Now don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love fish and chips, but that is partly the problem. There’s only so many times in one summer you can indulge without either your conscience or your waistline starting to nag.
Luckily here in Lyme Regis we are spoilt for choice when it comes to other options. There are at least 3 or 4 shops on the high street selling freshly baked pasties, in all flavours from traditional Cornish to spicy chickpea and spinach, and the Good Food Store sells awesome pies, either to eat in or take away. The hot sausage rolls and pastries also make a great lunch on the run.
My current favourite option for lunch to eat on the beach is a wrap from Dottie Kitchen. This tiny outlet at the top of the steps to the Cobb Gate Car Park manages to produce a great range tasty, healthy, fresh and satisfying juices, smoothies, wraps and salads. I chose the Falafel Wrap which only cost £4.95, which seemed very good value given the portion size. It was absolutely stuffed full of fresh, interesting salad and crispy homemade falafel, toasted on the outside but somehow still crisp on the inside, with a refreshing hit of yoghurt & mint sauce. This was easily enough to fill me up, but didn’t leave me needing a lie down as fish & chips tends to, and actually made me feel like it was doing me good. Fast food & a clear conscience, win/win!
Another light option is The Seafood Stall, at the bottom of the hill going down to the Cobb, (selling pots of crab, shellfish, lobster & whatever’s been caught), and one of the places which no-one seems to know about but EVERYONE should try is the Whole Hog, just at the bottom of Broad Street. This tiny shop specialises in just doing one thing and doing it well, and the results are well worth it. Their hog roast rolls are big, stuffed full of excellent pork, and really hit the spot.
Because of the jumbled-up nature of the place, there are a couple of really tiny places in Lyme Regis: Poco Pizza, a little restaurant and takeaway tucked behind the Royal Standard on Marine Parade, and the Creperie, situated at the bottom of Broad Street just opposite the Cobb Gate clock tower.
It may be a bit off piste, but I was talking to a friend recently about picnics for cold weather, and it occurred to me it might be pretty luxurious to have a curry on the beach. You will need to plan ahead a bit and bring knives & forks and plates, but there are two Indian restaurants in the centre of Lyme (Lal Quilla & A Taste of India), and I reckon a good hot curry on a chilly evening might have to go on my ‘to-do’ list. I can’t vouch personally for either of these restaurants (we are loyal disciples of Cinnamon’s in Axminster), but if anyone has any tips, please share in the comments section, I’d love a recommendation. I will definitely give this a try when it gets colder – maybe Bonfire Night on the beach?
And finally, if you just can’t resist the smell of fish & chips, why not just branch out a little? Herbie’s Dino Bar, one of the beach front kiosks, does fabulous (and generous) whitebait & chips, and the By The Bay takeaway counter sells some of the juiciest, most tender calamari I’ve ever had (and I have had a lot, believe me). The beauty of having so many different options in such as small town is that even with the fussiest family, everyone can be happy!
The good thing about Lyme is that once you’ve got your takeaway, if the weather turns on you, there are shelters on the seafront and in the Langmoor Gardens to keep the drizzle out of your dinner. In fact, with the current problems with aggressive and persistent seagulls stealing food from peoples hands (and mouths, in some cases), it’s not a bad idea to take cover anyway, as they can see an open takeaway box from miles away, and are not easily discouraged. Whatever you do, please DON’T FEED THEM, as it is this which has made them so bold in the first place. Please don’t let this put you off eating on the beach though – it is one of the greatest pleasures of the seaside to find a spot on the seawall, watch the world go by, enjoy the last of the sunshine and tuck into something delicious.