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HOTEL REVIEW: The Roslin, Southend-On-Sea, Essex

It’s a strange thing, travelling to your hometown for a holiday. But an invite to review Thorpe Bay’s poshest venue had me braving the rickety C2C line back to Essex faster than you can say Peter Pan’s Playground.

Beloved of locals in need of somewhere a tad glitzier than Talk nightclub to celebrate a special occasion, I grew up on raucous stories that took place at the historic Roslin Hotel. My grandparents regaled us with tales of day-long (and night-long) parties, wakes, and wedding celebrations, with rooms full of sandwiches that cost pennies – the type of place you’d pop into for a cup of tea, only to find yourself propping up the bar at midnight with an old friend who’d dropped by for a quick one.

Now freshly varnished in cool creams, hot pinks and seafoam greens, The Roslin Hotel aesthetic is more classic seaside resort, less Cockney knees-up (unless you’re here for a wedding). Think super-fresh seafood dinners, better-than-your-average afternoon teas, a small spa offering a wide range of soothing Elemis treatments (hot tip: check their website and Instagram for last-minute deals) and comfortable rooms – some with pretty sea views.

WHERE? The Roslin Hotel is a short cab ride from Thorpe Bay station, which sits at the end of the C2C line headed out of London Fenchurch Street (about an hour away, on a good day). You can hop on from Limehouse, West Ham or Barking, making it super easy to escape the Big Smoke in a hurry. From Thorpe Bay, it’s a couple of stops (or a fifteen-minute run along the seafront – I tried it) to the longest pleasure pier in the world (I have a renewed love of the thing, following Glastonbury 2019’s latest art installation, Glastonbury-On-Sea. Peak nostalgia).

WHY GO? Aside from being a lovely venue for birthdays, engagement parties and the like, the food in the restaurant (gifted two AA Rosettes) is really very good.

Seafood is championed wherever possible. Local skate wing, Thai fish curry and classic moules frites mingle with slow-cooked shoulder of Essex lamb and Royal Park venison loin.

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Afternoon tea is the stuff of local legend, with gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and nut-free versions thoughtfully all available. The Autumn iteration boasts Coronation chicken, Scottish smoked salmon & cucumber, country ham and dainty cucumber sandwiches, alongside the baked tartlet of the day.

Sitting in a raised conservatory overlooking the promenade (or outside on the large terrace if you’re blessed with sunshine), you can people-watch while tucking into seasonal dishes.

Next there’s blackberry cheesecake, orange treacle tart, plum & pistachio crumble, coffee & walnut cake and a glazed chocolate delice topped with caramel popcorn. And all that before the obligatory scones…

ANYTHING ELSE? Bedrooms are classic, sumptuous and spacious, without a whiff of ‘Essex glam’ – not a diamanté finish nor sparkle in sight. Expect a big bathroom with luxurious showers and fluffy white robes and slippers, decked out with more Elemis products to scrub off the salt clinging to your skin (are you brave enough for a dip in the Estuary?).

Many offer a balcony where you can enjoy breakfast, but on a crisp day you could do no better than rising early, taking a walk or jog along then seafront then returning for a (huge) buffet breakfast laid out downstairs, with views of the water. Waffles, pancakes, and a Full English lay waiting, with eggs made to order and endless rounds of toast at the ready. A truly serene start to the weekend; I’ll certainly be heading home more often.

DETAILS: Roslinhotel.com/

Fashionbite were guests of Roslin Beach Hotel

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