There is a quaint little pub and restaurant, well off the beaten track, on the edge of a sleepy seaside town in Essex and little known by anyone except the locals. A quiet place, nestled between the village green and desolate marshes of Brightlingsea Creek and near the old Roman town of Colchester sits propping up a row of terraced fishermen’s cottages. A proper little pub with the obligatory open fire, real ales and fine food.


The Rosebud Pub & Restaurant is a traditional Essex 'beerhouse' set in the small coastal town of Brightlingsea near Colchester and Clacton on Sea. It was built in 1843 and comprises of two fishermen's cottages knocked into one. The pub is situated on Brightlingsea's village green (Hurst Green) and from the beer garden has a superb south-facing view over farmland to Brightlingsea Creek and the open sea beyond. It's a small, cosy establishment with low ceilings and a log fire which creates a lovely welcoming atmosphere. The pub is popular with locals, holidaymakers and sea-faring visitors alike. The 'Bud', as she is known locally, has been owned by the Hanrahan family for nearly 20 years. New managers Bev & Jeff Wright have recently been appointed and are now working alongside Mark Hanrahan to continue the pub and restaurant's commitment to great food. It's a fine balance between a traditional English Pub which is at the heart of the community (with strong support from characterful locals) and one that is equally welcoming for visitors wishing to sample the 'real pub' experience. The Rosebud has the best views in Brightlingsea and with the wide open playing space of Hurst Green the pub appeals to everyone including families with young children. In warmer months the covered patio area in the beer garden provides shelter from the wind, sun and rain. Recently re-decorated and re-launched the Bud is now a popular venue for special occasions and parties of all kind.

The Brightlingsea Beer Company - we recently installed a micro-brewery at The Rosebud which we hope to have up and running soon.

Restaurant & Functions

Birthdays, Weddings, Christenings, Anniversaries, Family Parties, Wakes, Leaving Do's, Engagements ... in fact any kind of event that you require a venue for The Rosebud Pub & Restaurant in Brightlingsea Essex can be the ideal choice. We are a short distance from Colchester, Wivenhoe and Clacton.

For your big day let us take away the stress.

All your catering needs from Budget Buffet to Top Table Corporate Functions with waitress-served Canapes

The Rosebud's restaurant is the perfect place to hold your function, or make a reservation for an evening out.

We have years of experience in tailoring events to suit different budgets and styles.

We have a Main Bar and Restaurant, covered outdoor patio and splendid Garden with amazing views which can be sectioned off for your exclusive use.

There is no charge for room hire, just a pre-agreed minimum spend.

Whether it's a wedding, birthday or just a night out with friends, we will help you to make it a night or day to remember.





Rosebud Gift Voucher

Need an idea for a present?

Why not send a £25 Meal Gift Voucher. Available from the pub or we can post directly to the recipient complete with personal message. For more details please email


The Brightlingsea Beer Company


More info comimg soon


The Beers We Brew


More info coming soon

Lunch Menu

Luncheon, commonly abbreviated to lunch, is a middle of the day meal, and is generally smaller than dinner, which is the main meal of the day whenever dinner is eaten. The origin of the words lunch and luncheon relate to a small meal originally eaten at any time of the day or night, but during the 20th century gradually focused toward a small meal eaten at midday.

New Menu coming soon

Dinner Menu

Dinner is usually the name of the main meal of the day. Depending upon culture, dinner may be the second, third or fourth meal of the
day. Originally, though, it referred to the first meal of the day, eaten around noon, and is still occasionally used for a noontime
meal, if it is a large or main meal.

New Menu coming soon

Sunday Lunch

The Sunday roast is a traditional British main meal served on Sundays (usually in the early afternoon for lunch), consisting of roasted meat, roast potato or mashed potato, with accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables and gravy. It is popular throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Other names for this meal are cooked dinner, Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch, Sunday tea, Roast dinner, Sunday Roast and Sunday joint. Joint being a word that specifically refers to the joint of meat. The meal is often comparable to a less grand version of a traditional Christmas dinner in these cultures.

