Its no secret, I love food. I love going out for dinner, and the whole social aspect of eating with people. I also love discovering new restaurants in Essex that can go on my list of paces to eat. I have a few pet hates when it comes to restaurants, so I am known to be a little fussy. Not gonna lie. The George and Dragon in Epping, Essex has recently undergone a huge refurbishment, and we were invited along to the restaurant to sample the new menu that had been launched. On a slight side note, I always feel so very, very lucky when my blog allows me to share the experience with people I love. Its very special and I feel so honoured that I get to do that for them.
The fabulous manager and the team at The George and Dragon wanted a very honest opinion and feedback (she came to the right gal, lets face it) so I took along my husband, my 18 year old son, and my Father-in-law. I thought that would give a varied view as we all have very different tastes. Although we were gifted the meal and the wonderful evening that we had, I was not obliged to write a review or post about the restaurant at all. I had no obligation to tell do a write up, so this is purely my own decision to tell you about this place. Thats how much I loved it. So here you go, my experience of The George and Dragon in Epping, Essex.
Re-Launch of The George and Dragon, Epping
As is usual in any high streets, parking is often minimal. The George and Dragon does have some parking, but there is also parking directly across the road. All the planets aligned for us however, as we pulled up outside, just as someone was pulling out. Yes! I blooming love that when it happens. Situated directly on the High Street in Epping, the restaurant welcomed you with an abundance of tiny fairy lights in mini trees outside. So pretty.
The interior of the bar and restaurant is very sleek and modern, but with warm colours in the furnishings and wall coverings, and ambient lighting in cosy corners. It feels welcoming and atmospheric. I loved the decor a lot. The mix of modern and texture really works. We were shown to the bar and left with the extensive drinks menu. Now, if you are a fan of cocktails, you will be in your element. They have a great choice. As is well known on this blog of mine, Im a big fan of gin, so I was over the moon to see many varieties, as well as mixes available. Think I might just settle in for the night……….
The Food we Had
While enjoying our drinks, we were brought over some appetisers to enjoy. I opted for the vegan option as I wanted to see what would be on offer. I am not vegan, but I am a non meat eater, so always enjoy the vegan options in eateries. I thought it was a good chance to see how they catered for vegans. (You will be pleased to know my vegan friends, that there is a large vegan menu on offer! You will be well looked after). I could also mention here that they do a bottomless bubbles menu…….but I wont…….(I will just leave a link here, Iv got you fellow bubble lovers, Iv got you) The rest of our party had the usual menu. They were delicious! Great variety from cheese bites, pate on melba toast, a beetroot relish on melba toasts and chicken tenders. There was a lot! All of us agreed that everything we ate was tasty, varied and plentiful!
After we had enjoyed our drinks and sharing platters, we moved over to our table. Now, one of my pet hates in restaurants is tables being right on top of each other. I really dislike feeling like the table next door can hear your entire conversation. The George and Dragon has got this right. They have a few booth type tables, round tables well spaced out and all of the tables felt spacious. Winning point George, good work!
Im not going to bore you with the details of each and every dish, so I thought I’d list what we had with a brief description, anything worth noting and some photos. Sound good? Lets get stuck in
Me – Deep fried Brie with chutney – blooming delicious. Cooked beautifully and so tasty!
Nik – Chargrilled Lamb Kofta – Served on skewers with a salad of goats curd, plum tomato, roasted pepper and mint
My Father in Law, (Jim) – Thyme roasted Portobello mushroom with rustic toast – So, so gorgeous! So different
Cally (my son) – King Prawn and Lobster pot with Devon crab creme fraiche and toasted ciabatta – Like a mousse , very light and fresh
I think you can see, the starters were both delicious and of generous size. We all really enjoyed them.
We were not rushed at all onto the next course, which was nice. After our starters were cleared, we had about 10 minutes to relax and enjoy our drinks before the dinners were brought out. So, to give you the run down
me – Lobster and Devon Crab Fishcakes (perfect. Not filled with potato as some fish cakes disappointingly are) with a mint pea puree and asparagus
Nik – Chicken, Leek and Creme Fraiche Pie (A posh pie as we called it. It had a ham hock crumb and was served with kale mashed potato)
Jim – Pan Fried Sea Bass Fillets (with pancetta, olives and spinach. Beautiful)
Cally – Fillet Steak (cooked perfectly. Served with twice cooked “proper” chips and a beef dripping sauce)
The mains were amazing. You know when your eating and all you can do is enjoy every mouthful? We really did feel incredibly spoilt.
After a little gap, a breather, we were shown the desert menu. I was spoilt for choice as there were so many options! Im not a lover of chocolate, preferring things like cheesecake or pudding, and I could have had about 10 things! In the end, we all decided on the following
Me – Vanilla creme brûlée (so beautifully delicious and light)
Nik – Melting chocolate bomb filled with sticky toffee pudding (three deserts in one! very decadent)
Jim – Sticky toffee pudding and custard (my father in laws favourite. He was NOT disappointed)
Cally – Same as his Dad, the chocolate bomb
We were well and truly, full to the brim when we finished. So content! We all had a chat about the food on the way home, and there was not one thing we were disappointed by. The only observation we did make, and that I have fed back to the manager, is that the drinks were a little slow coming out. This was the very first time that the restaurant had been open to “normal people” and not just staff testers though, so the manager said she recognised this. The restaurant opens properly today, 8th November.
If you are in essex, or even London as Epping is so close, I would strongly recommend you visiting the George and Dragon. My father in law summed it up perfectly. He said “its very rare that you come out of a place, having loved every single thing that you have eaten” we all agree totally Jim!
You can see the full, extensive menu just here
Isn’t it lovely when you find a new local place to you that feels like its going to become a regular? Have you that where you live? What would you have chosen from the choices we made? Id love to hear!
** The meal was gifted to me in exchange for my feedback to the venue. i was under no obligation t write about it, so as ever, opinions and views are totally mine.