25 February 2011
Saffron Walden is a brilliant little town, about 15-20 minutes from Cambridge, full of lots of independent shops, delis and restaurants and seems to be a well kept secret! We live only 5 minutes drive away now so we shop and eat there often, the Saturday market is fantastic (go to the bread stall and the olive stall but for the tapenade) and there is a wool shop opening soon! We have also tried Dish Restaurant and Cafe CouCou (for the puddings) there and both are a must, fantastic food.
But now onto the Eight Bells. We went about 6 months ago when it was under different ownership, the food was only okay, but the pub was taken over just before Christmas by new owners. The old chef from way back when the pub was better is back and the interior of this 15th century (?) building has been transformed in to a nice cosy place with big leather sofas and huge woodburners.
Lit with candles and dim lights it wasn't best for photography but it was very romantic!
We went one Saturday afternoon for one of the 'grazing boards' - we tried the Greek meze board - which was fantastic and really good value, £9 which fed both of us a nice lunch. They also have local cider on tap, yay!
Keen to go back we treated ourselves to an evening meal one weekday. The food was just as good as before, there is lots of choice on the menu and if you go for anything, go for the puddings. I had fishcakes with green beans and a lovely lemon butter sauce for main, oh and I had to order some onion rings because I love them - they were great and obviously made from scratch.
The real star was the enormous sticky toffee pudding with cinder toffee- drenched in caramel sauce and with a scoop of locally produced vanilla ice cream. Yum! I think I could have just had that and gone home happy. My hubby had the vegetable tagine which was really flavoursome for a vegetarian dish, followed by an immensely chocolatey chocolate brownie.
The pub is open all day, they do light bites, sandwiches along with their main meals. We will be going back soon, it is also a lovely place to stop off for a drink after shopping.
The website is here but you will find the menu on their facebook page