A stylish new bar and a restaurant are opening in the Essex town of Southend-on-Sea as part of the restoration of a building to its former Georgian elegance.
The ground-floor bar opens at the 225-year-old listed Royal Hotel this week, specialising in coffees, teas, brunch and light meals in the daytime but turning into more of a cocktail bar and lounge in the evenings. It is pictured above ahead of completion.
The 80-seater restaurant will open in the first-floor high-ceilinged ballroom later this month, offering traditional English and international dishes using fresh, seasonal local products, from lunch through to dinner.
With period décor, including extensive cornice work, the restaurant will provide “fine casual” dining with superb views across the Thames including Southend pier. The bar, restaurant and an outside terrace will offer table service throughout.
In its heyday in the early 1800s, the hotel was frequented by leading society figures including Caroline, Princess of Wales, wife of soon-to-be George IV, as well as Emma, Lady Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson.
The current enterprise is operated by Temada, a company owned by Terence Garrett and his sons, Matthew and David, who are from Essex. The management team and staff have extensive bar and restaurant experience in the City of London and the West End as well as in Essex and internationally.
Terry said: “With its commanding position and long history, this magnificent property was desperately in need of renovation. The team has spent months restoring it and now, we hope, it is a building of which Southend can be really proud.
“The bar and restaurant will be open throughout the day until late evening and we also have an outside terrace offering drinks and light refreshments, again with table service. We believe the Royal Hotel will provide its customers with a unique and memorable experience.”
In the autumn, part of the basement space will be opened as a private function suite with its own entrance, offering a bar and lounge area and an attractive secluded dining room.