Saturday, 29 November 2014

East Coast Diner, Red Lion Yard Colchester

Well I must say it was a most pleasant day in Colchester today. Not only was the sun shining but I had a delicious breakfast at the towns newest eatery then trotted across the street and had a sniff around a Vintage Fair. Very pleasant.

First of all, and I was very happy about this particularly after a heavy night out in Southwark, the East Coast Diner opened for business in Red Lion Yard.

Red Lion Yard dates back to 1465 and runs off the Colchester High Street. It has recently undergone a £600K refurbishment and looks great. The Company behind the refurbishment used beautiful york stone for the pavement, all the shops signs have the same size/colour font, there is an attention to detail here which makes it a great little place. It is also getting some interesting boutique type shops going into it. Proctors Sausage Shop were already there, but there are also a couple of Hairdressing Salons, a nice home wares shop and a couple of independent clothes shops. White Dirt being one of them and while I am probably too old and fat for their clothes I think this is a great shop. Maybe I could buy a bag.

But the newest kid on the block/yard is East Coast Diner. They opened their first branch in Woodbridge and things are obviously going well as they have opened their 2nd branch today in Colchester. Giles Coren said in The Times that their hotdogs are "the best in Britain. No question". Blimey. They opened at 10am, again we don't like to look too keen, so we got there at 10:17am... We were greeted by friendly staff and a balloon for my son. If he is happy. We is happy. Especially if 'we' are feeling slightly fuzzy after a night on the tiles. They don't have a huge space but I quite liked that it was compact, it created a really friendly environment. The decor is well done (bright Tolix style stools, wooden plank and scaffolding tables, a couple of bits of graffiti, a lovely yellow booth) and they played decent music. It was a nice place to hang out basically. We also liked that they were so child friendly. Plenty of high chairs, pencils and a colouring competition, a good kids menu, and a relaxed atmosphere. But on top of all this the food was delicious and VERY reasonably priced. We had 2 x coffees, 1 x fruit smoothie, 1 x shake, 2 x Breakfast baskets and cost just over £24. Great value not to mention the convenience for us as its 1 minutes walk from our house! I have a feeling East Coast Diner are going to be seeing a lot of us from now on...

Their Breakfast basket consists of 2 x hash browns, the most delicious beans I have ever eaten and a huge breakfast muffin with sausage, bacon, cheese and egg. It was so huge in fact I couldn't finish it. This muffin defeated me. No meal has ever done this to me so that's quite an achievement. 
Bravo ECD. You beat me fair and square.

Fresh fruit smoothie

Food hatch


Told you.

Then after a most enjoyable breakfast I walked across the road to the Secret Vintage Fair which was being held at Liquid, a nightclub on the high street. I paid my £3 entry fee, walked across the sticky nightclub carpet and had the biggest shock I've had in a long while. Liquid nightclub, which I have obviously never been  into to, is beautiful inside! I knew that it was in a very old building being built in 1905 and having been the old Grand Theatre but had no idea what was behind the door. What a shame that its not still a theatre, it could certainly give Hackney Empire a run for its money. I don't know what kind of person would allow such a beautiful building to be turned into a sticky carpeted nightclub but sadly there are lots of historical buildings and areas in Colchester that have not been given the right kind of respect. Massive shame that.

Giant disco ball suspended from stunning ceiling

Beautiful balconies

The fair itself was really great. They had loads of stalls with vintage clothes and home wares but also music, dancing, a beauty parlour, vintage hair styling, a nail bar and a Pop Up Tearoom on the top floor. A great event, well organised and I even treated myself to a new sewing box. Thanks Colchester, today you were pretty great.


Desperately needed cantilever sewing box, £15. Bargain!

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