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Horse and Groom, Writtle

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user reviews of the Horse and Groom, Writtle

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Chef and Brewer chain.
Handy large car park because I imagine it gets busy with evening diners.
Plenty of meal choices, well cooked, tasty, good value and presented by friendly staff.
Choice of ales, though, were lacking.
Greene King IPA and Abbot, alongside a house ale.
Yet another food orientated pub with little thought for real ale.
Just about worth another visit sometime.

fugglehops - 11 Feb 2018 21:49
The worst service and meal we have ever experienced. A thoroughly unpleasant and embarrassing experience. We had booked a table but when we arrived we were firstly told that there was not a table available then the waiter changed his mind and said there was but it just needed cutlery, he pointed to a table which only had 3 chairs (there were 4 of us) the floor under the table was littered with dirty serviettes and crayons, we waited about 5-10 minutes standing by the table eventually the waiter came back and we asked for a chair and pointed to the dirty serviettes, he said if they didn't worry us then they didn't worry him and we could leave them there!!!!! We said they did worry us so WE picked them up and put them on the table and he then had to clear them.
I ordered baked salmon on sweet potato mash with green beans and a tomato based sauce.The waiter came to me after about 10 mins and said that there was no sweet potato mash, I asked if I could choose something else and he said no but I could have ordinary mashed potato. I reluctantly agreed, by this time the other 3 people I was with had been served their meals. Eventually waiter appeared again with the plate and on it was a small pile of mash with a very dry sad looking piece of salmon (looked like it had been over-microwaved) and some luke warm shredded white cabbage, one half of a large cold tomato was just plonked on the plate and no green beans and no sauce! I asked where the green beans were and the plate was whisked away. 10 mins later ( by this time my company had finished their meals) the waiter returned and said that there were no green beans would I like broccoli instead I said well I suppose I'll have to and asked if he could remove the unappetising cold tomato, another 10 mins later which must be a good half hour from when the others had been served theirs, the waiter again returned to say that they hadn't any of the sauce that should be with the dish but the chef could make another one. By this time I was hysterically laughing I really could not believe it! Ok I said so of he goes leaving the plate of food in front of me. I noticed that the big cold tomato had been replaced by a large half of a lemon not sliced you understand but just plonked on side of the plate. A good ten minutes later again the waiter hurried up with the sauce boat, by this time the disgusting plate of 'food' was cold so I said 'actually I have totally lost my appetite, please take it all away' Waiter said but you wont be charged for the meal'. No I wont because I'm not eating it! The only thing on my plate which is on the original dish on your menu is the fish everything else has changed so please just take it away!
Incidentally the other 3 meals were very poor too, my husband ordered the veg pie which came in an earthenware dish with a puff pastry crust which was so overcooked it just disintegrated when he touched it with his knife and fork . The lasagne looked like a microwave meal. The bar was totally covered with dirty glasses and bottles the whole time we were there..
A really unpeasant experience. They were lucky they got paid for anything at all. Would not recommend or ever go there again!
motherduck - 20 Sep 2010 09:45
Went last evening with my wife and daughter and have nothing but praise for this pub. The sevice was excellent and friendly, The beer 1st class (Adnam's best bitter, Directors best and Wells Bombardier) and the food was excellent, good portions, pipng hot and very very tasty.
This was the second time I have been to this pub in 3 months and it was just as good the last time I went.
No complaints whatsoever.
BigRobbo - 30 Jul 2010 16:32
An utterly dismal experience, particularly when one considers the publicised re-fit that the pub had in May 2010, and the equally reknowned history of woeful service and below-par food and beer. Lunchtime today (a sunny Friday, with the pub heaving) saw one trainee behind the bar and one waitress trying to cope with over 40 covers. Sandwiches for 6 people took nearly an hour to arrive, and an additional bowl of chips (not a big ask) took an additional 20 minutes. One of those sandwiches was thrown over one of our party, and the replacement took 20 minutes to arrive. The food presented bore very little relation to the description on the menu.

