Straight after the school run on Friday morning, I headed towards Loughton to meet my friend Rebecca and review Tom, Dick & Harry’s, a welcoming yet sophisticated new restaurant & bar. The weather was glorious and I enjoyed the drive through Epping forest, where everything was turning yellow, orange and red.
As soon as I went past Tom, Dick & Harry’s Restaurant & Bar, I knew I would like it. It looked quirky, with large windows and lots of greenery despite being in an urban setting, near Loughton train station. The small terrace was really welcoming, with a row of potted bushes sheltering it from the hustle and bustle of the pavement. There were also cosy blankets for customers to use placed on every other chair.
As soon as Rebecca and I stepped in, we were transported in a quirky, eclectic decor the Mad Hatter could have put together in a moment of genius. Just picture a peacock by the entrance, an open kitchen to your left as you walk in, fresh flowers on the tables, a huge mock clock on the back wall, stuffed geese on your way to the loo and grey jars used as light shades.
Teal blue met with mustard yellow and contrasted with dark wood, white and grey. The walls were equally mismatched yet contributed to a ‘Bohemian chic’ look with herringbone tiles in one area, traditional tiling in another, wallpaper on a third wall and painted brickwork on another. Too often, I find restaurants too dark and badly lit. Tom, Dick & Harry’s was the opposite: it was flooded with natural light and I loved that more than anything else.
I’ve always loved people-watching and during the four or five hours Rebecca and I spent there, we noticed that the clientele was as diverse as the general decor at Tom, Dick & Harry’s. There were couples drinking champagne, family gatherings, passers-by stopping for a quick cup of coffee and even a team of ladies on a business meeting.
Tom, Dick & Harry’s is owned by Lee Newton, who is passionate about good food and fine wine. In his restaurant and bar, you will find impeccably sourced British ingredients as well as all the things Lee has enjoyed whilst travelling, may it be Provence rosé, tapas in Spain or lobster in the Caribbean. Tom, Dick’s and Harry’s is open all day every day, from breakfast to dinner, and if you’re commuting, you can grab a takeaway coffee from there on your way to the train station. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Tom, Dick & Harry’s is named after the three escape tunnels in The Great Escape.
Rebecca and I had decided to spend the whole day together, so we met at Tom, Dick & Harry’s for coffee. I also had poached egg and mushroom on bread as a late breakfast.
Before we knew it, we’d been chatting for a couple of hours and it was time for lunch. For starters, we went for Nibbleinis, moreish small plates. The menu looked so good we wanted to sample it all but finally settled on 2 Nibblinis: beetroot, ricotta and hazelnuts as well as sliced cured meats, chargrilled courgette purée and toast. It was the perfect sharing starter.
The drinks menu was impressive and although we were drooling over the cocktail menu, we were really good since we would have to drive home, and asked for a mocktail version of ‘I liked you better when you were drunk.’
Each cocktail was assigned a famous gentleman and came with a little story about their favourite drink. I love the fact the method and the type of glass used were shared with the customer. Little details like these make all the difference!
I was delighted to see Bavette steak in the menu. Rebecca had Tomapork with chargrilled pineapple chutney and grilled baby gem.
For dessert, I went for dropped Oreo ice cream and Rebecca opted for Cambridge cream, pears and blackberries. Needless to say, we were full and happy when we parted ways.
Disclosure: We were invited to sample the menu for free as compensation for an honest review, but I paid for our coffees and my breakfast. All photos and opinions are my own.