Mickeys Beach

Exmouth, Devon


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The Michael Caines who has Lympstone Manor a little further along the Exe estuary kicks back, hangs loose and chills out as Mickey when he comes down to the Exmouth seaside. Housed in the Sideshore eco-block, where it shares a home with watersports activities and ice creams, the Beach (bar and restaurant) extends over two floors. The first element, at ground level, will keep you in drinks and snacks till midnight, while the first-floor dining room is glassed-in on three sides to take in the splendour of Queen's Drive, the beach and the sea, and with a retractable roof for the sunniest days. It offers a large brasserie-style menu with a thickly applied seaside mood, ranging from mustard-slathered sausage snacks to ice-cream sundaes, via a panoply of pizzas, pasta, steaks in many cuts, cooking styles and sauces, plus some tempting fresh fish. A spin on gravadlax sees a carpet of cured salmon dotted with pickled cucumber, capers, salmon keta and contrasting splots of wasabi yoghurt and honey/soy dressing – or there may be a satisfying chicken and ham-hock terrine with green beans, mushrooms and hazelnut mayo. If the steaks haven't already been branded with your name, consider the monkfish curry or the bistro-ish grilled salmon with asparagus in white wine and tarragon – although we found the pork belly something short of lovely: too much cold BBQ relish applied to rather dry meat was the problem. Passion fruit mousse with tropical fruit salad, mango and yuzu sorbet is the freshest of summer desserts. A list of brightly flavoured modern wines is inspiring (look to the bar list for wines by the glass) and try not to miss the house Blanc de Blancs Champagne, a model of honeyed richness.