It hasn’t escaped me that my posts relating to food are the most read. In 2022 I plan on giving the people what they want and focusing more on food and events around Essex and London. Kicking off then, I am going to tell you 5 of the places you simply must eat in Essex. People may think Essex is all TOWIE and bling, but there really are some hidden gems when it comes to fantastic food.
Best places to eat in Essex
Andi Walker Pop Up at the Riverside Inn Chelmsford
A few months back I was invited to Masterchef finalist Andi Walker’s pop up at the Riverside Inn in Chelmsford. The Riverside Inn itself made a wonderful impression on me as despite always hearing good reviews I had never been before. Andi Walker had taken over the top floor with his pop up. I spent a lovely evening eating inventive, original and of course, tasty food. Andi uses locally sourced products that are in season at the time, so everything on your plate is as fresh as possible. One of the things I remember making a lasting impression were the leek haji’s – amazing idea!
Best for: catching up with friends over amazing food and wine.
The King William IV in Chigwell
No roundup of places to eat in Essex written by me would be complete without paying homage to The King William IV in Chigwell. Saying I like it is an understatement.I’ve visited loads of times but one of the main attractions here is the Sunday roast. You’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Essex that does a roast as well as these guys. I’m hoping I’ll be able to start next year’s roundup with a lot more visits to this place. They refurbished last year and the atmosphere is incredible. in the winter you can take advantage of how warm and cosy it is, but in the summer they also have a stunning outdoor area for food and drinks.
Best for: Sunday roasts
The Dukes Head in Billericay
The Dukes Head, which is in the Little Burstead area of Billericay is one of my families favourites. It’s ten minutes up the road from Basildon which is great because let’s be honest there are absolutely no decent places to eat in Basildon. We recently went for a Boxing Day meal and it was perfect. They obviously put a lot of thought and effort into their seasonal menu and also what they can offer outside of the standard Christmas dinner. The produce isn’t just fresh, it’s also really good quality, and you can tell whoever is in charge of the kitchen has a hand in the process from start to finish.
Best for: special occasions
Sheesh in Chigwell
Another restaurant in Chigwell that has made it on the list. It really isn’t fair those guys get all of the good places is it? Can you not chuck a restaurant to Basildon so we have some decent places to eat please? Sheesh gets a lot of press for being a huge favourite of the TOWIE set, and I think that actually is a double edged sword to be honest. Because it is seen as trendy, I think people forget how good quality the food actually is. The Turkish themed menu has a huge amount of choice and unlike other similar restaurants you actually get quite a good portion size. There’s also a bar upstairs so you can certainly make an evening out of it. I recently tried to book while they were closed for some refurbishment, so I’m hoping I get to go back this year. Aside from the food, there is a reason it is a celebrity favourite. The luxurious interior and five star service will make you feel like a famous face from the moment you walk in.
Best for: glitz and glamour
Lifehouse Spa in Frinton
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking “is she REALLY putting a spa as one of her best places to eat in Essex?”. I know it seems highly illogical but among my many visits to Lifehouse one of the times that really stands out is the time I ate there. The restaurant uses locally sourced food, and unlike other spa restaurant that take themselves far too seriously, it offers healthy food but also a choice of ‘treats’. If you can’t get down in time for dinner, I’d highly recommend having the breakfast the next day. If you are only visiting for a day then book the lunch. I had lunch there when I reviewed them for Spabreaks and the lunchtime buffet restaurant looks out on to the grounds which are an English Heritage site. Also, in case you need any further persuasion YOU ARE IN A SPA. I’m booking up to go back here in a few weeks and I’ll definitely be getting my hands on as much food there as possible.
Best for: relaxing
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Love to know your thoughts guys?