The Bell Inn, Castle Hedingham
This is a real ale pub with traditional casks behind the bar - it was worth the trip to darkest Essex for this alone. The pub's a bit maze-like inside, betraying its origins somewhere in the 15th century (it's old) and it's easy to get lost. When we were in for Sunday lunch, the place was populated with friendly locals and genial staff - taking the piss out of our barman for being hung over! Imagine that. The beer's well kept and there's a selection of local ales to get your teeth into. The menu's not strictly traditional - no Sunday roasts on the menu, for instance - but it's good, reasonably priced and there's plenty of it. There's lots going on and we almost wish it was our local!
10 St. James Street, Castle Hedingham, Castle Hedingham, Essex, CO9 3EJ
01787 460 350
How to get there