Long Summer afternoons at King Edward's Bay beach, Tynemouth with Riley's Fish Shack

Ok, I am SO late to the party on this one but I finally made it down to Riley's Fish Shack on King Edward's Bay beach in Tynemouth. It's a place that Steve and I have tried to visit a couple of times but they've either been closed (check out their FB page for opening hours) or the wait has been too long. I made plans with my little bro to go for lunch on his day off a few weeks ago and as it was pretty overcast, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to visit Riley's as I expected it to be quiet. I was wrong, but it was worth the wait.

You'll find Riley's Fish Shack right on the beach at King Edward's Bay in Tynemouth - just under the Gibralter Rock and Tynemouth Priory. Steve loves King Edward's Bay and has fond memories of visiting this beach regularly with his mates as a child. I was more of a Cullercoats girls myself, but I have to agree, King Edward's Bay is pretty spectacular. It's a long walk down multiple steps though so be warned (it's definitely not so easy on the way back up).

The queue was only just out of the shack when we arrived at around 12:30pm and the indoor seating was all taken - it was busier than expected considering how overcast it was. The queue was very slow moving and I think it took at least 30 minutes to order our food (with around 8 people in front of us). Don't visit Riley's if you're in a hurry. Do visit Riley's if you're looking for a lazy afternoon with friends.

The menu features freshly caught fish and seafood. The mackerel and kipper wraps both almost tempted us but in the end we both went with a fish empanada, goats cheese empanada and fish cake - 3 for £12.50. Whilst standing in the queue you can watch the guys hand making the empanadas which is what swung it for us. I can definitely see myself returning with Steve and us sharing one of their fish suppers for two.

I wasn't drinking alcohol (for once) but there are some fab options including English Sparkling Wine and I can imagine enjoying a bottle with Steve on the beach as the sun sets (how romantic eh!). Now I just need a babysitter and we're sorted..... We opted for soft drinks on this occasion but plenty of folk were indulging in IPA. It's worth noting you can only buy alcohol with food.

As we were waiting in the queue to order, complimentary infused water on the counter kept us from complaining about the wait.

Finally, we placed out order after 30 minutes of queuing. We were starving by this point. If you let the guys at the counter know, you can go and sit down on the beach rather than waiting by the counter as they cook your food and they'll bring it down to you which is a fab service. If you're not driving, I'd order a bottle of wine and open this while you wait. Bliss.

Mark and I found two deckchairs and relaxed watching the world go by. There wasn't much on the menu that my three wouldn't twist their face at (why do they have to be so fussy!) but I can definitely imagine letting them play in the sand as us grown ups tuck in. It kind of reminded me of our holiday to Calella last year when Steve and I did this in Llafranc.

It was a round another 30 minutes before our food arrived. This wasn't an issue for us as we had plenty of time and it was actually nice taking things slowly. King Edward's Bay is definitely the kind of place you can relax over a full afternoon.

As calls of 'Sam' were shouted down from the shack, it was finally time! Our food was ready and delivered to us on our deckchair after we gave the staff a little wave.

And boy was it worth the wait! I have experienced nothing like it in the North East. The fishcakes were enormous and packed with white flaky fish, potato and herbs. My brother said these were his favourite item and I nearly agreed with him until I tried the fish empanada. Lightly spiced with a little heat with a slightly charred pastry from the oven, it was heaven. Served with salsa verde, aioli and plenty of salad, for £12.50 it was a pretty substantial lunch. I think we made a mistake of ordering the goat's cheese as although it was nice and tasty - Riley's is all about the fish and I think next time we'll skip the veggie option and order another of those epic fishcakes or empanadas instead.

If you fancy making a day of it, I'd highly recommend paying to visit Tynemouth Priory which towers over the fish shack. The views really are superb and you'll feel better for walking off your lunch a bit. If you're not local, I'd recommend staying at Martineau Guest House which is a perfect little guest house in the heart of Tynemouth. If you're looking for group accommodation, Longsands Lodge can accommodate 10 people and is in easy walking distance of King Edward's Bay.

Have you tried Riley's Fish Shack yet? Which dish would you recommend?

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  1. Oh this looks wonderful! I must look to see if Tynemouth beach is dog friendly all year round because I can't remember. We haven't been since the winter. It is beautiful there, love it x

    1. It's gorgeous isn't it. From memory, I don't think King Edward's Bay allows dogs in the summer months but I could be wrong so definitely double check x

  2. If you can't manage all the steps down from the Gibraltar Rock then you can use the sloped path which is further along the front heading towards the Grand Hotel. Much easier on the legs.I am not a fish eater so always go for the veggie options and they are fab. Can't get enough of the potatoes!

    1. Oh good tip - I might try that next time. We're heading back next week and can't wait.

  3. Every time I've visited there's been some sort of technical problem and they've been closed. Happened 3 times now. We can only go if we have visitors who eat fish as I can't imagine there being vegan dishes available all the time. Plus, their speciality is fish so it seems a bit silly us going without someone who can properly appreciate what they do :)

  4. Oh wow Sam. This looks incredible. I've wanted to go for so long but Matty doesn't like fish :(. Katie x

  5. OMG that looks so good! We've also been victims of turning up and then it's closed! We must try again!


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