Having recently visited Leigh-on-Sea in Essex for the first time, a friend pointed out “The Peterboat”:https://the-peterboat.eastangliapubs.com/, part of the East Anglia Pub Co, which she highly recommended. It was located at the train station end of town and had an enviable sea front with views of the Thames Estuary. At 11am, the large seating area in what was formerly the car park, was empty.
On a return visit two weeks later, we walked from Southend-on-Sea to Leigh and planned a late lunch at the Peterboat. The weather was sunny for mid-September, and at 2pm the place was packed. Signs pointed out a booth with two queues: one for those with reservations and a second for walk-in guests. We were seated quickly, told it was waiter service only and where the loos were.
The staff were all young, friendly and, most importantly, very efficient. They were all equipped with gizmos which enabled quick and easy ordering and payment.
The menu had a range of dishes but there was only one thing on my mind, fish and chips although I was seriously tempted by cockle chowder served in a bread cob.
Having seen the portion sizes at other tables, we decided to order one fish and chips and a lighter option of prawn and oak smoked salmon salad and share. This turned out to be a good move as both dishes were huge. The salad was served in a bowl and there were a huge number of large prawns and fabulous tasting salmon. My only minor complaint with the fish and chips, is that they were served with garden peas: sacrilege for a northern, mushy pea girl.
Having had a couple of pints of cider with our meal, it was such a lovely day that we decided to linger with a couple of glasses of wine and people watch.
This is obviously a very busy and popular place and at the height of summer, I guess you’d either need a booking or be prepared to wait.
As well ask the outside area, there was a light and airy conservatory which appeared full of people who wanted a little more comfort than the wooden picnic benches provided.
The Peterboat is very dog friendly with bowls of water being provided.