WHEN it came to naming his Colchester-based bar and restaurant Josh Campbell-Broome wanted something strong and linked to the historic town.

And the name Boadicea pretty much ticked all those boxes.

In the 18 months since launching the bar and restaurant at Kind Edward's Quay on the Hythe the purpose-built venue has become a go to place for fans of cocktails, top quality food and dancing.

Just a stone's throw from the river and in the heart of an area with a huge amount of promise Josh says he wanted to choose a site which would become a destination for people who did not necessarily want to head to a number of places during their evening out.

Gazette: Boadicea bar and restaurant at the Hythe, Colchester..

Owner and managing director Josh, originally from Norwich, explains he oversaw every aspect of the creation of the building which has a rustic, industrial feel to it and even includes tiles especially flown in from America as well as exposed brick work.

"I did not think there was scope for anything new in Norwich so I looked around and Colchester just seemed perfect.

"We benefit from having some free parking right outside our door and there is a real community feel to us, we get on with our neighbours which include Bamboo just across the river.

"We all help each other out and I really like that," he adds.

The 29-year-old has been in hospitality a number of years having fallen in love with it straight out of school.

Gazette: Boadicea bar and restaurant at the Hythe, Colchester..Josh Campbell-Broome.

He started out helping to run bars and restaurants in Spain, bringing back what the learned and working in a number of venues before putting into motion his plan of launching his very own venue.

It is clear Boadicea is a labour of love for him and one he has grand plans for, building on its ongoing success.

"Eventually I would like to open more in other towns but I would keep the name, that would be the brand as it is so distinctive and I want that link with Colchester, wherever we open, because this is where it started," he says.

He admits he knew early on the venue would have to have a number of strings to its bow in order to do well.

And that is exactly what is on offer here, a quick or lengthy lunch whether you work nearby or have travelled in, a celebration dinner with cocktails or a drink and some dancing until the small hours.

There is something to suit all tastes and this is exactly what Josh set out to do.

"Our cocktails are really popular and we have a lot of people coming in for special occasions.

"But we also put on events and music nights as well as having a DJ for people who want to make a longer night of it.

"We are actually also doing a lot of private venues, corporate ones in particularly but also hen dos and birthdays and we have a canape or buffet menu for that."

The menus are hugely important to Josh and head chef Steve Angier who has worked around the world, including in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Gazette: Boadicea bar and restaurant at the Hythe, Colchester. .Chef Steve Angier.

Josh says : "At first we were going to go for a steak and grill type menu for the restaurant but then while we were in our planning stage a number of those opened in Colchester and I thought it would be too much.

"We do still have the classic options but we are also going for fresh, different flavours and we are changing the menu on a seasonal basis."

In fact, the spring menu has just arrived.

"We try to keep everything as local as possible, all the fish will soon be coming direct from Mersea and we have always bought our meat from Colchester butchers.

"That is something that is really important to me," says Josh.

He has worked closely to come up with a diverse menu for the lunch and evening trade which include pork belly, pan-fried duck breast, cannon of pan-fried lamb and shallot tarte-tatin.

Desserts are an equally appetising option with one of the eye-catching items a brownie named after the bar and the warrior queen herself.

"Steve came up with that himself, it has a marshmallow topping with honeycomb and popcorn - and it is very popular," laughs Josh.

The venue is even branching out into family celebrations with its first wedding already under its belt and a number of christenings and special events.

Gazette: Special - the Boadicea Brownie

"The downstairs area lends itself to a private event and we have had lots of different types of things go on here.

"That is what is so lovely about it, it is like a London venue without having to go to London and this area of the Hythe is one that has such exciting potential," adds Josh.

Combining Colchester’s historic past with modern, eclectic tastes, Boadicea is a destination venue serving lunch and dinner daily and also plays host to a variety of events including tastings, master classes and live music. Their website is