Best Places to Date in Essex

It's not all about the Sugar Hut!! Essex is full of awesome places to visit, so if you’re planning a date then we’ve got a few lovely little ideas for you.

(Don't get us wrong, we love the Sugar Hut - cocktails and possible celeb spotting. But you know, it's always good to have a wide range of choices...)

1) Colchester Zoo
Zoos are a classic outdoor date venue, and where better than Colchester Zoo set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes. With over 270 species to see, including Orang-utans, Penguins, Tigers and Tortoises, there’s a whole load of conversation to be had so you don’t need to worry about awkward silences. AND if you plan your trip ahead you get to feed the elephants and giraffes…

And obviously make sure you visit the gift shop. You can't visit a zoo without coming home with a toy Meerkat and safari hat.

img src: Colchester Zoo Website

2) Posh Pub Dinner at The Pheasant
Sitting on the Essex/Suffolk border, The Pheasant is a boutique hotel with a fantastic restaurant. It’s everything you’d want in a pub – beautiful oak tables, open fires and comfy chairs, coupled with award winning food and you’ve got a pretty great date venue.

img src: The Pheasant Website

3) Beth Chatto Gardens
Just outside of Colchester, the Beth Chatto Gardens are a picturesque landscape of plants, trees and ponds. It’s like a little paradise, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – the perfect escape. So if there’s a day date on the cards then take a wander around the gardens and enjoy the stunning scenery.

img src: Beth Chatto Website

4) Made by You Pottery

Pottery making is a brilliant alternative to the more formal dinner date. It takes the pressure off conversation and is a really fun way to get to know your date.

Made by You is a family run Pottery Painting and Crafts Studio based in Leigh-on-Sea, that offers a friendly atmosphere where you can show off your skills! And if things go well, you’ll have a perfect memento for your first date...

5) A Trip to the Seaside
We HAD to include Southend, home to the world’s longest pier… (that’s 1.341miles btw!) Spend the day at the arcades and fun-fair for a bit of nostalgia and finish up with Fish and Chips on the beach. Oh, and don’t leave before you’ve had one of Rossi’s Ice-creams!

img src: 'Southend Pier' Stuart Miller, Future-Echoes

6) Audley End House & Gardens
Ok, stately homes don’t scream ‘excitement and romance,’ but trust us – Audley End is awesome. Experience real life period drama (upstairs & downstairs) and venture through the enormous house uncovering its exciting stories.

The stunning grounds with countryside views are ideal for a romantic stroll...

img src: 'Audley End Bridge' Mark Seton

7) Oysters…
So apparently Oyster’s really ARE an aphrodisiac, (The Telegraph wrote a little piece about the rumour a few years back) - making them an ideal date food. And where else to have Oysters than the restaurant that claims to serve ‘some of the best oysters in the world...’

West Mersea Oster Bar is a fabulous little restaurant with a waterfront terrace – and comes highly recommended as a date venue (by us!)
Head out an enjoy the gems of Essex – and let us know if you’ve got any suggestions in the comments below.


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