The Lemon Tree
The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree

  • Dining Style: Home Style
  • Website: http://www.victusbistros.co.uk/
  • Phone: 01206 767337
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Monday - Lunch: Monday - Saturday 12:00PM - 5:00PM; Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:00PM - 11:00PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: English, Modern European
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: The Lemon Tree's stunningly unique Roman Cavern private dining area encompasses Colchester’s original Roman Wall to give a truly memorable and atmospheric dining experience for all. Ideal for cosy candlelit dining or private parties of up to 25 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Janette/Shaun 01206767337x
  • Special Events: Visit our website www.victusbistros.co.uk

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Rail: Colchester Town
    Bus: St Johns Street
  • Parking: No
  • Parking Details: 2 car parks within close proximity of the restaurant - St Johns Multi-storey & Vineyard Street
A word from The Lemon Tree
Victus Bistros is pleased to welcome you to The Lemon Tree. Set in the heart of Colchester, is the home of great food and informal dining. The bistro style Colchester restaurant encases part of Colchester’s original Roman wall, making this a stunningly unique setting in which to experience delicious menus created from the freshest produce. Restaurateurs and chefs, source seasonal ingredients from local producers.
Chefs at this Colchester restaurant use only the freshest available.Our meat products are all locally sourced from Humphreys farm and slaughter house. Humphreys raise their own livestock ensuring the highest standard of meat. All our products are homemade from the black pudding to the sausages and from the home smoked ham to the home cured salt beef. All our steaks are hand cut and all our meat is butchered on site We offer an Al a carte menu and daily chef's specials complemented by an extensive wine list. Vegetarian and gluten free options are always available.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Lemon Tree reviews from OpenTable diners
58 reviews since 24 November 2013
Average Rating3.5
  • Food3.7
    Service3.8
  • Ambience3.6
    Value3.6
69% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasions (26)romance (23)group bookings (17)fit for foodies (16)outstanding value (13)pre/post theatre (11)outdoor eating (11)business meals (10)sunday lunch (6)brunch (5)afternoon tea (5)good vegetarian options (4)child friendly (4)disabled access (2)Show More
  • Delightful dinner venue
    AnnR
    Dined on 13/11/2014
    We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Lemon Tree. while staying overnight in Colchester. Midweek it was quiet, so service was quick and the food piping hot. The menu is varied and interesting, with a specials board as well, and the main meal portions are substantial. There seem to be several good value deals available, e.g. 50% off your bill between 3.30 and 5.30, which has to be a bargain! And they accept Tastecard, which is a bonus. We would definitely go regularly if we lived locally and would strongly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outstanding value, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lacklustre and terrible music
    averagediner
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    What could be a nice restaurant really lacked punch both on atmosphere and on food quality. Current chart hits might appeal to some, but picking one style would at least provide consistency. The music basically made it feel like you were in a downmarket bar. The main of crab meat and king prawn tagliatelle consisted of no discernible crab meat, prawns that were anything but king and what seemed to be most of a pot of double cream. No subtly of favour. In fact, no flavour at all. At £12 a plate, a complete ripoff. Given that the restaurant was basically empty, the service was inattentive and inexperienced. Generally, just not worth it.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good service & Food
    Smiff
    Dined on 12/10/2014
    Had enjoyable birthday Sunday lunch with my family. Service was great. It was extremely quiet and maybe a little low music nah have created a bit more ambience as so quiet.
    Special Features:
    child friendly
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unexpectedly, Delicious!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The Lemon Tree has got excellent staff and food even though we had only paid 50% of dishes as a Taste card membership.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, child friendly, group bookings
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Was that even food?
    HonestTruth
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    It looked promising ... We ordered a Main and a Desert each - 3 Adults, 1 Child. The roast beef was boiled beef, Lamb Leg probably wasn't, and didn't taste of anything at all. The Burger you couldn't taste either, but whether this was because the Burger had no flavour or the Bun was so burnt it didn't matter, I cannot tell. The Roast potatoes were from at least the previous day. The CHILD meal though, both my partner and I had to immediately spit out, because that didn't feel like Fish.... Either it wasn't cooked, or it was off, either way I didn't even taste the "fish" (grey mush-like.... matter) because the texture was so foul I had to spit it out. When offered a replacement we politely refused. Basically, I've rather eat out a bin.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Disappointed
    Disappointed
    Dined on 27/9/2014
    We were not shown to our table, had to find it! Starter, one item not available! Starter came after 5 minutes, very nice. We then waited forty minutes and had to ask when we would get our main course. It came very quickly after asking, sadly we both wished it hadn't!. I had the chicken which was extremely dry, the potatoes (if that's what it was) was bland. A small portion of vegetables was served, a little cauliflower and twice as much broccoli (which my husband dislikes). My husband had three lamb rack which were extremely tough and virtually inedible. Manager was extremely apologetic and eventually agreed to take the lamb off the bill. Distressing as it was my husband birthday.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great
    Gr8evening
    Dined on 27/9/2014
    Great food, great service and pretty good value for money. Thoroughly enjoyed myself and my girlfriend.
