I' a big fan of the whole dinner with a view thing (who isn't?) and the west coast of Portugal seems to be perfect for that. Just pick a random spot (that's excatly what we did, no planning ahead) and you're likely to find a restaurant with the freshest seafood and an ocean view. Best thing ever!
I'm not going to try to convince you that Aldeburgh in Suffolk is the most exciting place on the planet. But the lovely sand and shingle beach, old charm of seaside resort and one of the best fish and chips in Britain should be enough for a say trip or even a relaxed weekend.
Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop is a family business, run successfully since 1967. The owners now have three locations and you will have to queue to every single one. There are many enthusiasts of battered fresh fish and crispy chips made of local potatoes. The prices are really good, too.
The meal is perfect to be enjoyed on the beach. Just watch out for other enthusiasts of Alderburgh delicacies - greedy seagulls. I'm generally afraid of birds (bird apocalypse is coming, mark my words), but these seagulls really are even more daring than any other birds I've encountered.
There are countless reasons for visiting Croatia. I don't think anyone needs much convincing. It has everything one might want while on holidays. Sunbathing lovers will appreciate sheltered rocky beaches, turquoise shade of the sea and abundance of sunlight. More adventurous visitors will discover the beauty of wild nature and learn the turbulent story of the country through numerous monuments. Sailors will sail, lovers will take romantic walks in narrow streets of charming towns and everyone else will eat. Eat and drink delectable local wine.
Eating in Croatia
1. Fish. That's stating the obvious. Sea = fresh fish. Restaurant menus categorize fish - there are two or three classes. First class is supposed to be the best (and it is the most expensive), but whatever you'll get will be fresh and delicious. Fish is usually grilled and served simple - with olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, maybe a dash of chopped parsley. You can consider getting fresh fish on the local market (called trznica) and having fun preparing it on your own. What to get? Seabream, sea bass, tuna, amberjack, hake. But there are no bad choices.
2. Seafood. Another observant remark. Sea = seafood. Croatia offers great langustines (skampi), squid (lignje), shrimp (kozice), mussels (dagnje) and octopus (hobotnica). Grilled, cooked with wine or traditional tomato sauce (buzara).
3. Oysters. They deserve a separate mention as oysters from Ston on Peljesac Peninsular are popular with oyster enthusiasts from all over the world. The peninsula is also famous for great wine. And can you imagine a better combination than fresh oysters and chilled wine? Let's just assume that oysters and champagne are predictable and boring.
4. Local products. You should be trying them wherever you are, not just in Croatia. Make sure to eat pršut - a dry-cure pork ham, similar to Italian prosciutto, goat cheese - especially the ones from the island of Pag (paški sir) and ajvar - slightly spicy relish, made with red bell peppers and eggplant. Bring back some home made olive oil.
5. Lamb. Ideally slow roasted under the bell (peka). The lamb, with potatoes and some vegetables is placed in a round baking pan, covered with metal bell and then put on and covered with hot coals, so that it's roasted from both under and above. The meat is soft, juicy and has a unique flavour.
6. Brudet - thick fish stew, traditionally served with polenta. If you don't plan on going to Croatia anytime soon, just make it at home. You can use this recipe.