Dining out in a discreet restaurant with impeccable service is one of the most popular couples activities in Essex. If you’re celebrating date night with a beautiful companion from the top Essex escorting agency, the venue choice is yours.

The Eight Best Romantic Essex Restaurants

Below, we’ve worked through the eight highest-rated Essex restaurants with a quick summary of the location, dining experience and menus.

The best way to enjoy no-strings dating in Essex is to pre-plan since having a reservation, picking your preferred table and having a chilled bottle waiting for your arrival is sure to impress.

1. Vita Bella, East Hanningfield

An award-winning Italian restaurant serving traditional cuisine, local ingredients and classic dishes such as Salmone Alla Genovese, fillet steaks and small plates. The restaurant has a smart dress code and is only open to those over sixteen on Friday and Saturday evenings–pre-book, as walk-ins are not always available. 

2. The Basilica, Westcliff-on-Sea

Another Italian restaurant, The Basilica, is owned by the Burzotta family and blends seasonal flavours with Italian heritage, with the owners opening their first restaurant in Sicily in 1974. The dining room is traditional and elegant, with a menu covering classic pizzas, fish specialities and fresh homemade dishes.

3. The Spotted Dog, Great Dunmow

This pub restaurant won the Travellers Choice Award from TripAdvisor in 2022 and is a modern venue in a traditional pub that is well-known locally for excellent quality food and drinks. The restaurant advises you to book over the phone since online bookings often exceed capacity, and you can choose between table d’hote fixed-price tasting menus, a la carte, or a tasty bar menu.

4. Haywards Restaurant, Epping

Michelin-starred Haywards is a family-owned and run restaurant on the edges of Epping Forest with an impressive pedigree, having been reviewed by some of the finest food critics in the country. If you’re planning a truly sumptuous evening out, you can book The Gate House Apartment for two guests, including a five-course tasting menu with recommended wine pairings.

5. Shillingfords, Halstead

Shillingfords at The Foragers Retreat has a separate event space for small groups, with a balcony and lounge, or you can dine in the restaurant and enjoy hearty classic dishes, including venison roasts on a Sunday. This ‘wild food restaurant’ is a favourite with foodies and those who appreciate truly seasonal, sustainably sourced dishes.

6. Thai Up At The Quay, Harwich

This Thai restaurant, located just one hundred metres from The Quay, is an elegant waterside setting based in a restored 17th Century property. It offers private parties by prior arrangement and uses only fresh ingredients to prepare authentic Thai dishes. Select from banquet menus, delicate light bites, and chilled champagnes.

7. Restaurant 43, Great Bentley

Restaurant 43 feels like a quintessential seaside eatery from the outside, but step through the doors to discover velvet seating, lounge areas and plush furnishings that feel retro yet cool. The lounge and garden areas are a stunning evening setting, and the B&B offers overnight stays, rated five stars on Trip Advisor and Exceptional on Booking.com.

8. Il Palazzo, Chelmsford

Our final restaurant for couples is Il Palazzo, specialising in fresh Italian cuisine, with a grand entrance and modern interior. Attentive service, reasonable prices, and a great wine list are all you need for a fun evening–but ask for a corner booth, and you’ll be able to dine in complete privacy!