    Special Features:
    brunch, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyable experiance
    Steven47
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    We ate early, 6:30 pm, the restaurant was quiet with just a few couples, service was good and quick. Being fresh ingredients there was a short wait for the main course but I always expect this in a good restaurant. Overall a good experience.
    Special Features:
    child friendly, disabled access, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, group bookings, outdoor eating, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • 50/50
    Foodiepheebs2
    Dined on 30/8/2014
    Went to the lemon tree for a birthday meal. Overall it was very nice, the service and food were really good however the portion sizes were very small and because of this I think it's a bit overpriced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Not Disappointed!
    Simon61151
    Dined on 23/8/2014
    Having been regular patrons of the Lemon Tree over the last seven years, we were unsure how it might have been following the change of ownership. I am pleased to say that we were not disappointed - the menu had been revised, but the quality of food and service was as excellent as it always had been. I would have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outdoor eating, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • chocomad
    Dined on 15/8/2014
    Dined here a year ago and had good memories. On returning the quality of the food this time was disappointing. The humous was almost runny with a disturbing sweet taste (possibly from honey). The crème brûlée was likewise runny in consistency. The olives at £3 were no better than those from a basic jar bought from a supermarket. The decor was looking tired. On the plus side the service was efficient.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Food was ok, good service
    Lilac8
    Dined on 14/8/2014
    We visited here for my Husbands Birthday and were a little let down as we both wanted specials and were told they had run out and our food we did receive was slightly over cooked not very warm and very fatty and my husbands fish was very small and over cooked! We did tell the waitress and she apologised but no form of a free coffee or anything as a compensation offered. The steaks looked good and wished I had that!
    Special Features:
    romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Let down by extremely poor service
    Hunt
    Dined on 19/7/2014
    The restaurant wasn't busy but even so the waitress managed to take one of our main courses to the wrong table. This meant one of us had to watch while the other ate their meal. The second meal did arrive much later, but after that had mostly been eaten we very belatedly received the dish of vegetables that should have come at the start. By then it was no use to anyone. The desert menu never arrived even though we asked for it, and when we tried to pay the machine was out of paper for the receipt so we had to wait while they replaced it. Overall a complete lack of interest about the experience of customers. This has been where we have gone for special occasions, Now, we won't be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Incompentent restaurant............
    Chanceher
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Ask the waitress for none of the food to contain chilli and she assurred me that none of the food would...as i am allergic and the chilli could potential kill me as instructed to the waitress the starter consisted of chillies mixed into the salad...i was outraged and all the waitress said was sorry about that....overall rating...incompentent...total lack of attention to a potentially life threatening incident.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • So much better since owner changed
    NJK2
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    This place was ok before, but it is just excellent now that Victus have taken over. The atmosphere, with the bare ancient brick walls and the candles, is so nice - the staff were friendly and helpful. But what really wins it is the food. Perfectly balanced flavours, well cooked, well presented. It has to be one of the best restaurants in the area now. If you don't go your missing out. We will be back!!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, group bookings, outdoor eating, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Inattentive staff
    mrob13x
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Two people for our table arrived at different doors and were seated at different tables. There were at least 4 different staff for our table but we waited ages between courses. Dessert was a disaster: there was a small child with us and her ice cream was served in a bowl much too high for her to reach, was too hard for her to cut into and she was given a full-sized dessert spoon. The peppermint tea was served cold. Throughout this, one member of staff stood leaning against the bar chewing something - which I assume was gum or food - very unprofessional. He then huffed and grumbled out loud while trying to work out the balance of our bill after some had been paid by card. Considering the cost of the food, the service was sub-standard.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • A little underwhelmed!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 31/5/2014
    We used to eat here years ago. Having moved back in the area we thought we would 'treat' ourselves to a decent meal out in what our memory was a 'great restaurant'. Well it was good - not horrific but sadly it doesn't have the polished / finishing touches like they used to. Pre-packed/ microwaved veggies is not bistro food!! Having both had fish - we were poorly within the hour of eating! Such a shame. Staff were helpful and friendly but at the end of the day - it is the food you pay for!! Sadly, we wont be returning.
