It has long been the seaside destination choice of Londoners, being just an hour’s train ride from the City, and it is not hard to see why. With beaches stretching from Leigh-on-Sea to Shoeburyness there is plenty of space for you to enjoy the seaside… and lots more to do if relaxing isn’t your thing!
I spend most of my time in Southend, primarily because I work in the centre and also because there is always something going on at the weekend. As part of the Hertz Big Travel List campaign I thought I would share with you my favourite locations, shops, restaurants and bars in Southend-on-Sea and perhaps tempt you in to coming for a day trip!
La Petite Petanque
A touch of class just off of the high street, La Petite Petanque is located within a bowling green and is a quaint café/bistro. It is no surprise that this place has won awards with Essex Life in the past, the food is delicious (especially the cheesecake!) and the shabby chic décor makes it feel classy and luxurious. The perfect spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Prittlewell Square Gardens
This is one of my favourite spots to spend a lunch break; it is so peaceful and looks especially pretty in the summer months. It is actually Southend’s oldest surviving public park and it has some beautiful vintage features that make the surroundings even more enjoyable.
Take a wander just off of the high street and you will stumble across Market Place, here you will find a selection of independent boutiques and restaurants. My favourite bar is located here, aptly named “The Market Place”, and you will also find Henry Burgers which serves burgers that rivals those of London chains. If vintage clothing is your thing you will find it here, or perhaps you prefer cupcakes? There’s somewhere for that too! Sometimes it really is worth venturing off the beaten track.
Bobby Jo’s Diner
Wander along the seafront, past the iconic Kursaal building and you will find Bobby Jo’s Diner. Perhaps not what you would expect to find along Southend seafront, this cute and quirky restaurant has an American theme and the food is definitely worth making a stop for. The prices are reasonable and the menu is vast, meaning there is something to cater for any friend or family member! But one tip, make sure you save room for desert – their dessert cabinet is full of tempting treats that you will have your eye on from the moment you walk in.
This is my favourite store to visit if I need a new outfit for day or night. It features a great selection of brands, including Glamorous, Little Mistress and House of Harlow 1960. They also stock quirky things such as the retro penny skateboards they currently have in stock. The staff are friendly and the window displays are always eye catching, I would always make sure I checkout the stock here before I go elsewhere!
I hope this has given you some inspiration and perhaps enticed you in to taking a visit to Southend-on-Sea. Although it may not be your first choice I promise that you won’t be disappointed!
Have you visited Southend-on-Sea before?