Head out of Colchester on the A134 and after leaving the town and going through Great Horkesley you cross the River Stour and suddenly you’re in Suffolk. Take the first right and sitting by another branch of the Stour is The Anchor Inn.
The Anchor Inn was in the hands of the Bunting family for several years, but is now part of a small pub company that also owns The Angel Inn, in nearby Stoke by Nayland, and more recently has taken over The Swan Inn in Monks Eleigh.
We visited The Anchor several times under the previous ownership, but hadn’t been for about five years, so decided a re-acquaintance was in order, tied in with a walk around the village. We popped in for a pre-Xmas lunch, and were pleased to see that the character of the pub remained, although it was lighter and a wall and a door had moved (old colour scheme pic to the right, new pix below).
There were a reasonable choice of Adnams and Greene King beers, including a seasonal ale or two. Foodwise we went for a light option, and chose the black pudding scotch egg, and the delicious mackerel salad. The freshly made black pudding scotch eggs were mouthwatering! We’ll certainly be heading out their for a full evening meal in the not too distant future.
Keep an eye open for their summer beer festival in August. One of the Essex Days Out team was on a long bike ride last summer and had to cycle past the pub and the beer festival with a wistful glance.
The village itself isn’t a huge tourist draw in itself, if it’s shopping and tea shops you’re after you’ll be disappointed. But there are some lovely old buildings, of various ages, showing how wealthy the village has been over the centuries (as many Suffolk villages were due to the wool trade). Do explore the length of Court Street, and down Fen Street, to admire the buildings (see our pictures below). And St James’ Church is a lovely one to explore, and there aren’t many small churches that can boast a painting by John Constable.