Five Essex Things

PUBLISHED: 14:05 01 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:21 01 April 2014




In a new Essex Life series, we ask local personalities to pick out five of their favourite Essex things. Paul Hardy, head of construction at Swan New Homes, selects his top five

Paul Hardy is head of construction at Swan New Homes (SNH). Across East London and Essex, Swan Homes makes a difference to individuals, couples and families creating homes they love in places where they want to build their futures. Paul has more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Building and represents SNH on the Green Team, which is a group of departmental heads tasked with furthering the sustainable agenda within the Group. He plays a pivotal role in the safe day-to-day running and timely delivery of these sites.

1. My favourite Essex thing I’m proud of

Essex always makes an effort

Essex people do make an effort with their appearance, with their cars and are also usually extremely house proud. I think this is representative of the pride that the Essex people have in where we come from and that we like to celebrate our successes. Of course, there is much to celebrate.

2. My favourite Essex memories

A night on the town in Chelmsford

I lived in Chelmsford for a while when I was in my early twenties and, although I was still drawn back to Colchester for a night out on the town, it was a good time for Chelmsford, when Zeus and Dukes were top venues to rival the Sugar Hut in Brentwood! I enjoyed my youth and made good friends throughout Essex from an early age. Living in Essex when I was young was a special time and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

3. My favourite Essex meal out

Anywhere that uses the county’s best produce

I would class myself as a bit of a foodie and the local produce available within the county is something we should celebrate. When I go for a meal out I like to know the provenance of the food that is being served and know that the ingredients have been sourced locally. I love going out to good restaurants such as Alex’s restaurant and bar at Navestock Side, Mimosa Restaurant & Deli in Colchester and Smith’s restaurant in Ongar. I also enjoy drinking in some of great bars, such as Harry’s in Billericay and Memoirs in Colchester.

4. My favourite Essex quality

Working within entrepreneurial Essex

Doing business in Essex is a privilege because there are some really great people to work with. Being in construction you quickly find that most subcontractors are based in Essex, so if you need an electrician or plasterer you are spoilt for choice if you are looking for good tradesmen. The

other thing is that every taxi driver I have ever met is from Essex.

5. My favourite Essex way to spend free time

Essex is home to some fabulous golf courses

I am a self-confessed golf addict and am lucky enough to be in a county that pays homage to that. If I had to choose my favourite Essex golf course, it would be a toss-up between Thorndon Park and Colchester Golf Club. Although these are two of my favourites, Essex golfers are so lucky to be spoilt for choice with great courses anywhere you look within the county.

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