The Only Way Is Essex, the popular TV series showcasing the lives of a group of semi-fictional characters, has turned the quiet town of Brentwood into a new tourist spot.
Brentwood is little more than a single high street town with a few bars and fewer clubs to provide any form of a night life.
Tourists are visiting Brentwood, usually for a day of shopping and pampering and then on to a night out, in the hope of seeing some of the TOWIE cast and also to sample the glamour of Essex!
Brentwood, more famous for its offices and quiet pubs is suddenly a cultural hotspot in the heart of Essex. Many fans of the show have come down from the North to see what Essex is all about. During the day fans take in the shops (does not take long in Brentwood!) and then hit the tanning salons and nail bars to get ready for a night at the Sugar Hut nightclub for cocktails and a boogie before staying at the famous Brentwood Travelodge Hotel. Another nice hotel, that is cheaper and more traditional that the Travelodge, is the Marygreen Manor on the London Road.
Of course, people living in Essex know that there is so much more to see and do. But it is always a good boost for the local economy when people visit for any reason. The great benefit of this form of tourism is that it is year-round attraction and not restricted to just the summer months. Next year Essex will be busy again as the Olympic Games gets underway.
Some of the most popular businesses in Brentwood and the surrounding area for TOWIE fans are:
- Sugar Hut nightclub – for cocktails and dancing
- Minnie’s Boutique – for clothes, footwear and accessories
- Belles And Beaus on Buclhurst Hill for manicures, pedicures and tans
- Little Hut Café – cafe next door to the Sugar Hut where many end up for breakfast
- King William IV pub in Chigwell, where the celebrities often hang out at the weekends before heading to clubs.
The town hosts many other businesses such as a Slug and Lettuce bar, Cafe Rouge restaurant, Pizza Express and many independent cafes and pubs. A very popular restaurant is Masons Brentwood on Ingrave Road. Zizzi Ristorante is a vibrant Italian restaurant that serves classic Italian cuisine plus some specials such as the Crostini Formaggio di Capra, Angelo’s Mussels, Penne della Casa and Agnello con Peperonata. Also popular on the high street is Red Frog restaurant which serves French cuisine and gets great reviews.
Brentwood really is not a glamour hotspot, but then, what is a glamour hotspot? Glamour is made by the people not the buildings, so Brentwood can be the next great place to visit. Because it is small and personal you can visit all the shops, cafes and bars easily without having to hop in and out of taxis all day long. It is also on the mainline from London.