Real gem among coastal pearls
ONE of the great joys of living in the North-east is going on an adventure to one of the wee towns that sits along our coastline like a string of pearls. Which was how we found ourselves in Johnshaven, peckish, in the mood for pub grub and crossing the threshold of the Anchor Hotel. I love traditional pubs and this doesn’t come more trad – all warm welcomes, wooden floors and panels, dartboard and pool table. Mrs B and I shared haggis bites (£4.50) to start, delicious fritters in butterfly wing-light batter and grease free. Mrs B fancied the homemade burger (£4.50) and was treated to one of the tastiest she’d had in a while. It was dense, meaty and seasoned to perfection, complemented by cheese and bacon toppings (50p each). All this plus a fine side salad (£2) of leaves, beetroot and onion in a balsamic dressing. The real revelation was my fisherman’s pie (£8.50). This was a deconstructed version of a classic, with a tower of roughly crushed potatoes shot through with chunks of smoked fish and prawns, topped with the creamiest sauce and even more seafood. It was getting on for the best fish pie I have had, the sort you’d expect in a fancy seafood place at twice the price. It all added up to a real treat and a real find – the revelation of gem of a place on our doorstep.
TRADITIONAL: The Anchor Hotel in Johnshaven.