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Diners' Choice: Good for special occasions restaurants in Essex

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Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for the best special occasion restaurants in Essex? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Black Rock Restaurant restaurant
4.9 (659)
£26 to £40
About the restaurant
Black rock restaurant is an easygoing dining restaurant situated across the street from the beach front in Clacton on sea. We focus on a trendy steak and grill menu.

Our menu is inspired from different countries but our speciality here at Black rock is the ‘STEAK ON THE STONE’ the concept is from the island of Madeira amongst other places. The restaurant is guest orientated and the service is relaxed, very friendly; nothing is too much and always willing to assist you in any means way.

Black rock is a great place to eat, excellent atmosphere, great tasting food and we take pride in delivering exceptional service using the highest quality of local ingredients the best cuts of steaks and a great selection of exciting cocktails.

Top review
Dined on May 2, 2024
Really good food and service, our server Adam was helpful and attentive.
A photo of Smiths Restaurant Ongar restaurant
4.8 (4393)
£41 and over
About the restaurant
Priding ourselves on our motto ‘Famous for fish’ Smiths Restaurants is a name that has become synonymous with fine dining and quality, attentive service. Our restaurants are located in Ongar Essex (just off the A414) and Wapping in central London (near Tower Bridge). Both restaurants boast an extensive menu of fresh fish that we offer to cook in a variety of ways to suit every palette. We also offer locally sourced meat dishes to accommodate those who prefer their food terra firma. To compliment the quality of our food we have worked closely with well renowned independent wine merchants to ensure we have a selection of wines that are the perfect accompaniment to every meal. The only problem you may have a Smith’s is being spoilt for choice.

Top review
Dined 6 days ago
Food was delicious, service was excellent. My only criticism is the tables for two people are too close together. You can hear the conversation of those sitting next to you, and there is little room for the waiting staff to get between the tables. Aside from that little niggle, it was superb as usual.
A photo of Mad Dogs & Englishmen restaurant
4.8 (2568)
£26 to £40
Afternoon Tea
About the restaurant
The Parlour Tea Room at Mad Dogs and Englishmen provides a vintage setting to enjoy Afternoon tea. We’ve become renowned for our themed teas which offer an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the eclectic surroundings of this unique venue.
The Botanical Rooms is upstairs and hosts our cocktail bar. Here you can experience Afternoon Tea from Wednesday to Sunday during the day and enjoy the fairy-lit bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. We host live Jazz and soul on some evenings.
The Piano Lounge with it's vintage leather sofas and a mixture of eclectic styled furnishings is situated on the ground floor alongside our Whisky Bar. You can enjoy an Afternoon Tea with Piano accompaniment on Sunday afternoons or sample some of our extensive Whisky cocktails on Friday and Saturday evenings. We have live Jazz performances on selected evenings.
Please ensure you select the correct venue and experience for your visit with us.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 2, 2024
A very warm welcome on arrival, as you go through the door to the main tea room the magic just hits you, the theme is absolutely magnificent and the food is amazing, the waiting staff aren't just friendly and engaging when you want them to be but they also help the kitchen staff create the artistic food and decorate the themed rooms as well. All I'm all its a wonderful venue and an amazing team as well 5 stars all the way.
A photo of The New London Restaurant and Lounge restaurant
4.8 (909)
£26 to £40
About the restaurant
The award-winning New London restaurant has been on Chelmsford’s dining and social scene since October 2013 and it still is a relaxed yet sophisticated dining venue. The venue is full of elegance and glamour – now more than ever after an incredible redesign in March 2018.

We have a reputation for seasonally inspired menus with a unique approach to homemade food which makes the New London restaurant a special place to visit.

We pride ourselves on our excellent service with a personal touch. All our staff are proud of, and knowledgeable about, our dishes, wines and cocktails.

We offer only the best locally sourced and seasonal British produce including fresh seafood, locally sourced ingredients and foraged herbs. All our dishes are served in the inimitable style that has helped it garner so many compliments and awards since opening.

