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“Fantastic food, service and setting!!”

Samphire Restaurant at The County Hotel
Ranked #67 of 383 Restaurants in Chelmsford
Price range: $7 - $32
Cuisines: British
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Elegant & Classic, the County Hotel, Chelmsford is the perfect place for Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner or a relaxing drink on our South facing terrace. The hotel has an award winning restaurant, 50 bedrooms, 5 banqueting & conference rooms that can accommodate 8-150 people. The hotel has three rooms licensed for civil ceremonies and offers free car parking for guests in the city centre. The County Hotel is located 3 minutes from the train & bus station and a 10 minute walk from the city centre. Chelmsford Museum, Essex County Cricket Club, Riverside Ice and Leisure, Chelmsford Cathedral and one of the most popular shopping destinations in the East of England are all within walking distance of the hotel.
Reviewed September 26, 2012 via mobile

Celebrated my 40th here with family and friends on a Sunday lunchtime as we had lots of young children in the party. The staff at the County Kitchen, especially the head guy, couldn't do enough for us and my day was very special indeed as a result.
I must be honest I didn't think that this place would be that great but it was. The children were so well catered for with goody bags etc and the service was unfalteringly attentive.
The carvery was superb, delicious beef, huge Yorkshire puds and delicious desserts which I was too full to savour all of ( I really wanted to!!)

Will definitely be going back, nice to have somewhere like this in Chelmsford, a hidden gem!

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Thank parconntravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 - 73 of 73 reviews

Reviewed May 25, 2012

Hotel restaurant are usually dispapointing, not that one, menu is good and food quality and service are too, nothing outstanding but if you are tired it is just fine to seat in the restaurant and you will get served quickly and some time with a smile.

Thank Djaypee38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

How can there only be two reviews on what is probably the best restaurant in this part of Essex....

Two questions...why is this perfect restaurant not busier and why haven’t they got a Michelin star?

Fantastic ambience, good well thought out menu with an English take on international cuisine.

We were in the bar initially, having a drink before dinner....it was incredibly busy, with some function going on, but the barperson was professionalism itself; entirely on her own she was efficient and worked way through line of customers effortlessly; it did not feel like a queue, although of course it was.

No Galliano behind the bar, which was a little disappointing, but then to be fair, not many paces do stock it :(

I have to confess here to two things; one I have been coming here on and off for six years, but have never written a review, and secondly I come from a background of having trained classically to be a Chef and spent ten years in the industry, so my expectations tend to be on the high side. This is a restaurant that I personally feel continues to uphold a really high standard, and should be looking to gain its first Michelin star....my review will reflect that expectation.

The meet and greet at the entrance is warm and cordial, we are seated quickly and provided with menus and enquiries as to drinks...

Fresh bread was brought out, still warm accompanied with virgin olive oil and unsalted butter, the walnut bread was quite delicious, slightly nutty and gorgeous on the palate.

For starters my partner had smoked salmon, purple sprouting broccoli and hollandaise...delectable, each on its own was perfect, al dente sprouting broccoli, velvety smooth salmon subtly smoked and a creamy hollandaise that complimented both. The lemon wedge garnish detracted from this vision of perfection, in that it had a nasty black spot on it... picky? Yes...but this is a restaurant I have nothing but high expectations for.

I had the duck rillette with piccalilli—intense flavour, quite superb, accompanied with a small garnish of mixed baby leaves, each one perfection in itself...this was served with piccalilli....now listen chaps, this is piccalilli not piccachilli...way way way too much in there...my gran made the worlds best piccalili, crunchy, zingy with a slight (emphasis on the slight) hint of spice. Enough said.

We both opted for the fillet steak (she medium rare, me rare) ....


Could have eaten it with a spoon, it was dissolve in your mouth good. Both steaks cooked exactly as ordered.

Served with Potato Rosti, Curly kale, butternut squash puree and red wine jus.

The rosti was crisp on the outside , tender and flavoursome on the inside. Curly Kale tasted just like it looked, green and crunchy, delicious eye appeal followed through with succulent fresh flavour.

Alas the butternut puree was outclassed by the rest of the course, unfortunately this poor fella was overly wet and lacking in any real depth of taste, this is an unfortunate trait of squashes and you have to be a real lover of the cucurbita to get anything decent out of them, they need to be nurtured and loved.....but all is forgiven, because pulling this dish together was a red wine jus that tasted like the first meal you had after going back home to mums...

It had the rich umami streak going through it that you would kill for, succulent and with a depth that cried out to your taste buds. Man, this was absolute Ambrosia (although being liquid I spose it should be nectar...hmmm ambrecta?).

Truly, every mouthful was a symphony of flavours.

If you LOVE not good food but excellent food and a level and quality of service you just hardly see anymore, then this is the place for you. £22:95 for two courses is an extraordinarily good value.

I recommend this restaurant to all of my friends, and they know what a fussy bugger I am! I have no idea why it persist in being so quiet...I know one thing...next time I go back the first thing I am doing is buying the Chef a beer!

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Thank Blarys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2011

Clearly caters for an older clientele. Myself and my 20 something year old daughter reduced the average age of people dining by about 30 years!!!

We opted for the Sunday carvery. The beef was succulent and for me perfect as I prefer rare to medium. But the vegetables were definitely on the soft side and for my taste lacked flavour as a result of being overcooked.

The staff were helpful and pleasant and at £15 for 2 courses the meal was good value. So the atmosphere aside it's worth a try, especially if you are under 80 as this place could be a Chelmsford gem but only if younger diners start going to it.

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Thank Fenboy50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2010

This restaurant has always been good but sadly whenever I go there it is empty so there is no atmosphere. However food is excellent. They need to hire rent a crowd to atrract people in! However is a little pricey for lunch.

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Thank JohnandCarolineUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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