Five Es­sex Things

BBC Es­sex pre­sen­ter Jodie Hal­ford picks her five favourite things

Essex Life - - INSIDE - JODIE HAL­FORD Jodie Hal­ford is the pre­sen­ter of a brand new BBC Es­sex show called Your Es­sex which airs from 7pm to 10pm, from Mon­day to Thurs­day. Jodie’s show starts on Oc­to­ber 15 and you can tune in to BBC Es­sex on 95.3 and 103.5 FM

MY FAVOURITE THING ABOUT LIV­ING IN ES­SEX

For me it’s the sheer va­ri­ety of places to go and things to do. I spent my child­hood vis­it­ing the penny ar­cades on Southend seafront, the beach at Walton on the Naze and the mud­flats at Mal­don, and feel very lucky that I had such in­ter­est­ing and en­ter­tain­ing places on my doorstep. I can’t wait to get to know even more ar­eas of the county as part of my new BBC Es­sex show, Your Es­sex, which will visit a dif­fer­ent vil­lage, ham­let or town each week­night from 7pm un­til 10pm. We’ll tell the sto­ries of the peo­ple who live there and ex­plore his­tory, cul­ture and other in­ter­est­ing bits and pieces about each lo­ca­tion.

MY FAVOURITE ES­SEX RESTAU­RANT

I re­cently dis­cov­ered the Mal­don Smoke­house. It’s only been open for three years or so, but al­ready has many loyal cus­tomers, which is no sur­prise given the amaz­ing food and set­ting. Look­ing out across the River Black­wa­ter, you can en­joy del­i­cately smoked fish and meat dishes served with great sal­ads and big chunks of bread. And you can bring your own wine and beer along, al­though they do sell soft drinks (as well as prod­ucts to take away). It couldn’t be more up my street if it tried.

MY FAVOURITE ES­SEX PLACE TO SHOP

It’s got to be Lath­coats Farm Shop, just out­side Chelms­ford. Their of­fer­ing has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, with all man­ner of de­li­cious deli treats avail­able along­side their home-grown fruit and veg, not to men­tion my all-time favourite ap­ple juice. You can sam­ple most of their wares at the an­nual Ap­ple Day in Oc­to­ber. That’s where I’ve dis­cov­ered some of my favourite bits and pieces they sell in the shop.

MY FAVOURITE ES­SEX PLACE TO VISIT?

I’ve fallen in love with Brightlingsea. This sum­mer I’ve been to the newly-re­opened lido sev­eral times and I think it’s just the most fan­tas­tic fa­cil­ity run by lo­cal peo­ple for every­one to en­joy. Plus there’s the seafront it­self with its colour­ful beach huts and large, open green spa­ces. It also tends to be much less busy than other sea­side ar­eas, so you can al­ways find some­where to park!

MY FAVOURITE WALK

Dur­ing the win­ter, I love go­ing to Tolles­bury. You can do a cir­cu­lar walk around the marshes, spot­ting a huge va­ri­ety of birds in the na­ture re­serve on the way, while be­ing blown about by the sea air. My other favourite place is Swan Woods in Stock, where I’ve spent many a happy hour with my fam­ily on dog walks over the years. The blue­bells there in spring are a sight to be seen.

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