University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel.
Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
We ladies can't turn a corner these days without seeing one or more of the bronzed beauties from hit reality drama show The Only Way Is Essex on a magazine cover. The girls may be glam and the guys may flash the cash, but is the eponymous county itself all it's cracked up to be? I invested in an industrial-sized tub of creosote and put the county's infamous haven for drama and nightclub, The Sugar Hut, to the test.
Having hired a VIP table with the promise of a magnum of vodka and mixers of our choice, the first mission was to line our stomachs at traditional English pub The King William IV in Chigwell, which lacked in value for money but redeemed itself with its clientele. Known as a local watering hole for many members of the TOWIE cast, my fellow Essex-virgins and I were delighted to spot none other than Jessica Wright and her mother Carol having a cheeky nibble. The well-groomed socialites were even more beautiful in the flesh and just as friendly, so much so in fact, they invited us to pop along to their shop, With Love Jessica in Loughton.
A pie and chips and several pre-drinks in Brentwood's Wetherspoons later, it was time to claim our VIP table in The Sugar Hut, where we had high hopes of camera crews and glasses of rosé being thrown over various surgically-enhanced ladies. The reality was, however, an empty club sans camera crew and definitely sans any of the TOWIE cast, and most definitely sans the need for a table to ourselves.
We weren't going to let this dampen our spirits however and enjoyed the benefits of not having to go to the bar as the magnum of vodka and mixers was quite enough to whet our whistles. For all the lack of celebrities in attendance, we enjoyed our own celebrity treatment, being constantly watched over by our own personal bouncer (who did in fact, make a cameo appearance in Series 1 training Kirk Norcross in boxing.) As the night progressed and the club slowly filled, it became apparent that we didn't need to have a whole host of 'Celebrity' Big Brother contestants in attendance in order to enjoy ourselves and, star-spotting aside, The Sugar Hut did actually turn out to be quite a hopping venue, with quirky oriental décor and variety of drinking and dancing areas.
For what is actually included in the price, The Sugar Hut definitely benefits from being made infamous on television, as £300 for a VIP table and a magnum of vodka for six people was certainly far pricier than a regular night out. The Essex Experience, however, could not have been faulted, from the brief encounter with Jess Wright in the pub to the subsequent visit to her shop the next day, which again, probably makes money off its reputation rather than any real merit.
For those of you who want a real taste of the Essex Experience, I would recommend it, if not just to get a cheeky photo with Jess and marvel at the cupcakes and jewellery in Lydia Bright's shop in Loughton. Just remember however- it's a very different world behind the scenes!