In praise of the Star Inn.

In a remote corner of Essex, where very few Londoners ever dare to traipse, is a small village called Steeple (no, not Steeple view or Steeple Bumstead). Located on the northern rim of the Dengie Peninsula, Steeple features a rather beautiful church, a caravan park and two pubs. Wap bang in the centre of the village is the Star Inn, a little pub that has already seen a few centuries of drinking. Now run as a free house, it features four regularly changing guest ales and the usual stable of fizzy beers. It keeps a well maintained wood burner, has pub nosh and a rather mellow atmosphere. Its regulars are a gentle and friendly bunch and the land lord keeps the more boisterous weekend crowd well under control. It also features what looks like a HD based multi media centre in which the Landlord conjures up an impressive array of perfect pub tracks (you name it, he plays it).

It is, in other words, a shining example of rural hospitality, the perfect pub.

More Pub goodness

As the best girlfriend ever continues to be podiatrically challenged after her recent fracture, there were again no pub walks this weekend, so we chose to take Black Beauty (our beloved little runabout) into the maze of little B and C roads that is rural South East Essex. It’s interesting how quickly the character of Essex changes as soon as you get north of the A127 and east of the A130. The obvious signs of deprivation vanish and a lush countryside spreads out in front of you, interspersed with little hamlets. One of these, Little Totham, was the destination of the day, as the multi – award winning ‘The Swan’ was waiting for us there.

This is just splendid. When we came in, there was a lovely mix of locals celebrating at a function, bar punters and plenty of dogs. There were at leat 16 guest ales, perry and cider, mostly from local breweries. The reception was genuinely friendly, the dogs lovely, the owner a true gentleman and everybody looked well pleased.

Top Marks for another South East Essex Pub. Who would have thought?