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Jamie's Pub


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You saw the television series and all the trials and tribulations of the prospective pub owners...it has now been open for a few months and I popped in the other week to check it out and make a reservation.

They haven't spoiled the interior - on the contrary this really feels like a nice country pub just with a nicer carpet and hopefully nicer food. The menu certainly looks tempting with very reasonable prices, probably because a good section is homemade pasta around the seven quid mark. Now we know the chef who won had won prizes for his pasta so this could be a good bet. Also, there are certainly no frou-frou menu items but just honest food with an italian twist.

The best thing of course is that it's only 20 minutes from my house - but I guess I need to wait until I've been at the beginning of April before I know if it really is a good thing.

I shall of course report back....

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

As promised....reporting back.

A lovely day in Essex, not a cloud in the sky all day and the Cock Inn (fnarr!) is situated in glorious countryside and best of all only 20 minutes from my house through the backroads.

The pub has not been overdone, mainly due to cost constraints and is all the better for it. First impressions though are mixed as the manager seems to lack something in communication skills, first acknowledging us and then keeping us waiting while he served someone else without really explaining what he was done. Our waitress was however lovely and overall the service here is excellent.

First up we had a look at the menu and then the wine list (please forgive the state of any of the following photos as this is my first time posting)

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For this part of the world, the wines are not particularly cheap but we went for ever reliable Pieropan Soave (the basic classico).

Then starters:

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Gnocchi with smoked eel - I would have preferred the eel less mashed up. The Gnocchi were "super-light" as promised. But very tasty....

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Variation on the prosciutto and melon theme, with pecorino cheese - again tasty and simple.

Main courses - there were lots of roasts but we wanted something more interesting:

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Melanzane Parmigiana - what you probably can't see are the capers and pomegranate seeds. Both made this a delicious dish...yumm. Good one for vegetarians....

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"Seaside" risotto - lots of different types of fish in this one - a real aniseed flavour, perhaps from pernod and some depth of flavour from the stock it was cooked in - again delicious.

Here is the dessert selection - a difficult choice:

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And we chose:

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Tiramisu with candied nuts and blood orange - I liked the deconstructed presentation of this. This was totally delicious and a benchmark Tiramisu.

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Apricot Frangipane with Vin Santo cream - tasty but not as good as the Tiramisu.

Time for coffee:

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This was an excellent Macchiato and the cappuccino was good too.

All in all an excellent meal - whether it is worth the trip from London is another question but for those in the area this is an excellent little pub in a beautiful location - once the outside furniture is sorted this will be a lovely place to spend a summer's afternoon.

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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I note from the wine list the have as their 'house' red

Alpha Zeta, 'Fifteen' Toscana, 2004, Italy

Alpha Zeta is a co-operative near Verona in Valpolicella and the grape is Corvina for this wine which I sell as my 'house' red from Liberty wines. The grapes come from growers within the DOC of Valpolicella and to the best of my knowledge not Tuscany.

I know Fifteen had input into the olive oil from Alpha Zeta and they also make Amarone (Valpolicella) and straight Valpolicella but this seems a bit of an odd listing and potentially misleading.

Thanks for the posting....was there any mention of sourcing on the menus?

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Where those photos taken half way through eating?  Otherwise i,ve never seen such an unappetising looking collection..?

Maybe it's my photographic technique ;-)

Well, this is pub food and at the end of the day the taste was good and I guess that's what counts - if you saw the TV series I'm sure you're aware that the guy is not that experienced and I just have some respect for someone being thrown in at the deep end like that and making a go of it. The food was certainly not expensive - about £10 for mains and £5 for desserts and considering what crap you can get served up for that sort of money these days then I certainly will be going back regardless of presentation...

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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I note from the wine list the have as their 'house' red

Alpha Zeta, 'Fifteen' Toscana, 2004, Italy

Alpha Zeta is a co-operative near Verona in Valpolicella and the grape is Corvina for this wine which I sell as my 'house' red from Liberty wines. The grapes come from growers within the DOC of Valpolicella and to the best of my knowledge not Tuscany.

I know Fifteen had input into the olive oil from Alpha Zeta and they also make Amarone (Valpolicella) and straight Valpolicella but this seems a bit of an odd listing and potentially misleading.

Thanks for the posting....was there any mention of sourcing on the menus?

Hmm, yes I didn't notice that...I'll have to check next time I go back.

In terms of sourcing, not so much on this menu but I know they use Priors Hall Farm for their pork - their non-Sunday menu is more italianate with lots of pastas. Sunday's obviously caters to more of a "roast" crowd. Either way I am not making claims that this is the greatest gastropub around but it fits the criteria of not too far away, not too expensive, simple, tasty food and nice location. If you want more than that...then you probably need to go to your place ;-)

Edited by Gavin Convery (log)

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Where those photos taken half way through eating?  Otherwise i,ve never seen such an unappetising looking collection..?

Maybe it's my photographic technique ;-)

Well, this is pub food and at the end of the day the taste was good and I guess that's what counts - if you saw the TV series I'm sure you're aware that the guy is not that experienced and I just have some respect for someone being thrown in at the deep end like that and making a go of it. The food was certainly not expensive - about £10 for mains and £5 for desserts and considering what crap you can get served up for that sort of money these days then I certainly will be going back regardless of presentation...

