Spoilt for choice in foodie Lyme
FOOD is the new rock’n roll - and Lyme Regis is gaining an ever increasing reputation as a resort for foodies.
Mark Hix’s Oyster and Fish House in Lister Gardens leads the pack, attracting hundreds of visitors to the town, but there are many other establishments which are growing in popularity.
Down at the Town Mill the excellent Tea and Dining Rooms, fronted by Anthony McNamara, whose impressive CV includes cooking for prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, receives rave reviews.
How lucky are we also to have The Millside, Rumours in Monmouth Street, Antonio’s Trattoria in Church Street, the Lyme Bay Kitchen and Bar in Coombe Street, By The Bay, the Bay Hotel, Largigi, Harry Tates, the three pubs down at the Cobb (Harbour, Cobb Arms, Royal Standard), the Bell Cliff, Lal Qilla (Indian), Pizza & Steak House and Buena Vida and Pilot Boat in Broad Street, The Jurassic Seafood Wine Bar in Silver Street, not forgetting excellent restaurants at the town’s three main hotels (The Alexandra, The Royal Lion and The Mariners) and numerous cafes, pasty shops, ice-cream parlours, fish and chip shops, delis and coffee houses.
For such a small town, we are certainly spolitfor choice.
And then there’s Clive Cobb’s unique Town Bakery and The Cheesemonger down at the Town Mill, whose following extends far beyond the boundaries of this parish and includes pop stars and politicians among their clientele.
And now we can add the Volunteer Inn in Broad Street where new head chef James Whetlor (ex-River Cottage) is receiving a staggering response to his new menu.
All these outlets provide regular work for dozens of local people and add greatly to the economy and reputation of the town.
It was definitely all white at night!
PARTS of Lyme Regis are getting used to basking in white light at night.
The town’s street lighting is in the process of being upgraded with every lamppost being replaced, the work having started several weeks ago.
The warm glow of orange lighting we have grown accustomed to over the year is being replaced by a brasher white light which, apparently, offers less light polution and is also less costly.
We have a new lamp standard opposite our house in Anning Road and I woke in the middle of the night last week thinking I had overslept. This was before the clocks changed to summer time and I looked at my alarm clock but it was still only 4am.
I couldn’t believe how bright the new lighting was when I staggered out of bed and looked out the window. When the rest of the new lights in Anning Road are switched on, it will be akin to 24 hours of daylight.
I am sure we will get used to it (I was never too keen on the orange glow) but I won’t be going to the lengths that one Weymouth resident has by climbing the lamppost and putting a shade, a rather natty drawing room number, over the offending light, featured in the Daily Mail yesterday morning.
I understand that all the old lamp standards will be removed within the next four weeks and all the new lights will then be switched on.
The passing of three old friends
IT has been a sad week for Lyme Regis this week with the passing of three well-known local characters - Beryl Derrick, Freddie Smith and Frank Sansom, all of whom loomed large in my younger days.
Beryl was the mother of two of my best friends, Terry and Roger Lewis, who lived opposite me in Anning Road when we were growing up.
Beryl was very much involved in the running of the Boys’ Club in King’s Way in the days when the leader was former journalist David Cozens MBE.
In those days we used to run our own canteen and Beryl kept a close eye on making sure we ran the facility well and profitable. She also kept a watchful eye on the meals we used to cook for the management committee.
Beryl was a brilliant ballroom dancer and I distinctly remember her teaching us the rudiments of the waltz and quickstep. She was extremely kind and like a second mum to us all.
Freddie Smith was an old-style, no-nonsense full-back when I first started playing football for Lyme Reserves as a 14-year-old. He was Mr Reliability who set a wonderful example to the younger players coming through.
Frank Sansom was a well respected local plumber who worked for a number of local building firms. He worked with my dad Jack Evans for many years and had a great zest for life. Although he had not lived in Lyme for some time, he always had a kind word about my dad and a story to tell when we met up over the years.
I CAN’T let this week’s column pass without saying well done to Lyme Regis Football Club.
On Saturday the first team won the Perry Street Premier Division for the sixth time in the club’s 126 years of history, having gone through the season - with three games to go - without defeat, which has rarely been achieved before. Also, to win the league so early is unheard of.
It will be the second Premier championship for manager Robin Townsend, the first Lyme manager to ever do so.
The first team have already won the Coronation Cup and feature in two more cup finals before the end of the season, including the Dorset Intermediate Cup. Victories in both of these would mean the most successful season ever for the Seasiders.
Lyme has been one of the top performing clubs in Dorset for many years now. They are a credit to the town - and just think where they might be now had the Strawberry Field project materialised.