The Peterboat, Leigh-on-Sea:
Great views, warm hospitality, excellent seafood – what more could you want?
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The Peterboat is somewhat of an institution in Old Leigh. As you soak up the great British sun and take in the stunning views over the Thames Estuary, you will be transported to the French Riviera; complimented perfectly by The Peterboat’s warm hospitality and the promise of good beer. A heart beats at the centre of this treasured coastal spot, where accommodating staff put every effort into ensuring that everyone’s time there is memorable. The food offering though, is perhaps the biggest selling point. With a focus on fresh fish and seafood, there is plenty of honest, hearty options to be found on the menu. Classic French dishes are the order of the day or make a beeline for their famous Old Leigh Cockle Chowder or Traditional Fish ‘n’ Chips. Yet, a quick glance at the specials board will also reveal some modern twists too, especially for vegetarians! An extended restaurant area, complete with doors that slide open onto the patio area for when the sun comes out, instantly transform the venue into a vibrant, enticing space. A superb venue to step into,whatever the season.
Scottish smoked salmon, with avocado, cucumber & cottage cheese (GF) - £8.95
Peterboat fishcake, on a bed of wilted spinach with hollandaise sauce - £6.95
Classic French Bouillabaise - £15.95
Fresh tuna burger, with small chips and homemade mayonnaise - £14.95
Chocolate torte with vanilla ice-cream – £4.95
Warm chocolate fudge cake with cream – £4.95
What is it about salty, sea air that gets you so hungry? Even the shortest stroll along the promenade at Leigh can make you ravenous and having been steered away from the cockle sheds, I was more than ready for a slap-up meal at The Peterboat.
With a comprehensive menu to choose from, we were ably guided by our waitress and I have to say, when she recommended their signature fishcake, I wasn’t so sure. But I am so glad that I went with the flow because their smoked haddock patty was surprisingly light and the accompanying Hollandaise an absolute dream.
Mrs Exquisite chose their smoked salmon and avocado to start and was impressed by the infusion of delicate oak into the fish. For her mains, she ordered a vintage Bouillabaise, that was brimming with flavour and lifted wonderfully by a squeeze of lemon.
By contrast, I plugged into hipster mode by deciding on their tuna burger, pickled onions and crisp lettuce, all encased in a charcoal bun. With an onus on ‘fresh’ and seasoned to perfection, it was a joy to eat.
Bellies were starting to stretch to capacity by the time it got to ordering dessert. But we went for it anyway. Both indulgent chocolate affairs, in the shape of a torte and a slice of fudge cake both were truly delicious.
Needless to say, a walk outside, back beside the water’s edge was well needed afterwards.