Thanks for taking the pics Gavin, there's no problem with your technique, and it adds to the post. Bails, I'm looking forward to your technique. :biggrin:

This looks like decent food for the price. I wish some more pubs would take note.

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Good Luck to Aaron I say, I'll defintly try it and support him if I'm ever in the area.

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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Good Luck to Aaron I say, I'll defintly try it and support him if I'm ever in the area.

Thanks for the website address - I think that shows that during the week is probably more interesting menu-wise than the weekend. I feel a kid-free evening coming on soon!

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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  • 9 months later...

I'm hearing on the Essex grapevine that The Cock has either closed or not doing food anymore. Two chefs have decamped to the nearby White Hart in Coggeshall and there is apparantly no beer on tap. Their answerphone message says they are not taking any bookings for the moment.

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Its closed - click.

Not a good time for TV-backed restaurants. Two Kitchen Nightmares have also recently made the news - Momma Cherries in Brighton went into adminstration before Xmas but has just re-opened with Momma's daughter in charge (how does that work?) and The Granary in Titchfield has been badly damaged in a fire which may be linked to an arson attack earlier in the year.

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The Granary in Titchfield has been badly damaged in a fire which may be linked to an arson attack earlier in the year.

I went to the opening party of the Granary when it was meant to be an exclusive club with gary holihead cooking- wasn't surprised to see it end up on the kitchen nightmares, but it's a shame if its gone as it really is a beautiful site. I wonder who they upset so much?

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Momma Cherries in Brighton went into adminstration before Xmas but has just re-opened with Momma's daughter in charge (how does that work?)

the suppliers get taken for a ride and don't get paid, but the administrators/recievers sell the assets back to whoever sticks a decent bid in quickly, often the only people able to do so quickly are the former owners hence they start again with exactly the same business without the debts.

a banker said to me the other day they were lending as usual to decent businesses with one caveat, he was told not to lend to any pubs or restaurants too risky in the current climate.

you don't win friends with salad

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the suppliers get taken for a ride and don't get paid, but the administrators/recievers sell the assets back to whoever sticks a decent bid in quickly, often the only people able to do so quickly are the former owners hence they start again with exactly the same business without the debts.

Thanks for the explanation. I wonder what proportion of those businesses go on to fail a second time? I would imagine that the suppliers would be very wary about extending any credit at all and might demand payment on delivery, which could cause cash flow problems while punters might well wonder what was wrong with the place that it went under the first time and stay away - a recipe for disaster surely?

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the suppliers get taken for a ride and don't get paid, but the administrators/recievers sell the assets back to whoever sticks a decent bid in quickly, often the only people able to do so quickly are the former owners hence they start again with exactly the same business without the debts.

Thanks for the explanation. I wonder what proportion of those businesses go on to fail a second time? I would imagine that the suppliers would be very wary about extending any credit at all and might demand payment on delivery, which could cause cash flow problems while punters might well wonder what was wrong with the place that it went under the first time and stay away - a recipe for disaster surely?

Unless the punters are none the wiser? I certainly didn't know this place had closed until I read it here, and if it's going to reopen run by the same family then I doubt anyone else would notice either.

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the suppliers get taken for a ride and don't get paid, but the administrators/recievers sell the assets back to whoever sticks a decent bid in quickly, often the only people able to do so quickly are the former owners hence they start again with exactly the same business without the debts.

Thanks for the explanation. I wonder what proportion of those businesses go on to fail a second time? I would imagine that the suppliers would be very wary about extending any credit at all and might demand payment on delivery, which could cause cash flow problems while punters might well wonder what was wrong with the place that it went under the first time and stay away - a recipe for disaster surely?

you'd think so, but there always seems to be another supplier out there who'll take the risk, places go under for plenty of reasons, can be things like overspend on re-fits etc rather than just poor trading/wrong concept. There's so much fixed cost in restaurants that a small decline in trading can swing them loss making very quickly indeed. And yet knowing all this i still did it :blink::laugh:

you don't win friends with salad

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If you dig around on the Companies House website click( I know, I'm sad like that), you'll find out all sorts of interesting things about ltd companies and their previous incarnations, late tax filings etc.

Required reading if you ever dabble in buying businesses from liquidators or get asked to "invest" in something :wink: Also it's great when someone gives you a load of flannel about " yeah this is my business, but I like to stay in the background". The reply "funny, you don't appear as a director or company secretary or even as a shareholder at Companies House, wow that really is background"...normally elicits a nice pause and red face. :hmmm:

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[ while punters might well wonder what was wrong with the place that it went under the first time and stay away - a recipe for disaster surely?

You would be amazed how many places have done this (go under and reopen next day debt free :angry: ) without anybody beeing any the wiser :shock: .

Its just the small suppliers that will be able to give you the lists!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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A fruit & veg supplier I had the misfortune of dealing with due to them taking over the supplier I was using, have gone bust about 6 times but each time seem to reappear a day later buying from the same local growers but trading under a different name.....I say different but the lastest name was the old name with 2006 stuck on the end.

It taught me never to pay suppliers in cash again, regardless of the reciept you get.

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