Amble is a regular destination for our family on the weekend, situated on the gorgeous Northumberland Coast, this still working fishing town is fast becoming a fantastic place to visit for some great quality, locally sourced sea food.
The town has recently under gone some development works to the marina and harbour village, with a number of wooden pods being installed to host quirky local traders selling everything from local artisan bread, ice cream, Northumbrian cheeses and a number of the mandatory trinket and souvenir vendors. Along with this was the introduction of the purpose built seafood market which hosts a lobster hatchery for the kids to have a look around and a small fish counter.
As a result of this development, and the year on year increase in tourists visiting Northumberland, a number of quality operators have landed in the town and this has provided some fantastic eating and drinking opporunities.
Todays visit was to the Fish Shack – the name describing the venue perfectly! This is one of 4 local businesses owned and ran by the Old Boat House Food Group which is headed up by Ruth & Martin Charlton. An upturned old wooden fishing boat (The Sea Quest) catches the eye as you approch the hut which is situated a 100 metres or so down from the main harbour. It was a freezing cold, windy day and the 4 of us pushed our way through the entrance and suddenly stepped back in time into what felt like an old fishermans lodge. rough wooden panelled walls, bare floorboards, reclaimed wooden tables and fishing nets & nik naks adorning the walls – along with a rather scary lobster!
Moving through into the back room there was more of the same, a slightly cosier feel and small bar area which had a great range of local cask ales on offer. We sat in the front area and looking through the menu opted for fish & chips all round. Service was prompt and efficient, which was good, as it was rather cold during our visit, everytime the front door was opened an icy blast hit us, however, this was the type of place where it was definitely ok to keep your coats on!
We didn’t have to wait long for our food and we were soon tucking into our fish & home made chips. The quality and presentation were excellent, the meal being served on a rectangular metal tray with lashings of chunky homemade tartare sauce, minted pea puree and some of the best homemade chips I have had in along time. The fish itself, was fresh, perfectly cooked and in a light crisp batter. The portion size was just right and at £10.50 represented really good value.
Looking through the menu there are also plenty of great sounding dishes to keep you wanting to come back – including Swallows of Seahouses Smoked Kippers, North Shields dressed Crab,and some absolutely fantastic sharing platters that include whole lobster, crab, and even a bottle of fizz!
In summary we had a really enjoyable family lunch out at the Fish Shack, the service was good and they looked after us well. The venue is brilliant and there is plenty of quirks to keep you interested and the view of the harbour is beautiful (even on a cloudy, windy day!) – This will absolutely be a regular haunt for us through the Spring and Summer months.