“ Address: 57 Lambourne Road / Chigwell Row / Chigwell IG7 6ET / Essex „
THE TWO BREWERS, CHIGWELL I have been to The Two Brewers public house many times now, sometimes just for a drink or two and often for lunch or dinner. In my opinion, and that of my husband, this is probably the nicest pub in the area in terms of comfort, and for a pleasant trouble free atmosphere, without it being too 'The Only Way Is Essex'. Admittedly though, my local area is one of the areas in England that has lost most of its pubs; one by one they disappear and very quickly too, over the last few years, as the land they stand upon is sold and they are then demolished and the ground becomes a building site which eventually yields brand new homes. Yes, people do need homes, of course they do, but I also feel the local populace need places to go and I feel it detracts from many areas when they no longer have a local meeting place. It can be a problem finding decent places to go in the area and so I feel that really, The Two Brewers is one of the best pub restaurants in this and the surrounding area. BACKGROUND INFORMATION (http://www.homecountiespubs.co.uk) Chigwell Village is approximately 11 miles North East of London, and has been described as 'the first village out of London'. It is not known where the name "The Two Brewers" came from. There had been a brewery in Abridge in 1729, when its owner is said to have been the owner of White Hall. Abraham Oliver, brewer of Lambourne, occurs in 1808. During the later 19th century the brewery became the Abridge Brewery Co. which was later acquired by Whitbread & Co. PUB/BAR AREA On entering the pub it does feel quite welcoming whatever time of year. In the winter it feels decidedly cosy in this part of the pub with its large fireplace glowing and dark furniture well placed around the pub. The bar is large and well-staffed with a good choice of drinks available. When my husband asked about certain beers several small taster glasses were given to him to sample before he made his choice. The bar stocks lagers, cask ales and cider as well as wines, spirits and soft drinks. Dogs, if kept under good control are allowed in the bar area and, as this pub is near to forest land, this is makes the pub a nice halfway house for dog walkers. Although, I don't recall seeing canines in the bar very often. TOILETS Toilets are clean and well maintained and are also well stocked with soap. A disabled toilet is also available. DISABLED ACCESS The pub and restaurant are on one level and I feel this makes the pub a good place to eat for those with mobility problems and for wheelchair users due to the ground being level, and also due to the choice of eating areas which leaves access for wheelchairs; space can be made at many of the tables for a wheelchair. As already mentioned there is a disabled toilet in this pub. RESTAURANT The Two Brewers has a function room that seats between fourteen to twenty guests. This room makes an attractive setting for a celebratory meal; I have often seen it set out in readiness for a function. The restaurant has tables to suit different party sizes and many of these tables are set in alcoves and afford a pleasant feeling of privacy. MENU The menu here is a little different from many pubs in the area and the choices do make a pleasant change. I would say that the portions are adequate although not huge and so if you are especially hungry then perhaps you should have a starter or a side dish to complement your meal. I personally find one course is enough at lunch time but others I have been in the company of will often choose a side or have two courses. WHILE YOU WAIT As 'while you wait' options these are reasonably priced, in my opinion: A mixture of crusty white and granary bread and butter (£1.50) Pitted black and green marinated olives (£2.95) STARTERS For starters these are among the options: Carrot and coriander soup which is served with crusty bread and butter, (£4.95) I enjoyed this. A goat's cheese and pomegranate salad (£5.95) A 'Charcuterie' board as a starter for two people consisting of cured meats: chorizo, salami, ham which is served with toasted and pickles (£12.95) MAIN MEALS Pressed roasted pork belly served with with dauphinoise potatoes, tomatoes and cider sauce (£13.95) Fried haddock in beer batter which is served with chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce (£11.95) This has often been my choice for lunch and I find it superior to fish and chips served in most pub restaurants. Pan fried calves liver with bacon and balsamic caramelised onions and roasted root vegetables (£16.95) Chicken ham and leek pudding served with mashed potato, buttered greens and gravy (£11.95) Rump steak (8 oz.) with watercress/ horseradish butter, wild mushrooms, and tomato and chips (£16.95) VEGETARIAN The main menu incorporates vegetarian choices rather than having a separate menu. As well as many interesting starters suitable for vegetarians, I also find that the choice of meat free main dishes served at The Two Brewers shows some imagination. I have found the vegetarians/pescetarians who I have dined with have seemed to be more impressed