Real gem among coastal pearls

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - EATING OUT - Scott Beg­bie

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.

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