Bridge Cottage Bistro
If you’ve walked the mile along the stunning beach from Whitby, head for this pretty, low, pantile-roofed whitewashed cottage. Set back off the road by the bridge over the beck at Sandsend, it’s a great place to kick back with a spot of lunch or a cuppa and cake (the ginger and pomegranate is sublime).
On a fine day find a shady spot under a parasol in the garden among drifts of lavender and herbs and enjoy a Mediterranean vibe, or head inside, where stylish Scandinavian minimalist meets Scottish hunting lodge, with a cluster of antlers, the odd tartan wall, wool banquettes and Verner Panton chairs.
Chef/owner Alex Perkins has impressive credentials; his parents ran the popular gastropub The White Horse & Griffin in Whitby and Alex started to learn his kitchen skills at an early age.
After working at various top-notch Yorkshire restaurants, he settled closer to home at Bridge Cottage: ‘fish and seafood are my absolute passion, so the chance to live and cook by the sea was too good an opportunity to miss’ he says. ‘We have the best produce, right here on the coast. The cod, crab and lobster you see being brought in to Whitby and Staithes arrives on your plate hours later – it doesn’t get much fresher than that! We’ve got our own herb and leaves garden here, and locals bring all sorts of veg to us.’
The menu changes daily; lunch might include potted shrimp and pickled cucumber, sourdough, fishcakes and tartare sauce, or Heritage beetroot, Yellisons goat’s curd and hazelnut praline.
On Thursday evenings, the bistro morphs into a proper restaurant, raising its game with a short but sophisticated menu; find the likes of bouillabaisse, roast hake with pancetta and borlotti beans, and sea trout with hollandaise.
And it’s not just fish: game comes from the Mulgrave Estate next door and meat from Radford’s in Sleights – the pig’s cheek with butter poached lobster and asparagus is a winner. Fridays sees the ‘East Coast Tasting Menu’, with 6 courses for £38, written up on a chalkboard which bears the legend ‘we cook fish better than we draw them’.
‘I feel connected to the sea and the landscape here and I always wanted a busy, happy place for local people to come – though folk come through the door from all over the country now!’ smiles Alex.