If you are on your way to or from London this magnificent pub is a must. It is just off the Harlow turn of the M11. You take the A414 off the roundabout towards Chelmsford, immediately turn left into Hastingwood and you’ll find the pub within 500yards. When the lads go on a day trip to France (a vomit voyage!) we always stop here for dinner. The second time I visited I had run out of money and Andy, the publican, recognised me and told me to just send him a cheque which I did. The pub has been run by the Keep family for over 16 years and has very friendly and attentive staff. In the 17th century it was known as the Half Way House due to it being halfway between London and Cambridge. Oliver Cromwell was a regular visitor.

There is a good wine list and three real ales. Greene King IPA and Adnams Broadside are regulars with a constantly changing guest beer.

The food is outstanding and is served lunchtime and evening (orders taken until 9.15). I love the constantly changing special board. On a recent visit I had a great spaghetti bolognaise with the most delicious garlic bread. On another occasion I had the broughing sausages with rich onion gravy and mash and another day it was the salt beef sandwich. All the meals are reasonably priced and great value. There are special food nights and Sunday roasts available. They tell me they have many visitors from Cambridge and even further away. The bar is split into 3 areas, attractively furnished with old oak beams and a lovely atmosphere. The pub started life as a farm and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was named the Rainbow, but had a topiary of a dove in the front garden, hence being renamed the Rainbow & Dove. For a great treat when heading along the M11 this pub makes a welcome break

The Rainbow & Dove
Hastingwood Road
Near Harlow
01279 415 419
Jerry Brown