Food & Drink
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If it's one thing the district does well, it's food and drink. There is such a rich variety on offer from the iconic tea huts in the forest to high end dining at a choice of award-winning restaurants – plus everything in-between. The towns have taken café culture to heart and support local businesses as well as the major chains. For a more substantial dining experience the district is home to a range of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Out in the countryside the pubs and inns abound with all the features you’d expect of a quintessential English hostelry with real ales, home-made food and historic surroundings. There’s local produce to try including game and organic vegetables which local chefs incorporate into their menus. Local people support their restaurants so booking ahead is often recommended at busy evenings and for the more popular or specialist venues. Don’t be surprised if some of the top restaurants can’t fit you in for weeks at popular dinning times.
When it comes to drink, there’s a lot of local choice with two brewers and one distillery! Dominion Brewery is based in the north of the district near Ongar and offers handcrafted beers of distinction, many under the Pitfield brand. They also produce Woodbine Racer in conjunction with the acclaimed Woodbine Pub in Waltham Abbey. The Woodbine is also the winner of a number of CAMRA awards including acclaim for its vast range of ciders on offer. Essex Brewery is nearby at Norton Heath and its artisan handcrafted beers and ales can be found in some local discerning outlets or bought directly from the brewer who has a stall at Local and regional farmers markets and other local events throughout the year. Lux Vodka is distilled just outside Epping on the Copped Hall Estate. A premium vodka, Lux is distilled seven times using the finest grains for a distinctive and luxurious velvety texture and smooth finish.