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The Fishmarket, Newhaven Harbour
New Review
The Fishmarket
23a Pier Place,
Nehaven Harbour,
Open 11am to 10pm Every day

There are joys to be had when dining alone. It's always nice to share food and drink but sometimes pleasing yourself has its own rewards. When I indulge this pastime though I am always reminded of the entertaining read Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl.

The book is an account of the various guises Reichl employed to hide her identity as restaurant critic for the New York Times, the aim being to see how different people were treated in posh restaurants. 

A visit to The Tavern on the Green in NYC as a badly-dressed, ill-groomed timid spinster called ‘Betty’ saw snail-like service and a freezing seat near the window. 

So I am always alert to how I am treated as a lone middle-aged female diner. My best experience was at Cucina where the waiters fluttered around me making me comfortable all evening. But they are Italian. 

And thus I find myself solo at The Fishmarket, Newhaven which is the ‘chippie’ brainchild of Roy Brett Seafood Chef from Ondine and Gary Welch Fishmonger. 

Slightly disturbing is that I seem to have progressed from ‘Madame’ to ‘Dear’ but I decide to put that down to the waitress's youth rather than my decline.

Anyway, it transpires that I am treated very well at The Fishmarket, service is attentive and the food tasty.  I choose a small haddock, chips and garlic mayo. A dry Rose Gamay from the Loire has enough acidity to be a gluggable complement to the food, not too much to be competition to the Sarson’s. They sell Cava too as well as Champagne and Prosecco.

The branded paper my meal come on rips when you cut your fish and is a slight nuisance but the presence of traditional mushy peas, soft drinks and ice cream as well as fizz, local beer, cider and spirits is all pleasing. If you want to experience a Scottish fish supper the quality is here, the concept isbrought up-to-date and the setting of Newhaven Harbour is charming. You can takeaway or eat outside too. 

I even spot a Seaside Gimlet cocktail being advertised on the way out and am tempted to sit back down.

Another time though. I don’t want to be the lonely female lush in the corner.

 (S. Wilson)

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