About as close as you’re likely to get to the British seaside without leaving the streets of London, Bonnie Gull’s two fish-themed restaurants serve up fresh-from-the-sea delights, the likes of which we can only wish we’d tasted as children on seaside summer holidays.
Having graduated from Hackney pop-up to certified restaurant with a permanent home in Fitzrovia, Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack specialises in sustainably sourced British produce such as Wester Ross Lobster, Devon Brown Crab and Morecombe Bay Shrimp. There’s even a dedicated “raw bar” where diners can delve into giant plates of Mull King Scallops and Mersea Oysters from the comfort of their whitewashed wooden tables.
Exmouth Market’s Seafood Cafe (55-57 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL), meanwhile, offers a more informal take on the Bonnie Gull theme, with a ‘60s style seaside feel. Start with a Bonnie Mary – a perfectly spiced version of the classic, topped with an oyster – before moving on to the main show. Choose from oysters, cockles and clams on the shells menu, a smash your own 1kg Cock Crab and an enormous beer battered North Sea Haddock with beef dripping chips and mushy peas, served on a traditional newspaper plate. Desserts are aimed at our inner child, with homemade “Mr Whippy” ice cream cones, Cornish fudge and Brighton Rock all making a welcome appearance.