When photographs like the one below popped up on my newsfeed at the beginning of the week I had to do a double take. This photograph was taken in a new restaurant in Blyth. Blyth?? Really? It looks like something you would see on the Mediterranean coast rather than just a few miles up the road. This photograph was followed by stunning photographs of seafood dishes which again I simply could not believe were being produced in Blyth! I knew I had to check this out for myself and promptly booked a table at Blyth boathouse* on Quay road.
Blyth boathouse is located just behind Ridley park right on the Quayside in a quiet area of the town. It is a modern, light and airy new build with an open kitchen where you can watch the talented chef's work their magic. There is a gorgeous outdoor decking area that the sea comes right up to. I think the Boathouse will really come into it's own in the summer months, who wouldn't want to share a seafood platter with a bottle of wine overlooking the sea on the decking outside? Idyllic!
Our table was booked for 7pm on a Thursday evening. The restaurant was about 2/3 full by the time we left which just goes to show - there is definitely a market for this sort of restaurant in the area.
The menu is a seafood lovers dream! The chef buys their fish and seafood daily from Blyth harbour meaning it could not be fresher! There are currently two menu's to choose from - a daily specials and a main a la carte.
Main courses were priced between £10 and £22 with most being priced around the £17 mark. Yes this is expensive for Blyth however when you are sitting in this beautiful location and have your choice of wonderfully fresh fish and seafood, the fact that you are in Blyth is irrelevant. As I always say, you get what you pay for.
We were almost tempted with a seafood platter for two, lobster or poached turbot, these are definitely dishes we will try on our return. There was just so much choice that I haven't really seen elsewhere. In the end hubby ordered 6 oysters to start and I opted for the scallops, crispy belly pork and beetroot from the specials menu.
Both of our starters were AMAZING! My scallops were plump and cooked to perfection. The belly pork that accompanied them was perfectly crisp and I would never have added beetroot to this dish but it worked really well. Hubby's oysters were well presented and arrived with their own little bottle of tabasco.
For our main course I ordered traditional fish n chips. I had read fabulous reviews of this dish from the boathouse in Amble which is the boathouse in Blyth's sister restaurant and really wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. Hubby ordered the pan fried sea bass with salt and pepper squid and pea and mint linguine.
Wow! When my dish arrived it was more of a whale than a fish! It lived up to my expectations and was delicious. The fish was delicate in a lovely crispy batter and I loved the rustic chips, homemade mushy peas and tartar sauce. This dish is definitely worth the £10.95 price tag. I felt awful that I couldn't finish it all but there was simply too much. Our waitress informed us that she has indeed witnessed people finish the whole plate! That, I would love to see.
Steve's dish was beautiful and a very good portion. I had a little taste of his seabass and I'm pleased to say the skin was lovely and crisp without the fish being overcooked.
We were asked if we would like to look at a dessert menu but there is absolutely no way we could squeeze anything else in.
The Boathouse is a ran by a small team (there were only 4 people working on the night of our visit - 2 front of house and 2 in the kitchen) however they really looked after us well. The team took the time to chat to us and help us with our choices. It was clear that one of the floor staff was still in training as he was still being shown the ropes but this is to be expected during the first few weeks of opening.
Would we visit the boathouse again? Yes we certainly would. The location is beautiful, the ambience warm and welcoming and I have never enjoyed fresh, locally sourced seafood anywhere like this in our region before. It is definitely somewhere special to visit on 'date night'.
The one bit of feedback I would give, is I would love to see an early evening special menu which I'm sure would open this fantastic restaurant up to more people. Hopefully this is something the boathouse has planned for the future.
Make sure you 'like' Blyth boathouse on facebook so you can keep up to date with special offers, daily specials and news.
Some photographs were taken from The Boathouse on facebook.