Colchester is a historic town located in the southeast of Essex. It’s famous for its ancient Norman castle built on an original Roman temple, as well as a fantastic town museum that’s well worth a visit, featuring historic artefacts that are over two thousand years old. Visit Castle Park to see Hollytrees Museum, which is a museum set in a Georgian townhouse, with decorative arts, clocks and clothing that date back over 300 years. You can also see a Roman Theatre's remains in the Dutch quarter. As well as the historical and cultural offerings, the town has a bustling food scene, and visitors and locals alike are privy to a wonderful range of restaurants in Colchester.
The town is a popular holiday destination and the busy centre is lined with great Colchester restaurants, cafes and bars. You'll be spoiled for choice, with everything from traditional and vintage pubs through to award-winning fine dining restaurants in Colchester. Why not enjoy traditional English classics with a modern twist or enjoy a local cider in a relaxed bar before visiting the local comedy club or theatre? There are Colchester restaurants for those on a budget or seeking light bites, and fine dining restaurants with lavish tasting menus with matched wines for those looking to take a journey in gastronomy. The atmosphere in Colchester is friendly, warm and welcoming, which well and truly is carried over into the restaurants here, so you’ll be sure in for a treat.
With so many enticing and exceptional restaurants in Colchester, it can be hard to select from the array without a little prior research. Thankfully, Quandoo has done the hard part, and make this process that much easier. You can check out what other diners think by reading reviews from the Quandoo community, as well as select which cuisine, style of restaurant and price point will best match your occasion. There are American steak restaurants, Southeast Asian restaurants, French bistros, Mediterranean cafes, Brazilian rodizios and African restaurants in Colchester, with fantastic menus to explore. Most are relaxed in nature but some of the higher end restaurants will have a smart dress code.
The area is particularly well-known for its oysters, and Colchester's restaurants will often include oysters served with a spritz of lemon, some ginger and soy or Kilpatrick style, with Worcester sauce and bacon bits. Oysters are perfectly paired with champagne or a sparkling white, as the bubbles help to provide a contrasting texture to the smooth shellfish and help to offset the creaminess of the dish. The best oysters in the country are believed to be found in Mersea Island, which is only about half an hour out of Colchester, so you literally won’t get anything more fresh that the delicious oysters at Colchester’s restaurants, perfect as a starter before the main event – trust us on this one.
Afternoon tea is a British institution and you'll find some excellent high tea menus at the cafes and restaurants in Colchester, some of which include Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex Rose Tea House, H. Gunton Tea & Coffee Specialists and Tiptree Tea Room. Some of these afternoon teas will comprise the classic scone, freshly baked and split before being served with a bowl of freshly whipped double cream and a pot of some homemade fruit cream. Others will feature tiny triangle sandwiches and an array of baked treats, such as scones, mini chocolate brownies, tiny tarts and small fondants. Afternoon tea is traditionally served with a pot of tea – often an Earl Grey or Assam – although some people will prefer to have a coffee or even a hot chocolate for total indulgence.
There are also some excellent gastropubs in and around the town and many of these have been renovated in recent years, with excellent chefs now running the kitchens. Colchester's pubs often have ancient dark beams and whitewashed walls, with decidedly wonky interiors which bear testament to their history. Some also have beer gardens which back onto the Roman walls! The menus are delicious, with a focus on classic British dishes made with seasonal and local ingredients. Look out for steak and kidney pies, 100% beef burgers served with homemade fries and fish and chips. Many of Colchester's restaurants and gastropubs will often even welcome dogs, with a bowl of water for your four-legged friends. Remember that you can book your table at your preferred Colchester restaurants up to two hours in advance with Quandoo.