I’M here to let you in on one of the great local success stories that has occurred since the country was sent to bed without any supper by the powers that be.

If you’ve not already visited the The Lexden Crown then you are really missing out because it’s one of the great entrepreneurial stories of the Colchester area.

It was a very popular restaurant and watering hole before the lockdown, but now it has grown from strength to strength as owners Jo and Patrick have developed a pub with a large number of contented, and savvy, followers.

It should also be commended for the way it has dealt with the problems facing the hospitality industry during these strange times.

While others closed their doors and were forced to furlough bar staff and bar stools, The Lexden Crown geared up, introduced home deliveries and then breathed a sigh of relief as everybody clamoured to try a menu that has proved such a success that it has been retained after lockdown ended.

Not only does Patrick know his way around a kitchen better than most, Jo is the sort of person who will disarm you with a charm that makes you want them to do really well.

Did I mention that the portions are generous, tasty and a mixture of the traditional and the inquisitive?

Their Sunday Roasts have often graced my table and I’ve been known to visit them for a snack of chips and mushy peas (a wine and food writer cannot live by Foie gras alone you know).

The drinks menu shows what happens when people who care about their business ponder what to offer instead of throwing out the usual choices.

I’m so pleased that there is more on the wine list than New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Prosecco with more fizz than taste.

Of course, there’s the familiar craft beers and flavoured gins that have proven popular with the masses and I wish their wine list was a little bit more adventurous, but that’s a minor quibble when you sample wines that have a lot going for them.

I recently tried the Verdejo and found it to be just what the doctor ordered. If you have a doctor like mine who will order you to drink wine!

I’m so pleased to tell you that when I recently dropped in, business was good and the beer garden was full of contented customers.

Don’t worry, though, because there is also plenty of room to enjoy a meal or drink inside without rubbing elbows with any other folk.

I don’t know how things will develop as we continue to be forbidden from drinking and eating after ten o’clock, but I would urge you to support businesses like The Lexden Crown.

When all this beastly unpleasantness ends we’re going to need somewhere to party and I know that Jo and Patrick will welcome you with open arms and plates of food that will make you glad that you visited.