As we reach the height of summer, here are some suggestions for the top places in the UK to enjoy a drink overlooking the sea.
1) Lusty Glaze, Newquay
Lusty Glaze was crowned Britain’s Best Beach by The Sunday Times and this gorgeous bar and restaurant with rooms is a favourite for lazy afternoon drinks and seasonable suppers. Situated in a private secluded cove on the outskirts of Newquay, the beach is famed for its towering cliffs, white sand, reliable surf and panoramic sunsets. It has bucketloads of Cornish charm and the bar regularly hosts gigs by local and international musicians.
2) The Hidden Hut, Portscatho
Tucked away on the remote coastal path near Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula, the clue is in the name when it comes to the Hidden Hut. But you’ll be glad you have found it when you do: the views are spectacular and the food as fresh as it comes. You can bring your own booze, but most importantly, your appetite – this is a really special spot to while away a summer afternoon and evening.
3) Crab House Café, Dorset
Situated overlooking the Portland coast at the western end of Chesil beach, a visit to the Crab House Café is the perfect way to quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite after an invigorating walk along the Jurassic coast. Guests can enjoy a drink overlooking the breathaking views, while tucking into locally sourced dishes, including Oysters served within minutes of them being picked from the restaurant’s own Oyster beds. This relaxed, unpretentious, ‘lack of frills’ restaurant, really is a hidden pearl of the South West.
4) The Lobster Shack, Whitstable
With fabulous views over the Thames Estuary, the Lobster Shack in the pretty seaside town of Whitstable is a gem. They brew their own beer and farm their own oysters, and the rest of the produce is kept fresh and local, supplied by the same fishermen they have used for 20 years. Pair a Whitstable Brewery Oyster Stout with a seafood platter for seaside perfection.
5) The Winking Prawn, Salcombe
Like salt and vinegar carried on a stiff sea breeze, a pint of prawns or just a good white wine, the scent of the coast is a beguiling thing indeed. And at the Winking Prawn in Salcombe, you can enjoy them all at once. This charming café-bar is just over the road from North Sands, so you can come straight from the beach to a table out on the deck, or inside if the British weather is misbehaving.
6) Nyetimber Sky Bar at British Airways i360
As seaview bars go, it doesn’t get much better, nor more sophisticated, than the Nyetimber Sky Bar, housed in a giant glass viewing pod 450ft above Brighton. As the BA i360 pod glides up slowly, the view unfolds revealing 60 km of coastline from Beachy Head to the Isle of Wight. Order a glass of sparkling wine at the bar, stroll around and you’ll feel on top of the world. Look out for autumn and winter Sky Dining evenings, when the pod is transformed into a restaurant among the stars.
7) The Hut, Colwell Bay
Unpretentious yet simply gorgeous, The Hut is the place on the Isle of Wight to enjoy a cocktail at sundown – or indeed earlier if you fancy. Popular with a mixed crowd of yachties, foodies and families, it sits between the jolly and colourful beach huts at Colwell Bay. Small boats can anchor off the front deck, otherwise they’ll send a tender to pick you up from the yacht. Or just arrive on foot – probably quicker but not so much fun.
8) The Kimberley Inn, Findhorn
There is no finer place to be on a summer day in the north of Scotland. After a bracing walk around the bay of Findhorn the sunset is especially pleasing from the Kimberley Inn over a pint or two, although a bowl of the pub’s renowned seafood chowder makes it even more so. The view opens up to expansive views of the North Sea, but on the Findhorn side there is a delightful sandy beach framed by sand dunes.
9) The Ravilious Rotunda Bar, Midland Hotel Morcambe
The graceful sweep of Morcambe Bay is best appreciated from the equally beguiling Midland Hotel. Saved from ruin at the turn of the millennium and restored to its former glory, cocktails are flowing once again at this art deco gem. The Rotunda Bar pays homage to the English modernist, Eric Ravilious, whose original 1930s murals were lost as the plaster hadn’t dried properly when he painted them. It’s good to know building blunders aren’t just a modern phenomenon…
10) Beach Bar at The Montague on the Gardens, London
Not quite the seaside, but a darn good stab at it – the pop-up Beach Bar is back on the wood deck of the Montague on the Gardens, near the British Museum, for a summer season of cocktails and fun. Guests can chill out on real sand under a thatched roof, watch the palm trees sway in the breeze and post a picture or two from the photobooth. Who said London life is stressful?! Don’t forget the hashtag – #SurfMontague.
Information for editors
About British Airways i360
British Airways i360 is a viewing tower on Brighton seafront which was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye. It opened in August 2016.
Visitors board a giant glass observation pod and glide up gently to 138m (450ft) above Brighton beach to enjoy unfolding views across Brighton & Hove, the South Downs National Park and the beautiful Sussex coastline. ‘Flights’ depart every 30 minutes and the pod carries up to 175 passengers, who are free to walk around freely. While on board, they can also enjoy a drink at the Nyetimber Sky Bar which serves a range of refreshments from Sussex including Nyetimber, an award-winning sparkling wine.
At ground level is the British Airways i360 beach building, which houses West Beach Bar & Kitchen, a stylish all-day restaurant with sea views and a large terrace spilling out onto the promenade. Dishes feature ingredients sourced from the local area. The beach building also has flexible beachside events spaces, most with private beach terraces, which can be hired for private functions and can accommodate up to 1,100 people.
British Airways i360 is licensed for weddings and couples can marry in the pod, saying ‘I do’ at 138m above Sussex.
British Airways i360 has worked with the West Pier Trust to reconstruct two of the original West Pier tollbooths using Victorian building techniques. The buildings now grace the entrance to British Airways i360 and house the West Beach Café & Bar and the British Airways i360 ticket office.
The British Airways i360 shop stocks beautiful gifts and use, many of which have been created by local Brighton artists.
A year-round programme of events in the pod includes Sky Dining, iDrop, Live @ the Sky Bar, Halloween Fright Flights and Santa Flights.
British Airways i360 is owned and operated by Brighton i360 Ltd.
About Marks Barfield Architects
The late David Marks MBE was the architect-entrepreneur behind the creation of Brighton i360, together with his wife and business partner Julia Barfield MBE. They founded Brighton i360 Ltd in 2005. Previously David Marks and Julia Barfield performed a similar role creating the London Eye where they remained shareholders and directors until 2006. Together with a tight-knit group of extraordinary individuals, trusted consultants and companies, many of whom worked with David and Julia at the London Eye, they secured the planning permission, partners, land and funding for British Airways i360. Marks Barfield Architects is one of the UK’s most versatile and innovative architecture practices, established in 1989. Julia Barfield now chairs the Brighton i360 board.
About British Airways
British Airways is one of the world’s leading global premium airlines and the UK’s largest international scheduled airline, carrying approximately 35 million passengers worldwide annually, on around 800 daily flights. The airline employs around 40,000 people, the vast majority of these at its sites throughout the UK, and has an annual turnover of £8.5 billion. It employs 2,500 people in Sussex, several hundred of them in Brighton.
British Airways is the naming rights sponsor of British Airways i360. The attraction is owned and operated by Brighton i360 Ltd.