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My Favourite Essex Things… with Jackie Callow

PUBLISHED: 17:24 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:24 20 April 2015

EXG MAY 15 FIVE THINGS

EXG MAY 15 FIVE THINGS

Archant

Jackie Callow is passionate about organic skincare and, after five years of research and experimentation, she has taken this obsession to the next level by setting up Earthzest Organics. She is committed to providing the best organic skincare on the market and she makes everything by hand ensuring that it’s 100% organic and 100% cruelty-free. Jackie is passionate about animal welfare and it’s essential that none of her ingredients contain animal derivatives or have been tested on animals. When Jackie isn’t working, she enjoys keeping fit, spending time with friends and family as well as helping to organise Essex Mind, Body & Soul holistic events.

My favourite Essex walk

Westcliff to Thorpe Bay

I love to get up at 5am on a summer morning and cycle down to the seafront by the Arches in Westcliff and along to Thorpe Bay, where I sit on the beach and take some time out to slow down my breathing and truly relax. Setting up a business from scratch has been a very steep learning curve for me and I find that there are never enough hours in the day, which can be very stressful. However, investing an hour to sit on the beach and watch the movement of the tide and the big ships sailing up and down the Thames, really grounds me and sets me up for the day.

My favourite Essex restaurant
Oak Tree Restaurant in Leigh on Sea
Being a vegetarian, it’s a real treat to find a restaurant where I can eat everything on the menu. The Oak Tree is a real gem. Situated at 75 Leigh Road in Leigh on Sea, the food is imaginative, delicious and affordable. It’s perfect for relaxed business meetings and I also call in sometimes as I’m cycling back from Ditsy Daisy (which is a lovely gift shop opposite St Clement’s Church in Leigh Broadway West that will be stocking my products within the next few weeks). The staff in The Oak Tree are mega-friendly and always make me feel welcome. It’s one of those chilled-out places where you can comfortably eat alone and watch the world go by.

My favourite Essex place for a coffee

Utopia Coffee Shop, Southend
I always choose independent coffee shops wherever possible to support small businesses and Utopia is my definite favourite whenever I’m in Southend town centre. Situated near the Royals Shopping Centre, just off Southend High Street, it’s a lovely bustling hive of activity where the coffee is delicious and the cake is homemade. Whenever I go in there, I always bump in to people I know or faces I recognise and I love the laid-back, shabby-chic atmosphere and their Coffee for the Homeless programme, which allows customers to pay for an extra cup of coffee which will be given to homeless people who regularly call in for a much-needed cuppa and a warm-up.

My favourite Essex event
The Estuary Fringe Festival
The Estuary Fringe Festival is a vibrant, alternative 10-day event that’s run every August by local people to give a much-needed platform for local performers and artists in Southend. It’s aim is to create a space for visual artists, musicians and poets and to encourage everyone, regardless of their background, to get involved and have a go! I particularly love the Dangerous Poetry open-mic evenings which are fun and highly entertaining. The Estuary Fringe has been funded and run by volunteers for the past two years, but, fingers crossed, its application for council funding will be approved and this wonderful event will get the support it deserves and return bigger and better than ever before.

My favourite Essex artist
John Bulley
My favourite local artist is the charismatic, proactive and lovable John Bulley, who has been painting and supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged youngsters in the town for more than 30 years. He is also one of the founders of the Estuary Fringe Festival and I have so much time for him and his colleagues who work so tirelessly to make people happy. His work is figurative and mainly in acrylics, although he painted the iconic Camden Lock Bridge back in 1989 and has worked on three Harry Potter film sets. In Southend, he is most famous for his fantastic guerrilla art, including three recent paintings of famous gangsters which he created on lining paper and put up on the outside of an old derelict house, in order to draw attention to a neglected and run-down area of town. In John’s own words, his only weapon is his paint-brush and he’s not afraid to use it!

To find out more about Jackie and her products, visit www.earthzest.co.uk

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