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Restaurant review by Timothy Farren – Bourgee, 1 Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea Essex

It turns out I would walk a mile for a good steak and lobster, so that’s just what I did along the longest pier in the world at Southend-on-Sea before heading to Bourgee, Mark Baumann’s latest luxe lounge restaurant located along this beautiful seafront. (

Bourgee 1

Bourgee 2

Images courtesy of Timothy Farren and Bourgee

The interior brings a touch of London to the coast with dark colours and chrome filling the room, all lit by soft lighting copper fittings, and eye-catching art pieces adorning the walls.

They have a large bar offering an array of bar snacks to wet your appetite and, if you’re anything like me, an extensive cocktail menu to build up a hunger. I opted for both on this occasion as I was intrigued to discover what Gazpacho chilled shooter, frazzled chorizo (£2) tasted like. I can report, amazing!.
For my apéritif I went old school, choosing a smoked Bloody Mary (£8). This has a Bourgee house smokey and spicy mix which alters the traditional taste but doesn’t spoil the experience. (www.

There is a mix of seating in the lounge area from booths, tables and sofas depending on your party size, which also extends into the restaurant to keep the Luxe lounge flow. The staff were attentive and I didn’t feel rushed to take my seat, even with a large amount of covers for that evening.

First on the agenda was the wine, but what to pick? We’d of course be having steak and lobster so decided that having both white and red was the best way to complement each dish and chose New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc (£21.50) and a Argentinian, Malbec-Corvina (£26.50).
To start, I picked the le plat de charcuterie, consisting of pepperoni salami, coppa, prosciutto, baguette slices, ricotta, pesto & chipotle chilli jam (£12) but what I failed to notice is this was a sharing starter and I ended up with more food than I could handle. To follow, how could I not indulge in the Bourgee speciality of a 225g Fillet steak (£29) and a half lobster (£16) with dauphinoise potatoes and buttered greens (£3.50 each) on the side. Both sides are sharing portions. As I’d already got my eye on the cheese board, I chose a light dessert of a A Bourgee 3 shooter – Baileys crème brûlée, Pimms No.1 jelly, orange vodka panacotta (£6.50). After a good fifteen minute wait, due to my eyes being bigger than my belly I was ready for cheese. Five cheeses with biscuits & Reverend James ale chutney (£10) Black Bomber, Forme d’ambert, Tomme de savoie, St Maure & Bath soft. They ask you to order this at the start so your cheese can breathe, and it was all washed down with a Remy Martin VSOP (£5). And relax.

Everything about Bourgee was indulgent from start to finish. Although some people would say it’s overpriced outside London, you have to put it in perspective and remember the cost of the ingredients being put in front of you. In my opinion it’s good value for what you get. If you’re looking for a special night out in a relaxed atmosphere with great service and even more great food, then Bourgee is well worth a trip to the seaside.

Timothy Farren

Restaurant, Bar and Hotel review specialist

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