Anyone heading to the Fox and Goose at Cooksmill Green on the A414 between Ongar and Chelmsford will at some point have to confront a perplexing question. With so many food and beverage options on the menu, deciding what to order in the face of so much choice is bound to be taxing. The good news is that you can always enjoy a refreshing drink whilst pondering the decision, unless, of course, that is the very decision causing difficulty.
“If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere, good fresh food and hospitality in a rustic yet modern environment, then you’ve found the right place at The Fox and Goose. Our friendly staff cater for everyone’s needs. There’s a great buzz about the place. But for those wanting to enjoy a quiet meal or just a drink in the pub, we do that well too,” said general manager Alastair Robertson.
A dozen starters and mains along with eight desserts make up the main menu. There is always a soup, tart and pie of the day included in the line up. Add to this, a specials board, which is changed daily, offering another half a dozen starters and mains and four desserts and you begin to appreciate why such a beautiful dilemma exists.
Responsible for producing these delectable dishes is head chef Chris Pearson. “Our head chef Chris is just fantastic. Where possible and when available he uses top quality, local, fresh ingredients,” added Alastair.
Previously Chris has worked at some other prestigious eateries in Essex including Graham’s on the Green in Writtle, Muddy Waters, Chelmsford and The Duke of York in Billericay. Joining him on the team are pastry chefs, Karen and Jess, who make all the pub’s homemade cakes and desserts.
A popular choice, costing £15.95, is roasted lamb rump and spring onion mash topped with sweet potato crisps, served with lamb jus. Or for a tasty hint of Brentwood IPA, the beer battered Haddock and triple cooked chips at £12.50.
As for drinks … There are four draught real ales. Brentwood IPA plus two others are always on the bar along with one guest beer, which is changed frequently. Three lagers, two ciders and Guinness are also on draught. Bottled craft lagers. Gluten-free beer. Alcohol-free lager and beer. Wines from all over the World with 14 white, an equal number of red and four rose. Some are sparkling. There is a selection of Champagnes too.
But the choices don’t end here. Adjoining the Fox and Goose and belonging to their empire is The Bakehouse. It opens at 8am each morning, serving breakfast until midday. From noon it serves light meals, sandwiches and jacket potatoes along with teas, coffees and soft drinks. All cakes are homemade. Afternoon teas are available but must be pre-booked.
The Fox and Goose restaurant is divided into four adjoining but separate zones. So whether it’s a big family get together, a couple enjoying a quiet meal, a family with young children, or a party celebrating a special occasion, the pub can comfortably accommodate everyone’s wide-ranging dining needs at the same time.
“It’s an impressive building which I think draws people in. Our friendly team aims to make an enjoyable experience for everyone who comes in the door,” said Alastair.
A large open fire serves to stoke the hostelry’s warm welcome, taking the chill out of nippy Autumn and Spring days and bringing comfort during Winter. In fine weather, the courtyard garden and patio provides a relaxing space in which sip a glass of something refreshing.
Each of the dining spaces is available for exclusive private hire and a buffet and party menu is offered.
If, after enjoying a delicious meal at The Fox and Goose, having conquered the ‘what-will-I-choose-from-the-extensive-menu’ conundrum, and a similar ‘challenge’ is required, try The Folly Bistro at East Hanningfield, a sister restaurant also owned by Danielle Kirkham.
Beer & Food Match Suggestion
A refreshing pint of Brentwood IPA 3.7% ABV (lightly hopped, pale, session bitter) and The Fox & Goose’s Beer Battered Haddock and Triple Cooked Chips or Roasted Lamb Rump and spring onion mash topped with sweet potato crisps all served with lamb jus.
Pub Opening Times
Reservations are not taken for parties of fewer than 8 – it’s a walk in service. On Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Christmas Day & New Years Eve, booking ahead is advisable.
Saturday dinner & Sunday, parties of 8 or more need to reserve a table. Opening Times
Monday – Friday lunch from noon – last orders by 2.30pm. Saturday noon – 4pm and 5 – 9.30pm (food served all day) Sunday 12 – 8pm
(The pub is open for drinks throughout each day)
On Bank Holiday Mondays, Sunday trading times apply.
Dinner 5 – 9pm.
The Fox & Goose, Ongar Road, Cooksmill Green, Chelmsford, CM1 3SN 01245 248245
NB: bookings accepted by telephone only.