When Ben and I first got together, in the heady days of dating when I was still giving the illusion of being an entirely together human being and he was yet to find out how annoying I am, we used to go out for dinner all the time.
I’d look online for the latest swish place for us to venture to and we’d get ourselves booked in and spend a happy few hours filling our faces with delicious food and good wine; but these days, it’s something we do less often as our evenings and weekends tend to be filled with either an endless stream of chores and errands (being an adult is overrated) or seeing friends and family.
So, when we were offered a slap-up meal at The Honey Pot, Harvester’s venue at Festival Leisure Park in Basildon, we jumped at the chance. I mean, Harvester salad bars are the dream aren’t they? I always end up gorging myself on the free potato salad and sweetcorn then struggling to eat my actual meal – anyone else?
I work Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm in the City (more specifically, Shoreditch) and seemingly spend more of my waking hours there than at home, but, if Ben and I are planning ourselves a little ‘Date Day’ we always opt to hop on the train and spend the day in the Big Smoke regardless – we just can’t get enough of the place.
My ancestry is actually from Shoreditch and the surrounding areas of East London, so I have always felt a particular connection to the place. I quite often wander around, looking up at the old buildings and down the cobbled alleyways and wonder if my great-great-great relatives cast their eyes upon the same scenes.
Of course, these areas now are much different to how they would have been back then, and nowadays Shoreditch is considered one of the trendier parts of London (do people still say ‘trendy’?)
Way back in 2014, Bourgee opened the doors to its very first restaurant, situated on Southend seafront, and I went along to see what they had to offer.
At the time I was majorly impressed, with the service being faultless, the décor being beautiful and the food being oh-so-good. Since then they’ve opened another branch in Chelmsford and there was talks of them opening one in Billericay, but this never came to fruition. However, little did I know until I was visiting Amsterdam a few weeks ago, they have a little Bourgee in London Southend Airport!
Southend-on-Sea, one of the most popular seaside towns in Essex. Well, I say seaside, but it’s actually sat on the edge of the Thames Estuary with a distant view of Kent on the other side of the water.
With its commuter links into London and its well respected colleges (one of which I was a student at 16 years ago. SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. I am so old…) Southend is always brimming with people, and the evenings and weekends see it come into its own as a party destination, with pubs, clubs and bars aplenty meaning you’re never short of choice when it comes to planning a night out there.
Earlier on this year, Revolution Southend opened their doors and finally, after a few months of telling myself I’d have to get down there to check it out, our time came and we jumped on a train for an afternoon of food and drinks.
There’s no denying it, autumn is well and truly here. The mornings are covered with a layer of dew, the leaves are falling from the trees, and I am absolutely bloomin’ freezing.
And with the beginning of October, so begins a couple of months of social events and get-togethers, with Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Years Eve all within the space of two months of each other.
During the summer, when we have get-togethers with our friends, as well as buckets full of chilled beer and cold, fruity Pimms, there’s usually a little dabble in terms of cocktails, with us mixing up a storm in the kitchen and usually regretting the self-served measures the next morning.