The 7 Hotel & Diner on London Road in Halstead offers an all-American dining experience that is sure to make you think twice about getting on a plane to sample America’s finest dishes.

News Shopper: LE Arriving at the 7 Hotel and diner I was greeted by some original classic American cars, ranging from a Radford - restored and rebuilt to the highest of standards - to a meaty Harley Davidson. These cars and bikes have owners so passionate about them I even heard a guy explaining that it was either the car or the wife – it seems the car won that particular battle.

I managed to drag my family away from admiring the classic cars and bikes - before my husband thought about trading me in - to the restaurant.

Inside the diner it was exactly how you would expect a true American diner to be - neon lights, booth tables, pretty young waitresses dressed as the Pink Ladies and massive amounts of tomato ketchup. What surprised me was how elegant this all could be.

News Shopper: LE The diner is well set out. There are plenty of booths covered in the finest green leather, a large selection of round tables catering for groups, a dance floor and a rather relaxing looking lounge, with the compulsory 60inch plasma screen. The neon lights were subtle, the décor in tune but not in your face and the whole vibe of the place was not hardcore American cheese as you may have expected. It was actually very fresh and welcoming.

The menu was great for adults and children, with every burger you can possible think of made from 100 per cent British Angus beef (nothing American there!) accompanied by a variety of different toppings from crayfish tails to Stilton and mushrooms.

The typical buffalo wings, steaks and rib racks were all available, although what gives this place an edge is that all their food is prepared freshly on site.

I opted for the Jumbo Chilli Bowl at £11.95. It wasn’t the cheapest chilli I had ever eaten but it was easily one of the best. The chilli arrived on a huge plate with half a bagel, nachos, French fries and a salad, it really was a huge portion and I enjoyed every last mouthful.

My husband had the Foot-Long Chilli and Cheese Hotdog, the biggest saddle pork sausage I had ever seen, and he enjoyed it immensely. My son ordered a Bagizza, a bagel with a pizza topping served with chips and a choice of baked beans, peas or salad and my daughter a cheeseburger. Their plates were empty within minutes.

The drink selection was great, a vast wine and champagne list ranging from Pinot Grigio at £15.20 a bottle to the finest Louis Roederer “Cristal” vintage at £295 a bottle. The highlight for all was the milkshakes, with the freshly made mint choc-chip milkshake to die for. The children described it as “milkshake heaven”.

I would thoroughly recommend this all out American diner to families with small children, the staff were welcoming and made us feel at ease.

I can imagine that their event evenings which include Danny Fisher as Elvis and proposed ‘Ladies Nights’ will have a fantastic atmosphere and I will certainly be visiting again.


London Road

Polhill Halstead

Kent TN147AA

01959 535890 News Shopper: LE