Chefs in Great Britain and Ireland have an abundant supply of fresh produce at their disposal – and that from the sea is no exception. Spanning from unfussy plates enjoyed while overlooking the beach, to creative modern dishes served in smart city skyscrapers, enjoy dining experiences at restaurants specialising in fish and seafood.
The Oystermen, Covent Garden
As the name suggests, oysters are this restaurant’s mainstay, sourcing the best from across the British Isles. Starting life as a pop-up bar, friends Matt Lovell and Rob Hampton have since grown The Oystermen into one of London’s most talked-about seafood restaurants, serving seasonal menus from an ever-buzzing spot in Covent Garden.
A pristine space on the top floor of the South Place Hotel, Angler serves classic British dishes and boasts views of some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks. Featuring seasonal, carefully sourced produce, Gary Foulke’s regularly changing menu is led by fresh catches sourced largely from Scotland and Cornwall, and also showcases the finest local meat and vegetables.
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
Nathan Outlaw’s eponymous Cornwall restaurant is perfectly in tune with its stunning location - a pebble’s throw from the beach. In the gently curved dining room, floor-to-ceiling windows frame the Cornish coastline, and the menu offers fine dining takes on fresh seafood, with innovative flavour combinations weaved throughout.
A laidback, bijou bistro just off Margate’s famous esplanade, Angela’s takes great pride in serving local, sustainable fish & seafood. Allowing the produce to shine, a concise, unfussy menu is displayed daily on the blackboard, with dishes served on tables made of compressed recycled plastic. Diners can enjoy views out over the Kent coastline via the restaurant’s big front windows.
Shell Bay, Studland
Starting life as a seafood shack and retaining its laidback, rustic feel, Shell Bay draws on local catches, offering a menu that mixes modern and classic. On the water’s edge overlooking Brownsea Island, every table has a view of Shell Bay, with the terrace unsurprisingly a hit in the summer.
Sardine Factory, Looe
Set in a lovingly restored warehouse with views over the harbour, Sardine Factory utilises the daily stocks offered at Looe Market, which sits right opposite the restaurant. Chef Benjamin Palmer was drawn back to his native town, and crafts a refined yet simple menu, featuring the likes of smoked haddock Scotch egg with curried mayonnaise, Looe Market fish and chips, and the signature chowder with bacon crumbs.
The Sea, The Sea, Chelsea
On a charming mews off Sloane Square, The Sea, The Sea is a modern fishmongers by day and a chic champagne and seafood bar by night. Beachside rusticism is conjured through its sandy coloured walls, packed-full ice counters, and suspended aquatic plants, while the expertly handled fish shop and seafood bar offers ingredients that are dry-aged on site, and used throughout a tight menu of creative small plates.
Prawn on the Lawn, Padstow
Following the success of Prawn on the Lawn in Islington, husband and wife team Rick and Katie Toogood brought this charming, nautical-themed seafood concept to Padstow. Like the original, the Cornwall restaurant is a fishmongers-cum-seafood bar, serving tapas-style sharing plates that focus on sustainability and local produce.
Mourne Seafood Bar, Belfast
Mourne Seafood Bar brings together a restaurant, fish shop and cookery school. Classic plates with experimental flourishes lead the menu – stocks are sourced from the restaurant’s very own shellfish beds - and the interior evokes a laidback vibe with exposed brick and simple wooden tables. Enjoy dishes accompanied by one of the suggested beer pairings.
Paying homage to Edinburgh’s fishing heritage, Ondine serves rustic seafood dishes with panoramic views over the city’s Old Town. From the regularly changing menu, expect dishes like trusty deep-fried haddock with minted pea purée and chips, North Sea cod with shimeji mushrooms, black truffle and whipped cauliflower, and treacle-cured salmon.