Sunday, 7 March 2010

Strangford Drive

The weather was so fine today that we decided to go for a drive to Strangford and Castle Ward, in County Down. Traffic on the roads was light, thankfully. I was minded to call in to the Lobster Pot bar and restaurant in the village for a snack lunch.

This we duly did. It wasn't busy at all, at about one fifteen. We ambled into the little bar immediately to the left, as one enters. I have to admit to a prejudice: I have fallen out of love with the establishment which now trades as the Lobster Pot. It is not the place it used to be. I should know, because we first set foot in the place over thirty-five summers ago.

Aesthetically, it lacks the character and atmosphere it used to have, having been gutted out some time ago. This is not the fault of the present owners, it must be said. The Lobster Pot is now a pale shadow of its former self, and those glorious hay-days of the 70s and 80s.

The posters and notices plastered onto the windows (above) regrettably obscure the otherwise fine prospect towards the sea.

Enough of that. We ordered scampi, chips and side salad; and I requested more tartare sauce. Service is prompt and courteous enough. There was one other party of four at the window; nobody else, except three regular fellows enjoying their drinks.

The meal was perfectly acceptable. I cannot really criticize it, except the knives were a peculiar shape, which made them awkward to hold! Also, the bench seating was a few inches too low, for diners at any rate (as at the Lonely Poet). The two meals and two beverages came to £26.50.

We motored on to the harbour, and I strolled over to see the rival establishment, the Cuan, also in the Square. I noticed that "gourmet" breaded scampi cost £14.95 here, including vegetables. I walked in, in order to view the lounge bar: this seems more traditional and comfortable to me, so we shall eat there next time.

Incidentally, I noticed a waitress in the Cuan who used to wait in the Lobster Pot all those decades ago. She was pleasantly surprised when I spoke to her about this; and I asked about the other waitress called Julie; who, it transpires, is her cousin!

The slate plaque in the wall below is of interest:-

We drove on into the Castle Ward estate, where I had a walk; then drove home.


Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

The Cuan is definately better than the Lobster Pot. Probably more expensive though.

Timothy Belmont said...

To my mind the old LP has been ruined. To use an extreme example, what was done to its interior was tantamount to the interior of the Crown Bar being ripped out and "modernized".

It will never be the same, to me. They'd need to consult S McMorrow to restore it to its former glory again; and I'd even prefer the original a la carte menu!

Sandy said...

Agree with the comments. I have always enjoyed the Spinnaker too (where the Police Station used to be).
Nice architecture in Peter M's houses behind it too.
Castleward was spectacular yesterday. We walked the estate from the Downpatrick gate.

Timothy Belmont said...

It's ages since I was last at the Downpatrick gate; a lovely walk.

C Ward was indeed fine yesterday, wasn't it.

Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

I lived in Downpatrick Gate for 6 very cold months when my house was being revamped.