These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

Looking to make the most of the beautiful bays, coasts and beaches the UK has to offer? Well, we've rounded up the best seaside culinary offerings...

Is there anything better than eating by the sea? The smell of salt in the air; the occasional spray from the waves catching you on the side of your face, cooling you down and reminding you where you are; the panoramic views of the ocean in every direction, blue and twinkling and backdropped by a sun slowly sinking down over the horizon…

Of course, that’s the ideal. Often, eating by the sea isn’t anywhere near as paradisiacal as that; but we’re here to make sure you have a truly paradisiacal summer. So that’s why we’ve carefully whittled out the very best seaside restaurants that our stunning British coastlines have to offer. Eat up; and have your iPhone camera at the ready.

Paul Ainsworth At No 6

Where to find it: You’ll want to look out for a quintessential Georgian townhouse, nestled in the heart of Padstow: the North Cornwall town and fishing port that has sun-seekers flocking to its sublime shores year in, year out.

What to expect: Well, it’s Paul Ainsworth: so that should give you your first clue. It’s Ainsworth at the top of his game, too: you’ll find modern British food with a strong focus on locally sourced Cornish produce.

What to order: You could certainly do worse than the turbot; but if your heart is set on a vegetarian diet, the red onion fondant with salt baked celeriac should be just the thing.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

Paul Ainsworth at No 6

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The Hut

Where to find it: Well, we’re assuming you’ve been there plenty of times (if you haven’t, it’s time to change that) so this question hardly warrants an answer: but assumptions are never a wise idea. With that in mind, The Hut can be found on the Isle of Wight, happily ensconced on the beautiful shores of Colwell Bay.

What to expect: Chic aesthetics, effortless elegance; and, most of all, a thoroughly relaxed, laid-back vibe. Not many restaurants can combine suave style with a breezy lack of formality, but The Hut isn’t your average waterfront restaurant. Oh, and expect sea views: stunning, breathtaking sea views.

What to order: We’ve got a soft spot for the Fish Tacos (there’s a vegan option, too, if you’re so inclined); and the Fruits de Mer is made up of enough shellfish to see you through to the end of the summer. Oysters, spider crab, razor clams, cockles…the list goes on.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

The Hut

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The Idle Rocks

Where to find it: You’ll find this luxury hotel and its sublime restaurant in the heart of St Mawes — that ever-beloved Cornish village — perched merrily on the rocks overlooking the sea.

What to expect: Well, expect panoramic sea views, of course. The endless blue of the sea stretching out in front of you is likely to be all you can think about. But you’ll want to think about the food, too: Executive Head Chef Dorian Janmaat knows what he’s doing. The cuisine is mostly British, with a strong focus on locally sourced ingredients, and with subtle influences from the East.

What to order: Without a doubt, it would be the Aged Cornish Beef Fillet. It’s Josper grilled, and comes with a watercress and wasabi risotto — just the thing for a long, decadent lunch by the sea.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

The Idle Rocks

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Coast Saundersfoot

Where to find it: This seaside restaurant maintains a charming residence in Pembrokeshire, perched right on the shoreline and mere metres away from the aqua sea and golden sands of Coppet Hall.

What to expect: Head Chef Fred Clapperton is a chef with style; every single meal arrives with a meticulous level of detail and presentation, and locally sourced Pembrokeshire ingredients are used wherever possible.

What to order: From the Evening Menu (because who wouldn’t want to watch that sun set over the Welsh coast), we’d suggest opting for the Duck Egg with Spring Vegetables, followed by the Brill; and if you’ve got room, keep it seasonal with the Strawberry, Clotted Cream and Elderflower dessert.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

Coast Saundersfoot

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The Hidden Hut

Credit: Danny North

Where to find it: As the name may suggest, this one’s a pretty difficult one to track down (but it’s worth it when you get there; trust us). You’ll find the hut perched on the jaw-droppingly beautiful Roseland Peninsula, on the south coast of Cornwall. If you reach the beach and haven’t found the restaurant; look behind you, and then up.

What to expect: The secluded location says it all, really; you can expect a far remove from unwanted crowds, and all that hustle and bustle you journeyed to the sea to escape. Fresh seasonal lunches are served at the outdoor beach kitchen, before being packed up for you to enjoy on the beach: and by night, the hut opens on select summer evenings to serve open-air feast nights. It’s a unique one, that’s for sure; and one that you won’t want to miss.

