I’ve always said the Rose and Crown pub in Wivenhoe, England should be the best pub in the county. It’s on the waterfront of the Colne River. Across this once-busy-now-quiet waterway, you’re greeted by views of green fields, woodland and the twinkle of distant riverside towns, miles upstream.
On the pub’s doorstep, the quay juts into the river bank where local sailing enthusiasts and fishermen have moored their boats. You can sit at the tables with your beer or even better, hang your legs over the edge of the quay and watch the evening drink up the river before you.
Inside, the pub is decked out with all the naval feel of the Spouter Inn from Moby Dick. Without tattooed savages running around of course. Score the table in the little leaded glass panelled bay window at the front of the pub and you’ll feel like you’re on the bridge of an old galley, peering out at the river beyond.
As I said, I’ve always thought the Rose and Crown should be the best pub in the area, but for many many years, I’ve been disappointed. For a long time it was poorly run, poorly staffed and over-priced horrible food and beer. On the whole an irritating, slightly unpleasant experience.
These days, it seems the pub has done its level best to lift its standards. There’s good craft beer on tap, the staff are enthusiastic and the food menu is full of stuff that’s actually edible.
The burger selection is impressive. I was tempted to go for the Big Ben Burger but went for the Juicy Lucy instead. It’s got a jalapeño jack cheese filling in the patty and the barbeque sauce is awesome. This burger is copied – even to the name – from Whitman’s Burger Bar in the East Village, NYC.
Mrs Romance had the wild boar slow roast burger, which looked good too.
My mum and sister shared the nachos plate, which I wasn’t impressed with. It looked a bit burnt, they’d used the wrong cheese, which congealed into a hard mass, and there was no chilli beef with it. They seemed happy enough though.
My dad had the ham and eggs – an English lunch classic. It also looked good. The eggs were properly cooked and the chips gave something to soak up the gooey yolk.
I’m glad to see the Rose and Crown finally lifting its game. Let’s hope they keep on lifting – there’s still plenty of room to improve.
The Rose and Crown Pub
The Quay, Wivenhoe
Essex CO7 9BX