Whole lobster, fresh crab and traditional smoked fish are just a few delicacies bound to excite foodies visiting Britain’s coastline. Savour the catch of the day from a local fisherman’s trawl, taste recipes passed down through families for centuries, or dive in with some hands-on culinary experiences. From the south coast of Sussex to the northern tip of Scotland, there’s a (seafood) platter of coastal cuisine just waiting to be discovered.
Home to some of the country’s finest shellfish, Padstow in Cornwall is a coastal culinary mecca. This picturesque port town is home to restaurants boasting seafood sourced just a stone’s throw from the kitchen, making it an unmissable gastronomic experience for foodies.
Offering an ever-changing menu of fresh seafood, depending on the fisherman’s catch, Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow lives and breathes freshness and quality. Serving just 24 covers, this intimate restaurant is also a fishmonger, so the quality of the seafood is guaranteed. Visitors can tuck into signature prawn dishes, larger seafood platters, Thai style scallops or choose their fish from the counter. With a strong focus on sustainability, produce is sourced from local fishing boats or nearby markets.
Price: Platters start from £22. A whole fish for the table costs from £32
Another Cornish gem is celebrity chef Rick Stein’s internationally famous The Seafood Restaurant. Also located in Padstow, this venue has become a seafood institution since it opened in 1975. Working closely with local suppliers who are passionate about the area’s produce, this is a high-quality seafood experience with the spirit of the Cornish coast at its core. Visitors can try the Padstow lobster, fruits de mer, whole lemon sole, or sample a selection of shellfish caught fresh in the area.
Price: Mains from the sample menu start from £19.99
Founded in 1872, Fortune Kippers is Whitby’s only traditional smokehouse. Now run by the sixth generation of the Fortune family, this quaint seaside smokehouse is still in its original location, just a few minutes’ walk from Whitby harbour. As well as enjoying traditional smoked kippers, which are smoked over oak, beach and softwood fires before being fried, steamed or grilled, visitors can also taste the homemade kipper pate, usually enjoyed on a slice of rye bread.
When? Available daily until the day’s kippers have sold out.
In keeping with Wales’ Year of Outdoors in 2020, visitors can enjoy a foodie adventure unlike any other. Discover the delicious food available along the west coast of Wales in a hands-on coastal foraging lesson. Run by local expert Craig Evans, these foraging events teach visitors how and where to find the most delicious seafood on a Welsh beach, and are peppered with local history and culture.
Price: A classic foraging experience cost £80 per person, extreme low-tide foraging costs £120. Bespoke experiences offered on request.
For visitors wishing to sample Scotland’s coastal delights, a trip to Oban, the country’s ‘seafood capital’, is a great option. With smokehouses and distilleries to explore, there’s plenty to ignite the senses, making it the perfect way to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020.
Visitors can book a smoked salmon experience in Oban, a two-hour self-drive tour that includes a locally sourced smoked salmon lunch, as well as a tour of an artisan smokehouse to see the process first hand.
For a more hands-on foodie adventure, get stuck into a ‘catch it, cook it, eat it’ experience. Departing from Inverness, visitors can set sail on a trawler boat and pull crab, lobster and langoustine from the Scottish waters under the expert eye of an experienced fisherman. Once back on dry land, the visitors’ catch of the day will be cooked, ready to be enjoyed there and then.
Price: Smoked salmon experience costs £65 for two people. Prices for groups available on request. The ‘catch it, cook it, eat it’ experience costs £75 per person.
Although a champion of the British classic, fish and chips, the vibrant seaside town of Brighton is cracking for crustaceans too. The region’s seafood doesn’t get much better than Riddle & Finns, where visitors can sample fish from the local coastline in a traditional yet luxurious setting. Offering everything from winkles to whelks and cockles to crabs, this romantic, candlelit eatery has something for every taste, from the ultra-extravagant to the humble. Just a few of the menu highlights include the catch of the day, fruits de mer platters, Sussex smoked salmon, south coast fish soup and Riddle & Finns’ fish pie.
Prices: Mains from £14.50
For a stripped-back British seafood experience, visitors can try a dish or two at the welcoming Riley’s Fish Shack. Nestled at the mouth of the River Tyne, close to the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, this seafood eatery has a menu that, much like the tides, changes regularly. Visitors can choose from the range of dishes available on the day, cooked to perfection in the wood-fired oven or lovingly chargrilled. Run by husband and wife team, Adam and Lucy Riley, the restaurant is ideal for guests looking to enjoy the various fruits of the local coastline in a simple and healthy way.
Prices: Costs vary according to market prices
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