So as it was the weekend of love a couple of weeks ago (insert kisses, hearts and cupids with his arrows of lurve) me and my ever ‘adventurous’ other half decided, well actually I decided, that after a decade of Valentine’s Days of staying in having picnics we were going out.

The only problem is where to go that wouldn’t be packed. After 10 years of being together I’d like to enjoy my meal while having a worthwhile conversation (that makes me sound old) rather than watching the youngsters drool over each other and not their food (okay, so now I sound old). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against romance. Hey, last Valentine’s we had a romantic indoor picnic underneath glow in the dark stars. Which have been stuck to the ceiling ever since, oops…..

Anyway I digress, I did have a place in mind while I was internet surfing. A little café/bar/restaurant that we discovered last summer, its name La Petite Petanque. It’s a little place tucked away in the old bowling green just at the end of Alexandra Street. And it’s FABULOUS…. I absolutely love it.

La Petite Petanque cafe

Think French shabby chic, mismatch chairs, cute marble tables, wonderful log burner plus blankets provided for the front tables (which are under cover but just in case you get nippy) and beautiful vintage crockery filling the shelves. It has a fabulous relaxed atmosphere with a small but well thought out menu (we had lunch previously). As for the Valentine’s menu, well, it was yummy. A lovely hearty meal which suited us perfectly plus everyone also dining there were so friendly and no youngster drooling! Score!

What makes this place soooo fantastic is the atmosphere. It’s such a friendly and fun place, which can only be down to the fabulous lady who runs/owns the place. I feel bad as I don’t know her name, but she’s a beautiful Russian lady (this is based on assumption from a conversation about travelling back to Russia via coach) who makes everyone feel at home, as if your old friends and have been frequenting the café for years. The energy that oozes out of her is infectious and it is quite possibly one of the friendliest places I have ever been for lunch and while a few hours over some yummy beer/wine.

Not only does it have indoor space but in the summer they have a row of cute bistro tables set outside the café so you can enjoy a scrummy lunch, nice cold beverage and just relax. BLISS….

This place is as you’ve probably guessed fabulous, not only that it doesn’t seem to be that busy, it’s like one of Southend’s best kept secrets….. Not only that but it’s so quiet you forget that you’re so close to the town centre! I would definitely suggest you all go and visit, but shhh… keep it quiet. We don’t want everyone to go otherwise it won’t be our secret….