Coastal Essex embracing winter

Fish and chip shops have mostly pulled down the shutters, the kiss-me-quick hats have been put away for another year. Candy floss machines have stopped turning and funfair rides are padlocked. Skies are black and blue, occasionally split by a rainbow as showers seep in and out across the seawall. It’s early November in Southend-on-Sea, a thriving town on the Essex coast, facing south with views across the Thames Estuary.

This year, the decision has been to embrace the British winter and all the weather and short days it can throw at me. Rather than wishing I was somewhere warmer – on a Caribbean beach, trekking across the Veld in South Africa or sampling street food in Ho Ch Minh … no, I’m going all mindful and make the most of what Britain does best … seasons.

So, this is how Southend-on-Sea looks like on a rainy/sunny/windy/calm day in early November. If you visit, then here are some places to enjoy …

Rossi … famous ice cream parlour on the esplanade
Toulose … a classic bistro, housed in converted loos, hence the name! Also on the esplanade
Le Petit Pantanque … set inside an olod conservatory, eclectic decor with cake & coffee
Bacchus … with a painted Sistine Chapel ceiling, this restaurant takes vintage style to the limit

A beach with a view
The world’s longest pier and site of popstar Sophie Ellis Bextor’s ‘Young Blood’ video
Found on the Esplanade, some fine Essex ice cream from Rossi
Fun times in Southend!
Southend’s Cliffs Pavillion … Panto this year is Peter Pan, with David Hasselhoff and Christopher Biggins … there are no words …
Waiting for the tide to turn
Brightening up a dull day in spades
Kursall amusement hall, home of the 70s rockers. The Kursall Flyers
Seaside colours brighten the Sea Life Adventure roof
Sadly closed, but you know you want some
Mini train shuttling along Southend’s pier
Summers’ difficult choices
Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.

3 thoughts on “Coastal Essex embracing winter

  1. Southend may not be the most common destination for Winter or Fall times, but it looks beautiful nevertheless. It’s always to see touristic spots in low season. Thanks for the nice photos 🙂

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