(Richard Hawley) The Oakhouse Bar Café – Maldon
I mentioned to Val, on our recent visit to Le Bouchon, that we really don’t visit Maldon as often as we should. It’s a charming town and only ten miles from home, yet we tend to visit Chelmsford by default.
However, I had a need to visit Maldon, so we took the opportunity to try somewhere a bit different for lunch.
Oakhouse, is located on Maldon’s high street, a few doors away from the historic ‘Moot Hall’ and had been recommended to me by friends.
We managed to snag a table outside, it was a beautiful day, and I went in to order our lunch.
Inside it’s air conditioned and decorated in a woody – as you might expect for ‘The Oak House’ – style, pleasantly up market.
There’s an interesting selection of draught beers and lagers, including ‘3 Hop’ a ‘craft’ lager from Edinburgh’s huge ‘Caledonian’ brewery which was new to me.
They although they also serve “Puck’s Folly” from the Maldon Brewing Company who are sited literally across the church yard – no ‘beer miles’ there. There are a number of wines listed on blackboard tiles on the wall.
I popped away for a couple of minutes to put some stuff in the car and when I returned, Val informed me that she’d amended her order to a ‘small’ ploughman’s – the waitress had queried the order for two full ploughman’s.
As it was, both were sizeable, we could neither of us finish our respective dishes. Each comprised pork-pie, cheese, ham, salad, chutney, olives and a generous portion of excellent bread with butter. Without doubt the most comprehensive ploughman’s I’ve ever enjoyed.
One word of caution – and hopefully Oakhouse management will read this – the menu on the Oakhouse website is woefully out of date. My ‘full size’ ploughman’s, while still good value and delicious, was nearly twice the website’s quoted price.
And their range of burgers has grown both in choice and, viewing other customers’ lunches, height.
Still, the Oakhouse was good value for money – a large and small ploughman’s, two pints of three hop lager and a large glass of white Rioja (£8 – ouch!) but a final bill of about forty quid.
The food and ambience were both good.
As I said from the outset, we should really visit Maldon more frequently, we’ll happily return to the Oakhouse when we do.