5 Favourite Essex Things


EXG FEB 15 FIVE THINGS - Credit: Archant

Simon Talbot has recently returned from skippering the Team GREAT Britain yacht in The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Here, he shares with Essex Life five of his favourite things he enjoys most about Essex

Simon Talbot

Simon Talbot has just returned from almost a year at sea, where he skippered the Team GREAT Britain yacht over 40,000 miles and 16 races, culminating in second place overall. When he is not at sea, Simon, from St Osyth, is chief technical officer of leading cloud services provider Net Solutions Europe, which has offices in Colchester.

My favourite Essex Place to visit...


I visit Dedham whenever I get a chance, it is such a beautiful place and I enjoy wandering around the village and riverbank with my family. We can always find something to do, whatever the weather, and find it picturesque and atmospheric. Add to this its old world charm and abundance of great places to eat, and, as a self-confessed foodie, you will understand why it ticks lots of boxes for me.

My favourite Essex Restaurant...

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The Harbourside, Harwich

Part of the Milsom group of establishments, The Pier Hotel’s Harbourside restaurant is a regular venue for Talbot family meals out. Their menu has something to offer all tastes, with my particular favourite dish being the tempura soft shell crab. Surprisingly perhaps for someone who spends so much time at sea, I still enjoy being able to watch the boats bobbing in the harbour while I eat and I feel at home in the relaxed atmosphere. It’s bliss for a sailor who loves food.

My favourite Essex memory...

Finish of the Clipper Race at Southend

This is a recent memory, but it will stay with me forever. After being away from home after nearly a year at sea, The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race finished its last leg just off Southend Pier. Being the GREAT Britain yacht, this was obviously our home leg, something which has a history in the race of being hard to win, but at the end of a nail-biting few hours, we managed it and won the leg by a few minutes, sealing our second place overall for the race. As the Thames is not suitable for racing large yachts, the fleet of 12 yachts made the final journey from Southend to London the next morning in a procession with thousands of spectators lining the river banks and on spectator boats creating memories that will last a lifetime.

My favourite Essex theatre...

Colchester Arts Centre

Only a small venue, but what it lacks in stature it makes up for in versatility. Located in St Mary’s Church, which still has its Norman tower and is steeped in history, the theatre is home to many genres of entertainment and has been party to the launch and eventual success of many artists. I am a regular visitor to the Arts Centre. I particularly enjoy seeing comedians there and the Battle of the Bands contest.

My favourite Essex fact...

I live in the driest place in the country

I absolutely detest rain! Not just winter downpours, but any rain, I hate it. It’s ironic, I suppose, for a Round the World yachtsman to admit to that. As a result, I was delighted to learn that by living in St Osyth, I am living in the driest place in the country.