Restaurant Review – Church Street Tavern

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Church Street Tavern is tucked away off the busy high street of this historic Essex town. A chic and contemporary establishment, the smart, white Victorian townhouse, a former savings bank, with its seating area outside (perfect for when the sun shines), is a far cry from the run of the mill high street restaurant-chains nearby.

The Church Street Tavern is regarded as one of the best places to eat in Colchester and is the only restaurant in town with a Michelin Plate and two AA Rosettes. But despite these accolades, everything is very homely and welcoming, not pretentious nor stuffy.

The bar area with its sofas and stools, cafe tables and counters is simply buzzing with people enjoying their evening. There’s those who have popped in for a quick drink before a show at the Mercury Theatre which is opposite and, others enjoying cocktails, local ales or ciders and other pre-dinner drinks before heading upstairs to the dining room-style restaurant. Food can be enjoyed in the bar area, a menu includes a selection of scrumptious treats such as Mussels and French fries and Loaded Fries with Pulled Pork to lighter bites including salads.

Church Street Tavern opened in 2014 and is independently owned by Piers Baker, who also owns The Sun Inn Dedham, a 16th Century Coaching Inn renowned for its wonderful seasonal menus, inspired by Italy with dishes big on flavour.

Now, Baker has injected his magic touch into Church Street Tavern ensuring it is another place to come for great food and great hospitality – “a Tavern for the 21st century,” is how he describes it!

The spacious restaurant is ideal for a gathering of family and friends, or a cosy romantic dinner for two. Decor exudes eclectic vintage style with rich upholstered furnishings and rustic wooden floors and a collection of local artwork adding pops of colour to every wall, or plates on another. Though, despite the wonderful backdrop the real masterpiece of Church Street Tavern is the food.

The menu which will take you on a culinary journey is a wholesome, hearty mix of locally sourced produce.

There’s something for every palate whether you opt for Bites (Mersea Rock Oysters), a Starter (Guinea Fowl and Wild Mushroom Terrine, Picked Girolles, Radicchio, Walnut, Brioche) or (Smoked Haddock & Keen’s Cheddar Souffle, Truffled Califlower) – just two of many fantastic options – or go straight to the generous Mains.

Fish (Salmon, Hake), game (Pheasant) and succulent meat (Rare Breed 42-55 day aged steak) dishes which can be enjoyed with additional sides including fries, Jannsson’s Temptation – a creamy Swedish potato dish, or winter greens.

There’s a fantastic wine list too with something to complement every dish and, for those who have room – temptingly naughty but nice desserts.

Church Street Tavern is a culinary treat for the senses with waiter service which is second-to-none – the perfect dining experience!

The Mercury Theatre has launched a new partnership with the local bar and restaurant, as part of their Corporate Partnerships scheme Mercury Theatre goers can now take advantage of a great value Set Price menu at Church Street Tavern available at lunch and between 5.30pm and 7pm, Wednesday-Saturday, so ideal for pre-Theatre dining. For more details visit: www.churchstreettavern.co.uk

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