Twas the afternoon before Christmas, and all I wanted was some good food after working an up an appetite rushing around doing some last minute Christmas shopping. As a result, I thought I’d ask my friend if she wanted to meet me for some lunch locally.
As I’ve been driving around Waltham Abbey these past few months, I noticed some renovation work being done on a barn/farm nearby and one day I saw a sign outside advertising that it would soon be opening as a restaurant and bar called “The Farmhouse Essex.”
Since then, I’ve been slowing down every time I’ve driven past to see if it’s open. You can only imagine the excitement on my face when I drove past a few weeks ago and saw balloons tied to the fence surrounding the restaurant. Remembering this, my friend and I inevitably chose The Farmhouse for lunch.
As I had been patiently waiting for the restaurant to open for months, my expectations were set really high and I’m glad to say that I was not let down. I was surprised at how spacious and nicely decorated it was considering that it’s set inside a barn! The exposed beams and bricks, and rustic woods mixed with the vibrant flooring and seating, provides the restaurant with the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary.
Although it may not look that big from the pictures above, don’t be fooled. Behind that small window above the cosy cushions is another room with more seating.
Since my friend and I had not eaten all morning and were eager to try out our new local, we thought we’d order a bit of everything, literally.
Due to the fact that we visited at around 2pm and as stated hadn’t eaten anything yet, it was technically brunch for us. A normal brunch these days would most likely consist of breakfast like dishes with egg and toast, however as it was quite late in the day, we opted to get a plate of breakfast AND a plate of lunch – now that’s doing brunch right, right?!
We didn’t plan to be so extra, but when you find out that all the food is from locally sourced farms and producers, and that the special of the day is pulled pork, how can you say no?
Served in a soft brioche bun, the pulled pork was deliciously juicy and given an extra dimension with the crunch of the pickles and coleslaw. In order to keep our pulled pork company, we also got some fluffy sweet potato fries and buffalo, buttermilk chicken wings on the side.
If you’ve read my previous blog post where I reviewed the fried chicken joint Chick n Sours, you’ll know that I’m now quite the chicken wing connoisseur (lol) so believe me when I say that these wings were insane. Not only were they huge, they were scrumptiously sticky and crispy on the outside whilst maintaining softness and moistness on the inside.
I have to admit that moving on from the wings and burger to a skinny breakfast was slightly weird. I began to question my decision, but once the fresh sausage and bacon entered my mouth and oozed with succulence and slight spice, I knew that I’d made a wonderful choice. It’s a breath of fresh air when a restaurant takes the time to flavour the meat in a full English breakfast. Too often it’s served bland and with no character, but that wasn’t an issue for The Farmhouse.
What also made the Skinny Essex breakfast so nice was the mushrooms. They were probably the best mushrooms I’ve ever had served with breakfast! They weren’t soggy or watery and had a unique peppery flavour to them. Finally, just feast your eyes on that bread. Thick, crusty crust, and dripping with butter – probably not so skinny but perfect nevertheless!
After speaking to the friendly staff and finding out that one of them previously worked for The Ivy Restaurants and another also owns Italian street food joint The Cheeky Italian, it comes as no surprise that The Farmhouse delivered such quality food.
There is honestly nothing quite like it in the area and it’s bounds and leaps ahead of any restaurant/pub/cafe in Waltham Abbey. The days of having to venture into Central London for good food are over now that The Farmhouse has arrived. It costs half the price also!
I can say with certainty that there will only be good things to come; one of them being specialist gin pairing nights. Sourcing artisan gin and tonics at their bar, they intend to hold events with a set-menu for the night where each dish has been specifically chosen for the purposes of pairing perfectly with one of their vast range of finest gins. How cool!
I will definitely be returning to try this, their dinner menu, or traditional British roast one Sunday afternoon.
So, what are you waiting for? Get down to The Farmhouse in Waltham Abbey, Essex for your fix of fresh, reasonably priced, English grub with a contemporary twist.