The Cruel Sea
The Cruel Sea is named after a film and novel, and is itself a star of the screen, having featured on the ITV series Harbour Lives with Ben Fogle.
This warm and welcoming tapas bar has an industrial vintage vibe, with its bare brick walls, chunky wooden furniture and nautical lamps, and serves a carefully chosen selection of wine and a range of European lager and British ale.
Chef-owner Pete Miles’ ethos is to bring the best local catches directly from net to plate, so there’s a wealth of fish dishes on the menu, and you can even buy fresh fish and shellfish to take home. Service is friendly and efficient, and dishes come as soon as they’re ready, so you can decide how many you want as you go along. You might start with simple bread, dips and olives or opt for more adventurous appetisers such as Poole rock oysters with Bloody Mary Granita. Depending on the season, fish tapas might include Cornish sardines with gremolata, while non-fish dishes could feature Moroccan-style lamb on bulgar wheat with tzatziki, and roasted sweet potato and butternut squash with pistachio and honey. The homemade desserts are worth saving room for, as is the cheeseboard.
Gift vouchers are available to purchase at the bar or over the phone, and make sure you book your table in advance, as The Cruel Sea can get pretty busy.