From £108.75
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OVERVIEW

This Essex pub with rooms was formerly owned and run by Trevor and Sally Oliver - Jamie Oliver's mum and dad - and remains a supremely comfortable country inn. Now owned by the East Anglian Chestnut group, it serves excellent food and has no less than 22 very comfortable boutique guest rooms to choose from.

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Rooms available from £108.75 per night

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THE REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Clavering is a large and pleasant rural Essex village with nothing special to recommend it apart from the pub, but it is relatively easy to get to, not far from the M11 and the nearby market towns of Saffron Walden and Bishops Stortford.

By car: The Cricketers is just under 1 hour 30 mins from London, 45 mins from Cambridge and 2 hours 10 mins from Birmingham. Free parking.

By train: London Liverpool Street to Colchester takes around 1 hour. The hotel is a ten minute drive from the station. Book trains to Colchester.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

The Cricketers was in its day a pioneering gastropub, and that is in essence what it remains - more about food than drink, with a number of stylish boutique rooms, but with a cosy, pubby style in which you can't help but feel at home.

THE FACILITIES

The service is great throughout but the facilities are basically those of a country inn - a place to eat, with rooms, which are divided between the pub itself, a bungalow across the road - 'The Willows' - and the 'Courtyard' and 'Pavilion' rooms next door. The place is extremely pet-friendly, with dog beds, bowls and treats provided, as well as a doggie menu.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Pet-friendly

BED AND BATH

Bigger than many comparable village inns, with 22 rooms, that have recently been refurbished, with colour palettes of heritage grey green and blue. Pavilion and Willows rooms have super-king-size beds and spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and baths. The Courtyard rooms are mostly smaller with combined bath-showers, but all rooms have Freeview TVs, tea, coffee and water, and homemade biscuits.

Room types: Good, Better, Best

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, TV, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

The food is unashamedly pub-style food, quite British, with classics like fish and chips, steaks and pies regularly featuring, alongside local lamb, homemade pasta, lots of veggie options and even the odd Jamie Oliver dish! There's lots of outside seating for summer pints and cocktails.

The restaurant: Modern Bistro dining, including grilled sea bream and summer garden risotto. Open daily 11am-11pm. Mains from £17.50.

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