This pub review first appeared on the Brentwood Brewery Blog as the brewery’s February Pub of the Month and a version also appeared on the brewery’s Community News page in the Brentwood Gazette at the end of January.

If you enjoy ‘proper’ food and beer, you’ll want to read on:

The Hutton Junction, Shenfield by Wendy Pike (Twitter @newswoozle)

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With St Valentine’s and Leap Year Days approaching, thoughts will be turning to romance and love throughout February.

Publicans of The Hutton Junction, Len and Lyn Mitchell, celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary last year. So the brewery feels its Pub of the Month is a particularly fitting choice this month. Albeit rather belatedly, Brentwood Brewery sends Len and Lyn their anniversary congratulations.

Forty years ago Len and Lyn Mitchell formed a dynamic partnership when they married at St Mary’s Church in Little Burstead.

As landlord and landlady of the Hutton Junction at Shenfield , this hard-working duo has spent plenty of time in the workplace together too. They’ve been publicans for 11 years, previously running The Green Man in Herongate and The Layer Fox at Layer de la Haye near Colchester.

Do they have any tips for relationship success?

“There has to be give and take.

“From the moment you get married, you have to start making it work,” said Lyn.

It seems the ‘making it work’ mantra, combined with a firm work ethic, is something they also apply to their business as the couple does not take time out for holidays.

“We are what a traditional pub used to be. All our food – from pies, puddings, desserts and to burgers, soups and sauces are all made in the pub. We have five real ales on which we change routinely.

“Our head chef of six years, David White, is constantly creating and updating our seasonal menu to keep it fresh and interesting,” said Lyn.

At least one Brentwood Beer features in the real ale line up on the bar.

Whether it’s a swift lunchtime visit for homemade soup at £4.35 or celebrating a special occasion with a Peppered Sirloin Steak with Onion Rings, Chips, Peas, Mushrooms and Tomatoes at £17.40, The Hutton Junction is bound to tempt you with its impressively varied menu.

Specials are really something … rather special. Check out the chalkboard. They can include Dover sole at £22.50 or sometimes Venison Sausages (venison is locally sourced from Blackmore). Swordfish or Trout too.

If in a rush (some local workers phone their orders ahead to maximise lunch-break time) sandwiches and jacket potatoes are available.

Traditional favourites like Steak and Kidney or Steak and Ale Pie cost £11.95 with seasonal vegetables and choice of potatoes. What you may not realise is, those seasonal vegetables, like runner beans, courgettes or marrows, were probably organically grown in Len and Lyn’s garden at home.

“One year we had so many cucumbers I was giving them away to customers,” said Lyn.

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Reigning supreme in the Brentwood in Bloom competition recently (winner six years running), the gorgeous pub garden, which boasts spectacular grapevines, is planted and tended by Len and Lyn with help from eldest son David. So which of them has the greenest fingers? “Me!” That is according to Lyn, taking the credit. On the other gardening-gloved hand, Len might give a different answer. But that’s give and take.

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Beer and Food Match suggestion:

Lumberjack with Lumberjack Sausage Cobbler at The Hutton Junction - Copy

Sausage Cobbler made with Lumberjack Beer & Lumberjack 5.2% ABV

Head chef David White has created a tasty, warming Sausage Cobbler using sausages from Oliver’s Butchers marinated in Brentwood Brewery’s Lumberjack beer. When available, it’s on the specials board, costing £10.75. Whilst The Hutton Junction hopes you’ll visit the pub to enjoy David’s special dish, they are kindly sharing the recipe which is available on the Brewery Blog (www.brentwoodbrewing.co.uk).

The Hutton Junction

Rayleigh Road, Hutton, CM13 1AB

01277 215 240

Pub opens:   noon – 11pm Mon – Thur, noon – 11.30pm Fri & Sat and noon – 10.30pm Sun.

Pub kitchen opens: noon – 9pm Mon – Sat and noon – 7pm Sun.

Oliver’s Butchers, 01277 224 533, 212 Rayleigh Road, Hutton www.oliversbutchers.co.uk

www.brentwoodbrewing.co.uk

words and photographs copyright 2016 Wendy Pike, www.newswoozle.co.uk