palate cleanser

Shell Bay

In keeping with Palate’s fish edition for August 2018, I explored the delights of Studland, Dorset, on a searing, sun-drenched summer’s day.

The short crossing at Sandbanks in the ferry-cum-moving-car-park conveys the reveller to Shell Bay – from which the Shell Bay restaurant takes its name.

Views out to the glistening water are spectacular, with an outside/inside setup of glass screen doors in the restaurant that slide away to make a vast aperture; a sea breeze pouring into the dining space.

For an Englishman, few delights exceed the joy of fresh fish, battered and served with obligatory peas and chips, sunk with an ale. In this case, the bar offered Adnams Shingle Shells – a low ABV red ale, brewed with Cara malt. The fish, being so hastily transferred from boat to plate, still delivered a taste of the sea on the palate.

With the combination of views, great fayre and a laid-back atmosphere, it is small wonder that Shell Bay is both a local favourite and a feature in The Telegraph‘s most recent list of best coastal eateries.


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