I just adore smoked fish. Haddock, Salmon, Kippers and more. I love them all. Breakfast, Lunch or Tea.
We spent a couple of days last week in a country pile near Craster, an old fishing village in Northumberland. Well, not a country pile exactly, but a very nicely converted Olde Forge, which my son and Daughter in Law hired for the week. It was a lovely place which had been converted in 2000. It had two bedrooms on the first floor with a bathroom and a huge lounge. The views from the lounge were superb with one large window showcasing the Northumbrian countryside and the other a glimpse of the North Sea. The ground floor consisted of a very large kitchen and dining area, another en-suite bedroom and a utility room.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this because it’s not made available to all and sundry, as the owners only let it to friends and or their families, but there are lots of other cottages and houses to rent in the immediate area.
The subject of this review is actually the Jolly Fisherman Pub in the village of Craster. the villages claim to fame, and the nearby lovely beach at Alnmouth.
Craster is the home of L Robson & Sons Ltd. They are a four generation family business specialising in the traditional method of oak smoking kippers and salmon. The company still cures the fish in the ancient smokehouses which are over 130 years old.
There is a Seafood Restaurant on site and a shop where you can buy fresh fish and shellfish as well as their famous smoked varieties.
We chose to lunch at the village pub instead, The Jolly Fisherman, which was exceptionally busy. It wasn’t quite 12 o’clock and most of the tables were taken. We were fortunate however to get a window table at the far end of the pub with views of the sea and small harbour, and the majestic ruins of Dunstansborough Castle.
There was a varied lunchtime menu for the adults, and a wide choice children’s menu for my 4 year old grandkids.
I went for a Ploughman’s Lunch for a reasonable £8.50. The service was quick and the staff very friendly despite every table being occupied.
As we left the pub to set off for Alnmouth beach, we were engulfed by clouds of smoke pouring out of the smokehouses opposite. Not an unpleasant experience as you might think.
This was our first ever visit to Alnmouth beach and it is well worth a visit if you find yourself in this neck of the woods. The Municipal Car Park sits just a pebbles throw from the long sandy beach which looks out to a small bird sanctuary called Coquet Island.
£1.50 to park all day. That’s not a typo by the way. £1.50 all day.
It’s a Grandad’s privilege to sit in a deck chair, with his head liberally covered in Factor 30 sunblock rather than the more traditional knotted handkerchief, and watch his Son set to with spade etc. to build a castle as big as those which his Dad built for him 40 years ago . The sand on Alnmouth Beach is clean and ideal for beach games and castle building
But I couldn’t resist it could I? As he took a break to take the grandchildren down to the waters edge to jump the waves, I just had to improve what he had managed so far. Which wasn’t much!
I knew I would suffer the following day, but a man has to do, what a man has to do, despite his advancing years. When they returned they didn’t even notice my obvious improvements!
Easter week is not supposed to be as warm and pleasant on the Northumberland Coast, but God was good to us this particular day in Gods Country.