I took my fiancee to Southend-on-Sea for our anniversary . As we first met at an Italian restaurant in North London, I booked Basilica in Westcliff-on-Sea as it had good reviews on Trip Advisor etc.
When we got there, we were amazed to find a classy (linen tablecloths etc) Italian place with an Italian family touch. The owner came to welcome us as we drank our aperitifs and inspected the menu; while also admiring the decor reflecting the Cistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome. Such a classic and classy joint, I thought !!
My partner had the lunch menu with stuffed mushrooms and 'roast of the day' and I had the scallops&kingprawns followed by pollo escallope milanese with spagetti carbonara. The waiter explained that they no longer served veal (=authentic) escallope as they had had some complaints about Dutch veal (animal rights etc) being on the menu. He happily swapped the Bolognaise for Carbonara, as I requested.
We greatly enjoyed the beautifully-prepared food and really felt that we were in Italy !
With only a couple of other tables filled, we got very personal and impecable service. And the bill was very reasonable...at least by London standards.
The walk from S-on-Sea to W-on-Sea gave good sea-air exercise, also much to admire of the Victorian/Regency architecture. And we were able to enjoy the highly-populated funfare next to the famous Pier from the clifftops rather than getting into the fray.
What a lovely way to spend a Sunday; having it all ways: seaside, quiet walks, stunning ambiance, fantastic restaurant/food and service.....thank you Basilica.
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