Sonny Jim is almost two and a half. And I’ve never spent the whole night away from him. (Obviously nights out with 2am finishes don’t count… I’m always there when he wakes up!)
But my birthday is just a few days away, so we figured it might be nice to actually have a night away.
And with the Seven hotel and it’s Aurum restaurant and bar practically on our doorstep, we couldn’t have dreamt up a better spot for our first baby-free mini break.
The exquisitely designed boutique hotel is set high upon Southend’s cliffs, within the beautiful Clifton Conservation Area. With 37 stunning bedrooms, including 5 luxury suites, a 70-seater modern British restaurant, a gin-centric cocktail bar and outdoor sun terrace, it’s London lavishness right here on Southend’s coast.
Our room was on the fourth floor and had absolutely unparalleled panoramic views of the pier and the Thames Estuary. From the underfloor heating and high-end furnishings to the elegant upholstery and Taittinger in the mini bar there was nothing about the room that wasn’t on-point plushness.
But before we headed up there to see the lights twinkling along the length of the pier before turning in for the night (no toddler in the next room for once!) we had dinner and drinks to work our way through.
And Oh. My. Goodness. Was the food something special.
Aurum restaurant is presided over by the incredibly personable head chef Simon Webb, who was formerly head chef at the Langham Hotel and has overseen the private dining by Roux.
His contemporary menu, based around the finest and freshest ingredients – often local, is changed about every six weeks, to make the most of what each season offers. And there’s no doubting the result is definitely some of Essex’s best grub.
We worked our way through Orkney Scallops (with maple Dingley Dell Pork / pickled apple / alexanders) and Native Lobster (with pickled dulse / Umami dressing / pea salad) followed by Wild Turbot (with cepe mushrooms / seaweed pesto / celeriac) and Native Breed Beef Fillet (with confit potato / short-rib / onions / hispi cabbage.) To finish, we put away the milk chocolate dessert (with earl grey / bergamot / puffed cereal ice cream) and the ice cream sandwich (with white peach sorbet / mascarpone parfait / honey crisp.)
And literally, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so deliciously decadent.
The food was expertly paired with a selection of fine wines… but the watermelon martini was the stand-out cocktail in the bar for me. Really refreshing, it’s the perfect summer evening tipple. Mind you, my glass of rose prosecco also ticked that box. As did my lavender champagne cocktail…
Annnnnyway. Full to bursting we retired back to our room on the top floor of the hotel. The floor-to-ceiling windows showed off the sparkling lights along the pier in stunning fashion. And when we woke, the spacious balcony overlooking the estuary was the perfect place to breath in some sea air and enjoy not having a super chatty toddler jumping all over us.
Breakfast in the Aurum restaurant was as exquisite as the dinner the night before… and, having made the most of the gold-tapped large rain dance shower, we were checking out. But it was fifteen hours out of our day to day, that I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
Now I just need an excuse to give their lunchtime menu a whirl. And a reason to go to the next Taittinger tasting night…
To book a table, a room, or find out more about Seven, go to thesevenhotel.co.uk