Dine on gourmet dishes and enjoy fine wine before retiring to a comfy bed at these stylish restaurants with rooms beside the sea.
Words: Madeleine Barber.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? The catch of the day is caught by local fishermen off the south-east coast, and some is even home-smoked and home-cured. The potted Dungeness shrimps are a true Kentish dish, while the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows allow diners to watch the boats roll in.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? There are four Rocksalt rooms a short walk from the restaurant, with views over the harbour. These boutique boltholes are dressed with Egyptian cotton and antique beds, and have exposed-brick walls ripe with rustic charisma.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Amble around the corner to a long sandy stretch for a post-breakfast walk.
WHAT DOES IT COST? From around £220 per room per night, based on two sharing and including a continental breakfast hamper.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01303 212070 or visit rocksaltfolkestone.co.uk.
ST ENODOC RESTAURANT AT ST ENODOC HOTEL
Rock, North Cornwall
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Overlooking the Camel Estuary, the menu offers quality produce and focuses on fresh, healthy modern European recipes.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? They’re decorated with bright, Mediterranean colours, crisp white linens, and quirky oil paintings.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, you’ll find golden sandy beaches and the foot-ferry to Padstow.
WHAT DOES IT COST? A three-course dinner menu is around £35 per person. To stay, prices start from around £170 per night, based on two people sharing.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01208 863394 or visit enodoc-hotel.co.uk.
Read our hotel review: St Enodoc Hotel
36 ON THE QUAY
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Having held a Michelin star since 1997, 36 On the Quay places an emphasis on ‘flavours, presentation and originality’. Fresh fish is their specialty, including a pressed, salt-cured pollock terrine and roasted hake fillet with hazelnut gnocchi.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Choose from cosy or spacious rooms, all named after cooking herbs and spices, and most have a sweeping view across Emsworth harbour.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? 36 On the Quay is right on the water’s edge, with the beach a short stroll away.
WHAT DOES IT COST? A 8-course tasting menu is around £70 per person. To stay, prices start from £150 per room per night, based on two sharing and including breakfast.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01243 372257 or visit 36onthequay.com.
THE AIRDS HOTEL AND RESTAURANT
Port Appin, Scotland
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? This three AA rosette restaurant serves amuse bouche to start, before offering diners an eclectic choice of dishes fuelled by an abundance of fresh ingredients. West Coast brown crab and pan-seared scallops rule the roost, while a tasting menu offers a diverse culinary journey.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Inside this converted ferry inn, the rooms are furnished with beautiful antiques. Most of the windows look out over shimmering lochs too.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? The banks of Loch Linnhe are walking distance away.
WHAT DOES IT COST? From £360 per night (per double room), including dinner, bed and breakfast.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01631 730236 or visit airds-hotel.com.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Chef Simon Rogan’s fondness for nature translates into his recipes. Having his own 12-acre farm in Cartmel Valley means diners can trust that L’Enclume dishes will comprise the finest locally sourced and foraged ingredients where possible. Never promising uniformity, they pride themselves on a personal and exclusive dining experience.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? They are comfortable and contemporary. Each of the 16 rooms is spread across three buildings in the small village of Cartmel, no more than 300 yards away.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Located in the centre of a peninsula, just a 10-minute drive east or west will land you at the stunning Cumbrian coastline.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Double room from around £250 per night for dinner and breakfast.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01539 536362 or visit lenclume.co.uk.
Aberaeron, West Wales
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Included in The Good Food Guide since its debut, this harbourside restaurant bakes fresh bread on a daily basis and serves a host of locally sourced fish.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Reached by an original spiral staircase, rooms are named after ships built in Aberaeron harbour in the 19th century. The Grade II-listed harbourmaster house has grand, Georgian windows, and the Aeron suite offers a Juliette balcony and views of bobbing boats in the marina.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Less than 50 metres away.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Bed and a Welsh breakfast from around £150 (per night, room for two people).
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01545 570755 or visit harbour-master.com.
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THE DRIFTWOOD HOTEL
Photo: David Griffen
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Taking over from Michelin-starred chef Chris Eden in 2019, Olly Pierrepont maintains the high standard of Cornwall’s finest restaurant, with a passion for creating food from only the freshest fish and finest West Country meats .
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? They’re spacious and quintessentially coastal, with driftwood decoration popping up in unlikely places. For a more secluded stay, head across the lawn to the Rustic Cabin, which sleeps four people and has panoramic views across the bay.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Just minutes from the South West Coast Path, you’ll have access to miles of sandy shore.
WHAT DOES IT COST? From around £360 per night (double room) including dinner, bed and breakfast.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01872 580644 or visit driftwoodhotel.co.uk.
Read our hotel review: Driftwood Hotel
THE NEPTUNE INN AND RESTAURANT
Old Hunstanton, Norfolk
Photo: Andrew Kitt/Pollywiggle
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Husband and wife Kevin and Jacki Mangeolles have maintained the Neptune’s Michelin star since 2009. Their evening menu includes Brancaster lobster and star anise mousse to start, followed by mains such as Norfolk loin of lamb and Cumbrian rose veal with aubergine and parmesan purée. For a sweet treat, end your meal with mango mousse, peanut butter ice cream, shortbread and blueberries.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? The six rooms are simple and stylish – an ideal base for exploring the bustling market towns on the Norfolk coastline.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? It’s a short walk through Old Hunstanton to an idyllic beach, or take a longer stroll along the sand to visit Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve.
WHAT DOES IT COST? From around £295 per night (standard double room) including three course dinner, bed and breakfast.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01485 532122 or visit theneptune.co.uk.
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