The Pheasant at Gestingthorpe, AA Pub of the Year for England 2014/15, Pub of the Year for Alistair Sawday's 2014/15, Essex Life Chef of the Year 2012, Pub of the Year for Essex Life 2012, Best Food Pub in East Anglia 2011, plus AA rosette for culinary excellence and 5 AA Stars for its first class accommodation.
In the last eight years, the Donoghue’s have won various awards for all their hard work and are now starting to reap what they have sown. The Pheasant sits between Halstead and Sudbury amid rolling countryside. A 500-year old building, the pub restaurant has been completely redecorated by James and Diana Donoghue since they purchased it in the summer of 2006, with the addition of a Smoke House in 2007 and then built a separate dwelling for 5 luxury en-suite bedrooms at the rear of the car-park completed 2011 and then, the purchase of a 1 acre garden to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
The Pheasant is a small country pub with beams running across the ceiling and the dining area is spread across three rooms with an archway between.. Recently re-decorated with homely and comforting upholstery, each room has a welcoming wood burner to keep the winter chill at bay and there’s a genuinely homely feel about the place, with its natural wood tables and plenty of interesting reading matter within arms reach.
Owners Diana & James Donoghue have transformed the business since taking over in 2006, with the addition of a Smoke House and a 5 bed-roomed boutique style bed and breakfast.
The Pheasant is set in the middle of rural countryside, ideal for long walks, situated between Castle Hedingham and Sudbury.
Our Garden and Keeping Bees
James’s former profession was garden design, James exhibted at the RHS, Chelsea flower show 2003, you can now visit his garden at the Pheasant and as you will see, gardening is still a huge passion of James. There are raised vegetable beds to provide the fruit and vegetables for the restaurant, all organic, such as various tomatoes, which have been grown from seed. In addition, James keeps Bees and uses some of his honey for dressings and salads in his recipes.