I’m Janey, and I blog at Is That You Darling. I’m really excited to be guest posting at Squibb Vicious today, Haydn and I are fellow Essex Bloggers, so I decided to write about our fair county!
I got this idea after being inspired by a similar post by Janet at Words That Can Only Be Your Own. I’ve lived in Essex all my life (save for four months when I went to America), went to university here, and for all the downsides, I kind of love the place!
Ten Things To Love About Essex
1. OK, let’s get it out of the way and talk about the elephant in the room. The Essex girl (and boy) stereotype that has been laughed about for years has been strengthened by TOWIE, and while we’re not all like that (I promise), the best thing to do is laugh about it and celebrate the fact that we’re famous now. I’ve never been a typical Essex girl, and while people may give you a knowing look when you say you’re from Essex, it’s nice to subvert expectations by having a) no fake tan, b) no hair extensions, and c) a certain level of intelligence that is missing from the Essex girl stereotype.
2. Essex has 350 miles of coastline, and there’s something for everyone. There’s Southend-on-Sea or Clacton if you’re after more traditional (i.e. tacky but fun) seaside activities, and then you’ve got the likes of Frinton or Walton-on-the-Naze if you fancy something a bit quieter.
(That’s me, chasing seagulls in Frinton)
3. Essex is old, so if you are into history, you have a wealth of it on your doorstep. We have the oldest recorded town in England, Colchester, which has its own Norman castle. There are also Norman castles at Hedingham and Mountfitchet.
4. Every summer, we get the likes of Beyoncé, Kings of Leon, The Stone Roses, and Fun Lovin’ Criminals in Chelmsford for V Festival. It has been running since 1996, and although I have never been, it’s nice (and strange) to imagine the likes of Beyoncé ordering food from your local Nandos.
5. We’re so close to London, it doesn’t take more than an hour or so to get into the capital. The train links are great (if a little expensive) as there are so many people who commute into the city for work. I spent my childhood going to London for day trips, and I still love to go and act like a tourist!
6. The aforementioned Southend-On-Sea has the longest pleasure pier in the world, at 1.34 miles. We’re record breakers in Essex!
7. It’s not just London that is on the doorstep. We have two international airports in Essex, at Southend and Stansted, so if you fancy popping off to Europe on holiday, you don’t need to travel too far to get to the airport.
8. The TOWIE lot are not the only famous Essex exports; Dermot O’Leary, Jamie Oliver, Rachel Riley, Anya Hindmarch, Stephen Moyer and Michelle Dockery were all born here.
9. We may not have any Michelin-starred restaurants in Essex, but we have a lot of award winning eateries. The Pheasant at Gestingthorpe, The Bull in Great Totham and The Willow Room at Great Totham all have great repuatations, as does The Soul in Burnham-on-Crouch, where one of my good friends in the head chef. I wonder why I haven’t eaten there yet. Also, Henley’s, a fish and chip shop in Wivenhoe, has the record for the fastest portion of chips from peeling to serving. (222 seconds in case you’re curious!)
10. Finally, the bloggers. Essex Bloggers are the best! If you are an Essex blogger and you haven’t connected with the rest of us yet, come and say hello. We’re on Twitter – @essexbloggers,http://and we also use #essexbloggers. We’re slowly gearing up to take over the world, so don’t miss out!