Top review
Dined 3 days ago
Excellent food, wine and service - as usual. still my favourite restaurant in Chelmsford The menu changes regularly so that you keep going back for more. Highly recommend
A photo of Alec's Restaurant restaurant
4.7 (76)
£41 and over
About the restaurant
Alec’s Restaurant opened in 2010 and has established itself as one of Essex’s leading fish Restaurants. Alec’s prides itself on quality ingredients and exceptional service.
Unwind with a premium bottle of wine or signature cocktail in the comfortable lounge before taking a seat in the elegant main dining room, which can accommodate 120 guests.
Roaring fires in the winter and a delightful outdoor dining area in the summer, only enhance the elegant building.
The menu at Alec’s Restaurant is traditionally British and sets out to provide simple, quality fresh food. Although predominantly a seafood restaurant serving the finest fish and shellfish, mouth-watering meat dishes add to this impressive menu.
We are proud to follow the MSC code of conduct for sustainably sourced seafood. Plus, all seafood and fish are wild and ‘day boat caught’ from across Britain.
Please note that this restaurant operates a strict policy of no children under 12 years, and a smart casual dress code.

Top review
Dined on Apr 16, 2024
A very pleasant evening with an excellent server, Scott. Food has gone downhill from before but was ok and made up by the overall ambience.
A photo of Green Room Restaurant restaurant
4.6 (759)
£26 to £40
Modern European
About the restaurant
The Green Room is changing with a fresh new look, extensive wine list and new style menu with something to suit every ones appetite!

Our Small plates menu will be starting Saturday 11th February.

Top review
Dined 5 days ago
First time to this restaurant and we loved it, we have booked again and bringing our family out for a treat. Will certainly recommend to all our friends.
A photo of The Eyna restaurant
4.6 (504)
£26 to £40
About the restaurant
The Eyna is a new, refreshing, traditional Turkish cuisine coming to the heart of Basildon. With a open-plan dining experience, open kitchen & central bar, we're sure this will be your perfect location for all types of events or casual dining.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
This was our second visit and was wowed again with the extremely friendly and helpful staff. The delicious food,ample portions This is our new favourite restaurant so will become a regular visitor
A photo of Bill's Restaurant & Bar - Colchester restaurant
4.5 (626)
£25 and under
Contemporary British
About the restaurant
Whether it’s a bite to eat after a morning at Colchester Castle or private dining for 28 people (can we come?), we’ve got a spot for you. Find us where West Stockwell Street meets the High Street, or just follow the sound of people having a good time.
Top review
Dined on May 8, 2024
Our Polish host was very efficient and the food that we ordered was delivered in a sensible time. She also split the bill so we could all pay separately
A photo of The Green Man at Lindsell restaurant
4.5 (89)
£25 and under
Gastro Pub
Great Dunmow
About the restaurant
Welcome back to the Green Man at Lindsell. Now currently under new management and direction!

In our cosy bar we have retained the buildings original features and given it a fresh contemporary edge where we welcome both drinkers and diners alike and our tables are available on a ‘first come’ basis offering an extensive range of dishes from salads, sharing planks to wholesome pub classics.

Our 70 seat a la carte restaurant to the rear of the property is also not to be missed, with crisp white linen, delicious food and an extensive wine list making it the ideal place for lunch, dinner or any other special occasions. Bookings are welcome and recommended. Please visit our website for restaurant opening hours.

We also have a large terrace area and extensive garden to dine alfresco or enjoy a champagne cocktail. We welcome families and have plenty of area for children to play. So come on in and take a look around and we hope to see you soon!

Top review
Dined 4 days ago
Food was very good . The Asian pork ribs were excellent. Cooked so that they were succulent and tender with a wonderful flavour. The risotto also was delicious. The food standards have certainly improved over the last two years since the new owner took over. We shall return soon
A photo of The Old Siege House Bar & Brasserie restaurant
4.4 (284)
£26 to £40
About the restaurant
The Historical Old Siege House in Colchester is the ideal venue for a small intimate meal or a large family get together ! Owned and run by Husband and wife team since 2014 it has a warm atmosphere and relaxed vibe.
We can provide extensive menus depending on your events, ranging from Afternoon teas to Hog roasts.
Our main menu changes seasonally and we also run a set lunch menu which is great value and changes every two weeks.
The restaurant can accomodate up to 160 covers inside and a further 50 outside so you will not be cramped for space. We have a private dining room for hire and a large bar and lounge area where you can enjoy some lovely made to order cocktails or a chilled bottle of wine.
Live music and events are regularly held and details will be posted on our various social media outlets.
We are proud holders of an elite 5 star food hygiene award for 3 consecutive 5 star visits in a row from the local council and pride ourselves on our hygiene levels.

Top review
Dined 1 day ago
What lovely place, it was very quiet on the day we visited, the staff couldn’t have been any nicer and professional. The food was delicious, we had 3 course and they were all very good. The Sunday 2 cocktails for £14, was a pleasant surprise. Only 10% surcharge as many add 12.5%, very reasonable. Would highly recommend.
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