We’re up in the North of Scotland for the weekend, staying in a lovely B & B in Elgin. We’ve spent this unexpectedly sunny Sunday in Lossiemouth, walking a few miles of the Moray Coastal Trail, and cooling off by splashing about in the sea. It’s been delightful – all sun-blushed and salt-swept – so there’s really only one thing that will do for dinner.
Fish, of course.
So we head off to the pretty fishing village of Findhorn, and make our way to The Seafood Café, which has been recommended to us by the B & B’s proprietor. Located within the Royal Findhorn Yacht Club, this is an unprepossessing room, all pine furniture and pale walls, although the latter are hung with some pretty impressive photographs of local landscapes and wildlife. The place is empty (‘Sundays are quiet,’ we’re told) and it closes early so last orders are at 6pm, a little earlier than we’d choose. It’s unlicensed too, which isn’t a problem because we’re driving – but we note that there’s a BYOB policy, so it is quite possible to dine and wine if you want to. But we’re here for the fish, not the booze, and we’ve been told to expect the best.
We order a sharing platter to start – and it’s immediately impressive. There’s prawn cocktail here, as well as larger undressed prawns, a couple of generously-sized langoustines, smoked mackerel, oysters, smoked salmon with crispy seaweed and two salt-crusted scallops. It’s all delicious, but the scallops and salmon are the real standouts, the crispy seaweed elevating the latter and providing a nice contrasting texture.
Philip orders the ‘Posh Fish Fae Peterheed‘ for his main, which comprises a poached lemon sole stuffed with scallop mousse, another of those grilled langoustines, a pea purée and some sweet potato fries. As it should be, the stuffed sole is the star of the show, so light and delicate in flavour, it virtually melts on the tongue. The pea purée works well with it, and the fries are decent too: home cooked and crispy.
I have the daily special, which is hake, served with crushed potatoes and samphire. The potatoes are cooked with turmeric and tomatoes and are absolutely heavenly, while the hake is grilled to perfection – all soft, buttery flesh and hot crispy skin.
We may have eaten a lot, but we love our puds, and today’s specials sound so homely and tantalising that we really can’t resist, so we order a sticky toffee pudding and an apple crumble between us. They’re good – not as fancily presented as the main courses, it’s true, but who cares? The STP is sweet and moreish, generously topped with caramel sauce and accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a shard of honeycomb. The crumble is spicy with cinnamon, the apple slices still quite firm and tumbled in the crumble mixture rather than covered by a layer of it. It’s an interesting twist on a traditional dish, and I like it a lot. Yum, yum!
It’s only 7.30 when we leave and the sun’s still blazing, so we take another walk along that picturesque shoreline, admiring the view and feeling most contented to be here.