Linden House Restaurant & Bar
1–3 Silver Streed Stansted Essex CM24 8HA
No so much an airport hotel as a hotel that's close to the airport, Linden House is as cosy a place to stay to stay before taking an early flight as you could wish for. But it's also a fab boutique hotel in the Essex countryside, with a busy bar and funky restaurant that only serve to make it more enticing. Chef Tony Martin serves hearty food that's cooked with flair and presented with style – think celeriac veloute followed by pan-roasted hake, or ham hock terrine and slow-cooked oxtail with game chips, The choice of desserts is short and sweet, with crowd-pleasing classics like lemon tart and chocolate fondant, and a nice selection of French and English cheeses. You can enjoy all this a la carte or choose from the fixed-price menu, but if you're not after something simpler still, or are just not that hungry, there's also a bar menu that includes an excellent burger, fish and triple-cooked chips as well as delicious sandwiches; or just try one of their homemade Scotch eggs or a slice of homemade pork pie. They also do afternoon tea, pie nights on Mondays (home-cooked pies from £8.50), and a lovely Sunday lunch menu, with a selection of roasts (including half portions for kids) and various fish and veggie options. All things considered, this lively bar and restaurant have a bit of something for everyone, and with the cosy rooms upstairs it makes an irresistible package.