As far as views go, The Cove House Inn in Portland has bagged one of the best.
Perched on the southern tip of Chesil Beach, the pub looks out onto the majestic sweep of the pebbled bay and the beach-side veranda is perfect for that glass-of-wine-in-hand, post-work sunset viewing.
And that’s how we came to be there – starving hungry and sorely tempted by the specials board.
The main menu itself holds no surprises. All the usual suspects lurk here – burgers from £7.95, sandwiches from £4.75, jacket potatoes from £4.95 and sirloin steak at £14.95.
But it was the Portland crab and locally caught fish on the specials board that lured us inside.
To start we shared the seafood tapas (£12.50), which included smoked salmon, shell-on prawns, prawn tempura, Portland crab and whitebait, served with marie rose and sweet chilli sauces.
The tempura was deliciously crunchy and the crab was fresh, and after a liberal dousing of lemon juice and salt, the dish was enjoyable, but I did find the accompanying sauces a little heavy and the accompaniment of pickled vegetables slightly strange.
For a main meal I went for the lamb shank with mashed potato and peas (£9.95) and my boyfriend chose spaghetti carbonara with Portland crab (£9.95). The lamb shank was hearty and very filling. If you like your meat and veg plain and traditional, then this would be the choice for you.
Although I have to admit I found myself envying the burger and chips on the table next-door and I suspect that this type of standard pub fare might have been a better choice.
My boyfriend enjoyed his pasta dish, although it was helped along by his own plentiful addition of lemon juice and salt.
The dessert menu looked appealing and included choices such as raspberry crème brulee, sticky toffee pudding and strawberry cheesecake (all at £4.50), and after more surreptitious glances at the table next-door they also looked very appetising, but unfortunately the large main meals had got the better of us.
Overall it was another lovely evening at the Cove. The staff are friendly, the views are stunning and they serve Crabbies, which is surely enough to make anyone happy.