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Published February 28th 2013
The best hearty pub food with outstanding picturesque surroundings
The Hawk in Battlesbridge is renowned for its unforgettably delicious menu, carefully nurtured cask ales and rural charm. This vintage country pub and restaurant is located in the beautiful village of Battlesbridge, which is surrounded by the English countryside and is immersed in history. During the winter guests love to dine around the roaring log-fire and in the summer they flock to The Hawk to eat alfresco in the beer garden overlooking the countryside and river.
The interior of the pub is extremely homely, cosy and has clues of its history, which date back to 1678. When dining at The Hawk it is worth taking a walk around the pub to admire some of its history and its interior. The Hawk is popular with antiques hunters because of its history and the village is also home to a leading antiques centre based in the old mill. If it is your first visit to Battlesbridge, I encourage you to take a look around the area surrounding The Hawk before heading to the pub for a drink or food. You can take a walk around the river, go to the top of the old mill and admire the views or visit the antique stores. The River Crouch flows through the village where you will find fishing boats and a small bridge. The river is close to the antiques centre which stands out from the other buildings in the area as the old mill. If you walk up to the top of the old mill you will be stunned by magnificent views of the river and the countryside.
The food is served and presented at a very high standard and includes favorites such as lamb shank pie, burgers and grilled sea bass. In my opinion the food is exceptional in comparison to many other pubs as each dish is homemade and has something extra special added to it every time. Tuna steak, grilled cod lion, calves liver and the duo of venison are some of the best dishes on the menu.
The staff are always extremely friendly and go out of their way to make your visit memorable. They will happily recommend food for you to try and will talk to you about the area and where you should visit. As well as the starters and main courses the desserts are definitely worth trying. The desserts of the day are brought to your table on a chalk board, where you can then try to choose what you would like to have. This is an extremely hard decision as every dessert they serve is divine. I strongly recommend the soufflé as every mouthful is a culinary delight. There is also a fantastic cheese board for dessert if you do not have a sweet tooth.
At the end of every week, The Hawk serves a hand-carved Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Sundays can be extremely busy as people come to Battlesbridge for the antique markets and to go on the walks around the countryside. On many occasions when I have visited, the car park has been full and there has been nowhere to park. It is therefore advisable to book a table before you leave, especially on weekends.
Overall, The Hawk is a hidden gem in the middle of the countryside that offers some fantastic food all year round. The pub is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for a great place to relax with the family, go out for a drink with friends or if you are stopping for lunch after a long walk in the countryside. In the summer, the beer garden provides the perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer whilst the kids play in the garden and in the winter the pub turns into a cosy warm retreat, where guests can warm up by the open fire.
The prices here are however quite expensive, especially if you are hoping to have a three course meal, but the quality of food is worth the price. People come here over and over again for its high quality food, outstanding service and location.