Sometimes it’s the travel which takes me far away, that I am the most happy with. At other times being close to home-like today, which has been my daughter’s birthday, gives me the most pleasure. I end up having some lovely grub and spending an enjoyable time with my family.
Southend on Sea on a good day, is only an hour away from London – by train or car. Unless you catch a day for the Opening of Parliament – like we did yesterday, then it’s not funny, when you’re driving into the London capital. So many roads were closed off, we ended up sitting in London traffic for six hours in total, there and back. Best to say I was not amused – although the pub lunch I had in South Kensington with my husband and Parents in Law was delicious. I’d never eaten a savoury cheesecake before, it still didn’t lessen the horrendous journey though.
If staying in London, then to spend a day outside of the Capital and down by the seaside is easy and relatively cheap. Our little english seaside resort has a lot to offer the day visitor and one of my favourite ways to enjoy being beside the seaside, is to pop down to the Café, Bar, Bistro – Ocean Beach. Chloe’s choice today for her birthday foodie treat.
There are not many restaurants I particularly enjoy. It’s the relaxed atmosphere and casual dining that I am most fond of – street food I love. Today it was bustling, like it normally is at this time of day and year. Parking our car easily opposite the beach, we strolled along the promenade, as the brisk breeze blew.
Finding a sweet spot to sit on the covered decking, meant we had the perfect position to watch the tide gradually roll in, as the cloud peppered sky created a heavenly topping to the shingled sand and muddy estuary. The perfect picture postcard from Southend.
The Bar and Decking menu offers a substantial choice of tapas, salads and ciabattas.
I think at Ocean Beach they do the tapas very well – today we shared the Parilla Chorizos – mini chorizo sausages, served with red pepper and onion in a sweet sauce. Sweetly delicious. Although our ibizan chorizo, we ate recently, was cooked in red wine, which deepened the flavour.
My main choice was the crayfish tail ciabatta roll, served with a lime and coriander mayonnaise, potato salad and salad garnish. I think the curly fries are a must as a side order! The only thing I find difficult with this dish, is because the crayfish tails aren’t served in a sauce, they have the tendency to fall out of the roll. Something I find quite annoying.
Vince tried for the first time, a Cajun Chicken Burger – for him it needed a bit more spice. “It was nice and I enjoyed it – the chicken was moist.” He told me. Served up in a large floured Bap with a side of curly fries and salad. Our lunchtime feast was looking good.
Chloe chowed down on a chicken, tomato, bacon and brie ciabatta but wasn’t over keen on the bacon. She likes hers mega crispy. Mental note – ask the Chef next time to crisp it up. Two pints of lager shandy and a bottle of fizzy water finished off our order.
Sitting staring out over the water as the ships sail by is always one of my favourite past times.
On our walk back to the car I noticed how the Bed and Breakfasts and local hotel were all spruced up for the season. Sueños, I thought looked lovely and my kind of place, especially the outside seating area. What a great looking place to sit and contemplate over a chilled glass of white wine. I haven’t stayed locally yet, travelled over the world but never had a weekend away in my home town. Have you? Maybe I should – although some may think it a bit odd choosing an overnight stay somewhere they know well but when the tide is high – the wind is blustery. I cannot think of anything more wonderful, than waking up to a seaview, enjoying a constitutional along the seafront and popping into Ocean Beach for breakfast, lunch or dinner (Around 5pm is normally my favourite time.) in Southend on Sea.
For a weekend seaside break this is a perfect place, easily reached from London and with loads going on.
I’d love to know your thoughts…