The Shoeburyness Hotel

23:30 Leila Gunn 1 Comments

Tuesday night featured an impromptu visit to the Shoeburyness Hotel. A slightly misleading name, as it is no longer a hotel establishment, nevertheless providing a beautiful building home to a restaurant/bar. I really like the Shoeburyness Hotel, not only because it's so conveniently close (if you get the C2C line to Shoeburyness station, it's only a 5-minute walk), but also because the food is fantastic. 

Here's a quick run through of what we ate;

 King Prawn Tempura

I'd been to a friends' Barbecue earlier in the day and was pretty stuffed with burgers - it's a hard life.... So, I ordered the king prawn tempura from the starter menu and a portion of double-cooked chips (I can't help it, they're irresistible). I can honestly say, I have eaten a fair few battered king prawns in my time (I'm a bit of an addict actually....) but I have never had any as delicious as those at the Shoeburyness Hotel. They were just incredible, fresh but crispy, and not too greasy - perfect. The chips were delightful too, I've harped on about this in a previous post, but I really do love a hand-cut chip. 

Noccerella Olives - I really dislike Olives, but even I have to admit that these Olives almost look good enough to eat....almost.

Garlic Ciabatta Bread

Italian cured meat antipasti - I've never tried Parma Ham and blue cheese together before, but it was fab!

Fish and Chips 

(From top) Stuffed Mushrooms with Mozarella [I have a big love for mushrooms, I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, I usually find they're ruined when stuffed and fried, because they become too greasy. This wasn't the case here at all - the pesto and mozarella filling is incredible.] King Prawn Tempura (again), Saute diced potatoes with tomato, garlic and chilli, Glazed barbecue chicken.

My family are pickers - we rarely order separate/individual dishes, instead ordering a tad too many dishes (in my eyes) or a 'platter/tapas' (in those of my mother.) We're not really massive dessert fans (although I am, I do try to be restrained) but fortunately/unfortunately, we're a foodie family. Fortunately in that I'm very grateful to my parents that they encouraged me to try lots of different foods when I was younger, forcing me out of that fussy eating stage, which I am told I was stuck in for the first 6 years of my life... Unfortunately, this means that we always over-order, because we can never decide on what to eat - we just want to try everything! Saying that, looking at the photos now, it appears that maybe we didn't eat as much as I thought. However, we did re-order the prawns once or twice - they were too delicious not to...

So as you can see, we didn't have a big, formal sit-down meal, but I think that's what's charming about the place. We just sat on the sofas in the bar area, having a drink and a chat, petting an adorable bulldog called Lenny (I always like a dog-friendly restaurant). It's just a chilled, friendly environment - the staff seem to really know the people eating in the restaurant, which is always a good sign. I think it's really nice when you can actually speak to and get to know the people cooking your food, for both parties involved. For the business, in ensuring the paying customer becomes a regular at your establishment, but also for the customer, in that they feel they've been looked after - lovely lovely.

I also had a little explore... Although I've been to the Shoeburyness Hotel before, it appears that every time I visit, the whole place has been made-over. Nevertheless, I really like the current layout; there's a restaurant area, which has lots of old photos of Southend and Shoebury, which I think is a really nice touch.

There's also a Bar, with it's own menu;

And there's a new 'underground' bar area called 'The Cellar', which isn't quite finished yet, but I got a sneak peak. Admittedly from upstairs, it does look pretty spooky, but it's really cool inside. However, with a particularly low ceiling, I'd reconsider going down there if you're over 5'6 and don't feel like crouching for a while.... Aside from that, watch this space!

I really can't fault the Shoeburyness Hotel - delicious food, nice decor, lovely staff and pet-friendly... what more could you ask for?

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