When your local bar has an extensive revamp, reopens with a new name, new look and promises “epic food, creative cocktails and great times” then it was only a matter of time before I’d be checking it out.
The Oakleigh, in London Road, Leigh-on-Sea, launched a couple of week ago and is offering a new restaurant, cocktail bar and evening bar.
It’s on the site of the former popular Bellini Bar and Brasserie, which closed a few months back – and is run by the same folk, namely the McManus Pub Company.
I’ve had a fair few girly nights at Bellini (pre-baby, its oh-so-moreish jam donut cocktail gave me possibly one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had!) so when I was invited along for dinner and drinks at the Oakleigh, there was no way I would be saying no.
The husband and I headed up there last night, after our tot was tucked up in bed and the babysitter safely installed in front of Love Island.
Before tucking into some delights on the American-style menu (the ham, mac and blue was gorgeous and, honestly, I could have eaten the lamb lollipops all night long – they come with Chimichurri Aioli FYI) we had a, ahem, few cocktails in one of the two bar areas. And we were really spoilt for choice with the Oakleigh’s extensive cocktail menu (the spirit menu is pretty special too… they’ve even got six different types of tequila, who knew that many existed?!) I played it fairly safe with a coastal, some porn star martinis and a kir royale (actually, the variety may explain my slightly sore head this morning!)
Last orders for the kitchen are 9.30pm and about that time the lights dim and the tunes start to kick in (I was loving some of the Nineties classics! Janet Jackson gave me an unexpected bolt of nostalgia.) And that’s where the Oakleigh offers something different to most of the other lovely bars and restaurants in Leigh-on-Sea. It’s somewhere you can spend the whole evening. Dinner, drinks and dancing. It’s not silly expensive either.
And while there were plenty of couples in there, next time the husband can stay at home. I’m already looking forward to a girly night out there…
To book a booth or find out more about the Oakleigh, go to www.theoakleighbar.co.uk