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Posts Tagged ‘Johnshaven’

I wrote about an evening meal that we had in the Anchor Hotel in Johnshaven last December where we really enjoyed the experience. We thought that we’d go back and check it out for lunch as we’ve plans to take some friends walking on the Aberdeenshire Coastal path that goes through the village. Johnshaven is a traditional East Coast fishing village with a few boats still landing crabs and lobsters.

The upstairs dining room is closed at lunchtime and meals are served in the bar. This is a proper bar rather than a dining room that serves beer – a mixture of local people in for a Sunday lunchtime drink and visitors to the village.

The last time I was there I had some wonderful lobster soup so I opted for that again – it really is superb – better then I’ve had in rather more expensive seafood restaurants.

Wonderful lobster soup

Wonderful lobster soup

Anne ordered breaded mushrooms which were rather more substantial than she expected. I had a taste of these – a great combination of crisp coating and soft, melting mushrooms.

Breaded mushrooms

Breaded mushrooms

I tend not to eat a lot at lunchtime so I ordered two starters – classic calamari in batter was my other choice.

Calamari

Calamari

This was fine – nicely cooked – it’s easy to get this dish wrong and end up with rubber rings in batter. But it was just calamari – I regretted not ordering one of the other fish dishes that were being delivered to other tables.

This was great pub food using local ingredients, unpretentious and not expensive. Friendly service – not particularly quick but we certainly weren’t in a hurry. Reasonably priced, although seafood is never cheap. We had two starters each and, with a drink, were about £14 each.

If you’re in the area, it’s worth a short diversion to Johnshaven. And, for coastal path walkers and TGO Challenge coast-to-coast walk finishers, it’s worth timing your arrival to have lunch in the pub.

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Johnshaven is a small village north of Montrose which, like all the villages on that coast were fishing villages. Sadly, the fishing has gone but the tradition still remains.  It’s a picturesque place where the fishing history is palpable even though I guess it has become a dormitory village for Montrose and maybe even Aberdeen.

We have friends who live nearby and we had a meal in the Anchor Hotel. Frankly, it’s the kind of place that doesn’t look much from the outside. But, we’d heard good things about the food so thought that we’d give it a try.

The dining room is simply and tastefully decorated and the menu is dominated by fish dishes. Some shellfish is still landed locally and other fish comes from further up the coast. Lobster is a speciality so I decided to start with lobster soup, which was absolutely superb – one of the best fish soups that I’ve ever had.

I followed this with an Italian fish step – lobster, mussels, prawns plus a couple of different whitefish.  Fish stew is hard to get right because of the different cooking times of the different kinds of fish and, even in France, I don’t think I’ve had a perfect one. This wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t far away – tastes of the Mediterranean but with North Sea fish.

Other had fish pie, which looked and was pronounced excellent and haddock stuffed with prawns. I didn’t have a pud but did have a taste of the special dessert – syrup sponge, which everyone else had. It was really good.

Sadly, no pics as the usual low lightning.

A great find – friendly people, good atmosphere and tasty, inexpensive food. We were about £25 each for 2 courses with wine.

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