We used to live round the corner from The Red Lion on London Road in Chelmsford. We didn’t visit often but sometimes enjoyed a game of darts (in the loosest sense of the phrase) and a quick drink. It was a taxi driver who mentioned, several months ago, that it was being turned into a nice little restaurant, The New London. It’s an odd place for one, on the main road, out of town and with no parking, but somehow, that doesn’t seem to matter. Rumour has it, the owner bought the red phone box outside for £1 and used this as inspiration for the splash of red amongst the, it has to be said, fairly blank and monotonous greys inside. A few large, abstract paintings wouldn’t go amiss.
We booked a table for Sunday Lunch on my dad’s birthday, and although the table was needed back two hours later, we were one of only three tables there at midday. The set menu had enough choice and looked good. I opted for goat’s cheese with honey, beetroot and walnuts, while the others chose a pigeon salad. For mains, it was the pork and crackling that swung it for me, whilst the men had sea bass with a poached egg.
The starters were excellent, tried and tested flavour combinations and well executed and presented. The mains were good: not brilliant, but good quality and generally well cooked although the pork was on the dry side (and I’d have liked more crackling, but think that’s just me!)
I’d go again, but having looked through the general brunch and lunch menus, I think next time, we’d try those options rather than a ‘roast-type’ dinner. It is, however, one of only a handful of independent restaurants within walking distance of Chelmsford, so I’d much rather revisit and try different choices than go for the usual pizza / pasta combinations everywhere else offers.