Linden House, Stansted Village Essex

Last weekend we went up to Essex to see the Husband's family. Stupidly we hadn't booked anywhere for Sunday lunch, so when we couldn't get into the Oliver Family pub in Clavering we resigned ourselves to picking up a Petrol Station sandwich on the drive back to London. Until that is, we drove through Stansted village spotting the Linden House on the side of the road. The exterior painted in bold Farrow and Ball colours made a nice change from the neon Eat all you can buffets and, Carveries that we refrained from stopping at despite our tummies growling with hunger.

The husband ran in and thankfully they had a table for three. A wonderful treat awaited us. The building is a very elegant warren of dining rooms filled with bare dark wooden furniture and dark green leather seating.The interior was very Abigail Ahern, and I'm one of her biggest fans so I was delighted at discovering this place.

The husband and I skipped starters and, ordered the Roast Lamb with all the trimmings. Just as well as the roast was of gigantic proportions. Two thick slices of perfect cooked lamb with a generous amount of crispy parsnips and roasties that were so fluffy inside, a Yorkshire pudding, baby chantenay carrots and broccoli with a hint of delicious gravy. We ate like Kings, even Matilda's Sausage and Mash was delicious and beautifully served with gravy on the side. Not only was the lunch so tasty it such good value for money at £13.50 per roast.

The staff were all super friendly and patient with Matilda, who actually did behave herself but who on occasion decided to run around our table narrowly missing a waitress with a tray. They joked and played with her and nothing was too much trouble.

For pudding we couldn't resist the Hazelnut Praline Cheesecake which was perfectly velvet smooth and rich. I also spotted a Cheese board going past that looked very tempting, next time for sure.

Linden House is wonderfully relaxing, a no airs and graces place despite it's beautifully tasteful decor. The toilets in particular were immaculate (I think that's always a good indication of a good eaterie) with lovely Arran liquid soap and hand cream. A jewel of a place snuck away in the historical Stansted village where they obviously know their food and how to cook it well. They also have rooms upstairs which if the restaurant and bar area are anything to go by, would be a lovely alternative to the on site chain hotels at Stansted airport, only being 10 minutes away by car.

I get a real kick out of stumbling upon places on pure chance. It can go horribly wrong at times with the blind leading the blind, but on this occasion we were not to be disappointed. Am really looking forward to returning, so if you find yourselves in deepest Essex go search out Linden House!