The one if…you’ve got a hot seaside date
Where? Wheelers Oyster Bar, Whitstable
Insta? It has a kitsch baby pink and blue facade. Inside, it’s all cluttered bric-a-brac, mismatched chairs and floral patterned cushions. So granny chic!
Do… sit at one of the four tables in the tiny back parlour. With antique candlesticks and a scattering of fairy lights, it’s super-romantic.
Order… er, the oysters, obvs. The sea tanks where they’re cultivated are a five-minute walk away, so they couldn’t be any fresher.
Drink… whatever you like – it’s BYOB, but they will give you proper, old-fashioned cut glass to drink your off-licence (there’s even one opposite) buy out of.
The one if… you’re all about that #foodporn
Where? The Company Shed, West Mersea, Colchester
Insta? Let’s just say you won’t be pinning this to your interiors Pinterest board. It’s an actual shack on the shoreline with communal tables, wipe-down tablecloths and concrete flooring. Just think of it as the original inspo for all those hipster east London eateries.
Do… check the tide times. At high tide, water covers the road back to the mainland, leaving you stranded. Or, you know, don’t and just use it as an excuse to scoff another seafood sharing platter.
Order… mussels in white wine, herby prawns and lobster in garlic butter. They say BYOB, but they’re talking about bread to mop up those juices.
Drink… wine and beer from the local vineyard and micro-brewery. Cool, right? The Oyster stout is even made with actual Mersea oysters for an authentic sea-salty finish.
The one if… you’ve ever dreamed of a candlelit beach party
Where? The Hidden Hut, Portscatho, Cornwall
Insta? This green painted timber shed, set amongst the cliffs of the Roseland Peninsula, can only be accessed by foot. You order through the open hatch from the owners Simon and Jemma, then
eat on trestle tables or picnic blankets overlooking the quiet cove.
Do… log on to the website early to nab a ticket to their legendary Feast Nights. They sell out quicker than Glasto. There’s one meal option (think lobster and rosemary-salted chips cooked on the wood-fired grill), you bring the cutlery and as much wine as you fancy. When the temperature drops, hot water bottles and blankets are handed out.
Order… a Cornish pasty to take away and nibble on the beach, or hit the local walkways to build up an appetite for the scones made by Jemma’s mum and served with local clotted cream.
Drink… homemade raspberry lemonade or local elderflower cordial served over loads of ice.
The one if…you stalk design blogs
Where? The East Beach Cafe, Littlehampton
Insta? Designed by the Heatherwick Studio, its aim was to make this seaside kiosk-turned-cafe look like a piece of driftwood washed up on the shore. Expect plenty of architecture junkies pottering about taking photos of the rippling steel structure.
Do… check out their ‘bangers, mash and a movie’ nights. Think Rear Window and An Affair To Remember watched on a big screen, interrupted only by the sound of the waves.
Order… fish and chips, or go first thing for a greasy spoon-style fry up.
Drink… Campari sunrise cocktails for a real holiday vibe.