Review: What we thought of The Jolly Fisherman Inn at Craster

With one of the best beer gardens in the UK, The Jolly Fisherman at Craster is well placed to benefit from the outdoor reopening of pubs.

By Ian Smith
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 5:08 pm

The growing popularity of this part of the Northumberland coast means that anyone planning a visit is well advised to do so well in advance, although walk-ups will be taken where possible.

We couldn’t get a lunchtime slot so it was an 11am brunch for our party of four, not that any of us minded the opportunity to enjoy some peace and tranquillity before the daily horde of visitors descended on the village.

It is best advised to park in the main car park at the entrance to the village rather than chance finding one of the limited spots available in the heart of the village.

The Jolly Fisherman Inn, Craster.

It’s only a five minute stroll and it’s a pleasant walk past a string of lovely holiday cottages with the pretty harbour beyond – and the locals fed up with congestion issues will appreciate it!

Parkdean Resorts recently named The Jolly Fisherman as having one of the best beer gardens in the UK and anyone would be hard pressed to disagree if the sun is shining as it was on our visit.

Its elevated position some 100 yards from the harbour offers amazing views towards Dunstanburgh Castle and out to sea, a truly magnificent place to soak it all in.

We were welcomed at the entrance to the beer garden where we were asked to sanitise our hands before being taken to our table to fill in a contact details form.

kipper scotch egg.

A marquee has also been erected at the front of the pub to cater for more customers and provide some shelter from the elements should the weather not be so kind.

We only wanted a light meal so we ordered from the ‘small plates’ menu. Shetland mussels and kipper scotch eggs for the grown-ups and fish and chips for the kids.

The mussels came with a classic mariniere sauce and were plump and meaty. A glass of white wine would have gone perfectly but, alas, there were driving duties to be done.

The kipper scotch eggs complete with a wonderfully bright yolk were also delicious, although a little more of the tasty truffle mayonnaise would have been nice.

The view from The Jolly Fisherman, Craster.

We did look on enviously as other diners tucked into mains including the fabulous looking Jolly Fishboard comprising crab, prawns, fresh salmon, kipper paté, smoked salmon, sweet-cured herring and hot-smoked salmon but perhaps that’s one to look forward to next time.

The service throughout was excellent and we were happy with the various Covid-safety measures in place.

Afterwards, we took a leisurely stroll along the shoreline to Dunstanburgh Castle and back – along with the many other day trippers who had by now arrived. With views like that, no wonder it is so popular.

There was time still to pop into the little shop at L Robson & Sons, the renowned traditional fish smokers and buy some Craster kippers to take home and enjoy as a little reminder of our trip. And they were fabulous too!

Dunstanburgh Castle.

Ratings (out of 5)

Food – 5

Service – 5

Atmosphere – 4

Value – 3

Parking – 2

The beer garden at The Jolly Fisherman.

Overall – 4

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Shetland mussels.
Children's fish and chips.
A marguee at the front of The Jolly Fisherman.