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What to eat and drink in essex this month

starters 65a @charliemckay(1)

Drink up

Down Hall Hotel

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Luxury property Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate situated in the picturesque Essex countryside has announced the launch of its own bespoke Down Hall Garden Gin, in partnership with local and sustainable distillery, Essex Spirits Co. Infused with delightful citrus and floral notes, the carefully crafted spirit is a local take on classic London dry-style gin and has been delicately blended with five different botanicals, foraged from the hotel’s impressive kitchen garden and across the 110-acres of grounds that surround the property.

Numbers game


dry aged beef burger 65a @charliemckay

Brasserie-style restaurant 65a has now opened its doors on Spitalfields’ Brushfield Street. Sitting on the edge of the iconic Spitalfields Market, 65a offers an elegant yet uncomplicated menu of classic dishes, peppered with French inflections, in a nod to the area’s rich and diverse history. Executive chef Maura Baxter has created a menu of classic French fare, with each dish celebrating the quality of the raw ingredients through simple yet skillful cookery. Whole grilled native lobster and free-range rotisserie chicken are prepared with uncompromising care and attention, allowing the quality of the ingredients to shine.

In the pink

Maldon Salt

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From this November Ocado will be stocking the Himalayan Pink Salt, Selected by Maldon which forms part of their Merchants Range. This pink coarse rock salt from the foothills of the Himalayas has been prized for centuries. It can be used whole by adding to curries and sauces or can be put in a grinder for everyday use. Due to its pink hue, the ground salt is also a fantastic garnish for cocktails. To celebrate this new stockist they have a new recipe from Romy Gill who uses the Himalayan Pink Salt in her Cornish Sea Bass recipe, which you can find online.

Welcome home


This month, modern Malaysian concept Mambow – the brainchild of chef Abby Lee – is taking its next big leap and opening its first permanent site in Lower Clapton. After bursting onto the London food scene with her first restaurant on Commercial Street in 2020, to gaining attention around her unique Nyonya-style meal kits during lockdown, and later launching Mambow in South London’s Market Stalls in the heart of Peckham, Abby has gone from strength to strength, introducing the capital to the beautiful and complex cuisine of her home country.

Sprinkle of star dust

The Magic Mushroom

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The Magic Mushroom Restaurant at Barleylands, Billericay, invited Anurag Aggarwal, MasterChef 2023 finalist, for a one-of-a-kind gastronomic adventure in late September. Anurag presented a special 5-course tasting menu that drew inspiration from his very own MasterChef 2023 journey and the art of gastronomy, which reflected his passion, dedication, and the beauty of food as an art form. Anurag from Langdon Hills, Essex is a chartered accountant by profession. In 2023, he fulfilled a lifelong ambition by becoming one of the top three finalists on MasterChef UK.

Just desserts

Three Essex favourites to mark British Pudding Day on 9 November

Cookies and Cones

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Step into the world of Cookies and Cones, an independent cookie, dessert and gelato specialist with outlets in Braintree, Chelmsford and Southend. All of their products are made in-house using their own unique recipes and the finest ingredients, and taste amazing.

The Essex Dessert Company

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Simply order your favourite treats online and have them delivered straight to your door. It’s that simple! Pancakes smothered in toppings, fluffy waffles, creamy milkshakes… The hardest part will be deciding what to choose.

Heavenly Desserts

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Designed to delight your senses, the menu at this Colchester institutiuon continues to innovate dessert dining using only the finest ingredients. With flavours ranging from classic to contemporary, their desserts deliver a dining experience like no other.

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Mark Kebble

Mark's career in journalism started in 2001 when he landed a role on a small lifestyle magazine in Angel, North London. Soon enough, the magazine was purchased by a larger organisation and Mark found himself promoted to editor at the tender age of 23. He later became group editor, working on magazines for Angel, Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate. He was also involved in a launch in Hadley Wood and a major new group website, later becoming Group Hub Editor. In 2021, Mark joined Zest Media Group and oversaw the launch of many Absolutely titles across the UK. To date, Mark has launched in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Essex, Yorkshire and Cheshire. When he does have some free time, Mark is also the Chairman of an amateur football club in Surrey and is also a fully qualified FA football coach.
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