The Marine Hotel is a pub and resto right on the harbour at Stonehaven – one of a number of good places to eat in the north-east seaside town. We’ve had lunch there a few times but not for a while – always in the bar, which has a fishing theme. The bar has lots of good beers and, while I would not call it a gastropub, the menu is a cut above most pub grub.
I started today with Shetland mussels in Thai coconut sauce. Having just come back from France where we ate mussels a few times, I wasn’t quite sure that to expect but these were superb – plump and tasty. Far better than anything that I had in France. Sauce was Thai coconut – I could have done with a little bit more.
I followed this with another starter – a savoury tarte tatin – mushrooms and Scottish cheddar. It wasn’t served (or cooked) upside down like a dessert tarte tatin but it was no worse for that – simple, tasty food – a crispy base with Scottish mushrooms and cheese. No idea why the chef has to have the daft balsamic glaze swirls – pointless additions that chefs seem to think are artistic but which are merely pretentious in pub food.
My wife Anne had the tarte tatin and also a prawn salad which had lots of prawns and which was pronounced excellent.
For roughly the same price (about £17 each, which includes drinks), this was a rather better meal than most lunches that we had in France.