Hidden gems of Essex

Discover the collection of hidden gems in the capital’s commuter-belt county with our pick of the best kept secrets in Essex

Saffron Welden Essex
Above: The beautiful village of Saffron Walden in Essex

The Cricketers (4-star), Clavering This 16th-century country pub, in a lovely village south-west of Saffron Walden, is owned and run by Trevor and Sally Oliver, parents of TV chef Jamie Oliver. Unsurprisingly, the food is great, but the accommodation and real ales also come very highly recommended. Tel: (01799) 550442 or visit www.thecricketers.co.uk

Highfields B&B (4-star), near Kelvedon Lovely farmhouse bed and breakfast handy for Marks Hall and the pretty little town of Coggeshall. Tel: (01376) 570334 or visit www.highfieldsfarm.co.uk

Baumanns Brasserie, Coggeshall Brilliant, yet relaxed restaurant at Coggeshall. Perhaps the best in Essex. Tel: (01376) 561453 or visit www.baumannsbrasserie.co.uk

The White Hart Hotel (3-star), Coggeshall Classic small town hotel in the middle of the town, offering comfortable accommodation and good food. Tel: (01376) 561654 or visit www.whitehart-coggeshall.com

The Pheasant, Gestingthorpe Brilliant foodie pub in a lovely village not far from Castle Hedingham, with a menu based on delicious local produce. Was winner of the award for Best Newcomer Restaurant at the 2008 Essex Food and Drink Awards. Tel: (01787) 461196 or visit www.thepheasant.net

Finchingfield Antiques Centre, Finchingfield Quirky and enjoyable antiques emporium, housing the wares of 20 dealers. Tel: (01371) 810258 or visit www.antiqueclockandwatchrepairs.co.uk

Want to know more about what to visit and when? Read our insiders guide to Essex!

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