quite large. CONTACT Address: Market Place, Abridge, Essex RM4 1UA Telephone: 01992 812 110 Website: http://www.theblueboarabridge.co.uk OVERALL I would definitely say that this pub/restaurant offers a good choice of menu catering for adults and children, meat-eaters and vegetarian. It serves both imaginative food and that of the plainer variety. I like the fact that you can choose to eat in the restaurant, bar area or outside and still have waitress/waiter service. I consider this pub to be clean and well equipped for those wanting a decent pub meal or snack. It is also a nice pub to enjoy just a drink or two, especially on a summer's evening. I would say that The Blue Boar is suitable for all age groups.