Peter Cumberlidge names his favourite South Coast restaurants and explains how to get to them by boat
For me, good food is an integral part of cruising and our passage plans often focus on restaurant locations or fish market opening times.
We actually eat on board quite often, and eat very well, so in restaurants we look for similar standards of quality, flavour, simplicity and conviviality that apply on the boat.
Not a big ask really, yet restaurant chefs have to steer a tricky balance between keeping their menus creative and appealing, while avoiding complex cocktails of flavours that might ruin a tender piece of lamb or a delicate fillet of sea bass.
This article picks out 25 South Coast restaurants that I know and like, from Ramsgate in the east right down to the Isles of Scilly, and with prices ranging from £16 to £130.
Bon Appetit (English with French touches)
Ramsgate lies at the east tip of England’s long South Coast, a natural port-of-call for boats cruising between the English Channel and Thames Estuary.
It has two outer marinas and a snug inner basin accessible HW±2hrs by a sill gate and lifting bridge. Despite its proximity to France, Ramsgate is very English in an unreconstructed, time warp kind of way, so you have to hunt around for an interesting bite to eat.
I like Bon Appetit, facing Ramsgate’s inner marina on Westcliff Arcade. Not exactly French as we know it, but the cooking is good, the staff are genial and you look out over the harbour.
- Tel: +44 (0)1843 852750 Web: www.bonappetitramsgate.co.uk
- Signature dish: Slow-roasted belly of pork
- Proximity: 3 minutes walk from inner marina
- Approx cost: £65 (three-course meal for two exc. wine)