Squeezing the last of the summer sunshine, we hit Hornchurch’s largest beer garden

By Katie Garner

l-r: Mike T, Diane and Katie enjoying the tasty pub grub

l-r: Mike T, Diane and Katie enjoying the tasty pub grub

Here at Wychelm, we take our socialising extremely seriously, and with autumn snuggling in to stay amidst the mix of mild and muggy days, it seemed the perfect time to soak up the last of the rays in Hornchurch’s local Ember Inn pub, The Harrow. With gorgeously clear blue skies and my sunglasses annoyingly left at my flat, about 13 members gathered around the biggest picnic table going to enjoy a traditional pub lunch with some companionable drinks.

After a recent makeover, The Harrow is now oozing that trendy gastro-pub appeal, and this naturally spills over into their massive beer garden, filled with a wide array of different sized and shaped tables and chairs. Picking a rectangular number basking delightfully in the early afternoon warmth we perused the menus, which I was particularly impressed with. They have a great selection of food for whatever mood you’re in, and the fab thing about lunch time dining is that you can go for something small or have a proper dinner, depending on your mood.

l-r: Stuart and Jess

l-r: Stuart and Jess

I decided to go for one of the ‘light lunch’ options for my main meal of the day, opting for the pulled beef pie, complete with chips, garden peas and gravy. The pie was succulent and had a delicious flavour while the chips were my perfect kind – nice and fat with a crispy outside and a fluffy inside. Jess went for the healthy grilled chicken, while both Mike F and Janet settled on pies, although they went for different fillings of beef and chicken. Burgers were also a popular choice, made by both Mike T and David (and I am seriously going back asap to sample one as they look amazing). Sandwich options were also floating around for the diners who fancied something lighter.

For me, a meal is never complete without dessert, and with an insatiable sweet spot it was only naturally that I went for the millionaire’s brownie, with salted caramel and oaty biscuit bottom. Diane joined me, proving that great minds think alike, while Mike F went for the classic spotted dick and David went zesty with a lemon syllabub. Jess again went all healthy on us with a fruity sorbet sundae.

David - our very own wasp catcher!

David – our very own wasp catcher!

With the drinks flowing casually in plastic ‘suitable for the outdoors’ cups, we all enjoyed a nice natter and a catch up at the conclusion of the badminton season, before it all begins again back on 9th September. It was especially nice to see retired member Mike Spencer among us once again after leaving the club earlier this year.

I’d just like to thank everyone who made the effort to come along and enjoy the lazy afternoon sunshine with us! It was a perfectly peaceful afternoon and thoroughly lovely! The next date for the diary will be a cinema trip on Saturday 14th September. Details of exact time and film will be posted on the Facebook group nearer the time but please keep the day free!

Check out all the photos on the Facebook group.