FULLER STREET, Fairstead, CM3 2BB
This beautifully restored 17th-century village pub is set in lovely countryside just 10 minutes from Chelmsford. Originally two farm cottages, the free house still retains its original beams and inglenook fireplaces, with antique furnishings. The locally sourced food is straightforward, served alongside a good selection of beers and ciders such as Crouch Vale Essex Boys ale and Phoenix Dry Cider. As well as pub classics, the daily-changing specials might include crab cake with lime, chilli and coriander, followed by roast chump of lamb marinated in thyme and garlic with rosemary roasted crushed new potatoes, red wine and thyme sauce.