The Rose & Crown, Wivenhoe | Riverside Pub Near Colchester With A Hearty Menu

Wivenhoe near Colchester is a lovely place to visit – quiet and quaint, it offers beautiful natural views of the river Colne and those lovely English streets that non-Brits always go on about. It’s the sort of place I go for a pint when I’m looking to get away from the seaside vibe of Walton and the busy atmosphere of Colchester, so getting to test out a new pub in the area was something I was really looking forward to.

The Rose And Crown pub, Wivenhoe, title image

The Vibe

Pint of ale at the Rose and Crown pub in Wivenhoe
A much-needed pint

The Rose And Crown is perfectly situated on the edge of the river Colne making it the ultimate Wivenhoe location for a relaxing drink – to the right you can see Rowhedge, and to the left the open space of the river with plenty of boats navigating the route. There’s actually more seating outside than in which I appreciated – although we ate inside due to the weather, it’s nice to know that getting a seat outdoors isn’t going to be a momentous task, which it can be in more crowded locations. Sitting out there I felt relaxed – the lapping on the river water against the nearby boats, the soft crunch of gravel under the feet of local dog walkers… It was a lovely experience.

Inside was also nice – some British pubs have an issue with being “too local” (if you’re not from the area you’ll get stared down as soon as you walk in the door) but it wasn’t like that here, and we felt welcome as soon as we walked in. I liked the cosy décor and appreciated the sign above the bar that read “Wivenhoe: A small drinking village with a fishing problem”.

The Food

Our visit was right before I was due to go live on Writer’s Block with Sarah Banham and Colne Radio so we went for the classic sandwich and a pint option, keen not to overrun. We were told at the time of order that we’d be waiting over an hour for food however this didn’t end up being the case, and we received our food within half an hour of ordering. The Rose and Crown have a special menu where you can get a sandwich, side, and a drink for £7.99 as a sort of meal deal, so we all went for that. The deal was quite flexible with the ability to add different things in and pay a little bit extra. I decided to go for the grilled halloumi with roasted vegetables and a side of chips with a pint of ale, with my partner Paul opting for the rump steak melt with chilli cheese fries (at an extra cost) and a cappuccino. Paul’s Mum went for the cod goujons sandwich with chips and a cider, and Paul’s Dad also went for the steak but with standard chips and a pint.

In general the food was very good quality – my halloumi sandwich was flavoursome and I couldn’t get over the chips which were that lovely, thick homecooked style. Paul’s chilli fries were thin cut instead, but the chilli gave them a real kick. Both the steak sandwich and cod goujon sandwich were very good quality as well, although Paul did say the steak sandwich ended up a bit messy due to the meat juices getting everywhere and the bread not quite holding it all in. Drinks were all great as well, with a good selection of lagers and ales on tap. It’s standard Greene King food, but it was cooked well and was as filling as a main meal.

Vegan apple pie and chocolate sundae at The Rose and Crown pub in Wivenhoe
Vegan apple pie served with ice cream, and chocolate sundae

After we’d eaten our sandwiches we realised we were doing well for time so decided to try out the dessert menu. Paul’s Mum went for the vegan apple pie and ice cream which she absolutely loved – apparently as good as the real thing! I shared a chocolate ice cream sundae with Paul which featured vanilla ice cream, brownie pieces, and chocolate sauce. It was sickly sweet but in a very good way and left me feeling full but not ill.

The service was generally positive throughout – there was a mix-up with our plates not being taken away but staff were apologetic about this and it didn’t affect our meal in anyway. Even though we’d gone in at a crazy busy time staff were still friendly (if a little flustered from all the business!) and I certainly don’t have any complaints. The place was very clean as you’d expect so no issues there.

The Extras

We didn’t get to experience anything extra that The Rose And Crown has to offer but I did notice that they host different themed nights each week, one of which being a vintage games night which sounded great! There was a whole shelf full of board games so I liked that they were there for those that want it. I forget what the other nights were but I remember there being a nice range of activities that suited the Wivenhoe vibe well.

