Drink in views of shimmering sands and lapping waves while dining on fabulous local fodder at these beachside restaurants in the South West
The Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis
The MO at Mark Hix’s Lyme Regis restaurant is to serve seafood that literally couldn’t be fresher. As a result, the menu often changes throughout the day and diners can sometimes spy fishermen approaching the restaurant with crates of just-landed fish and shellfish.
The most coveted spot for feasting is the heated covered terrace which overlooks The Cobb, although inside is equally majestic as glass walls deliver views of the Jurassic Coast from every table.
For a more personal experience, book Mark’s Kitchen Table. Join the chef at his Charmouth home for an afternoon of good eating, plentiful wine and tales of fishing and foraging.
Insider’s tip: keep an eye out for guest-chef evenings when Mark is joined in the kitchen by the likes of Nathan Outlaw and Mitch Tonks.
Hooked on the Rocks, Falmouth
Follow a dip in turquoise waters with a plate of fresh local seafood and you’ve captured the spirit of a Cornish summer. And it’s this very experience that gourmets can enjoy at Hooked on the Rocks on Swanpool Beach near Falmouth.
Dishes are simple and shun over-embellishment so the ingredients can sing. Swing by for West Country mussels served Thai-style with bok choi and baked focaccia, or Falmouth Bay scallops bathed in roe butter and smoked paprika, served with a seaweed pangrattato. Fish changes depending on the day’s haul, but expect the likes of pan-roasted Newlyn hake with Cornish king crab risotto.
Insider’s tip: pair the briny delights with a local tipple from producers such as Loveday Gin in Falmouth, Frobishers juices in Exeter and Cornish Camel Valley Sparkling Brut.
The Break Bar at Beach House, Bude
This laid-back, family-run venue is just a stone’s skim from the beach at Widemouth Bay, so diners can ditch their shoes and enjoy a paddle metres from their table.
The bar and restaurant deals in ‘seafood, soul food and sunsets’ and the team do their utmost to source ingredients locally and sustainably for dishes that hold global appeal. Seafood and spices are the main order of the day, but sea meets land with chargrilled steaks, skewers and seasonal veggie options for those not piscatorially inclined.
A kids’ corner, board games and books make it a spot suitable for the whole family. And for those looking to extend the fun (or who’ve overdone it on the cocktails) there’s the option to stop over at chilled B&B, Beach House.
Insider’s tip: planning on visiting this summer? Order the seasonal (and epic) seafood sharing board to embrace the seaside setting.
Diners are guaranteed an ocean view at this family-owned restaurant as its smart deck overlooks Bournemouth Beach. Having gazed at the stunning seascape, guests will be equally wowed by the culinary offering. An open kitchen offers the opportunity to watch innovative chefs craft flavourful creations from quality ingredients – the lion’s share of which come from fishermen working the local waters off Bournemouth and Poole.
Poole Bay oysters taken with a dose of Tabasco, Tanzanian curry fragrant with spices, and seasonal seafood hit the spot and can be paired with wines from across the globe.
Insider’s tip: head to the deck for breakfast to enjoy signature fishy dishes like crab benedict.
Harbour Beach Club, Salcombe
Dodge the hordes of tourists that hit Salcombe in high summer and head for chic seaside feasting at nearby South Sands.
Harbour Beach Club is Harbour Hotel group’s gleaming new hotel, bar and restaurant which overlooks the sand and even has a little man-made beach of its own. The setting is a blissful spot where everyone’s welcome to sip cocktails on the deck and feast on seafood dishes in a slick dining room. Head chef Daniel Foster whips up crowd-pleasers like grilled lobster with garlic butter alongside contemporary creations such as pan-fried sea bream with Asian broth, razor clams and saffron potatoes.
Insider’s tip: make the most of a lengthy wine list that includes a good showing from Devon vineyards. The sparkling Calancombe Estate Blanc de Noirs is a cracking accompaniment to any seafood feast.
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