What’s The Cricketers like?
This cosy village inn, which dates back to the 16th Century, is renowned for its fine food and hospitality. The pub was once owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s parents. But today, The Cricketers is part of the Chestnut Collection, which has pubs, inns and restaurants across East Anglia. The market town of Saffron Walden is approximately a 15-minute drive away.
How dog-friendly is The Cricketers?
It’s excellent. Ernie and Stan had a welcome note waiting for them in the room, as well as two comfy dog beds and two bags of Denzel’s treats. They can often be a bit picky when it comes to food but they LOVED these! There were also two dog towels and food and water bowls. There is an additional charge of £25 for pets to stay. The towels, treats and beds – which are branded with the Chestnut and Denzel’s logos – are also available to buy.
Tell me more about The Cricketers
There are 22 stylish rooms at the pub in three categories – Good, Better and Best. All of them have recently been refurbished so are a real treat to stay in. The dog-friendly rooms are classed as Better (a nice surprise!) and are located in the Courtyard area, away from the main pub. They also have direct access to outside space, which is great. Eagle-eyed sports fans will be quick to spot that all of the rooms are named after cricket grounds – and we stayed in Grace Road, which was gorgeous. The key was hard to lose as it was attached to a cricket ball!
The room was incredibly spacious and decorated in soothing shades of grey and dark red, with a feature mural of trees behind the bed. There was laminate flooring throughout and several fluffy rugs to make the room feel cosy. Velvet cushions and large suede headboard also made it feel rather luxurious. Complimentary bottles of water and biscuits were provided, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. There was also a desk, lots of mirrors and a large walk-in wardrobe, housing a fan, ironing board and handy umbrella.
A good-size bathroom was well stocked with Bramley toiletries. It was also easy to park at The Cricketers, either in between the Courtyard and the pub or in a separate overflow area. There were even two electric car charging points. The welcome pack in the room, which contained lots of information about other Chestnut pubs, was also a really good read. My only complaint would be that the WiFi wasn’t particularly strong in the Courtyard area, but that would only be a problem if you were planning to work.
What’s the food like at The Cricketers?
Delicious. Food takes centre stage at The Cricketers and many of the dishes are seasonal and locally sourced. Indeed, some friendly locals even help to supply the veg, grown fresh in their gardens. We visited on a Sunday and while we saw other diners tucking into traditional dishes such as Adnams beer-battered fish and chips, the pub’s roasts were impossible to resist. My Roasted Butternut Squash was fantastic and the portion was so generous, I couldn’t possibly finish it! There’s also a Dog Menu for your four-legged friend.
As it was cold and wet outside when we visited, it was lovely to see a roaring log fire in the bar in the evening. It was nice to be able to take the dogs into the pub’s restaurant area for breakfast, too. The boys got lots of fuss from the lady serving and were presented with their own sausages, while we enjoyed the tasty vegan breakfasts. I loved the decor throughout, too – although if you’re over 6ft tall, look out for the low ceilings!
Are there resident dogs at The Cricketers?
No, but you may well meet some locals in the bar or a few others who are staying the night.
Where are the best dog walks near The Cricketers?
There is a lovely village green a five-minute walk from the pub – perfect for a little loop. Be sure to keep your dog on a short lead though as the road you have to walk down to get there can be quite busy. The Cricketers team also recommend a 3.8-mile ‘Tree Line Trundle’ that can be enjoyed from the pub’s front door. This circular walk takes in a mix of footpaths and fields. You’ll find the full details on a printed sheet in your room.
If you’d rather your dog had some secure space to run free in, book a slot at Dolly’s Dog Field, pictured above. This fully fenced site, two miles away in Wicken Bonhunt, is a great spot to exercise your pooch and comes with agility equipment, toys and a ball pit for pets to enjoy. The field can be hired exclusively for either 30 or 70 minutes. At the time of our visit, prices started from £7. Friendly, socialised dogs can also book in for weekly playdates.
What Ernie and Stan loved about The Cricketers
The cosy dog beds, the delicious treats, the sausages for breakfast
What I loved about The Cricketers
The stylish room, the lovely food, the village location
How to book The Cricketers
Overnight stays start from £99, including breakfast. Special offers run throughout the year, however, and you can also book several overnight packages. The Muddy Paws stay, for instance, includes treats for your pet as well as dinner (up to £30pp), bed and breakfast for you. For more information or to book, call 01799 550442 or visit The Cricketers’ official website. Read more about the Chestnut Collection’s other dog-friendly properties on the Chestmutts website.