There are many, much better pubs in the Chelmsford/Writtle area.
Lt_George - 21 May 2010 22:11
Food edible but service absolutely terrible. We had to wait and hour for a starter and a further three quarters of an hour for a main course. Not enough staff and different excuses for poor service depending on who you asked. Will definately not use again.
k1424 - 28 Sep 2009 09:41
Attractive old-style pub with lovely dark wood furniture and finish. The pictures dotted around the place give it a nice character.
Couldn't really recommend it though, we were "greeted" by a barman who basically said "what do YOU want?" when we walked in and I thought for a second that it was for diners only. I tried an ale but it was freezing/tasteless so moved onto Leffe but the glass it came with was so filthy I drank from the bottle.
I did better than someone nearby who's glass of water stank of curry ... think they might have a problem with their dishwasher.
dyyony - 23 Mar 2009 16:54
seems to have changed management again, and service is improved. More food on than off now (nice change!) and more staff about...almost back to it's old self, ie quite a nice little pub for food and beer!
megazilla - 3 Feb 2009 14:43
It's a lovely old pub, and the staff were very pleasant, however the food lets it down. We had the most expensive meal (fillet steak) but got the least food. I thought the waiter was coming with the potatoes in a seperate dish, until Imy wife discovered four tiny potatoes hidden on the plate. I had a few chips, but it seems, looking around, that if you had a cheaper meal, you got twice the chips. The "superfood salad" brought the biggest laugh as it consists of 1/2 tomato and some green leaves.
Nobody came near enough to voice a complaint, perhaps they are wise enough not to ask. When we complained afterwards, they said head office is ordering them to make the meals even smaller. I'd like to see that, but as I'm not going back, I shall miss that treat.
lesjan - 21 Oct 2008 20:20
I had the worst meal of my life in this pub. In fact, it was so bad I really had to laugh. I ordered sausage and mash which came with raw onions in the gravy and was cold. My husband had gammon that was burnt on the outside and raw in the inside. It also came with a raw mushroom on top (see, I told you it was funny). Chips all round were cold and the other two people in the party found their meals just plain revolting. We were pretty polite about it and they did refund all the food without question. However, we didn't actually get an apology or explanation.
Such a shame as I have been going there over the years and what could be a really lovely pub has become worse and worse. Chelmsford hasn't got that many places to have a meal so their reputation will spread pretty quick. I for one have warned others not to go there and I certainly won't until they are taken over.
vickywood27 - 16 Sep 2008 17:23
on the plus side, it can be lovely, and has a good sized beer garden!
megazilla - 4 Sep 2008 16:36
This place has gone downhill fast over the last few months…it takes forever to get served for either drinks or food, and general standards have really gone to pot. 45 minute wait for food anyone? Lovely.

Staff levels seem to have plummeted, which clearly doesn't help. The staff that are still there are now run ragged, which doesn’t help them on the cheeriness front, quite understandably. Comments from staff that the problems are down to ‘head office’ are rubbish, and as soon as someone realises that they are taking a lovely pub, which was always busy, down a disastrous route, the better.
Get some more staff in and take some care of the place and your customers!

megazilla - 4 Sep 2008 16:33
so the northern manager has got wind of this site now and posting his own comments!
surgery - 5 Jun 2008 20:44
These complainees must have the wrong pub! Staff polite and attentive, food excellent.
helstar31 - 4 Jun 2008 22:19
When returning from the toilet I overheard the manager laughing about my complaint to his bar staff.The wifes green beans were raw.My lettuce was limp & coleslaw was missing.Beer was cloudy & tart.
rewerb - 1 Jun 2008 16:48
Apparently under new management. Dreadful service, rude staff, poor overpriced food, and check your bill carefully.
unhappycustomer - 13 Mar 2008 16:13
Visited here recently and had cheese and biscuits from the dessert menu. It arrived quite promptly with a good selection of biscuits, not so plentiful on the cheese front I might add, but more importantly it was presented with wrotten grapes! When asked by a member of staff if everything was ok, I explained it would have been more appetising if the grapes weren't wrotten. I was asked if I wanted some more but declined. The manager was standing by in earshot and just continued to talk football with his mates and made no attempt to apologise and when we were leaving as I walked passed he just glared at me. I would like to know the name of the charm school he attended!
As a separate issue there was no paper in the ladies toilet so he would have been better occupied sorting out housekeeping issues instead of chatting football. I guess this must be under new management and I cannot see them making a success of it if they can't even get the basics right.
surgery - 2 Mar 2008 09:33
One of my favourite pubs! The food is fantastic especially Sunday lunch. The beer garden in the summer is a great way to spend the evening!
anonymous - 7 Jan 2006 17:44
A great pub with a (too?) extensive menu. Great beer, food, wine, staff and atmosphere. No pre-booking of tables so great for those last minute arrangements. Try the baked whole camembert with crusty bread and apples.....too good!
hibberbo - 4 Aug 2004 11:11
We spent the evening in the H&G on Saturday. The atmosphere was fab. Pleasantly busy, quiet jazz playing, perfect for conversation. The food was A1, service good and we were given as much time as we wanted to move onto a purely indulgent pudding! Wine list is comprehensive and moderately priced. I am sorry we can't tell you whether the beer was well kept as we didn't try it. But there was a choice of real ales and I would be most surprised if they weren't well kept as the whole place shone with care and customer service.
Jane and David - jane-marie.cartridge@virgin.net - 14 Jun 2004 12:16
An excellent pub which does a great range of wines and an equally fine choice of beers. The staff are helpful and the food is absolutely superb. I often take the family (including my kids) for sunday lunch.
David - 15 May 2004 17:12

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