Finding a Stansted airport taxi you can count on can be tough. Because let’s face it, when your flight leaves without you, it’s not like you can just hop on the next one. So when you choose Addison Lee we make it our priority to ensure not just a comfortable and safe journey, but also a reliable one. We’ve been providing our customers with a great service since 1975. Carrying out over 20,000 journeys across London and the surrounding areas every single day. Each driver is in constant contact with our HQ back in central London. From where they receive updates on any traffic problems that might impact on your journey. We even keep an eye on the skies for you, so if your flight gets delayed, we’ll be the first to know about it. London Stansted Airport is a bit of a funny one. Especially when it comes to getting there. Quite often maligned for being a bit of a struggle to get to – and not really being in London – Stansted sits almost exactly between London and Cambridge. A position which can often prove annoying to first-time travellers who thought they’d be landing in the heart of the capital. As such lots of folks choose to skip spending time in the area in favour of a quick sprint back to the city. But just because you’re not in London proper doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do around here. In fact, unlike some airports this part of rural Essex is still awash with great places to go for food, drinks and – if the need presents itself – a bed for the night. We’ve put together this guide to give you the scoop on where those pubs, restaurants and hotels are. So whether you’re flying in or setting off you won’t have to suffer the crazy high prices of airport bars, the diabolical reheated tastelessness of aeroplane food or even the 3am trip from central London to catch your 8am flight.
Where to drink
The Ash Pub
A real favourite with both thirsty travellers and the loyal locals of the quaint village of Burton End. The bright yellow front to the oh-so-enticing Ash Pub has long offered weary journeymen a place to hang their hat for a few hours while they enjoy a well earned beer. In fact, this thatched roof rural gem has been here since the 17th century. Today it serves a great mix of continental lagers, local ales and an extensive wine list. All backed up by a rather good food menu. Its warm, friendly and inviting and should you be lucky enough to pop by in the summer, there’s ample outdoor seating.
The Ash, Burton End, Stansted, CM24 8UQ
Rose & Crown
One thing that really strikes you when you first walk into the Rose & Crown is just how friendly everyone is. Having served the local area for some time now, this traditional British pub has ‘family’ at the heart of everything it does. Serving up everything you’d expect from a place with such English character, they’ve got a wide selection of cask ales, a solid wine list and an excellent gin collection to compliment their pub grub menu. They host wine tastings, rum and gin tastings and they show all the major sporting events, and they manage to do it all with such an inviting smile on their faces, it’s absolutely no wonder their regulars are so regular.
31 Bentfield Green, Stansted Mountfitchet
Angel’s Wine Tower Bar
If you think it’s all traditional pubs around here – there are plenty – then prepare to be dazzled by a true one of a kind. Angel’s Wine Tower Bar is more than just a catchy(ish) name, it’s also a reference to the incredible setup of the hotel bar at the Radisson Bluu. One member of the bar staff here is a trained trapeze artist. So whenever you order a bottle of wine from their towering back bar, it’s his or her role to use her elastic harness to fly up and fetch it. As you’d expect the wine list goes a little further than your average selection of Merlots and Cab Savs so why not be a little experimental with your selection. And bear in mind that the more exclusive the wine, the more impressive the show that gets put on to retrieve it.
Waltham Close Stansted, Bassingbourn Rd, Stansted CM24 1PP
Where to eat
Fox & Hounds
A bit of a drive this one but well worth it for anyone who’s looking for something in the upmarket gastropub region. Large but still intimate and cosy enough to warm you up in the winter, The Fox & Hounds also possess a decent size garden that’ll satisfy the sunseekers among you. The food is good, solid British fare with an occasionally Mediterranean lilt (they make their own pasta) but never boring or uninspired. They smoke their own fish and even though we were a little too full to indulge, the desserts are rumoured to be a bit special. Charming and rustic, just as you’d expect from a place of its standing.
The Fox & Hounds Restaurant & Bar, Hunsdon, SG12 8NH
Strictly speaking Linden House is a ‘Cafe-Bar’ but given that they have a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, we’re putting that down to a nifty piece of marketing. And while the bar is unquestionably an entity in is own right. We’re here to talk about the food above all. Simple stuff, prepared exceptionally well is probably the best way to describe what’s going on here. They only use locally sourced ingredients and their chef is known for being just as handy with the savoury flavours as he is with the sweet. Probably why they have so many people in for afternoon tea. Enjoy the meticulously decorated indoors or dine out on the terrace. Either way you’re in for a treat.
1-3 Silver St, Stansted CM24 8HA
Step into this 17th century refurbished brewery in nearby Bishop’s Stortford and you’ll find a place that takes its own sense of excellence as seriously as it does its own laidback feel. Serving up a range of meats from their own in-house butchers, Water Lane like to keep things casual but excellent. Their menu features a ‘Steak-Vs-Burgers’ night so if you’re a big carnivore then you’re undoubtedly in the right place. They serve beer, cocktails and wine and their cellar bar is an absolute sight to behold. Especially in the winter when all you want is red meat, craft ales and a cosy environment.
31 Water Lane, Bishop's Stortford, CM23 2JZ
Where to stay
Great Hallingbury Manor
Airport hotels often suffer from a certain soullessness. A level of functionality that means they’ll never quite scale the heights of other destination boarding houses. Which is why it’s so nice to find places like Great Hallingbury Manor so close to the airport. Bringing a real boutique style to their countryside retreat, these guys have taken their picturesque grounds and filled them with comfort and panache. Once here it’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular spot for weddings and events. The entirety of the place has the feel of a pastoral retreat. And, of course, it’s only a short drive away from the airport. Rooms start at £49 p/n.
Down Hall Country House Hotel
Never one to play second fiddle, Down Hall is a stunning Italian style mansion set in 110 acres of compellingly beautiful grounds. No, it’s not cheap but one look at the website will tell you that. This is not a hotel to head to if you’re only planning on sleeping. But for anyone looking to decompress after a long flight, or just great an incredible place stay, it can’t be beaten. While you’re here make sure you enjoy a spot of afternoon tea, some epic dinner or even an afternoon at the super modern and ultra relaxing Eden Spa. Room start at £85 p/n and range from everything in the classic to the super executive region. This is luxury at its palatial best.
Saracen’s Head Hotel
To look at The Saracen’s Head in Great Dunmow you’d probably just pass it off as another small-time town centre pub. But step inside this elegantly restored, grade II listed building and you’ll find the owners have done more than just revert to type. Starting at just £79 p/n these well thought out rooms manage to strike that perfect balance between boutique and tasteful. Breakfast is included and if you stop by on a Thursday it’s half price fizz night at the excellent bar downstairs. Also it’s definitely worth mentioning that the food here is rather excellent too. So no need to go trekking off for dinner.