New Menu coming soon

White Wines

White wine is a wine whose color is slightly yellow. This kind of wine is produced using non-coloured grapes or using red-skinned grapes' juice, not allowing it to extract pigment from the skin. White wine's colour can be derived from an assortment of grape varieties. White wines are made from the grape juice and grape skin of green, gold or yellowish coloured grapes or from just the juice (not the skin) of select red grapes (as in some Champagnes).White wines are often consumed with lighter meals, or as an apéritif. They are more refreshing, lighter in both style and taste than the majority of their red wine counterparts, making them ideal for spring and summer occasions. The old guideline of "white wine with white meat" still holds true in many instances, but there are plenty of exceptions and palate preferences that dictate which wines to pair with what foods.


Red Wines

Red wine is a type of wine made from dark-coloured (black) grape varieties. The actual colour of the wine can range from intense violet, typical of young wines, through to brick red for mature wines and brown for older red wines.


Brightlingsea is a coastal town in the Tendring district of Essex, England, located between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea, situated at the mouth of the River Colne, on Brightlingsea Creek. It has an estimated population of 8500.

Its traditional industries included fishery (with a renowned oyster fishery) and shipbuilding. With the decline of these industries, the town has become a popular destination for visitors who wish spend a day by the sea or to explore the quaint shops.

Brightlingsea is a limb of Sandwich, one of the Cinque Ports. The town retains an active ceremonial connection with the Cinque Ports, electing a Deputy from a guild of Freemen.

Brightlingsea was for many years twinned with French oyster fishery port Marennes, Charente-Maritime, but the relationship fell into disuse. In the mid 1990s, the port of Brightlingsea was used for the export of live animals for slaughter, leading to a protest campaign dubbed "The Battle of Brightlingsea".

In the centre of the town is Jacob's Hall, reputedly the oldest timber-framed building in England, built during the fourteenth century. Also in the town centre is Victoria Place, where many local businesses are based.

To the west, on the creek is Western Promenade. It has lines of beach huts, a skate park, swimming pool, boating lake, and paddling pool. It is a popular destination for tourists and Londoners. Bateman's Tower, a local landmark by the sea, has recently been renovated by the Colne Yacht Club with help from a Lottery Fund grant.




John Harris Lee, the Bud’s first publican, opened his home as a ‘beerhouse’ in 1843. His main trade was as a fisherman who trawled the nearby creeks for oysters to send to the London market. The pub was to supplement the frequently lean times at sea.
In 1863 he passed the pub to his son William, also a fisherman who trawled with the oyster smack Alarm.

One cold January night of that year a ship called The Rosebud was wrecked during a winter storm off Barrow Deep, a hidden sandbank that lies a few miles from the coast at Brightlingsea. The sailing ship was carrying a load of timber down the North Sea coast, from Arbroath to London, when she was blown onto one of the many deadly sandbanks that lie just below the water’s surface. In a raging gale the crew had tied themselves to the rigging to prevent being washed overboard and certain death. In the morning after a terrible ordeal for the sailors, the storm had eased and The Alarm, a shallow bottomed vessel skippered by William, was able to get alongside and pull the men to safety - along with the ship’s fearless mouser, a black cat named Tishy. She was grabbed by the tail at the last moment by one of the rescued sailors.

Tragically the captain perished with his ship, choosing to stay with his precious cargo fearing it would be plundered and become booty if he abandoned. Shortly afterwards, William's beerhouse on Hurst Green became known as The Rosebud in honour of the rescue. The ship’s cat soon became the 'pub’s celebrity cat' and became a local attraction for visiting seafarers. Wily young William put it about that Tishy was blessed with good luck and by visiting The Rosebud to stroke the cat's tail good fortune would be passed on. Many of the landlords since have claimed they have heard scratching and miaowing coming from the pubs bar, particularly at night. They say you could always be sure the following day would be met with a viscious storm.

During recent renovations at the pub a glass bottle with a cat’s tail inside was found on a ledge up the chimney breast and is now on display behind the bar.





Map & Directions

Brightlingsea is roughly half way between Colchester and Clacton on the B1027. At the Thorrington roundabout you follow the signpost into Brightlingsea (2 miles). Follow the road through the main High St and you will shortly arrive onto Hurst Green.
There is ample free parking around the Green and surrounding streets.


View Larger Map

As you can see from The Rosebud's position on the map, open farmland slopes down to Brightlingsea Creek and the sea beyond. For that reason our beer garden and covered patio are very popular during the warmer months.