Peter Cumberlidge names his favourite South Coast restaurants and explains how to get to them by boat
Beachside Restaurant (Contemporary English)
South Sands is just inside Salcombe harbour to port, a toe-scrunching golden beach with the nostalgic atmosphere of long summer holidays, shrimping nets and messing about in dinghies.
Its restful boutique hotel (pictured below) has a kind of New-England style and the restaurant never seems frantic, even in high season. Specialities are the moules marinière, Salcombe crab and the lemon sole with capers and samphire.
The estuary views are sublime. Moored at a Salcombe visitor buoy, you can take the dinghy to South Sands if tide and weather serve, or land at Salcombe by water taxi and stroll out via Sandhill Point and North Sands.
- Tel: +44 (0)1548 845900 Web: www.beachsidesalcombe.co.uk
- Signature dish: Whole Salcombe crab
- Proximity: Dinghy ride from visitors’ moorings
- Approx cost: £75 (three-course meal for two exc. wine)
Millbrook Inn (English pub with French twists)
A visit to this Devon gem depends on tides, involving a trip in the tender from Salcombe to the head of Southpool Creek. Springs are best, with an evening HW around 2000 or 2100.
Enter the creek just above Salcombe fuel barge and aim to reach its head 1½-2hrs before HW. Land at the north shore pontoon and follow the lane to the inn.
The Millbrook Inn (pictured below) is cosy and welcoming, the cooking excellent but not precious. French chef Jean-Philippe brings Gallic flair to the menus. In summer you can eat outside on the balcony.
- Tel: +44 (0)1548 531581 Web: www.millbrookinnsouthpool.co.uk
- Signature dish: Classic guinea fowl casserole
- Proximity: Half-hour dinghy ride up creek
- Approx cost: £65 (three-course meal for two exc. wine)
Plymouth Mayflower Marina
Jolly Jacks Bistro (All-day bistro)
Mayflower is my first choice Plymouth marina, just into the Tamar River with open views across to Cremyll village and Mount Edgcumbe Country Park.
Jolly Jacks (pictured below) is an institution here, a friendly laid back meeting place where you can get a hearty boating breakfast, linger over coffee on the terrace, and eat well for lunch or supper. Good food simply cooked and a great waterfront atmosphere.
- Tel: +44 (0)1752 500008 Web: www.jollyjacks.co.uk
- Signature dish: Moules marinière
- Proximity: Right on marina
- Approx cost: £40 (three-course meal for two exc. wine)
Salamander Restaurant (Homely English)
Mevagissey is undiscovered by most cruising boats that stay well offshore to round Dodman Point. But this picturesque fishing village is a gem and its snug outer harbour has 2m datum depth at the visitors’ berth alongside the main pier.
In quiet weather you can lie here overnight, and certainly for lunch at one of the town’s bistros. I recommend the Salamander, a short walk from the pier on Tregoney Hill.
The cooking has some creative twists without being outlandish. This part of Cornwall has prime meat and cheeses as well as seafood and the unassuming Salamander is definitely worth a spin.
- Tel: +44 (0)1726 842254 Web: www.salamander-restaurant.co.uk
- Signature dish: Rack of Cornish lamb
- Proximity: 10 minutes walk from harbour quay
- Approx cost: £50 (three-course meal for two exc. wine)