Review of 'The Royal Lounge'

We had heard great things about the “Royal Hotel” so on our last day of a brief visit to Southend we decided to give it a try. On the end of the High Street at the top of a hill overlooking the famous Southend pier and the Thames it certainly has a great view. The “Royal Hotel” consists of a fairly high-end restaurant on the first floor in the “Ballroom Restaurant” and on the main floor “The Royal Lounge” - Two rooms consisting of a bar area on the left with tight, cosy bar-style seating overlooking the pier and a quieter room to the right with additional tables. It was a busy Sunday afternoon but they found a bar-seat-style table near the bar.

The décor in the lounge is quite cool and quirky with Venetian-style masks as well as quirky portraits of fantastic beasts. The table seating is quite crowded but in a cosy way with comfortable, mis-matched seats throughout. During our visit it was very busy with the waiting staff passing by every minute or so.

We were given three menus to look over: A cocktail menu, “Lounge Menu” and a local food festival menu that they were offering dishes from. The menu is refreshingly small and offers quite a good selection of above-average pub food. We were not overly hungry so I ordered the Chef's soup of the day [tomato] and a sandwich (£8.50). From the four sandwiches on offer I chose the “Meat feast - peppers cheese, salami, Parma ham and chorizo with pink peppercorn mayo” sandwich which I chose to be served on granary bread. It was delivered to the table on a slab of wood with the soup served in one of those “wonky” art-deco bowls that always look as if they are about to tip their contents out all over the table. The soup was very fresh with a small pinch of watercress (also very fresh) on the top. The sandwich was perfectly fine if not outstanding. Certainly I could not particularly taste the peppercorn in the mayonnaise. The bread was fresh and very good if a bit on the spongy side.

My companion had the same lunch but with a “Cheese, ham, tomato, lettuce and mustard mayonnaise” sandwich instead. For some reason the tomato was missing but the sandwich was good as well though only a small cut above what you can get in any high street grocery or drug store nowadays.

Intrigued, I had to try something from the food festival menu so I picked the scallops on a bed of lentils with a few dabs of a lovely creamy mayonnaise (£5). The lentils were a bit underdone as, unfortunately, were the scallops. Reasonably tasty though.

Lentils and scallops

At £31.70 it was a reasonably priced lunch (which included one “mocktail” at £4 and a “tea for one” at £2.70) considering the comfortable surroundings though the food was a bit disappointing. Having said that, I am interested enough to come back to try some of the more interesting items on the menu or even visit the hotel upstairs.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2017-11-26

Cuisine: American/British

Address: High Street, Southend on Sea, Essex, SS11JE ENGLAND

Public Transport: NRLOGO Southend Central

Location: Southend-on-Sea (England)



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