The Axe & Compasses
01799 550272   Arkesden Saffron Walden CB11 4EX  Click here to find us


Had an excellent evening having never been before. Will certainly be going back. Lots to choose from and an interesting combination of foods. Traditional pub with Greek influences. Monk Fish was excellent and the meze board looked like something to come back for.

October 30th 2013

I have only ever had lunch here on several occasions but I`m sure dinner will be as good. The food has always been excellent. British with some Greek influences. Inside it`s what you would expect from a traditional old pub. Horse brasses and very cosy. This is what a traditional pub/restaurant should be like. It has a lovely atmosphere and a welcoming host and I can thoroughly recommend it.

George H 25th October 2013

Fantastic place, food was great, Mick the Greek looked after us all night - great banter. The desserts were amazing. I'd go there every night for dinner except for the fact I live in Dublin! I could not recommend it enough.

Ginger and Shelley 29th July 2013

We have experienced good food and friendly, efficient service at the Axe and Compasses for so many occasions over the past 20+ years. The thatched pub is set in the tranquil surroundings of Arkesden village, opposite the Post Office. There is parking at the front and a small car park at the rear, both of which can fill quite quickly due to the pub's popularity. We have recently taken to spending Wednesday evenings at the pub, taking advantage of the excellent steak suppers (including a bottle of a pleasant wine) and desserts to die for (the raspberry and hazelnut meringue being a favourite). The staff are friendly and the service is first class. The food is served with little delay and is always tasty and beautifully cooked. The only downside of the steak supper specials is not sampling the rest of the enormous variety of dishes on the specials board!
We'll just have to visit on other evenings and gradually work our way through the others. Highly recommended and worth a special trip - we are fairly local, living only 10 miles away but much longer journeys would be well worth the visit.

24th July 2013

Really didn't fancy cooking & the list of local dinner places local to us is very limited on a Monday night so we thought we'd try the Axe & Compasses, I'm so glad we did. We arrived at spot on 6pm just as they were opening the door, we went into the bar and ordered drinks asked about food & was told it was served from 6.45, this wasn't a problem as it was such a lovely evening we sat out on the terrace where there was enough shade so we wasn't overly bothered by the still bright sun. At just after 6.30 we were informed food was now being served, so we made our way into the bar.

We had a sharing meze to start, cod & chips & a lamb kebab as a main. All food was very tasty, nicely cooked & well presented, exactly what we wanted for our Monday night dinner. 

Keep it up Axe & Compasses. You will definitely be seeing this couple again in the near future!!!

8th July 2013

Re-visited the Axe and Compasses last week and once again was not disappointed. There were a few changes to the menu - dishes added back so I was told by a regular diner there - so again a hard choice of what to eat from the fairly extensive menu. I decided to forego starters with a view that if I had any space left there were plenty of good looking sweets on the sweet trolley. I had the sea-bass fillets and they certainly didn't disappoint - everyone cleared their plates and a couple of us dared to try the sweets which tasted as good as they looked. As always the owners are happy to add/delete parts of any dish to suit personal preferences and I'm surprised more restaurants don't do this. This restaurant, as far as food served is concerned, remains constantly good - with reasonable prices too!

Steve O 28th May 2013

We have eaten here a number of times and are never disappointed. The food and service are really excellent with very friendly and helpful service. This must be one of the very best pub restaurants in the area with a good selection of specials.

Gulliver 10th March

A superb pub, with excellent dining in a beautiful village. We visited on a Saturday evening and it was busy, which is always a good sign. There is an extensive bar menu and the food looked fantastic but we dined in the restaurant, the staff were excellent and a credit to the owner, who was as attentive throughout the evening. It is clear from the patrons that this is no ordinary gastro pub and it doesn't pretend to be, it is a traditional English Pub with exceptional food and atmosphere. I think it was value for money and would not hesitate to visit again and take my more discerning friends with me, you know the type, nothing is right....even those would be hard pressed to find a single down side to a visit here. I've lived around this area for many years and wished I'd have found this place sooner but am very glad to have found it now, it was well, well worth the wait!

8th October 2012