We all agreed at the end of the evening that we’d had a good experience at The Rose And Crown in Wivenhoe and would consider going back if we were in the area and fancied a pint on the river. On a warm and sunny evening in the summer I bet it’s just wonderful.

If you enjoyed this review then please don’t forget to like, pin, and leave a comment! You can read my other recent British restaurant reviews here:

Hare & Hounds, East Bergholt | Wagamama, Colchester

Pinterest image for the Rose And Crown pub in Wivenhoe
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Hare And Hounds – East Bergholt

England is a great place for a variety of different food options, but one I’ll never get bored of is the traditional British pub. Pubs are ingrained into our culture, and there’s nothing quite like sitting in a beer garden on a sunny afternoon, eating cosy food and watching the world go by.

Hare And Hounds East Bergholt Title Image

After a busy morning at Hollow Trees Farm during half-term week I was treated to a pub lunch at Hare And Hounds in East Bergholt, a beautiful village over the county border but still not far from me. There are several pubs in the village but we were drawn to this one for its large open garden and traditional feel. Also we were starving, and that will always be fixed when you’re dining in a pub!

Pint of Woodford's Wherry amber ale at Hare And Hounds in East Bergholt
Woodforde’s Wherry ale

Hare And Hounds offers a good range of beers and ales and a rather large food menu – it took us so long to order because of the amount of choice! There was lots of traditional British pub food but also other cuisines such as Italian and Indian. Lighter meals are available such as sandwiches but also full meals and desserts,all at reasonable prices. I was initially stuck on which ale to go for so the woman serving gave me generous tasters of each so I could choose which was a great gesture, and one that I haven’t experienced in many places before. In the end I went for Woodforde’s Wherry, a zesty amber ale that turned out to be an excellent choice.

For the main meal there were six of us and we ordered a range of different things – three Hunter’s chicken burgers and chips, lasagne, sausage and chips for the child, and I went for the seafood platter. The children’s menu was good and incorporated several child-friendly dishes, each served with chips and onion rings in a basket and a good portion size. The food we received was great as well – the lasagne in particular was beautifully presented, and adult portion sizes were perfect for those wanting a hearty meal to devour.

The seafood platter I ordered consisted of four varieties of seafood – whitefish, squid, prawns, and scallops – each deep fried and served with chips, peas, and salad. I’d actually gone for the seafood platter thinking it was the lighter option but luckily I’d become hungrier by the time it arrived as it was huge! It was really good though – the seafood was full of flavour and the chips were beautifully made. I’d order it again if I went back, and I was also quite enticed by the Hunter’s chicken burgers that the rest of my family ordered, who all said they really enjoyed the meal.

Deep fried seafood platter at Hare And Hounds in East Bergholt
The seafood platter I was served – I’m surprised I ate it all as there was so much!

That day just happened to be the hottest day of the year so far so we decided to eat our meal in the garden, which was lovely. Inside looked like a nice space to dine as well but it was quite small and already fairly full. Sitting outside was wonderful though – the pub has seating both in the shade and in the sun and there’s plenty of benches which are nicely spread out to avoid overcrowding. There wasn’t a play area but the stepdaughter was entertained enough playing It with such a large space to run around in, and for the adults there was a pool table inside for entertainment. Facilities were generally very well-kept and I liked the bathroom décor in particular which was much more modern than I was expecting (if you’ve been to a lot of traditional British pubs then you’ll understand why).

I found dining at Hare And Hounds a really good visit overall and have no complaints – the staff were really friendly and there was a lovely atmosphere inside, with locals chipping into our conversation as well. I’d gladly go back, and I’d love to experience the pub as a drinking-focused location as well as eating as they had a good alcohol selection and I’d like to try a few more of their ales. If you’re in Suffolk and looking for somewhere to eat then I’d recommend you consider Hare And Hounds – there was no need to book and the experience was completely stress-free, making it the perfect bank holiday or summer afternoon treat.

If you liked this review then don’t forget to like, pin, and leave a comment! You can also check out my other recent eatery reviews here:

Wagamama, Colchester

Odell’s Coffee Shop, Rochford

Biddy’s Tea Room, Norwich