Well, we did find a spot in Essex that wasn’t a totally run down shit hole: The Sugar Hut in Brentwood. I think this might have been the only place we went that did sort of look the way it does on TOWIE. OK, fine, but you’ll only hear me saying this this one time – it was NICE. If it weren’t full of Essex people I would probably have quite liked it, so I might write to Mick Norcross and see if he might consider opening up another one here in Chiswick – it could be a winning formula so long as bandage dresses and botox are banned.
Something that did NOT look the way it’s portrayed on the show was Lucy’s Boutique. OK, I’m probably as far from the stereotypical Essex girl as you could get, but as soon as I clocked it I was hell bent on getting something in there, perhaps a statement necklace or something and I really had my hopes up. On the show it looks like, well, a boutique. This was no boutique, unless the word has a whole other meaning in Essex the Kingdom of Tackiness. It was another bargain bucket and not a good one – if it were a choice between this tat and Primark I’d recommend Primark any day of the week. I think the fact that the dress B held up with a grimace on his face illustrates my point: it was down from its original price of £12.99 to £6.99. Says it all.
Disappointing but then again it’s easy to forget that these little twinkies aren’t successful and astute business women as the show would have us believe, but dim nobodys who got on the show because they are A) pretty even when wearing more make-up than a professional drag queen, and B) morals loose enough to make for entertaining TV. Not so glamorous when the cameras aren’t rolling, sadly – I did kind of hope to spot Lucy herself there, swaying slightly on her cheap heels from some upmarket store like Peacocks.
So what we thought might turn into a giggle and cringe fest, was really a weekend in a place that appeared to be very little beyond worn down, sad and stuck in a fashion era that never took root elsewhere. I wanted to like Essex, but I didn’t.
Good job there’s a whole year until our next Random January Adventure – perhaps it’ll be something at the complete opposite side of the spectrum, perhaps a quaint village tucked away in Devon somewhere?