Our Beautiful Yorkshire Coast

Yorkshire, England’s biggest county has two National Parks: the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. The North York Moors National Park (not the North Yorkshire Moors please) stretches inland across miles of  beautiful heather capped moorland to the sea, a rugged coastline of rocky shores and towering cliffs, famous for its Jurassic fossils and crab and lobster fishing.

If you are a follower of Squidbeak, you will know that Mandy and I have a particular affection for this stretch of coastline and the villages of Robin Hood’s Bay, Runswick Bay and Staithes and of the unsung beach of Cattesty Sands at Skinningrove. The North York Moors National Park have produced four films covering different areas of the landscape, we thought it would be an idea to share them for visitors to get a taste of this stunning National Park. We begin with the Yorkshire Coast and will add the others as we go.

Find out more at www.northyorkmoors.org.uk

 

 

 

Yorkshire Crab & Lobster

The fishing boat, All My Sons in Staithes harbour

The rocky shoreline form Staithes to Spurn Point provides some of the best Yorkshire lobster and brown crab in the world.

It’s fished by a small fleet of self-employed fishermen who are out every day throughout the spring and summer in small boats checking their pots identified by coloured flags bobbing in the water that reach down to depths of up to 190 feet.

It’s hard graft winching them all up – some fishermen own hundreds – checking them for size and throwing back any that are too small. They put elastic bands round the vicious claws, re-bait the pots and drop them back again for another day.

Fisherman Sean Baxter checking his pots from the shore

For the fishermen, crab and lobster are a valuable crop though they get nothing like the amount charged by restaurants in Europe where Yorkshire shellfish often ends up.

Yorkshire east coast crab, lobster and langoustines are still so highly regarded that Spanish vivier trucks transport them live across the continent as prizes for the markets and restaurants of Madrid.

Given that the Yorkshire coast is so rich in seafood, fresh local lobster is surprisingly tricky to find on a menu. ‘Too expensive’ say the chefs, who can’t risk being left with any uneaten lobsters if there are no takers.

Whitby’s famous Magpie Cafe

You can find lobster thermidor at the Magpie Cafe or at Greens, bothin Whitby, But is there anything sweeter than the prime brown crab or North Sea lobster that you’ve cooked yourself? You can buy both, cooked or live from the Magpie’s wet fish shop the Whitby Catch or from Whitby Seafish in Staithes. Best between April and December

Twelve minutes in a pan of sea water or well-salted tap water and served with mayonnaise, home made if possible, but Hellmanns will do, and some crusty bread – heaven on a plate and at a fraction of the restaurant price.

Yorkshire Life

Normally, it’s Mandy that gets all the media limelight with her TV appearances but the current issue of Yorkshire Life (July) has a shot of a slap-up lobster feast in my kitchen at Staithes and the picture editor didn’t crop me out.

Annie Stirk’s engaging piece tells you all about lobster man Sean Baxter and his Real Staithes shoreline discovery walks; it has lobster recipes simple and sophisticated, all under the tutelage of Lisa Chapman who performed such wonders at our recent sell-out Lisa@TheGallery pop-up dinners.

Contain your excitement or rush out and buy in bulk.  Our next series of Squidbeak dinners, cooked by Lisa, are on  22/23 June and 28/29 September. Be there.

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