… I want to get off. And have another of these hot chocolates!
Stop the World, in Leigh-on-Sea’s Broadway, is something of an institution. Before we’d even moved into the neighbourhood, we’d heard mention of it. Glowing mentions.
Then, having FINALLY moved into our new house (which happens to be just up the road), we were quickly struck by how busy this pretty café was. During the summer, every single seat outside was taken whenever we wandered past. And as the winter days drew in, the cosy glow it emitted (not to mention the sweet smells that seeped out) made it seem as inviting as roaring fire on a snowy day.
Hot chocolate at Stop the World
And when the husband and I eventually stopped by, my goodness was it easy to see what all the fuss was about.
The Boatyard is a restaurant which clearly rates itself.
And it does have good reason. It’s situated in probably one of the best spots in Essex, tucked down in Old Leigh, with unrivalled views of the estuary.
On a balmy summer evening, there are few places I would rather be than sat, cocktail in hand, on its long wooden deck out at sea, the sound of piano drifting out.
And, what is more, I have also discovered a new favourite cocktail.
The Boatyard’s Rosè Spritzer is basically summertime in a flute. Macerated strawberries were mixed with Pimms No.1 , Frais de Bois, Elderflower and a dash of sugar syrup, shaken and double-strained into my glass then topped with Rosè Champagne.
The Boatyard’s Rose Spritzer
“In Brentwood, people like to be seen,” Glen O’Conner the super friendly manager of the Slug and Lettuce, in the aforementioned town, informs me
This does not come as that much of a surprise. Brentwood is, after all, home to The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE), and boasts no less than 13 TOWIE haunts (including Amy Childs’ Salon, Minnies, and of course, the Sugar Hut.) And me, for the past eight years.
As such, in keeping with what’s hip in Brentwood (babes), the husband and me found ourselves sat in a booth with a floor to ceiling window, on a sunny Sunday evening.
A cheeky Prosecco? Don’t mind if I do…
Intu Lakeside. It’s the Essex girl’s mecca. One of first out of town shopping centres (opening in 1988) and something of a precursor to Westfield, I haven’t needed much of an incentive to “go dahn Lakeside babe” for, like, the last 20 years.
But if you have fallen out of love with the Thurrock mall, well, the arrival of the 360 Champagne and Cocktail Bar will iron you right out.
Sat right in the centre of the shopping centre (by the lifts) it’s not easy to miss. And you shouldn’t.
It’s a cocktail. In a coconut. With candy floss popping out of it
I am firmly of the belief that, in life, there are two types of spa guests.
There are those for whom a trip to a spa is a chance to be super-healthy. They crave foul-looking smoothies full of super-foods, want to be bullied into new healthy regimes, measuring the success of their mini-break in inches and/or lbs lost.
And there are those, like me, for whom a spa trip is all about indulgence. Continue reading
So supermarkets. They haven’t exactly been the first word in glamour over the years, have they?
They’re cold (damn those fridge and freezer aisles), vast (just how many different types of toilet cleaner do you need?!) and you ALWAYS end up pushing a trolley with a wheel that’s having its own little party.
Safe to say, I don’t exactly relish doing our weekly shop.
But yesterday, things changed a little.
One would surely have to be the most miserable of persons not to feel a sprinkle of joy at the sight of cherry blossom adorning branches throughout the country.
The delicate pink petals are proof positive that the long winter is over and sunshine is on its way. Truly, it’s a sight that makes me more than a little bit happy.
So I greeted the news that Sake No Hana was celebrating the arrival of spring with a pop-up Japanese Cherry Blossom Secret Garden with something of a squeal.
The Hanami Bellini Cocktail. It’s a little bit lush