Dining by the Sea

Life on an island has one massive benefit over all other kinds of living: the sea is always close at hand.  That means, when Bank Holiday weekends arrive, you can get yourself and someone you love down to the sea in no time at all.  A few hours of dining and strolling in the sun and open air, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been away for a week.
A day trip to Lyme Regis is entirely possible from London (we’ve done it more than once) and the Hix Oyster and Fish House restaurant with its views over the Cob and the sea are just too enticing to miss.  The best of local seafood is on the menu in Hix-style creations, then it’s a short walk down to the Jurassic Coast for some time travel.
We’ve mentioned The Beach Bistro in Rye before, a breath of New England style, the ingredients in the excellent cuisine are local, and there are miles of uninterrupted dune-dotted beach — Camber Sands — outside the door for major strolling action after your meal.
WestBeach Bar & Restaurant in Bournemouth has a stunning location just steps from the beach and Bournemouth Pier, with huge plate glass windows to take maximum advantage of the scene.  The inventive British cuisine features local seafood in an array of preparations inspired by global flavours.
If an elevated view of the sea is more the cut of your jib, then Pebble Beach Restaurant‘s cliff-top location will thrill you.   It’s near Bournemouth on the Lymington side, and gives you outstanding views over the Solent to The Needles and the beckoning sea beyond.   The Observer has named it one of the 20 Best Places to Eat in Britain, so we know you’ll be delighted with its French-led Mediterranean cuisine and fine service.
The seaside setting of Number Forty restaurant at St Andrews Golf Hotel may be more than enough to take your mind off the golf for a while.  If so, the auld toon is charming, but it’s the waves and sand we’re talking about now.  The confident simplicity of the menu and the delightfully modern decor make Number Forty a surprise worth discovering.
If you’re in London, take advantage of the new high speed rail connections to northern Kent and head for the joys of Whitstable, home of some of the best oysters in the world and a fine spot for sandy strolls.  We have nearly a dozen restaurants to choose from there, including the Crab and Winkle set right bang on top of the fishmarket and The Pearson’s Arms by Richard Phillips a stone’s throw from the beach.
And if the British Bank Holiday follows decades of tradition and brings rain and chill winds, put this blogpost in your memory bank for the sunny days that surely lie ahead, as soon as the new school term begins.