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The Lemon Tree
The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree Details

  • Dining Style: Home Style
  • Website: http://www.victusbistros.co.uk
  • Phone: 0120 676 7337
  • 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 0120 676 7337
  • Special Events & Promotions: 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    dined on 23/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 15/08/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 14/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 19/07/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 11/07/2014
  • "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!!"
    dined on 06/06/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 06/06/2014
  • "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. "
    dined on 31/05/2014
  • "The taster menu was expectional value & quality - will definately be returning"
    dined on 19/05/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 05/04/2014
  • "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 :-)"
    dined on 04/04/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 04/04/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 29/03/2014
  • "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!!!"
    dined on 26/03/2014
  • "Maybe they change the chef, make me dnt want to try the food there again!"
    dined on 15/03/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 15/03/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 17/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 15/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 14/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 14/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 10/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 21/01/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 17/01/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 21/12/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 17/12/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 16/12/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 30/11/2013
  • "The food is of excellent quality and the service is of a high standard"
    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!"
    dined on 18/10/2013
  • "Poor quality meat and badly cooked. Not visiting again."
    dined on 13/10/2013
  • "Great service and very tasty food with good portion sizes. Will eat there again and would definitely recommend to others."
    dined on 20/09/2013
  • "I took my wife here for her birthday meal, and although the waitress was pleasant and attentive, the ambience very good and the menu very good on paper, ultimately the end result - the food in other words - was nothing special. I had the special (Pork Belly on mustard mash) but the cut of meat was far too fatty. My wife had breaded chicken escalope the which was pleasant enough but just nothing special. It's a really good looking place, with a part of the old Roman wall running through the building, and I have heard good things about the restaurant before, so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt."
    dined on 16/09/2013
  • "Best restaurant in Colchester. Great food, with fabulous service in relaxed yet smart surroundings"
    dined on 29/08/2013
  • "After the first two visits, we had tried both the lunch and evening menus. We had preferred the lunchtime menu so decided to return for a lunch time meal. Overall there was a good selection, but we were upset to find some of our favourate dishes had been removed from the new menu. The risotto was slightly disappointing, but the rump steak was very good, well cooked to order."
    dined on 24/08/2013
  • "The Lemon Tree is our favourite restaurant in Colchester. There is always an inventive choice of dishes, cooked to perfection and very tasty. Set into part of the original Roman Wall, some of which forms part of the restaurant, including a 'cavern' which is ideal for special occasions or groups of diners, it has a unique ambience and up market atmosphere. Weather permitting you can eat outside under large umbrellas - especially enjoyable on a warm summer evening."
    dined on 23/08/2013
  • "I used to go to the Lemon Tree several times a year when it had the reputation of being one of the best restaurants in Colchester. Then it went downhill and I gave it a miss over the last couple of years. They sent me an email offer so I thought I would try it again with my partner. The email stated that a new menu was starting the day before. However, we were given rather tatty paper menus with quite a limited choice of options which suggested this was not a new menu. There were 2 specials for main course. We ordered bread which I had to remind the waitress about after 20 mins and this arrived just before our mains. I had one of the specials, sea bass with broad bean risotto which was delicious. Alcohol prices slightly more than average."
    dined on 03/08/2013
  • "I had previously organised a meal for a group of workshop attendees coming to a guitar workshop at 'The Headgate Theatre' at 'The Lemon Tree'. The main thing which stood out in their feedback was how much they enjoyed their experience at 'The Lemon Tree'. Going of my experience and their feedback, I decided to book a table for me and my partner on our anniversary. Arriving 15 mins before our booking but were happily seated and drinks provided. The service continued to excel from there. The food was produced promptly and we both ended up having three courses off the A La Carte menu. I would suggest the; Spring lamb rump with pea & mint pesto & Crushed new potatoes which was delicate and well balanced. Great Meal, will return!"
    dined on 01/08/2013
  • "We had a large table outside with a huge parasol over us so was perfect on a hot summer's day. The food was good as was the service & a good time was had by all."
    dined on 16/07/2013
  • "All the staff seemed very young (teengage) and inexperienced. They spent a lot of time standing at the stairs in a group when there were empty glasses on tables, drinks orders to take etc. We all ordered the burger which comes with bacon and cheese. None of our burgers had bacon. This was brought out after we complained on a separate plate for us to share out. Weird / Amateur to me. value for money was pretty good @ around £25 ph with starters mains and drinks, but I am very unlikely to go back."
    dined on 16/06/2013
  • "The Lemon Tree is always very pleasant.The food is excellent quality. The atmosphere was lacking a little on Saturday evening when my partner and I went however the service was excellent and we had an enjoyable evening."
    dined on 15/06/2013