Whenever I hit the town in Chelmsford, we start our night in The Bootmaker. A cocktail bar is always a good choice, whether you’re in a small city like Chelmsford or a huge spot like Newcastle, as it at least gives you the illusion of class before you lose your dignity at 2am. I feel lucky enough to have visited just weeks before the pandemic started – my friends and I sipped Gin and Tonics and Pornstar Martinis, listening to mainstream tracks, and surrounded by happy, handsome people.
During the day, you can still visit The Bootmaker, but the dynamic is completely different. Swap the party atmosphere for a dog-friendly spot, with lots of space to bring your little ones too. I wasn’t sure whether they would have highchairs to lend out, but they do.
It’s a beautiful setting too. The decor is rustic and charming, with painted wooden panelling, and a lovely cushioned bench against wooden cabinets. The tables are decorated with flowers in alcohol bottles, and comfy cushions added to the benches for that homely touch. I ordered a cocktail before looking at the food options – since I would be in Chelmsford for a few hours, there was no harm in a little martini. I did have to check how many units there was, and how long it would be before I would be safe to drive – 2.4 units; 3 hours to be safe.
Food arrived swiftly, which was expected since there were only three other groups sitting for lunch, but appreciated nonetheless. I had my eye on the bbq buttermilk chicken and Monterey Jack chees wrap with skin on fries, and couldn’t be swayed by the salads, even though they sounded pretty delicious too. I sort of expected a mini salad garnish on the side, and was a little disappointed there wasn’t one, but the crunchy red cabbage and radish in the wrap made up for it. The skin on fries were the best part, I think: flavourful and moreish. They are also on the gluten free menu.
I’ve already decided that I’ll be back with Dan, Ted, and the baby in the next few weeks for lunch. And now we’re all able to hit the cocktail bars and clubs of Chelmsford again, I might just get a babysitter for the night!
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