Historic Pub Interiors of Essex #1 : The Queen’s Head, Tolleshunt D’Arcy

A day off work, and a morning sanding floorboards gave me a good reason (not that I generally need one) for a lunchtime pint and a spot of lunch. As ever, spoilt for choice as there are any number of good pubs serving good food within a ten mile radius of Colchester, but a new pub, rather than an old favourite, was the decision.

We turned our eyes towards Tiptree, with a couple of pubs there having been on the radar for a little while, and The Queen’s Head at Tolleshunt D’Arcy was decided upon. It’s nicely situated by the small roundabout with the big flagpole thingie that marks out this village, and I’ve cycled past often enough, so time to pop in. The decision was helped by the CAMRA WhatPub website indicating that in addition to the regular GK IPA, there were two regular guest ales, generally from local breweries Mighty Oak/Wibblers.

The one disappointing bit of the visit was that instead of this choice, on offer were GK IPA and Abbot Ale, Adnams Broadside, and Fuller’s London Pride. A better choice than many country pubs, but not as good as others.

I thought we were also out of luck with an intriguing mention on the WhatPub entry of a small parlour/snug on the CAMRA ‘national inventory of historic pub interiors, and unchanged in over fifty year’. The pub was nice inside in the modern fashion, opened up a bit, with plain floorboards and clearly aimed at getting the punters in for food as well as drink, and I feared that the snug had been Winched and Blatched. However, the snug is stuck on the side of the pub, and from the main bar you have to pop behind the bar, and enter the snug from the snug bar. (Much quicker than going out of the door you’ve come in, walking along the front of the pub, and going in the snug door!)

There are pictures below of the snug, which really was a treat – bags of character. And also good news : the Broadside was in cracking form, and the 3x light lunch options we chose to share (deep fried camembert, chilli prawns, and whitebait) were also excellent, and the service came with a smile. Definitely a pub to visit again.

And this CAMRA ‘Heritage Pub Interiors’ list is something new to me, and there are a dozen or so Essex pubs on it, and I’ll be factoring this in on my choices for real ale pubs to visit!