The Best Nights Out in Essex

Essex night club scene

After the popularity of the TOWIE series, Essex quickly gained a reputation as being one of the best places for a night out in the UK. And for good reason! Whether you’re looking for a quiet meal or you want to dance until the early hours, there is something for everyone in this vibrant county. Packed with bustling bars, mouth-watering restaurants, and raucous clubs, it is no wonder that Essex is one of the richest sources of nightlife in the UK. So, where do you need to go for the best night out in town? 

Restaurants

Whether you want to start your night with a light bite or a full three-course meal, Essex has got you covered. With everything from Mediterranean cuisine to Thai delicacies, the restaurant scene in Essex is definitely worth writing home about. For spectacular flavours using local ingredients, head to Aspera in Benfleet where you can experience a true taste of the Mediterranean. Enjoy one of their signature cocktails as you wait for huge dishes of sumptuous pasta, fresh seabass or chicken shish to start your evening. 

If you’re looking for something with an Eastern influence, check out Thai Up the Quay in Old Harwich. The original 16th-century interior is a stunning backdrop to the mouth-watering Thai dishes such as curry, noodles, and rice. Fans of Italian food would do well to book a table at Olio Restaurant in Chelmsford for their famous pizza and fine wines, or if traditional English fare is more to your taste then the Pig & Whistle just down the road is well worth a visit. Sample their marinated duck breast or peanut curry or simply soak up the sun with a glass of wine on the terrace. 

Clubs

When it comes to dancing the night away, Essex has a huge variety of options. Whether you want a cheap night out with fellow students or a classy night with cabaret and live music, Essex has everything you could need and more. Check out Coco for an affordable evening of burlesque and cabaret before heading to CTZN to spend the rest of the evening dancing to the best in R&B and house.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated evening, head to Reids at the top of Billericay High Street where you can party the night away in stunning surroundings and a buzzing atmosphere. Boasting six beautifully designed bars, Reids offers an amazing experience both during the day and the night. 

Fans of the alternative scene will love The Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh, one of the UK’s longest-running nightclubs, as big-name acts can often be found playing here on a Friday night. Acts such as Ice-T, Blur, de la Soul and Radiohead have been known to play here, all of which have cemented The Pink Toothbrush’s reputation as the best club in town for the indie/alternative scene.   

If it’s cocktails you’re after, head to Aspera

Casinos 

After sampling the finest cuisine in town and trying out some of Essex’s best cocktails, you might be in the mood to check out one of the area’s renowned casinos. If you’ve been out in town already, you’re probably already looking smart enough for a trip to Rendezvous in Southend but check the dress code before you arrive just to be on the safe side.

If you’re looking to combine high-quality dining experience with your trip to the casino, check out Genting Casino in Westcliff. One of the oldest and most well-known casinos in the area, Genting has recently been refurbished and offers everything from baccarat to blackjack around the clock.

For an extra special evening, check out the new £50 million addition to Chelmsford City Racecourse, the “Racino” in Great Leighs. Set to rival Southend’s elite group of casinos, the UK’s first “Racino” opened in 2018 and is the stage for a pretty interesting night on the cards! After a few spins on the roulette table, take a stroll around the picturesque racecourse before hailing a taxi home to count your winnings.  

As you can see, there is plenty to do in Essex – the only problem is working out which bars, restaurants and clubs to visit first!

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