I was treated to a night away at the Cricketers by my wife. Being a huge fan of Jamie Oliver and pubs in general, I thought I was onto a winner. And a winner it was indeed. Managed to time our arrival with the start of the Saturday lunch service (anyone would thought we planned it).
Although all of the tables were set for food, the place still retained that 'pub' ethos. You were given the same welcome whether you were having a few drinks or someone opting for a three-course lunch. Service finished at 2.30pm after which the pub literally emptied. I was the only customer for about an hour which was a little odd but it gave me a chance to chat to the nice bar staff.
Our room was also a good advert for the place. Set within the old Pavilion house, we had a four poster bed, superbly clean throughout, it had the 'country living' feel about it but without being too dated. All the usual amenities you would need; TV, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities etc etc. You'll see from the ratings below that I 'Sleep Quality' a low mark. This was purely on the fact that someone in the next room was snoring so loud that I thought someone was murdering a wild boar. Nothing to do with the room itself.
We had booked a table in the pub's restaurant area for the evening although there doesn't really seem to be any clear distinction between this and the main bar area. One thing I managed to pick up from my chat with the staff is that the pub is only really geared up for food these days and the large number of staff on hand certainly reflected that. I would go as far to say that everyone I saw that evening were there to eat rather than as drinkers.
The food itself was outstanding, fresh, local (where possible) and damn tasty. The floor staff were helpful without being overbearing, even suggesting suitable wines to compliment our chosen dishes. If I had one quibble, it was that my steak was probably a touch over-cooked but to be honest, if that's the only thing I had to worry about then I'm happy. I could have chose to complain and have it sent back but decided to chat with my wife and enjoy the meal all the same.
I've seen mixed reviews on here about the place and opted to keep an open mind prior to our trip. It's a country pub. It's a country pub that serves food, and good food at that. Treat it as such and you'll enjoy the experience a whole lot more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A delightful 16th-century English country inn with award-winning food and accommodation, roaring log fires, beamed ceilings, well-kept cask ales and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Seasonal menu choices are offered every day on our menu and in addition to these choices, we offer lots of lovely daily 'Specials.' We include lots of fresh fish, home made pasta and always a roast on a Sunday. You can enjoy a snack, two course or a full three course meal in relaxed and cosy surroundings. The rooms are individually decorated and furnished to a high standard, in a cottage or contemporary style. All rooms have the facilities of a modern hotel room, including free wireless internet access, and all at a reasonable price. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Cricketers Hotel Clavering