My friend has been off gallivanting around South Africa for two months, having the time of his life and I just wanted to live vicariously through him and see all the photos… mainly the ones of the elephants, ngl. We decided lunch was in order so he could tell me all about his wine tasting at Richard Branson’s vineyard and climbing table mounting and trekking the desert to see the sun rise. I regaled him with stories of the time I actually climbed out of my hovel and encountered actual sunlight. What an adventure.
I am always up for trying new things and so he suggested that we try out a little Jamie Oliver number, Oliver’s on the Beach. Set up by the Oliver family, this little cafe is right on the sea front… and I mean RIGHT on the sea front. Scoot it an inch further back and it would be on the sand.
It’s a teeny, tiny little kiosk, which holds about eight or so tables. It’s friendly, cosy and the menu is so big for such a tiny place! At one point my pal leant over to me and whispered, “this is what frustrates me the most. I just don’t know how they make food like this in a kitchen that small!” These are the questions that keep him awake at night, obvs.
Everything seems to be hand selected, hand made and what they could, they sourced locally. Apaz theres the odd Naked Chef exclusive on there too… I dunno what, I just like good food, of which there was plenty and a wide variety at that. From sandwiches to full English Breakfasts and burgers to seafood. Plus, there was a specials board as long as your arm and desserts to boot.
I decided to go for what I knew. A homemade burger it was… make that a cheeseburger. My friend was eyeing up some form of pie that was displayed stylishly on the counter, which we later found out was called ‘Paglesham Pie’. A sort of pork pie with egg, bacon, tomatoes and the like layered in there too. I have it on good word that it is, “so, so good and no you cannot have a bit, eat your burger.”
We followed that up with dessert, as it was agreed that if we didn’t have dessert there, we were going to walk about five feet and get an ice cream. I went for a banoffee pie and my friend, a coconut and lime panna cotta. Omnomnomnom. That’s all I can say. They were beautifully presented and super tasty.
It wasn’t kitch or twee, but it was comfortable, modern and clean. The staff were wonderful and even though we had a short wait on our hands, the waitress took our details and said she would give us a call when there was a table available so we wouldn’t have to waste the sunshine. It was such a good system and, to be honest, we didn’t think we would get a table at all since it was a) lunchtime and b) a very popular little place. Just lucky I guess. Also, can I just say that four courses and four drinks came to about £19 each. Guys, we’ve found a right, old gem here, I’m telling you.
A beautiful location, looking out at the Thames, right on the beach, in sight of the pier, with good, honest comfort food and a few fancy pants dishes, fabulous vibes and a wonderful team… I think I’m going to take everyone here now!