“ Address: 5 Shorehead / Stonehaven AB39 2JY / Aberdeenshire „
We had a memorable evening at The Ship Inn Stonehaven on Saturday 27th July to entertain our son and daughter-in-law at the end of our stay with them. The meal was beautifully presented by pleasant and cheerful staff. There was a good choice on the menu which catered for vegetarians and those on a wheat and glutten free diet. There was also an interesting wine list at moderate prices. The restaurant takes full advantage of the view with full length windows looking across the harbour out to sea. It is advisable to book well in advance if you want one of the tables looking out onto the view. The inn has recently been renovated with a new bar and toilet facilities which are kept spotlessly clean . The accommodation for guests are also up to a high standard with several rooms looking over the harbour and sea. Congratulations to all at The Ship!
The Ship Inn is one of two pubs on the harbourfront of Stonehaven, in Aberdeenshire. Having grown up in the area, I had always thought of the Ship as being the shabbier of the two (the Marine being the other), a place simply for locals to drink rather than somewhere to go for a meal. Perhaps I had an overly harsh view of the Ship, but in recent years that has changed. The public bar is still rather plain, but a restaurant (The Captain's Table) has been added to the side, with full length windows along the front. I tend to think of it as a conservatory because of the windows, but it isn't really. I have visited the Ship twice since this restaurant was added, and it is now somewhere that has joined my list of places to go for a tasty dinner in the Stonehaven area. My most recent visit was in November last year. My parents planned to take me out for tea while I was visiting them, and when they suggested the Ship I was happy to go along with their choice. I remembered enjoying our meal there on my previous visit a few years before, and they had been more recently and enjoyed it. We went to the Ship on a weekday evening, and while there were a few other customers in the restaurant, it wasn't too busy. The friendly waitress took our drinks orders, which came through from the public bar. I chose Cullen Skink for my starter, a local fish soup. It's not something I've had very often; although readily available in Aberdeenshire, I was a proper vegetarian when I lived there and only started eating fish after I moved to London. The Ship's Cullen Skink was very tasty, but I would have preferred it to have been a bit thicker. There were plenty of pieces of fish, but the soup itself could have been a bit more creamy. My main course was scampi, one of my favourite pub meals. It's something which can be wonderful when done well, but can also be a bit dull and dry. The Ship's version was very good, although not quite perfect. It was a touch on the hard side for me, and not quite as juicy as it can be. The scampi was served with chips and peas, both of which were tasty, although the portion of peas was a bit small. Peas being one of my favourite vegetables, I always like a large portion. My parents were also happy with their choices. My dad opted for lamb, and my mum for the vegetable curry. I had a small taste of her curry, and for a pub curry it really was good. I like pub curries - although not a patch on proper Indian curries, they do tend to be nicely flavoured and very satisfying. This one was a cut above the rest, even though it still couldn't come close to the real thing. Having had generous sized starters and mains, we chose not to have pudding. Service throughout the meal was good. Attentive and friendly, without being overbearing, but most importantly efficient. We weren't kept waiting too long for drinks, placing our order or either course. In terms of price, the Ship is fairly average for a pub meal. Mains start from about £9, rising for the more expensive dishes such as steak. The Ship has now become one of our regular choices for tea when I visit my parents, and has joined the few other places which we tend to go back to again and again. We know that with the Ship we'll get a really decent pub meal, good quality and in a sensible price range.