David Nowell enjoys a trip to the seaside – but finds, despite some positives, it wasn’t all plain sailing at a refurbished and relaunched seafront eaterie
IT was Bank Holiday weekend, so what could be better than a pleasant drive to the coast, a stroll along the seafront and a nice meal?
We hadn’t been to the Fylde coast for a while, so a walk around Lytham and up to St Annes seemed like a good idea. We headed for the new COAST restaurant at the Best Western Glendower Hotel at St Annes.
By reputation, the newly-refurbished seafront restaurant offers a rich menu, based around British food with a contemporary twist. The restaurant has been completely redesigned and refurbished in a subtle nautical theme.
COAST’S website boasts: “Our menu is forever evolving and incorporates a classic twist on British food whilst offering tempting fish specials on a daily basis.”
“So what are the specials today?” we asked as we studied the menu.
There aren’t any today, we were told.
And that’s where there is a bit of a dilemma at COAST.
If you are a fish lover what you had left – however beautifully cooked and presented – was Fish Pie or Fish and Chips.
At £15 for one course, £19 for two, it also needs to be a pretty good fish pie, or pretty awesome fish and chips to lift it above pub grub standards.
That slight disappointment aside, service was well paced and friendly, with staff showing a good knowledge of their menus and wine lists.
I chose the black pudding hash brown for starter.
It came with a poached egg, a slice of crisp pancetta and wholegrain mustard sauce and was a delight.
Beautifully presented, it was a wonderful starter.
My partner chose the scorched watermelon and feta cheese and pine nut salad with wild rocket. It was pronounced a taste sensation – and is already on our home specials menu as we speak.
The main course selection was a little limited – Sausage and Mash, Lancashire Hot Pot, Escalope of Pork, vegetarian options, etc. There were steaks available at a supplement and the one we saw go out looked superb.
Determined to try a fish dish, I plumped for the Crispy Beer Battered Fish, which came with hand-cut chips, mushy peas and home-made tartare sauce. Portions were good, and the sizeable fish looked cooked to perfection.
It was probably the best fish I have had outside of Rick Stein’s Falmouth chippy, which is saying a lot. The batter was light and crispy, the fish fell to pieces and the chips were superb. I decided it would be rude not to clear the entire plate, which left me feeling very satisfied if not a little too full.
My partner chose the Barnsley Lamb Chop, which came with hand-cut chips, a baked tomato and a solitary portobello mushroom. The chop was sizeable and plainly cooked but enjoyable.
After two courses and a chunk of rustic bread each we declined the dessert menu.
All in all, very enjoyable but with a £50 bill (including a couple of glasses of superb sauvignon blanc and a half a pint of beer), we left COAST feeling satisfied but slightly confused as to where COAST is trying to place itself in the crowded food marketplace.
Coast restaurant, Best Western Glendower Hotel
Call 01253 723241