Pig & Whistle Restaurant, Chelmsford

An award-winning restaurant bursting with character and charm in the lovely little village of Chignal Smealy

14 September 2022Add to My FavouritesSave

The thing about secrets is that eventually they come out, especially the really good ones. Cue Pig & Whistle Restaurant. Previously a bit of a hidden gem for local foodies-in-the-know, this cosy countryside eatery is now one of Essex’s most coveted dining spots.

Run by husband-and-husband dream team Justin and Brendan, this 16th century public house-turned-restaurant is as renowned for its décor as it is for its service and food. Think linen-clad tables topped with glowing tiffany lamps, dark wooden floors and fireplaces filled with flickering candles. Sounds romantic? Absolutely, but it’s also wonderfully whimsical thanks to tasselled lamps, moody-coloured walls and quirky artwork. Not forgetting, of course, the happy menu-holding pig who greets you at the door.

And, no wonder he’s so happy because the menu is filled with brilliantly-executed British classics – some with a deliciously exotic twist here and there. Ingredients are seasonal, fresh and locally-sourced, which we love (naturally). There’s also a cracking gin selection.

If weather permits, there’s a lovely courtyard garden out back with sweeping views of the fields beyond where you can order a pre-dinner drink or grab the tapas menu and eat al fresco.

The restaurant regularly teams up with local musicians for live music nights (most recently with one of our favourites, Madsy Sax P) and what you might not know, is that it’s also licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies. Perfect if you’re looking for an intimate and completely original wedding venue in Essex.

Kkiddies are welcome at lunchtime but the dinner service is for adults only. Sorry sprogs!

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01245 443 186

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