The Royal Standard, Lyme Regis

Now, because we were so anxious to tell you all about our River Cottage adventures the other day we’ve put these posts up out of order. If that’s the sort of thing that bothers you, this probably isn’t the blog for you.

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Finding the Royal Standard was a happy accident in the catalogue of errors that was Friday night. First we couldn’t find the pub that M & D had looked up in ‘the good beer guide’, then we overshot completely the back up choice and ended up in Lyme Regis which, whilst beautiful, was not the plan, we parked near the Cobb at the top of a hill and on our way down to the beach saw Mark Hix’s restaurant which none of us knew was there (blogging research fail or what??). We asked EVER SO nicely but it turns out that at the weekend when there’s a big event going on just down the road they can’t just conjure up a table, no matter how much you plead. Shame, really…

ANYWAY we swallowed our disappointment and headed for a large pub we could see in the distance because we thought we were bound to have tables for hungry travellers. Then we walked past The Royal Standard, saw they had signs outside saying ‘fresh seafood’ and ‘free house’ and just kind of got sucked in…

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We were all hungry and thirsty we ordered a bottle of wine and Dad had a pint of the local Dorset Gold, which he described as ‘eminently throw-downable’. High praise from Father Swan there.

For starter we ordered some whitebait to share. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with this as it was breaded and then deep fried so it was a little heavy and the fishy taste was kind of lost which is a shame when you’re right by the sea and stuff.

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The main courses we ordered were something else though. Dad had the kind of cracking fish & chips you can only really get by the seaside, Caroline had wonderfully fresh sea bream beautifully cooked with chilli lemon & cashew nuts.  Once she stopped moaning about the trauma of having to work round the bones she loved it.

Mum and I had crab; hers dressed with a salad and mine whole, undressed and cracked with salad and crusty bread. OMG. I heart crab anyway, so this was always going to be a winner for me, but this was one of the best I’ve ever had. There was so much brown meat in the shell and it was SO CREAMY and tasty and eating it spread on the crusty bread with a bit of lemon mayo was actual, real life heaven. I made a right mess of the claws and body (could have done with the crab picking lesson from the Lyme Bay Fish Shack BEFORE dealing with this monster tbh) but the meat when I eventually got to it was deliciously sweet and juicy and I think I only blinded one passer-by with flying bits of shell. It may have taken me all night, but I picked that bad boy CLEAN and it was totally worth the effort.

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I realise you might not be off on your jollies to Lyme Regis anytime soon, but if you do ever find yourself in that incredibly beautiful part of the country, as well as booking yourself into Hix (tweet us and tell us if it’s any good, k?) you should grab yourself some excellent seafood at this pub as well. Big thumbs up!

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