Trying to find a venue for a pub lunch in the middle of April which was relatively equidistant between Loughton in Essex and Walthamstow in East London wasn’t easy. Some had yet to open, whilst others didn’t have umbrellas and bearing in mind the British weather, we felt it was an essential.
Eventually, we found “The Cricketers”:https://www.mcmullens.co.uk/cricketerswoodford, a McMullen’s pub. It had a cheap menu, a covered area and took bookings.
It’s a pretty impressive looking whitewashed building with Tudor beams. We made our way to the side entrance and found we’d been allocated a table in what was presumably the car park and now the outdoor dining area. Whilst there were picnic benches outside, our table was on the edge of a large marquee with two sides down. It was ideal as we could still catch the sun but had lots of fresh air.
The young girl serving was incredibly helpful in sorting us out with the NHS Track and Trace system. Whilst I’d used it several times, one friend needed help and the other doesn’t even have a mobile so details were taken using pen and pad.
The “menu”:https://www.mcmullens.co.uk/media/Pubs.PubMenu/123/menu/cricketersmaindec2020.pdf is fairly short but incredibly cheap and full of pub classics. We were told there was no fresh veg available as because, as it was early days, they were having problems estimating the volume of food required. There was also no Sauvignon Blanc but a Pinot Grigio at £15.75 was a reasonable replacement both in terms of cost and taste. Water jugs with ice were brought and replenished throughout what turned out to be a long, leisurely lunch.
We all decided to have a side as a starter, either garlic bread or onion rings which were all fine. My main of scampi and chips with a choice of garden or mushy peas was good value at £7.95.
As the afternoon became chilly, we asked for tea and coffee and as expected this was an instant and regular tea place but only £1.50.
We all paid by credit card and the bill was helpfully split into three. We had to go inside to pay by machine and asked to leave a tip which was a little problematic as we were told, they’re not used to tips!