Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Vegetarian & Vegan Bohemian Pub: The Railway Hotel, Southend-On-Sea

So its been a long weekend and I am thankful for it.

We went to Essex to see my mother in law.  
Over the Easter weekend, we went to  Southend-On-Sea.  We have been there many times. See here for pictures from the archives.  This time though, I had an ulterior motive for going into the town. First we walked along the seafront and spent some £ in the amusement arcades.  I kept putting in 2p into the slot to win a Mamushka/Babushka Russian Doll key ring, but failed. As I was walking away a little disappointed like a sulking child, a woman ran up behind me calling me.  I turned around I thought I had dropped something.  Her son was on the machine next to us, he wanted a eraser aka rubber, but got a Russian Doll keyring (she obviously had overheard me talking to D about me trying to get this keyring).  I was totally blown away by her and her son's sweet kindness.  We were actually able to swap as my sister in law had got an Minion eraser that she did not want. We were both happy. We then went into the town centre for a wander before arriving at our destination.
I have been wanting to try out a vegetarian pub known as The Railway Hotel in Southend-On-Sea a few years ago, but every time we went to see my MIL time ran out and we had to head back home.  
This time though we made time. 

We arrived for lunch.  We were the first people there, so I took a few pictures.  The woman who took our order and served, couldn't tell us much about The Railway Hotel's history, so I had to do a bit of Internet research myself, so here goes - but if any of my Southend or Essex readers know, more - then please share and I will up-date this blog post.  
The Railway Hotel in Southend-On-Sea is over 8 years old.  It was once a meat serving pub but in the last four years or so, has become a predominantly vegetarian one. Its also a music bar. It reminded me a little of The 13th Note in Glasgow.  The 13th Note is a vegetarian cafe come music venue with a bar. It was my favourite place to eat out when I lived in Glasgow.  I do miss it. So you can imagine how excited I was to learn of The Railway Hotel.  D said if we lived in this part of the country, this would be a place we would frequent.  
It is also frequented by one of our favourite enigmatic performers and guitarists, the amazing Wilko Johnson. Game of Thrones fans will have noted his appearance in the series as Sir Ilyn Payne. 
Neither my mother in law or sister in law are vegetarian, but they were happy to join us for a pub lurch of a different kind.  It was so nice to go to a place where the vegetarian option was not Lasagne or Risotto. The Easter menu was quite traditional this time round, but they do show innovation.  In the past the menu has included: Sweet Potato and Plantain Jerk Curry; Chorizo and Mediterranean Vegetable Pie ; Halloumi Bubble and Squeak Stack with Wild Mushroom Sauce; 'fish' and chips which is a blend of wheat starch, kronjac and tapioca  - so I hope to be back. 
The Easter Sunday Vegetarian & Vegan Menu
D and my mother in law had 'Ham' Cheese and Leek Pie with a selection of vegetables.
I had to have The Railway Hotel's popular Crass (Bean) Burger with wedges, coleslaw and salad.  
My sister in law who also joined us had the Halloumi Burger with chips, coleslaw and salad - I got her to remove the bread bun top to show you what it looked like inside, there were roasted vegetables:  courgette, mushrooms and peppers.  The portions were generous, we left very full.  In fact, I didin't even touch my toasted burger bread roll and even left a few wedges behind. 
A visit to the Ladies before I left.
The Railway Hotel
Website The Railway Hotel
To end, I was eagerly looking forward to visiting Adam and Eve vegetarian and vegan Pub which was thought by many to be the first vegetarian - vegan Pub in the UK.  Adam and Eve  opened up in Bristol in January 2016.  I have learned from the website of their imminent closure only after 3 months of opening.   I had my own vegetarian and vegan eatery in South Wales a couple of years ago and I understand the hardships and stresses that go with running such a place, so my heart goes out to them and hope they return in the future.  
Also check out 
The Globe in Glossop - all vegan pub food in the Peak District
The Veggie Red Lion in Ipswich - fully vegetarian and mostly vegan


  1. I'm not vegetarian but this pub is worth a visit...the food looks delicious. Have a lovely week

  2. I love the interior design! Hahaha
    Definitely somewhere I'd love to go and have a relaxed meal in. :)


  3. Wow...that was a wonderful post and your lunches looked divine, too. That sounds like the kind of place I would enjoy. Hope you're doing well.


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