With fascinating heritage sites, fine-dining opportunities and quaint teashops on every corner – plus a gorgeous new The White Company store – you’ll wonder why you haven’t visited Chelmsford sooner. Here’s our guide to exploring, eating and staying in the heart of East Anglia.
Get your culture fix: Before the weather completely turns, get out into the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Hyde Hall for a day of exploring the woodlands as the colours change – better still, look out for their upcoming Autumn events to really enjoy the season.
Architecturally stunning and standing proudly on this spot since the 11th century, Chelmsford Cathedral creates a dramatic silhouette along the town’s skyline. It’s free to enter and atmospheric inside – a wander around the outer walls for a moment of tranquility is also well worth it.
For history lovers, a visit to nearby Ingatestone Hall is a must – built in the 1540s, this grand hall is the perfect place for the whole family to learn together. The venue also hosts live theatre and concerts (Pygmalion and A Christmas Carol are coming up), so check out their list of events before you visit.
For outdoor exploring, our Pea Coat is the perfect top layer for wrapping up in style:
Eat, drink and be merry: If you’re feeling four-o’-clock-ish, there’s a number of quaint little tearooms and cafes on hand to revive. We recommend The Lemon Tree for delicious sandwiches and gluten-free cakes or hidden gem, Bygones of Writtle, for Victoria sponge served on vintage bone china.
For classic well-cooked, British fare, look no further than the 16th-century pub Pig & Whistle. Featuring wooden floors and glowing tiffany lamps, it serves favourites, such as Lamb Rump, Steak & Kidney Pudding and Roasted Sea Bream. If it’s something more exotic you’re after, try Zenxi for sumptuous Asian fusion cuisine – we particularly like the Assam Baked Sea Bass.
If it’s a stylish evening tipple you’re in search of, the smart The Wine Cellar is a combined bar and bistro which has every drink you can think of, from Chateauneuf-du-Pape to Espresso Martinis. Located on Duke Street, it’s the perfect spot to follow with a crisp evening stroll along the riverside before you call it a night.
We recommend wrapping up on chilly Autumn evenings, choosing lightweight layers for a casual yet stylish finish:
Luxury lodgings: For the full, historic experience of Chelmsford, staying somewhere picturesque is the only option. We suggest Channels Lodge – 15th-century Tudor accommodation set in the heart of a beautiful golf course, a 10-minute drive from the city centre.
Centrally located, The Riverside Inn is a stunning boutique hotel with all its original features, such as exposed beams and red brick, plus sumptuous furnishings for a modern touch. It has a wonderful home-from-home feel, but with a few luxurious extras.
One-of-a-kind souvenirs: If you’re visiting on a Sunday, the Farmers’ food markets offer a delicious distraction. With local producers selling everything from pastries to sausages and vegetables, there’s plenty of home-grown produce to enjoy. As well as edibles, it’s a great place to pick up local crafts, antique furniture and second-hand bits and pieces.
Next, head to Moulsham Street, originally built by the Romans, for a quintessentially English shopping experience. Here the independent shops – such as Boudicca and Gallery 43 – offer a covetable selection of mementoes, like quirky home accessories and original art pieces to remember Chelmsford by.
Of course, you must pop into our beautiful new The White Company store, when you’re in town! Find it in the brand new Bond Street Development and enjoy the perfect excuse to pick up a treat from our stunning Autumn Collection.