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