    Special Features:
    Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great meal atThe Lemon Tree
    Spice
    Dined on 19/5/2014
    The taster menu was expectional value & quality - will definately be returning
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, brunch, business meals, outdoor eating, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Saturday night meal
    AnnieD
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    My husband and I went to The Lemon Tree in Colchester on Saturday night. On arrival the door was held open for us and we were welcomed inside. We were shown to our table. Menus were given, drinks were ordered and we were left to peruse the menu. Our drinks arrived promptly and we were then given time to decide on what we wanted to have to eat. Our waitress was excellent. Our orders were taken and food arrived quickly. I had chicken to start and my husband had hummus. Both were delicious. Our main courses were absolutely beautiful. I had the cod fillet. The presentation was wonderful. I would highly recommend The Lemon Tree. Attention to detail, food, service, value for money and ambience are all exceptional. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    romance, fit for foodies, special occasions, good vegetarian options
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    matthewjn
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    The good and service and The Lemon Tree was superb and I would definitely eat there again. It was very relaxed even though it was busy and there was no pressure from the staff to hurry. It was a great night :-)
    Special Features:
    romance, fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    Superhuey
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    We booked for 10 and were placed inside the cavern. We found it difficult to talk with the noise from the other table staying confined and also the temperature was uncomfortable. They forgot my main course and a side order and failed to give us a kids menu for my 4 year old until I requested one. Also we requested a high chair on the booking but had to ask for it again on arrival.Two of us ordered Beef Bourguignon and it did not come with the seasonal vegetables and only had 1 mushroom in the plate, it was just beef and mash. On the plus side, the waitress allowed us to have the birthday cake for my mum be delivered to the table with candles lit and also plates and they did provide spaghetti for my daughter which was not on the menu.
    Special Features:
    brunch, afternoon tea
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Starter was awful. We had
    Karen
    Dined on 29/3/2014
    Starter was awful. We had the chicken sharing platter and cocktail sausages. Sausages were undercooked and had been microwaved. Main course was average but restaurant very over priced for what it is.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • We really enjoyed our time
    Richard
    Dined on 26/3/2014
    We really enjoyed our time at The Lemon Tree. Once I had got over the very laid back approach of the maître d’, he was very nice but just incredibly laid back. The Hendricks Gin was served as it should and was lovely to drink whilst choosing our meal from a menu with a good choice, but not an overwhelming choice. My wife’s starter was excellent, mine was nice. I had scallops and black pudding, however the scallops could have probably done with an extra 15/20 seconds in the pan. Main course was excellent, the only thing I would change however is this passion for restaurants and bistros that insist on serving chunky chips. Overall, very happy with the food, value for money, atmosphere, and service, so yes we shall be returning!!!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not as good as it use to be
    soso
    Dined on 15/3/2014
    Maybe they change the chef, make me dnt want to try the food there again!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • The restaurant is a good place
    Lyning
    Dined on 15/3/2014
    The restaurant is a good place to eat as a couple or meeting friends. The food is excellent and the staff efficient and courteous. There is also a very good outside patio, ideal for a drink beforehand in good weather.
    Special Features:
    romance, fit for foodies, special occasions, group bookings, brunch, outdoor eating, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely meal.
    LinBazColchester
    Dined on 17/2/2014
    I was delighted with my meal at the Lemon Tree this week. The prices were good - what you'd expect for a 'special' meal out - and the food was delicious. The waitresses were attentive and polite, the wine was very good and it's an attractive place to sit and eat. I'd go back and would recommend.
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions, outdoor eating, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Errors corrected
    Daganddav
    Dined on 15/2/2014
    My companion and I had a problem over the time to get a meal: after a lecture at the First Site art gallery and before a concert at St Botolph's,. We had but one course, liver and bacon with mashed potato, to which we added a dish of seasonal vegetables, many roots and a few beans! The liver was tender and tasty but the plates were cold, we complained and then the waitress took them back to the kitchen and new hot plates with what my companion said was a new course and certainly a new pot of vegetables appeared. Two glasses of Merlot, a pot of tea, but no pudding or starter set me back less than £30. The ambience is enhanced by this restaurant's situation: tucked into the Roman wall with a cavern portion underneath that historical edifice.
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Its all about the cavern.
    DaveandDotty
    Dined on 14/2/2014
    We booked for Valentines night. The restaurant was busy but, online booking had worked. We were pleased to find we were in the cavern area of the restaurant, a quaint area away from the main hustle & bustle of the main dining area however, a little disappointed to find that despite us being a little late thanks to our taxi being delayed, our table, although 'ready for us' still had a red wine stained tablecloth on it. The food was delicious, every mouthful of every course was a pleasure however, we were hungry & felt the starter & dessert portion sizes were a little small, the apple crumble almost lost under the scoop of ice cream that topped it. We will be back, hopefully seated in the cavern & looking forward to trying other menu options.