What to order: It really depends what the kitchen’s cooking; but you can bet there’ll be all sorts of traditional seaside, summer fare on offer. We’d suggest opting for the grilled seafood that’ll almost certainly be on the menu.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

The Hidden Hut

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The Three Chimneys

Where to find it: It’s off to Scotland for this one; it nestles snugly on the Isle of Skye. So as well as the breathtaking sea views, you’ll be surrounded by acres of rolling green hills and jaw-dropping Scottish scenery. Not bad surroundings for a summer evening meal, really.

What to expect: Head Chef Scott Davies is all about the natural world, and that makes itself abundantly known in the food on offer. Fresh ingredients take the spotlight, all of which are prepared with the very finest techniques that ancient Nordic and haute Scottish cuisine have to offer. Think of it as a story on a plate.

What to order: What not to order would be a more productive question; but if forced to choose, we’d opt for the Dressed Scallop, followed by the Devilled Pigeon and then by the Gigha Halibut.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

The Three Chimneys

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Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias

Where to find it: The North Wales coast: specifically, a mere stone’s throw from the beach that comprises the beautiful Colwyn Bay. You won’t be able to take your eyes off those panoramic beach views; but you’ll want to, when you see what’s on the menu…

What to expect: If you’re familiar with Bryn Williams, you’ll be well aware of the sheer quality not only of his food, but of the dining experience at any of his establishments. You’ll find a menu full to bursting with Welsh produce, where local ingredients are transformed into delectable bistro-style food.

What to order: You won’t want to miss out on the Roasted Prawns, or the Ham Hock Terrine. You won’t want to do without the Porth Eirias Fish Pie, either; or the Crab Claw Linguini. Good luck making a decision…

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias

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The George

Where to find it: This hotel and beach club can be found overlooking the pristine, twinkling waters of Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. Grab yourself a table on the terrace, look out to sea and get that Instagram story going.

What to expect: You’ll find a chic brasserie restaurant with a breezily airy interior and panoramic views over the Solent; and the beach bar comes complete with cosy outdoor seating, plenty of heaters (you never can trust our British summer) and an outdoor kitchen.

What to order: Well, for a start, we’d suggest opting for a bottle of the hotel’s co-branded Aix Methusaleh, which clocks in at six litres. And you’ll want to get some food down you, in that instance — so we’d suggest the Sea Bass Carpaccio, followed by the Grilled Monkfish or the Courgette Strozzapreti.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

The George

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The Seafood Restaurant

Where to find it: Since you’re already in Padstow to visit Paul Ainsworth at No 6, you’ll have no problem dropping into another of the town’s culinary havens; this is Rick Stein’s 1975 flagship restaurant, and you’ll find it overlooking the exquisite Camel Estuary.

What to expect: Well, it’s Rick Stein. Do you need more? Just in case, we’ll add that Stein — and, indeed, his whole family with whom he runs the business — is about more than just food. The Steins are about the whole experience, taking in location, atmosphere and wine, to name just a few. So, in a nutshell, you can expect an experience in place of a mere meal.

What to order: Good question. This is going to be one of those occasions where you’ll agonise for hours; but you could do worse than the Black Risotto with Cuttlefish, the Oysters Charentaise, the Grilled Padstow Lobster or the Ravioli of Caramelised Onion and Fennel Seeds. See? It’s impossible to choose just one. May as well go for broke, and order as much as you can.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

The Seafood Restaurant

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Café Canna

Where to find it: If you’re after a remote location — perhaps something along the off-grid route — you couldn’t do worse than this award-winning restaurant, poised on the shores of the far-flung Hebridean Isle of Canna, in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.

What to expect: Presumably the location will have given an indication as to what to expect, journey-wise: you can catch a ferry from Mallaig, which goes twice a week, or you can sail into Canna Bay in style. Once you arrive, expect locally sourced, exquisitely fresh seafood (plus vegetarian options, of course; no one will be left out).

What to order: We’d strongly suggest starting with the locally foraged Kelp Salad, before moving on to either the freshly landed whole Canna lobster, or the mackerel, octopus and sea vegetable laksa. If you’ve got room, round things off with the Apple Tart Tatin.

These are the best seaside restaurants in the UK

Café Canna

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