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Britain’s best coastal cafes and restaurants

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

We all love a dining table with a coastal view so here are some of the best seaside restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars in the UK.

The Sportsman, Whitstable, Kent

Whitstable’s Michelin-starred gastropub, The Sportsman, which serves up delicious local seafood on blackboard and tasting menus has also held its Michelin star for a decade. With old timber beams and a Tudor fireplace, the pub prides itself on keeping superb food simple and offers a selection of local beers, cask ales and wines from Kent’s renowned vineyards to enjoy in front of a crackling fire.

Read more about Kent

The Ship Inn, Low Newton-by-the-Sea, Northumberland
Head to Northumberland and enjoy a meal at The Ship Inn

Head to Northumberland and enjoy a meal at The Ship Inn

Tucked away on the edge of the sand dunes, Low Newton is another hidden gem on the picturesque Northumberland coast that is not to be missed. A tiny hamlet which consists mainly of cottages on three sides of a small village green, it also boasts a pub with a big reputation. The Ship Inn often finds itself full to the brim at weekends and in the summer holidays, when tiny Low Newton is packed with families enjoying the scenery, the sand, and some pretty good food and beer from The Ship’s own micro-brewery.

Along with interesting vegetarian food and delicious old fashioned puddings, the pub also serves very good fish, nearly all of which is caught by local fishermen – in fact, if you arrive between June and October at the right time of day you will see the lobster man walking up the beach to The Ship with a bucket of lobster in each hand. Perhaps because it is off the beaten track, the restaurant has restricted opening so do check times, but few sights are more memorable than that of Low Newton beach as dusk falls – so do add an evening visit to your itinerary during your stay in Northumberland.

Read more about Northumberland

Billy Winters, Weymouth, Dorset

Billy Winters (the name of locally-caught Weymouth Bay prawns) is a rustic beach diner bar sat right on the beach in amongst the wind and kite surfers. It has beautiful views overlooking Portland harbour. There are plenty of brightly painted chairs, with many of them pointing out to sea, so you can enjoy the view. Billy’s serves up authentic, quality and artisan food with a hearty helping of vegetarian and meat dishes, with cocktails and hot drinks served all day.

Read more about Dorset

Rocky Bottoms, Norfolk
Enjoy fresh, local seafood at Rocky Bottoms

Enjoy fresh, local seafood at Rocky Bottoms

North Norfolk is a great place for fine food. The sea and coast deliver delicious seafood and fish but you won’t be stuck for choice when it comes to meat, game and fantastic vegetarian dishes to go with it. Rocky Bottoms is an excellent example of local food worked into an interesting menu. Crab and lobster are caught just off the coast in the restaurant’s own boat named the Anna Gail.

The menu changes regularly to reflect the season and availability of the shellfish so you’ll always get the freshest local food possible. The views from the restaurant are amazing and, if the weather’s right, you can pick up something from the seafood counter to take down to the beach with a coffee.

Read more about Norfolk

Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa, Dorset

For many the jewel in Dorset’s crown is its glorious 88-mile coastline where hundreds of restaurants, bistros and stalls feature heavenly freshly-caught fish. Dorset is famous for its glorious seafood, straight from its ports and bays all along the coastline. From hand picked cockles to succulent seabass and crab, the choices are endless.

Making your way along the coastline, starting at Christchurch is the Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa. It offers spectacular views across Christchurch Harbour. Both restaurants are headed up by one of Dorset’s most respected chefs, Alex Aitken, who has been awarded a Michelin star and is passionate about his seasonal, local and fresh philosophy.

Read more about Dorset

The View, Tynemouth
Watch the tide go out as you dine at The View, Tynemouth

Watch the tide go out as you dine at The View, Tynemouth

A stunning restaurant which offers diners the chance to savour the stunning view over Longsands beach in Tynemouth and enjoy some good food and wine. In keeping with the nautical theme there are sailor’s knots on the wall of The View and different textures of wood have been used on the tables, and the booths at the back of the restaurant are beach huts.

Read more about Newcastle and Gateshead

The Room in the Elephant, Torquay, South Devon

Torquay is more famous for bucket-and-spade summer fun than fine food. But it is the home of the county’s only other Michelin-starred restaurant, The Room in the Elephant in Torquay, South Devon. Overlooking the harbour, this gorgeous terraced Georgian house has a casual brasserie downstairs, while upstairs is the Michelin-starred Room. This is some of the prettiest food you’re likely to see anywhere, with dainty floral garnishes and unexpected flavours – the pop rock candy dessert, for example, which fizzes in your mouth. All this, plus one of the best sea views in town.

Read more about South Devon

Newquay’s Fistral Beach, Cornwall
Eat your dinner overlooking the iconic Fistral beach at Rick Stein Fistral

Eat your dinner overlooking the iconic Fistral beach at Rick Stein Fistral

Prefer to eat with your toes in the sand? Head to Gustos and grab a takeaway Med-style food box filled with the likes of falafels, flat breads and smoked meats. Echoing Australian beach life, Newquay’s Fistral Beach in Cornwall has also spawned a huddle of eateries overlooking the world-class waves.

Surfer and chef Paul Harwood serves elegant, rustic seafood platters at The Fish House, while Rick Stein’s Fistral serves up Indian specialities alongside fish dishes. Upstairs at The Stable, hand-made pizzas and pies are piled high with regional produce and accompanied by a vast selection of West Country ciders.

Read more about Cornwall

The Jolly Fisherman, Craster, Northumberland

Combining stunning sea views with delicious home cooking and fine ales this is a tastefully-refurbished pub with tradition and character at its heart. This historic pub has retained its charm with stone-flagged floors, low beamed ceilings and comfortable seating.

In the winter months, The Jolly Fisherman has roaring open fires and in the summer enjoy the view from one of the most spectacular beer gardens in Northumberland.

Read more about Northumberland

Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
Try dining with a difference at the Spinnaker Tower

Try dining with a difference at the Spinnaker Tower

Soaring high above the glittering Portsmouth harbour, proudly stands the Emirates Spinnaker Tower – a spectacular and elegant viewing tower at the heart of a city that is fast becoming one of Britain’s favourite waterfront destinations.

At 170 metres tall and with unrivalled panoramic views of the area, it has already established itself as a national icon for Britain with around two million visitors in its short history. Providing breath-taking 350º vistas of the South coast, the Solent and the Isle of Wight and with views stretching up to 23 miles away, the three floor-to-ceiling glass view decks offer visitors a unique view every time. The Tower also boasts a large glass floor, enabling intrepid visitors of all ages to virtually ‘walk on air’!

Read more about Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

The Silver Darling Restaurant, Aberdeen

In a unique position overlooking the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour, Silver Darling, the Scottish nickname for herring, specialises in seafood with a French flavour is located in Pocra Quay and appropriately provides panoramic views as you munch on your fillet of halibut or black sea bream. The restaurant opened in 1986 and has consistently been recommended in the Good Food Guide since then. It has also been ranked as one of the top 10 seafood restaurants in the UK.

Read more about Aberdeenshire

Riddle and Finns, Brighton

For something a bit more upmarket, take a visit to Riddle and Finns restaurant in Brighton’s seafront arches, where you can enjoy your meal alfresco, or with views of the sea from the dining room. The former venue was inspired by the high-end liquor shops and oyster bars of New York and Paris, and is a bustling place with an open kitchen that cooks up the freshest seasonal seafood.

Read more about Brighton and Hove

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Image credits: ©Rocky Bottoms; The Jolly Fisherman; The Ship Inn; The Silver Darling Restaurant; The View, Tynemouth

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