Paying over £10 for a meal in a food van in a car park could probably raise a few eyebrows, especially with the current cost of living crisis showing no signs of abating.
However, Bamburgh’s Creel and Reel Seafood Trailer is no ordinary food van. With all but one of its 17 TripAdvisor reviews giving it five stars, it’s a popular lunch spot just south of the village, named Britain’s best seaside destination.
Offering seafood cooked right in front of you and spectacular views of the village castle, customers come from all over – even during the short time I was there on a drizzly Wednesday afternoon. Right ahead of me in the queue, a Belgian father and son were making a pit stop before their journey back to the mainland on the ferry later that day.
Read more: Bamburgh wins the title of Britain’s best seaside town for the second year running
After being served their meals, they returned to their old Volvo estate which had curtains all around the rear windows. And I should have followed their lead by eating in my car, but instead got my butt really wet sitting on one of the three picnic tables in the parking lot.
However, the view of mighty Bamburgh Castle is part of the attraction. And I wanted to smell the salty sea air, so I guess having wet jeans for the rest of the day was worth it.
Anyway, the food. Unfortunately, the Belgians had gotten the last slices of lemon with their scallops, and that wasn’t all Creel and Reel had run out of.
But I guess that’s what you get for arriving five minutes before the trailer is supposed to close. Still, it was hard not to be disappointed to miss out on a lobster roll and chips (£17), but the fact that the trailer doesn’t over-order and limits waste isn’t anything to complain about, in my opinion .
The menu had a decent selection of seafood made to order and usually changes depending on the season. As well as that aforementioned lobster roll, there was a monkfish and chorizo skewer with lemon mayo (£9.70), Korean grilled squid (£7) and picked crab sandwiches by hand (8.80).
I was left with the still quite enviable choice of a roll of scallops and bacon (£8.60), seared scallops in garlic butter and toast (£11) or a skewer of steak and king prawns with chips and garlic butter (£12.50). After tossing between the last two options, the scallops won – and what a great choice it was.
They were lovely – with just the right amount of garlic butter, so as not to soak the bread and make it soggy. Springy and succulent, they were the perfect alternative to traditional fish and chips, light enough that I didn’t feel like I drank a tub of oil once the taste wore off.
Where is your favorite place to eat seafood in Northumberland? Let us know in the comments below!
Scallops were one of the many reasons to go to Creel and Reel – and I could point out at least three more to those who show up for the midday opening. The seafood was beautifully prepared and tasted great – but its location would keep any beachcomber coming back again and again.
Even though the weather was inclement, the sea breeze was invigorating and I couldn’t imagine the view of the south side of the castle becoming boring. From the Links car park and the path leading through the dunes you have one of Europe’s top 10 beaches to the north, and the slightly more hidden beach of North Sunderland to the south – you’d better find anywhere better for a walk after lunch.
Creel and Reel is open from 12pm to 3pm Wednesday to Sunday and is located in the Links Road car park (which costs £4 per day) on the road between Bamburgh and Seahouses. For more information, including what’s on the daily menu, check out the Facebook page.