“ Beamers Restaurant / 19 The Quay / Brixham / Devon TQ5 8AW / Tel: 01803 854 777 / beamersrestaurant.co.uk. „
My husband really enjoys eating fish, but I am not a big fan so dont tend to cook it at home much. Because of this, he appreciates a good fish selection when we eat out. So when we wanted to have a romantic meal together recently, and having recently moved to South Devon, it seemed natural to head to the port of Brixham; not only is this one of the busiest fishing ports in England, it is also very quaint with a picturesque harbour.
A quick search of the internet revealed a number of likely candidates and although we would normally prefer to book somewhere based on personal recommendation, we decided to take a punt on a reasonably early table at Beamers restaurant. I liked the look of the booth style seating, as too often you end up stuck in a corner or a corridor when there are only two of you. You could hear the smile in their reply that it would be no problem when we requested a table with a sea view.
Beamers is located right on the harbour-side in Brixham, in an area packed with eateries. If you are driving, you might be lucky enough to get one of the limited parking spaces on the street outside, but you will probably need to keep going and park in the car park further out on the headland. There is a small (£1.50) charge to park here in the evenings and its a level, five minute stroll back along a path into Brixham, past the smelly fish market on your left!
Although Beamers is located on the first floor of the building it occupies, it was easy to locate, being well marked with a hanging sign and sandwich board at the entrance. The outside of the building looked smart and well-kept, with wooden window boxes planted with trailing greenery sitting below open, hardwood-framed picture windows. However, the stairs were steep and frankly the stairwell was a bit dingy and off-putting, with dark wallpaper. But we pressed on inside.
Inside, Beamers had a nautical theme, with plenty of hanging glass buoys and thick ropes. Each of the booths seemed to seat four people, and were named rather than numbered, with the appropriate nameplate hanging above the table like a ships nameplate. We were ushered to our table, Inspire, which was appropriate enough, next to the window with a lovely view out across the harbour and further out to sea. We were pleased with the location.
I liked the informal nautical theme, although it did strike us as very dated, and there were elements of over-looked maintenance in evidence such as a missing ceiling tile and a broken high-chair parked next to our table. However, the booth was very comfortable, and spacious, which we both appreciated, being tall people. There was no air-conditioning in the restaurant, so I imagine that it could become a little warm sometimes the windows were open when we arrived, but we did close ours when little evening beasties started to come in.
Now, onto the food: the advertising for Beamers states that All the seafood is hand selected by Simone herself from Brixham's fish market, ensuring only the finest, freshest goods are served in the restaurant. As well the seafood, Beamers's is renowned locally for their sumptuous Westcountry steaks, local meats, home made vegetarian dishes and delicious home made desserts.
A kind way to describe the menu might be to say that it contained mainly British classics. Having said that, from a choice of ten starters, my husband did indeed select the prawn cocktail lol. This came nicely presented as a tower of prawns, with mixed salad leaves and a warm chunk of granary bread. The prawns were plump, juicy and tasty. I chose a dish described as Large flat Mushrooms topped with Devon blue cheese served on a bed of tomato & herbs. This was disappointing, as the tomatoes turned out to be something resembling tomato puree with some herbs stirred through.
My husband also faired better than I did with his main course, which was a truly awesome Dover Sole, simply oven baked with a touch of butter and black pepper. I have to say, this was cooked to melt-in-the-mouth perfection, and if I ever ate here again, this is what I would order, despite not considering myself a fish lover. I had a plain rump steak, which I had ordered medium-rare but which arrived as distinctly medium to well done and not that tasty compared to some other excellent local meat I have had. The dauphinoise potatoes were soggy and bland, and the steamed vegetables were also soggy. I was not impressed.
We didnt order dessert or coffee, as we decided to get an ice-cream and sit watching the sun go down on the harbour instead. Despite the fairly mixed results with the food, we had a pleasant evening overall, and the bill came to £51 including two rounds of drinks. The wine choice by the glass, by the way, was only house red or house white; I had the house red which was actually quite pleasant but I would have liked more choice. The service had been pleasant and attentive from our waitress though, a very young but charming girl, so it wasnt all bad by any means. Overall, however, I probably would try one of the other restaurants in Brixham before returning.
I have voted "yes" to whether I recommend it to others, but only really for the fish, and with the reservations above. It's the sort of place that would make a nice lunch date but sadly it's only open in the evenings. Should you want more details, they can be found at www.beamersrestaurant.co.uk.