It’s a room service brownie! I ordered it after my chicken wrap dinner just wasn’t quite enough for me.
The Park Inn in Southend is the first hotel I ever stayed in for work (not counting a three-week induction course, nor counting my PhD years as ‘work’ exactly). It’s conveniently located for the office and for basically everything else in Southend. Also, it has a brownie on the room service menu, which the Holiday Inn Southend does not (anymore), so all in all it has some winning features.
On the other hand, there’s reasons why I stopped staying in it for a while once my Radisson loyalty membership had maxed out at the top tier. It’s quite an old building and could not be said to enjoy all the ‘mod cons’. The carpets are worn and shabby, the beds variable in quality, and the showers range from ‘superb’ to ‘unusable’. Breakfast was at least included in the room rate, but was of much lower quality than other hotels. I could go on: when you spend eighteen months in one place, exclusively in the hotels there, you get to know a lot about those different hotels. Suffice it to say that at some point I felt I’d had enough and stopped staying down the Park Inn way.
As I was last wrapping up in Southend, there were rumours of improvements and additional enticements coming to the Park Inn. From speaking to my colleagues, at least some of these seem to have come to pass. As a result, I was tempted back to the Park Inn this week, and in fairness things do seem to have improved a lot: enough for me to plan to stay here for the foreseeable future at least. Also, crucially for blog purposes, the Park Inn is close enough for me to get various restaurant deliveries whereas the Holiday Inn gives me essentially no brownie options, as it’s out near Southend Airport.
Admittedly, tonight I didn’t go for a takeaway brownie from anywhere: tonight I got a normal dinner, and then got a brownie hankering, and then got a brownie on room service. Room service brownies aren’t always the best, but hey, at least you get them with absolutely minimal effort! Let’s eat it and see what I think.
Taste: Eh, it’s okay. It’s got some lumps of definitely real chocolate in it, but then the chocolate sauce is obviously out of a bottle and the ice-cream is quite plain. Reminds me a bit of the problem that the Giraffe brownie had. 5/10
Texture: Styled as a “chocolate fondant brownie” and I think that’s why there’s a really soft melting centre (delicious) and a cakey exterior (average). 6/10
Presentation: I know it’s a common trick, but I like the sauce drizzle and the icecream scoop on top. The brownie doesn’t look exactly stunning, but eh, it’s alright all told. 3/5
Value: £6.75 (I’m ignoring the tray charge, as is tradition.) That seems a bit on the pricey side? Not a huge amount more, but the quality feels less overall. 4/10
Fudge Factor: The Park Inn seem to be doing it the best they can, and improvements seem to be happening, for which they deserve a point entirely unrelated to this brownie. 1/5
Park Your Scores: 19
Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?
I’m going to say no, but not because it’s a particularly bad brownie. It’s okay! But to be honest if you’re in a situation to order room service dessert in the Park Inn you should probably order takeaway dessert from somewhere nearby instead: I honestly think it’s a better option in almost every situation. There’s a couple of room service dishes at this hotel that I really like, but none of them are desserts I’m afraid.
Politics is getting pretty interesting again.