with their meals than those choosing meat dishes. Perhaps this is because as non-meat eaters we are so used to having choices such as the almost inevitable vegetable lasagne or penne Arrabiata. Some choices are: Aubergine and green bean curry served with wild basmati rice and naan bread (£10.95) Mushroom wellington served with dauphinoise potatoes, chantenay carrots and braised cabbage £9.95 CHILDREN I haven't noticed chicken nuggets being served here but smaller portions are available from the main menu such as sausage, mash and gravy (£7.95) and fish and chips (£7.95) and a cheese and tomato pasta specially made with children in mind for (£5.95) SIDES A good choice of side dishes such as garlic bread, salads, chips, mashed potato, and new potatoes priced from £2.50 to £3.95. I must say that I haven't seen (or heard) many children dining here but I'm not sure if that is because I seem to visit here weekday evenings and during school times or because other pubs have better facilities to entertain children. DESSERTS Lemon curd sponge served with custard (£5.25) Bread and butter pudding flavoured with orange and Grand Marnier, served with apricot jam and clotted cream (£5.50). Or my favourite: - Apple and blackberry crumble with hot custard (£5.25). Other choices sampled by myself and friends are: white chocolate cheesecake £5.50) and Dark chocolate tart (£5.25) Teas and coffees are available and, I think, at less than three pounds these aren't too bad. I'm quite partial to a liqueur coffee lately but these cost more owing to the alcoholic content. OFFERS A two course menu is available on Mondays to Fridays which is priced at £13.95 and a three course meal, if you are especially hungry, at £ 16.95. SANDWICHES Sandwiches are available ranging from cheese and chutney (£5.95) to homemade fish fingers (white bread) with tartare sauce and watercress salad (£7.25) VALUE The food here isn't particularly cheap for pub fayre but I do think it is of a better standard than other pubs in the area. The prices won't break the bank but are, in my opinion, a few pounds dearer for a similar dish, for example fish and chips, served at other pubs although, as said, of a better quality and therefore in my opinion, eating here works out better value for money than most other pubs in the area. I wouldn't say the food is amazing but there are some interesting choices and the food is usually good. WINES I believe a good wine menu is available starting with house wines pried at£2.75 for a 125ml glass or a bottle for £14.75. The house white is a Crusan Columbard Sauvignon (I love this!) There's a good selection also of red, rose and sparkling wines and champagne. CLIENTELE/ATMOSPHERE I have mostly dined here without a reservation on weekday evenings or for lunch and for an occasionally for an early dinner at weekends. It does get busy at weekends, especially during the popular Sunday lunch time and on bank holidays. At these times I would advise booking. The pub itself and its outdoor area can become busy on summer evenings. The clientele varies throughout the day and Friday and Saturday evenings brings in more of a young crowd but I would still consider this mainly as a pub where groups of family and friends come to eat or enjoy a drink in friendly company. SERVICE I have always found service both from the bar and the restaurant good, being fairly quick, polite and attentive. Waiting staff always pop back to make sure everything is alright and to see if more rinks are required throughout the meal. Waiting staff seem knowledgeable about beer and wine served in here. Only once where we kept waiting for an unreasonable amount of time when the restaurant wasn't busy but I presume they were short staffed as I've not found this to be a usual problem. The staff here do receive quite good training I think. My eldest daughter did actually work here for a time, although a good few years ago) as a part time job whilst in school sixth form. CAR PARK Free car parking is available for patrons of the pub and restaurant. LOCATION The Two Brewers is in a good location as whether living near or further away the pub is close to underground stations (central line) and buses. It is easy to travel here by car and there is also a choice of several well established taxi firms close by. Address: Two Brewers 57 Lambourne Road Chigwell Row Chigwell Essex IG7 6ET Tel: 020 8501 1313 Fax: 020 8501 6351 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.twobrewers.hcpr.co.uk OPENING TIMES Food Served Monday 11:30am - 11pm 12noon - 9:30pm Tuesday 11:30am - 11pm 12noon - 9:30pm Wednesday 11:30am - 11pm 12noon - 9:30pm Thursday 11:30am - 11pm 12noon - 9:30pm Friday 11:30am - 11pm 12noon - 10pm Saturday 11:30am - 11pm 12noon - 10pm Sunday 11:30am - 10:30pm 12noon - 9pm OVERALL THOUGHTS The Two Brewers is a pleasant pub and pub/restaurant in a nice location which is easy to travel to. In my opinion it's a nice place to go to with family for casual dining but also is suitable for a pleasant evening out with friends for a more 'special' occasion. I think you can dress casually here but also wouldn't look out of place if you dressed up a bit.