“ Address: 4 Station Road / Epping / CM16 4HA / Essex „
The Clocktower is a contemporary brasserie style restaurant in Epping. Recently my parents and I wanted to try somewhere for lunch in Epping. We used to visit this place regularly in a previous incarnation but now tend to eat elsewhere. In the light of their 2-course for £10 lunch, we decided to try again one Saturday.
The restaurant has grey walls and ceiling with very dark wood tables and chairs. We chose a round table in a corner with charcoal grey banquette seating as well as ordinary chairs. The seats were comfy even if I wasn't particularly inspired by their décor. There is seating outside on the patio at the back, which is shaded by umbrellas, or a few spots in the 'car-port' to the right of the restaurant if you wanted to watch the world go by and ingest traffic fumes. We were brought a wine list as well as the a la carte and £10 lunch menu. There were five options for each course and I was tempted by the garlic mushroom starter, but disappointed with the veggie main course - mushroom omelette and fries. I don't think there is much justification to offer an omelette for veggies these days - it is no longer a rare occurrence to have to cater for a vegetarian in a restaurant. Besides I had eggs at home, often making myself an omelette for a weekend lunch, not something I would choose when I am out and someone else is cooking, so I asked the waitress if there was anything else. She came back with Penne Arrabiata (tomato and chilli sauce), again something I make myself every so often and takes about ten minutes). The 'sample menu' on the website (and also in the window) had offered a broccoli and blue cheese tart also, which would have been something I would have liked. My parents weren't doing to well with the offer menu either - my stepdad had decided on his dessert but preferred the main courses on the a la Carte menu and my mum was in agreement (although she preferred a starter to the dessert). We were all a bit deflated with this as the prices for main courses started about £10-12, and starters £6. Maybe not so bad for a nice evening meal out, but we had planned a cheap lunch prior to our respective holidays, and hadn't wanted to pay those prices. They also had a specials board, prices were similar to the a la Carte menu.
In the end we ordered from the a la Carte menu. My mum and I had starters. She chose Soup of the Day which was carrot and coriander (£4.95). It was hot, thick and tasty and served with small pieces of crusty bread. She really enjoyed it and was pleased she chose it. I went for the goat's cheese salad served with mixed leaves and beetroot chutney (£5.75). It was a good size for a starter, with a nice slice of cheese. For mains both my parents went for battered pollock with chips and mushy peas (£11.95). The fish was a good size and the batter nicely done without being too greasy. The chips were golden and there was just the right amount. My step-dad isn't a big chip eater as he thinks some places just pile them on and fill the plate, but these were obviously home made and the good sized portion was manageable. At the bottom of the menu I had spotted a small brunch section (until 5pm Mon-Sat) and opted for the vegetarian breakfast (£6.95). They did a traditional one for £7.95 also. My breakfast plate was very full with baked beans, a whole beef tomato (halved and grilled), a fried egg cooked just as I asked for it, two hash browns, grilled mushrooms and a slice of lightly-done white toast with a side of butter. I really enjoyed it. In fact we all really enjoyed our food, which was fortunate as we were disappointed with the choices available when we arrived. In fact my step-dad was so full after his fish and chips he had to cancel his plans for the bread and butter pudding.
I visited the Ladies' lavatories - there were two cubicles, one of which had baby changing facilities. They were compact but clean and well stocked. For most of the time we were there, they had only one server on (another lady helped out for a bit) but we found her very friendly and helpful and ready with a smile, so no complaints there.
Obviously we were disappointed to not actually take advantage of the promo offer we had intended to when we went. Therefore we spent just over £50 altogether for two starters, three mains, a glass of wine and three soft drinks excluding service which is more than we would have. We all enjoyed our food however, that is the main thing, but I doubt we will return for lunch again.
The Clocktower Restaurant
4 Station Road
Tel: 01992 575707
We were recently staying in Epping and after a long day sightseeing in Central London we decided to return to this restaurant close to the hotel for something to eat.
The restaurant is located just off Epping High Street, about 10 minutes drive from both the M11 and the M25. For us this location was not important. We had passed it the previous night and knew it was about a 5 minute walk (uphill) from Epping tube station. The walk was actually a bonus because there is very little parking anywhere close to the restaurant and certainly nothing just outside- we had already parked the car in the town car park, another few minutes walk away (good for the digestion!)
The restaurant is located on a relatively busy road within a residential area but also close to bars shops and other restaurants which are situated on the High Street.
We could see through the large windows and it looked cosy and inviting, and this feeling continued once inside. The restaurant is quite small and split into a back and front area with the rounded bar dominating the front area. The different shaped tables and chairs are modern and there are also booths in a semi circular shape which effectively cut off the two areas. We were sat in the corner of the booth which was a bit tricky to get settled into at first as it was a tight fit, we had lots of bags and had to negotiate the many cushions.
That aside, the whole place is very clean and welcoming with a lowered ceiling and just the right amount of accessories to "pretty" the place up- buckets of bottles cooling on the bar, fresh flowers and a large specials board which I have the feeling is always the same as it was so neatly written.
There are two outdoor eating areas which would be handy in the summer but it was definitely too wet for us to sit outside
There are several menus, including : á la carté , bar menu , £10 lunch and Sunday lunch menus. These were sort of expected but what did surprise me was the fact that they had a children's menu, as it just didn't seem as though it would cater especially for children.
We chose from the a la carte menu with Little Miss ordering from the childrens menu, which featured a selection of dishes and a drink for I think £6.
Myself and my son chose the Char grilled chicken breast with Clocktower salsa verdeand sauté potatoes for £12.50. This came served on a large white plate with the chicken being a large breast well cooked and in a delicious salsa verde. We were also served with potatoes on the plate and were brought another dish of crisp seasonal vegetables. Himself selected the Battered haddock with chips and mushy peas , costing £11.95, which he pronounced as delicious and with just the right fish/batter ratio- often there is just too much batter on a fish!
The desserts all cost £4.95 and include Homemade chocolate brownie with vanilla pod ice cream which was chosen by Himself and Little Miss. Being chocoholics they loved it! My son ordered the Warm pecan pie with honeycomb ice cream and again this was a large portion and a definite hit.
Address: 4 Station Road Epping Essex CM16 4HA
Telephone: 01992 575 707
After several days of eating food from restaurants in large chains, it was really pleasant to eat in a smaller establishment.
The restaurant is clean well kept and the staff are helpful and friendly, leaving the right length of time between courses and being courteous rather than standing over us. Although it wasn't especially busy (this was a Monday night), there were other customers and the atmosphere was good.
The portions of the food are large enough to satisfy the customers but not so big that the plate looks over flowing, which was great as I sometimes find this off putting. All the meals were well cooked and tasty.
We spent about £70 including drinks, which wasn't bad for the four of us.
I would recommend this restaurant to anyone in the area.
Thanks for reading