Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside. For me, that really is the case. Nothing beats a day out breathing in that coastal air. These suggestions show how good we Brits are at making the most of the fish found on our shores. Keep it simple. Whether it’s good old fish ‘n’ chips or a slightly posher looking fishy option, steer clear of the fanfare. The best way to savour the delights of fresh, seasonal British fare is to choose dishes that show off the fish in all its shining glory.
Anstruther Fish Bar
There is no competition when it comes to the best Fish & Chips in the UK. The proof is on the sideboard groaning from all their awards. You can go all out taking a seat in their simple but effective 52-seater restaurant and order off the shorter-than-average wine list. But we’d recommend taking in the sea air having ordered from their sustainable, ethically-sourced fishy menu and sit amongst the seagulls – the haddock and chips being the sure fire winner – followed by a huge choice of 50 home-made ice-cream varieties. Be sure to book a room at the nearby Peat Inn.
Sandsend Café, Sandsend
You must be sure to visit Sandside Café when anywhere near Yorkshire. Brother and sister team have built up a loyal following since they opened in 1994 and a day here will evoke all kinds of happy childhood memories. The British seaside never looked so good. The menu is humble but excellent. Fresh crab sandwiches will be the best you’ve ever encountered and they’re also known for their sandside smokies, freshly-caught haddock baked in an egg and cheese sauce. With a Whitby ale in one hand and a packed crab sandwich in the other no beach café will ever live up to a lunch here. Spoil yourself with a room for afters at the Star Inn at Harome.
Coast at Saundersfoot
Having gained a Michelin star in the foodie-haven of Ludlow, Will Holland has set his sights on transforming the restaurant scene in this quiet coastal town. It’s no surprise that they pride themselves on freshly-caught, seasonal produce (they can see the harbour from the terrace) but we love Will’s exciting menu; expect turbot fillet with garam masala sauce and John Dory with spice of angels (fennel-based pollen, don’t you know). We’re tempted to go for the £60 tasting menu. It’s a bit of a trek for less than 6 courses.
Whitstable Oyster Company, Whitstable
With an enviable sandy location of being slap-bag on Whitstable beach, this family-run restaurant sensibly ploughed their time and attention to the oyster beds over the years culminating in a rich heritage and a mighty-fine oyster farm on their doorstep. This is a serious seafood dining experience. The menu is refreshingly simple boasting the fresh produce cooked simply; razor clams, scallops, deep fried sprats and moules cooked in local cider. Of course we’d recommend that you start with the oysters. It’d be a crime not to.
You’d think 2 Michelin stars in Cannes-en-Cornwall would come with a hefty pricetag. Nathan Outlaw is our favourite chef to transform the Cornish culinary scene in recent years. Located in the St Enodoc Hotel, we’d advise clearing the diary for a 3 hour tasting marathon. Costing £171 per person for 8 courses with accompanying wines it’s worth every penny. Even for those with a smaller budget, sit back for £25 set lunch and enjoy the stunning Camel Estuary views and order the mackerel. Be sure to pop to Watergate Bay when you’re there for a super sea-faring lunch at the Hidden Hut.
ISLE OF WIGHT
The Hut – Isle of Wight
Ideally arriving by boat might be a luxury too far but otherwise the trusty Isle of Wight ferry will have to do. With relaxed laid-back service and stunning views it’s no wonder the Hut welcomes hordes of couples, families and hopeful canines throughout the Summer awaiting any morsels that are thrown their way. The menu is simple, as it should be. We’d recommend the grilled lobster and a bottle of their palest Provençal rosé. You might want to stay the whole weekend.