On those rare days of sunshine in the UK us Brits like to visit the seaside. With the weather set to 25 degrees my friend and I headed to Leigh-on-Sea to walk along the man made seafront. It’s close to Tilbury Docks so you will see large container ships passing by, but there’s enough beach and plenty of pubs to relax in the sun.
We walked along the water to Chalkwell Rail Station and then cut inland amongst the houses and parks to get to The Temple Café. It took about 20 minutes to walk there from Chalkwell Station but it was totally worth it. As you approach you can see an eclectic mix of seating from sofas to armchairs to garden furniture. It has a nice welcoming ambiance and balances quaint and quirky perfectly.
About The Temple Café
The Temple Café is located opposite Chalkwell Park in Westcliff-on-Sea and is the Café arm to the Buddhist Centre where they run meditation and yoga classes alongside spiritual healing. The Café itself has a warm and welcoming feel. The interior is cute and quaint and the display of cakes will have you drooling from the get go. Even as a vegan there are so many that you’re spoilt for choice.
The Temple Café is the perfect place to lunch out with friends or family. Their mantra is ‘Food for the Soul’ and I cannot deny that they they provide quality, flavoursome, delicious food. You get all sorts including freshly made sandwiches, salads, jacket potatoes, home-made soups and cakes. What I loved was the number of vegan options which were clearly labelled. They even had vegan cheese so you could have your cheese toasty or mozzarella panini and not be that awkward customer that has to ask for things without the cheese…we’ve all been there.
My friend and I orderd off of the menu however tables were being set with the most beautiful vintage china teacups and saucers for afternoon tea. One group of girls arrived and had theirs with prosecco making it just that extra special. What they served quite honestly looked exceptional and I will definitely be making a return visit to treat my mum to afternoon tea here.
What I ate at The Temple Café
I chose something from their specials board which was a vegan mozzarella, pesto and sundried tomato panini. It came with crisps, salad and some cous cous. The panini bread wasn’t your bog standard but instead a bit like ciabatta. It really was delicious and I will be replicating it at home.
On a hot day you cannot go without ice cream, however I had spotted that they had insane shakes on their menu and the “Paul McCartney” caught my eye. I can quite honestly say that it was the most epic and impressive vegan shake that I have ever encountered. It tops all those that I mentioned in my blog post “in search of the best vegan milkshake.” So what was in it? It was a luxury Oreo Swedish glacé ice-cream milkshake with vegan caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, pretzels, vegan Nutella, soya cream and it was topped with a slab of chocolate and raspberry vegan cake. The lovely waitress tried to pull it together quickly so that it didn’t melt before it reached our table. Quite a chaellenge in the heat! When she emerged from behind the counter the whole cafe went oooooo…and you can understand why.
The cake was insanely delicious. Even my non-vegan friend was tucking in quite happily and said that she wouldn’t have known that it was vegan if she hadn’t been told. It was incredibly chocolatey and rich in the best possible way and the contrast of the salty pretzels dotted around the side took it to another level. I have so much praise for this Oreo flavoured shake and the cake on top. It was out of this world and if you’re in the area then you must go.
I thoroughly enjoyed my short time at The Temple Café. The food was wholesome and tasty, the staff were attentive and friendly and the decor was quaint and welcoming. For what you get the food is not expensive. My panini cost me under £6 and the Insane Shake was around the £6 mark too, which may sound expensive but compared to Shakeaway it is really reasonable.
I was impressed with every element of this place and would easily rate it 5 stars. If you’re in the area then be sure to visit. It’s a real gem and you will not be disappointed.
You can find out more about the Temple Café here.