Harlow International Hostel is situated adjacent to a landscaped park and is one of the oldest…
Dating back to at least the 16th century, the Rainbow & Dove was a farmhouse, staging post, village shop and post office before it became a pub. English Heritage has given it Grade II historical building status. There are cask-conditioned real ales, a selection of craft gins and whiskies and a good wine list. Menus revolve around fresh seasonal produce and the owners have their own smallholding where rare and traditional pigs, goats, geese, chickens and quail are reared. On the snack menu you’ll find ciabattas, baguettes, sandwiches and jacket potatoes, but if it’s something more substantial that you require then the carte lists dishes such as sharing platters; carpaccio of wild venison; stuffed rabbit loin; fresh, whole, grilled lemon sole; Tuscan-style roast pork belly; and asparagus, broad bean and roasted garlic risotto.
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About the area
Essex is full of pleasant surprises. It has the largest coastline of any county in England, with its fair share of castles, royal connections and scenic valleys. Take Colchester, for example, which was built by the Romans and is Britain’s oldest recorded town. Its castle contains the country’s largest Norman keep and yet, a stone’s throw from here, East Anglia’s newest arts centre promises to put Colchester firmly on the map as Essex’s capital of culture.
Tidal estuaries are plentiful and their mudflats offer migrating birds a winter feeding place. Essex was known as the land of the East Saxons and for centuries people from all over Europe settled here, each wave leaving its own distinctive cultural and social mark on the landscape. Walking a little off the beaten track will lead you to the rural retreats of deepest Essex, while all over the county there are ancient monuments to explore:
- the great Waltham Abbey
- Greensted, thought to be the oldest wooden church in the world
- the delightful village of Pleshey has one of the finest examples of a former motte-and-bailey castle
- Hedingham Castle, magnificently preserved and dating from the 11th century.
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