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • really good time
    Cycleman
    Dined on 14/2/2014
    We went on Valentine's Day the ambience and layout was excellent as was the food and service. We were not rushed but help was available whenever needed.the only criticism we have is that the cutlery looks very tired (it was however spotlessly clean). We will go again. I have also been there with a group of work colleagues and on that occasion the food and service was also excellent. Would have given 5 stars if not for the cutlery.
    Special Features:
    romance, group bookings, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch at The Lemon Tree
    Crisscross
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    My first time here for lunch with girlfriend. had previously seen restaurant on tv on Dinner Date! Lovely ambience. the lady who served us was very accomodating, asking the chef for food not on menu. very impressed. Will definately return.
    Special Features:
    business meals, romance, special occasions, good vegetarian options, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This meal was average. We
    Tash
    Dined on 21/1/2014
    This meal was average. We went in on a quiet Wednesday night to use our Gourmet Society 2 for 1 main meal voucher (so not sure if this affected our experience) the service was excellent, can't fault it, however we ordered Ciabatta and olives to start at about £2.50 each and although the olives were ok, the bread was poor and set a bad tone in my own opinion for the rest of the meal. My partner had the Haddock with potatoes and he thoroughly enjoyed it, however I had the lamb rump with ratatouille which was very fatty and the ratatouille was a bit bland. As we got each main for about £6 can't really complain, however I did leave feeling a bit disappointed.
    Special Features:
    outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Lemon Tree
    Roadsweeper
    Dined on 17/1/2014
    Food was fairly average. Starters a bit formulaic and mains lacked imagination. My bread with the pate tasted of the burnt grill when it had been seared, as did the pork chop for the main course. Wine list is limited, first two reds we asked for they didn't have. Service was not too good either. For the price there are better places in Colchester. Disappointed as expected better.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Disappointing
    Lemon
    Dined on 21/12/2013
    The Lemon Tree lacked Christmas atmosphere and any extra touches, clearly you only get crackers if you are in a big group! The food was not good value for money, the portion sizes were small and I do not feel that you should pay extra for vegetables with the main course. The sticky toffee pudding was cold and hard. The whole experience was disappointing and I will not be recommending it to my friends.
    Special Features:
    group bookings
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • As good as ever it was
    wotnocaravan
    Dined on 17/12/2013
    A return to the Lemon Tree after a couple of years, and it was still as good as I remember! Met up with some old pals and had a very nice evening meal for a very reasonable price. Service was excellent and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere. All in all a very pleasant evening which we all enjoyed.
    Special Features:
    business meals, special occasions, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tatty Surroundings reasonable food
    Birthdaygirl
    Dined on 16/12/2013
    The marquee entrance they have put up for office parties looked tatty and made the whole Place feel like a refugee camp. From the internet pictures It looked like an upmarket bistro. So it was sadly disappointed to find the place Was dark dingy and grubby looking and grey and uninviting. The food however was pleasant and good value. The service was cheerful but a bit uninspired. I hope they can improve the look and feel of the place and the service or if not They should go cheaper and cheerful or instead invest in better surroundings as the food is quite good despite everything else.
    Special Features:
    group bookings
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Wonderful place for an evening
    MirandaGQ
    Dined on 30/11/2013
    A lovely, peaceful little restaurant for a dinner date. The food was excellent, with great wine to accompany it. All this alongside a charming setting amidst the roman ruins.
    Special Features:
    romance, fit for foodies, special occasions, group bookings
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 22 ratings-only reviews submitted since 24 November 2013
    • Average Rating4.1
    • Food4.2
    • Ambience4
    • Service4.2
    • Value4.2
  • The following 388 reviews are from the The Lemon Tree reviews archive.
  • The food is of excellent quality
    Review
    Dined on 18/10/2013
    The food is of excellent quality and the service is of a high standard
    Special Features:
    romance, fit for foodies, special occasions, good vegetarian options, outstanding value, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • we have been many times to
    happyeater
    Dined on 18/10/2013
    we have been many times to the Lemon Tree and always enjoy the experience. We like the consistency - the food and the Staff are always good, courteous and friendly - we will be back!
    Special Features:
    special occasions, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • poor sunday lunch
    parry
    Dined on 13/10/2013
    Poor quality meat and badly cooked. Not visiting again.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great Place To Take Friends/Family
    LCH14
    Dined on 20/9/2013
    Great service and very tasty food with good portion sizes. Will eat there again and would definitely recommend to others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, outstanding value, outdoor eating
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.