Photo Diary: My Flying Visit to Essex

Well isn’t this a very belated post. Life has been pretty hectic and very off the grid since returning to New Zealand. We’ve driven over 2,000km. Spent 7 nights sleeping in the van. And eaten about 10 packets of Super Noodles. But more on that soon. What I really want to share today is some of the fun things I got up to during my visit to Essex.

It felt sooooo good to be home but it was a crazy busy trip. Everyday I had multiple reservations at different places just to try and see all my favourite people. It was amazing and exhausting. Thanks to my busy schedule I got to try heaps of new places and thought why not share these gems with you guys.

Day 1: Pampering & Prezzo

So my first full day home involved my favourite things: bleaching my hair and eating carbs. My first activity of the entire week involved a visit to the best hair salon in Essex Spargo. I may be biased but my bestie is a magician when it comes to hair colour. After more than 6 months without TLC my hair needed some rescue and she fixed me up a treat. Check out my tragic roots below and the natural highlights Katie put in to lighten up my hair and soften the root.

Visit to Essex: Spargo Hairdressers

After my fab morning at Spargo and a major catch up with my hair queen I had a lovely dinner at Prezzo, Hornchurch. My absolute fav is the mushroom risotto. The Hornchurch Prezzo is always a safe dinner choice. Good food, great service and super local.

Day 2: Afternoon Tea at Dalloway Terrace

Thursday was my family day. It was sooooo lovely to spend some quality time with them. For me, any trip to Essex isn’t complete without day in the city for afternoon tea. We had a chill morning. Ventured into London early to have a wander and then chilled in a few pubs before making our way to a Dalloway Terrace. You can read all about our afternoon tea in my previous post.

After eating our body weight in finger sandwiches we browsed the shops along Oxford Street. Finally finishing our day in the city at Sisu, a cute rooftop bar on Oxford Street. Every year the concept for the bar changes, I loved Notch last year and Sisu was great so I’ll definitely be back next year to see the theme.

Day 3: The Wedding of the Year

Friday was the main event. The headline act of our visit to Essex. #Mitchelseawedding. Wow what a wedding it was too. Chelsea & Mitchell’s wedding was everything you imagine a fairytale wedding to be. Beautiful venue, stunning bride, amazing entertainment and the perfect speeches. I think the photos speak for themselves.

Leez Priory Wedding Venue Essex

Day 4: Brentwood Brunch & My Annual Sugar Hut Visit

By Saturday my jet lag was being replaced by sheer exhaustion. Lucky for me Saturday morning was filled with delicious food courtesy of my super talented aunt. Unfortunately Casa Roche isn’t open to the public, but you can check out my aunts mouthwatering food pics on Instagram. If you’re into #foodporn or just need some dinner inspo her page is where it’s at!

We demolished a homemade vegan brunch of garlic mushrooms on sourdough, chilli beans on sourdough, pancakes topped with coconut yoghurt and fruit, and free flowing bucksfizz. Divine.

Saturday night involved more food. Finally I fulfilled my craving for Turkish bread with a visit to Shish Meze in Emerson Park. Of course, no visit to Essex is complete without a night out at Sugar Hut. I mean it I see what it is. A TOWIE nightclub/bar. This place is kind of my guilty pleasure. I needed my fix and I’ll probably visit again next year too. Sorry not sorry. If you need me I’ll let be in the dance room screaming along to any and every Kanye song.

Dinner at Shish Meze Hornchurch

Day 5: Bottomless Brunch & Beer Gardens

Another brunch. Yup. I’m a sucker for toast, pancakes, waffles – all the carby breakfast goods. I’ll probably post a little more about this incredible brunch spot because it’s menu is impressive AF. Who wants unlimited mimosas/bloody marys/prosecco/alcoholic iced tea? Silly question, everybody wants that. Well how about unlimited brunch dishes to go with that? No kidding. You can have all of the above, plus a sweet as outdoor dining area, at Jones & Sons Dalston.

Check them out, pay them a visit and I promise you won’t be disappointed! My favoutite dish was the waffles.

After eating myself silly I spent the rest of my sunny Sunday in the beer garden at The Ardleigh. A lovely local pub with a huge beer garden.

Day 6: Pool Party with Indian Food

I mean does that not sound like heaven? It was sooooo good to spend some quality time with my fav couple, as well as my second fav hairdresser (hey Mike). We had a fab evening drinking sangria, eating curry and floating around the pool chatting.

Day 7: More Food, Prosecco & Gossip

Tuesday was my last full day of the flying visit to Essex. And I managed to squeeze in a few more catchups with past work colleagues (& baes for life). We headed to Hudson’s House, just around the corner from Tottenham Court Road. The restaurant area is super cosy with lots of little fairy lights. The food was tasty too, all in all it’s a super laid back after work dinner/drinks venue.

Day 8: Family Garden Party

Before our flight home on Wednesday night I had a pretty impromptu garden party. Really it was just a chance to say goodbye to my enormous family, I have too many cousins to count. Family is soooo important to me and I always miss seeing my little cousins when I’m away. I got a BGT worthy rendition of Pretty Girl from Evie & Isla – superstars in the making btw. Even though it was a brief catch up with family it’s always super lovely to make new memories with everyone and hear all about what they’re up to.

So that was it. A very flying visit to Essex. It almost felt like by the time I’d caught up with everybody it was time to say goodbye again. It was a week jam packed with memory making and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

See ya in May 2018.

Abbie @ AbbieMayTravel