Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cricketer's Arms, Rickling Green

The Cricketers' Arms,
Rickling Green,
near Saffron Walden,
Essex, CB11 3YG

The Cricketer's Arms is a stone's throw from Stansted Airport and so, as we were staying at to Stansted in prepration for a flight to Europe, my wife and I thought we'd take the opportunity to try it out.

The restaurant is pretty easy to find, and is set in a gorgeous olde-worlde setting just opposite a large cricket green. The building has two restaurants plus a very comfortable bar, populated with large, relaxing sofas.

After choosing our dishes in the bar, we were shown through to the smaller of the two restaurants and, shortly after, the starters arrived.

True to my mushroom addiction, I had chosen pan sauteed wild mushrooms served on toasted brioche with soft poached egg and truffle. To be honest, although quite nice, the sauce was too strong for the rest of the ingredients and the taste of the mushrooms and truffle was completely lost. My wife had deep fried crab cake with spring onion risotto and tomato salsa which she enjoyed and said was very tasty.

For the main course I had sun blushed tomato gnocchi with grilled two cheese sauce. The dish was baked gnocchi, and was presented very well - the burned top of the sauce was cracked and resembled a lava flow. The gnocchi itself was tasty, but I'm afraid I was spoilt by the perfect gnocchi I had at Neal Street a few weeks back. My better half enjoyed her rump of Welsh lamb with champ potato and a tomato and mint salsa.

Dessert was a no brainer as Gaz's Creme Brulee Rules came into effect. The rasperry creme brulee, was a plain brulee with raspberries placed on top, rather than in the dessert itself but, this aside, it was a very pleasant dish indeed, rating an 8 on the scale.

In summary, we had a very pleasant meal, the service was good and the pub itself is very pleasant. If you're looking for somewhere to eat, and don't fancy the Birchanger Services on the M11, you could do a lot worse than detour a few miles to the Cricketer's Arms.

Also, if you're flying out of Stansted, the pub offers accomodation and will let you leave your car there and arrange a shuttle to and from the airport for you. We may well try this next time we fly from Stansted.

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