Five of the Best: British beach cafes

Finally, the food is as tasty as the views


The Beach Bistro, Camber, East Sussex

The Beach Bistro is tucked behind the dunes at Camber Sands in Sussex. It feels like a preppy American beach hangout in Montauk or Maine with its navy and white walls and driftwood tables. Chef Trevor Hambly’s menu makes much of local fish and seafood – try the red mullet with golden gnocchi in a delicate broth of fresh peas and broad beans, or catch of the day, served simply with a piquant salsa verde.


The Beach Bistro, Gallivant Hotel, New Lydd Road, Camber, East Sussex. 01797 225057;

Hive Beach Cafe, nr Bridport, Dorset

Buckets and spades dangle from the ceiling at this much-loved seafood shack. Hive Beach Cafe perches just behind the beach on a stretch of Dorset’s historic Jurassic Coast. A blackboard lists the day’s specials – line-caught seabass and mackerel and locally-caught spider crab, lobster and scallops steamed in a creamy white wine broth infused with chilli and ginger. No wonder foodies like Rick Stein and AA Gill are fans.

Hive Beach Cafe, Beach Road, Burton Bradstock, nr Bridport, Dorset DT6 4RF. 01308 897070;


East Beach Cafe, Littlehampton, West Sussex

Welcome to Britain’s most stylish beach cafe. Designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick, the building is a steel shell with scalloped pieces which look like waves(see top picture) . Inside is equally chic, with plain white walls and black frames around the floor-to-ceiling windows. Gaze at the sunset over the beach as you graze on dishes like scallops with mint puree and crisp salt and pepper squid with chilli.

East Beach Cafe, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 5NZ. 01903 731903;

The Beach Hut Café at Watergate Bay, Cornwall

With its legions of surfers and huge expanse of golden sand, Watergate Bay looks more like south Australia than southern England. This cafe on the beach has a laid-back Aussie feel too, with its huge wooden deck and chill-out music drifting over the stereo. The big brunches are perfect fuel for a clifftop walk or surf lesson, while the cafe’s famous hot chocolate is topped with a tower of whipped cream, chocolate buttons and marshmallows. Make a weekend of it – Fifteen Cornwall is upstairs in the same building. A series of events (beachside brunch, bonfires and barbecues) kick off 26th of September. Find out more on

The Beach Hut, Watergate Bay, Cornwall TR8 4AA. 01637 860543;

The Boardwalk, Southwold, Suffolk

Southwold is a charming seaside town, loved by the fashion crowd for its boutiques and beach huts. When the sun goes down, eat over the water at the Boardwalk, housed in a building on Southwold’s pier, which was built in 1900 and recently restored. Head chef Richard Knight creates dishes using local produce including fish and chips in an Adnams beer batter and mussels from the nearby River Debden.

The Boardwalk, Southwold Pier, Suffolk IP18 6BN. 01502 722105;

Read Next: