Inspired Essex Magazine

Your local Business & lifestyle magazine

Going Back to the Future!

Can you remember what you were doing in 1986? I can. I was 15, still at school, sporting a very fetching perm and listening to the Pet Shop Boys and Five Star.

Back in 1986 we had’ The Chicken Song’ and ‘Rock me Amadeus’ topping the charts with a dose of silliness, Fergie married Andy and you could get a steak in Back Inn Time in Victoria Street for under a fiver! Well, guess, what? You still can. For the whole of November, the popular American-style diner is bringing back the menu from 1986, along with the 1986 prices. Form an orderly queue as this promotion is likely to make Back Inn Time the most popular place to eat out in Chelmsford!

Having eaten there recently, I’d say that even without the special offer, Back Inn Time is a fantastic place to eat. It’s a great place for families and the perfect informal setting for a first date or big celebration.

The menu is what you’d call good, honest food. You know exactly what to expect and if it’s not immediately obvious, it’s explained on the menu. I had the Brie Bop a Lula starter – wedges of deep fried brie with fruity sauce – big enough to be a main course. In fact I struggled to finish my ‘Breast of Times’. I did my best, obviously. Although I protested at being too full to try one myself, I have to own up to sampling some of the Baileys Crème Brulee, a weakness of mine, which was divine.

The cocktail menu is to die for, I think I’ve heard it referred to as ‘legendary’. You’ll be hard-pressed to choose anything from the list in a hurry, when there’s classics like Cosmopolitan to disgustingly decadent creamy concoctions like Lemon Meringue Pie (Limoncello, white crème de cacoa, cream and marshmallows) to tempt you.

The 1986 menu isn’t vastly different to the 2011 menu – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The prices, for the next month anyway, are very different though, and very welcoming indeed. Our advice is to get Inn there quickly and beat the rush!


Top News in 1986

  • Jeffery Archer had just resigned after newspaper allegations in late October about prostitutes. Which he denied. Oops.
  • At Chelmsford Crown Court, on 28 October, Jeremy Bamber was jailed for the murder of five family members.  He’s protesting his innocence to this day…
  • A fire in the Sandoz chemical plant in Basel, Switzerland sent tonnes of toxic chemicals into the Rhine and turned it red.
  • The first reported case of ‘Mad Cow Disease’ was reported on November 1st. Moo!

What we were watching

  • Neighbours was must-see TV, just added to the tea time schedule. It’s still going strong, Kylie is a national treasure and Jason – well he’s on Strictly Come Dancing…
  • Another soapy success was Eastenders –  Den and Angie’s rocky marriage conspired with Only Fools and Horses to keep everyone glued to BBC1 on Christmas Day!
  • The first ever Casualty aired in September 1986 and other TV gems include Howard’s Way, Dynasty, Bread and Brookside – for kids, there was Grange Hill with its ‘Just Say No’ campaign…and the cringey song that went with it…

At the Cinema

  • “Take my breath away….”  Yes, it was the year of Top Gun, big bubble perms, Aviators and power ballads. And Tom Cruise. In the UK, the slightly less photogenic John Cleese was bumbling around in Clockwise.
  • Cult favourite Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was inspiring teenagers to bunk off school and the first Transformers movie was doing it for the kids.


  • Eighties’ fashion is the stuff of legend and even the people attending the shows were legendary – Diana, Princess of Wales and Margaret Thatcher were both spotted at London Fashion Week.
  • Power dressing and shoulder pads were well established, Dynasty chic was influencing women (and men) everywhere.
  • The Designer of the Year was Jasper Conran, and we were all watching The Clothes Show on BBC1 – the first real TV show dedicated to anything as frivolous as clothes.



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This entry was posted on November 14, 2011 by in Chatty, Dine in Style, Offers and Competitions.
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