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Top 10 Places to Dine by the Water

by Andy Lynes

There is nothing quite like dining by the water, especially when the weather is good. Be it relaxing in a classic English seaside resort, a surfing town or in a rural setting enjoying a lazy lunch by the river, Britain offers a plethora of enticing options. Our ten choices are dotted around the country and include coastal destinations in Cornwall, Devon, Hampshire, Suffolk and Norfolk and covers Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands too. There’s everything from a marina setting to beachfront and riverside locations that offer the opportunity to get active surfing, fishing or just enjoying a stroll along the prom. Wherever you choose, you’ll be guaranteed great food, cooked with élan and often featuring ingredients sourced from nearby, including some superior seafood of course. Whether it’s a special occasion or a casual bite, we’ve got it covered.


Showing below are all 10 records in "Top 10 Places to Dine by the Water"

The Quay Hotel & Spa (Hotel)

Deganwy Quay, Deganwy, Conwy

The Quay Hotel & Spa, Deganwy Quay, Conwy

Ask for a table on the terrace at the hotel’s chic, contemporary Ebb and Flow restaurant that overlooks the Conwy Estuary on the North Wales coast with fabulous views of the Conwy Mountains and UNESCO heritage site of Conwy Castle. Locally caught seafood dishes might include whole grilled mackerel, sea vegetables and anchovy, parmentiere potatoes and spring onion. You can’t visit Wales without sampling the local lamb, which here might be served as a roasted rump with braised gem, fondant potato, asparagus, tender stem broccoli and jus.

The Boardwalk Restaurant (Restaurant)

Southwold Pier, North Parade, Southwold

The Boardwalk Restaurant, Southwold Pier, Southwold, Suffolk

Dine al fresco on Southwold’s pier that extends over 600 feet from the beach into the sea. The family friendly menu includes cod in a batter made with beer from the famous local Adnams brewery and a crowd-pleasing gourmet burger served in a bun from the nearby Penny Bun Bakehouse. Come for a weekend brunch of American style pancakes with streaky bacon and maple syrup then browse the pier’s boutique shops and check out the cheeky ‘piddlers’ that fuel the sculptural water clock.

The Lifeboat Inn (Restaurant)

Ship Lane, Thornham

The Lifeboat Inn, Ship Lane, Thornham, Norfolk

With nothing between it and the sea expect salt marsh and sand, this 500-year-old traditional British inn, makes the perfect base from which to explore the north Norfolk coast. There’s plenty of al fresco dining space, or if the weather’s not cooperating, take a seat in the cosy brick and wood beam bar or more elegant dining room for plates of fresh Norfolk crab or pan-fried bream with crushed new potatoes and chive butter. Sunday lunch with generous servings of roast topside of beef with all the trimmings is not to be missed.

Riverside Restaurant (Restaurant)

Bridge Street, Kelso

Riverside Restaurant, Bridge Street, Kelso, Scottish Borders

Prepare yourself to fish one of Britain’s finest salmon beats at the elegant restaurant of this 33-bedroom Georgian country house hotel situated on a prime spot on the River Tweed on the Scottish boarders. Take in the panoramic river views while you enjoy imaginative dishes that give prime Scottish produce as global twist, including pan-roast trout with heritage potatoes, crispy shallots curried panache of vegetables and pomegranate dressing.

The Mirabelle at the Grand Hotel (Restaurant)

King Edward's Parade, Eastbourne

The Mirabelle at the Grand Hotel, King Edward's Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex

The Grand Hotel is one of the south coast’s finest hotels and it’s dining room has recently been transformed by a refurbishment that introduces modern touches like feature floral wallpaper but retains all the luxury and elegance you’d associate with the 19th century seafront hotel that’s known as The White Palace’. The Mediterranean-inspired delights might include basil-stuffed red mullet, with basil vinaigrette and spicy marinated chicken breast with romesco sauce. Indulge in the excellent value lunch before taking a relaxing post prandial stroll along the beach.

Dune Restaurant (Restaurant)

Fistral Beach Hotel, Esplanade Road, Newquay

Dune Restaurant, Fistral Beach Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

If surfing’s your thing, then you won’t find a better located restaurant in which to recuperate from a hard day’s hanging ten. Overlooking the white sands of one of the countries highest rated surfing beaches, Dune offers a sophisticated, modern and elegant setting from which to admire the breaking waves, even if you don’t plan to ride them any time soon. The mouth-watering menu might include gin-cured salmon, oatcake tuille, charred watermelon, pickled cucumber and lemon curd followed by Seaweed crusted hake with prawn and crab linguine.

Dartmouth River Restaurant (Restaurant)

Dart Marina Hotel, Dart Marina, Sandquay Road, Dartmouth

Dartmouth River Restaurant, Dart Marina Hotel, Dartmouth, Devon

There are wonderful views of the marina, River Dart and the surrounding lush greenery from every table at this smart waterside hotel dining room. Chef Peter Ashcroft uses seasonal South Hams ingredients including Bigbury Bay oysters, Creedy duck, Cuckoo Farm egs and Poole Farm pork in dishes such as seared local scallops, glazed pork belly, apple puree and cider emulsion to be enjoyed with a glass or two of the locally made Dart Valley Reserve wine.

L'Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa (Restaurant)

La Route de la Baie, St Brelade's Bay, St Helier

L'Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa, La Route de la Baie, St Helier, Jersey

For unmatched Atlantic views, head to the terrace of this upmarket 19th century beach front hotel’s restaurant where you can soak up the sun and reflected heat from the Channel Islands unspoilt golden sands. A seat in the very stylish art-deco inspired grill is equally as covetable, where you can sample the best of the island’s produce such as Jersey Chancre crab served with La Mare pink gin infused watermelon and squid ink tuille or a seafood platter to share that includes a whole Jersey lobster.

The Mayflower (Restaurant)

King's Saltern road, Lymington

The Mayflower, King's Saltern road, Lymington, Hampshire

When the sun’s out, pull up a chair on the terrace overlooking the well-maintained garden of this welcoming, nautically themed coastal pub set right by Lymington harbour to give their garden menu a spin. In the smart yet comfortable bar and dining area, settle in for local produce well prepared in dishes such as seabream fillet with Lymington crab and tomato risotto and grilled Isle of Wight steaks served with chunky chips.

The Trout at Tadpole Bridge (Restaurant)

Buckland Marsh, Faringdon

The Trout at Tadpole Bridge, Buckland Marsh, Faringdon, Oxfordshire

This beguiling 17th century rustic Cotswolds inn overlooks the Thames and the historic Tadpole Bridge. Enjoy a pint in the cosy bar complete with wood burner, flagstone flooring and exposed wood beams before heading to the smart dining room with its blue painted tongue and groove covered walls and artfully mismatched furniture for a selection of mix of pub classics including fish and chips and steaks alongside more foodie offerings such as pan fried brill, scallops, prawns, samphire, bisque dressing and mashed potatoes. After lunch take a stroll along the Thames Path National Trail or explore the nearby Chimney Meadows nature reserve.

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