Meet the Fighting Cocks: a traditional pub in Wendens Ambo with a gluten-free menu

PUBLISHED: 11:56 09 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 09 April 2018

Popular with locals and visitors alike, The Fighting Cocks pub near Saffron Walden serves gluten-free food all day

Popular with locals and visitors alike, The Fighting Cocks pub near Saffron Walden serves gluten-free food all day

Archant

The Fighting Cocks is a family-run pub near Saffron Walden, located in the charming village of Wendens Ambo.

A cosy night at The Fighting Cocks in Wendens Ambo as evening sets inA cosy night at The Fighting Cocks in Wendens Ambo as evening sets in

It’s a pub known for its relaxed, warm and inviting atmosphere, which attracts a wide range of people, from guests looking to enjoy a home-cooked meal to those wanting a pint or a glass of wine after a long dog walk.

We caught up with owner Paul Beaufils to learn a little more about The Fighting Cocks ahead of its plans to expand capacity later this year.

What’s the thinking behind your gluten-free and coeliac-friendly menu?

The landlady – Tracey – and her daughters Laura and Marie are coeliac, as are one in 100 people in the UK.

When dining out we were used to being limited to only being able to choose from one or two dishes on a menu. Then we had the added worry that an establishment could inadvertently make one of us ill via cross contamination in the kitchen. Combine all of those things and you haven’t got a great dining experience; in fact you actually dread going out, as you just feel that you are being awkward, fussy and a nuiscance.

Our pub moto is Great Beer, Great Food, Great Company, and we realised that there was a market to specialise in serving food to those with allergies. We also realised that if one in 100 are coeliac – then 99 out of 100 are not – and as such we went about creating meals and an environment that allows us to cater to allergy sufferers and non-allergy sufferers alike, while serving great food that tasted exactly the same as it did with gluten in.

We have built our reputation as the number one place to eat around Saffron Walden. Currently, 85 per cent of our menu is gluten-free, including traditional dishes such as fish and chips, and desserts such as chocolate brownie and sticky toffee pudding. In fact, our gluten-free food is so great we would challenge non-allergy sufferers to try and tell the difference!

How would you describe the type of cuisine that The Fighting Cocks serves? It looks to me like you have lots of pub classics, comfort food dishes and a popular Sunday Roast offering?

The food at the Fighting Cocks does all those things. Food is freshly cooked and prepared on site and served to restaurant – rather than pub – standard. We keep our menu quite traditional but allow customers to try more adventurous meals through our specials board which is always very popular.

What’s on offer for those just coming for a drink?

The pub is open all day for those wanting to come in and drink. The pool table attracts a large amount of drinkers.

What’s your favourite part about working at the pub?

The people! Our guests are really interesting if you take the time to listen to them, and where else will you find a barrister sitting next to a builder, who’s sitting next to a vicar and all of them conversing and sorting out the world’s wrongs over a pint? But more than anything, I love watching someone’s face when they have their first sip of beer or wine after a long stressful day and watch as that stress leaves them. Our job is a privileged one; we get to help people become happy. Great Beer, Great Food, Great Company!

Finally, how do you relax after a long shift?

A night off gives us the three F’s; food, feet-up and a film! Or more likely, we’ll go to the other side of the bar and have a glass of wine with our guests. We are a sociable bunch!

The Fighting Cocks, Mutlow Hill, Wendens Ambo, Essex, CM11 4JN

For more information on The Fighting Cocks click here or call 01799 541279

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter