Tag Archives: mushy peas

Chips at the Dolphin

I’ve been going to the Dolphin fish and chip restaurant for around 30 years. When I sold chickens to farmers in Lincolnshire I would make a detour two or three times a year to walk round Sutton and then have lunch at the Dolphin.

We have been most years, either with the kids or just as a couple. It was always OK rather than outstanding, but has always been a pleasant place to eat. Over the years various owners have made improvements, though this has been accompanied by the occasional lapse, and in the last few years, they seem to have been selling off household goods to raise cash. It did start to look a bit like a jumble sale, but when we visited on Wednesday it was a lot tidier.

It has also grown an assortment of notices prohibiting various sorts of behaviour. I can’t give examples as I didn’t really read them. I prefer my food without too many petty rules.

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

The Haddock Special was £9.95, not £8.95 as stated in various reviews, and tea is not included in that. The chip portion was sufficient, though not generous, and the peas were also served in a smaller pot than we remember. That wasn’t the worst thing though, they were a bit tasteless too. All in all, not the best “special” we’ve had.

You can’t order at the table now either. It’s not a big thing, but it is a sign of the erosion of standards of service.

Finally, on that subject, when someone asked for tapwater they were told it was 50p a glass. Now, the law states that only places selling alcohol have to provide tapwater free of charge, and they are, it seems, allowed to charge for service and use of the glass. As the Dolphin doesn’t serve alcohol they don’t need to offer free tapwater, but on the other hand, it’s another nail in the coffin of customer service.

However, if you have a dog with you, you are welcome to bring the germ-ridden fleabag into the eating area, where I have no doubt it will be provided with free water, and if that’s not enough you can even buy frozen lactose-free yoghurt for your dog.

Frozen yoghurt for dogs - what next?

Frozen yoghurt for dogs – what next?

The staff were quick, efficient and reasonably cheerful, though they were arguably too efficient in clearing tables. I finished before Julia, as I come from a family of predatory snackers and speed is the best defence against food theft. The way they whipped my plate from the table was undeniably efficient, but felt like they were trying to get rid of me as soon as possible.

So that’s the report – declining portion size and a couple of queries over peas and service. It’s clean and efficient, and the food is generally good, but not so good we can’t find somewhere else equally as good. We will probably do that next time.

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Wall tiles – Sutton on Sea

Bempton Part III – or Scarborough as it is better known…

Well, you can’t go to Bempton without having fish and chips can you?

We did have an Eccles cake with a cup of tea before leaving Bempton though, that walking stuff can be quite demanding when you don’t have all the right gear. It also gave us time to look at the Tree Sparrows. House Sparrows are in decline, but the Tree Sparrow is doing even worse – you rarely see them these days unless you are at an RSPB feeding station.

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Tree Sparrows at Bempton

Once in Scarborough I took some pictures of the castle. That reminded me of the last time it saw action – 16th December 1914. Not bad for a place that was originally built as a signal station by the Romans in the fourth or fifth century.  It was, according the write-up, a favourite place for King John to stay. Richard III was the last King to stay there and it held out for Henry VIII during the Pilgrimage of Grace. Finally, it was reduced to wreckage by a Parliamentary siege in 1645. The Royalists produced siege coins.

I didn’t need to mention siege coins, but I find them quite interesting, and if I can’t ramble in my own blog where can I ramble?

I expereimented with the camera settings. Some are quite subtle. One isn’t.

After that it sort of pottered around crumbling and, by 1914, hosting a Coastguard Station.

That day in 1914 two German Battleships emerged from the early morning mist and opened fire. Five hundred shells were fired, eighteen people killed. It could have been a lot worse, though not for the eighteen and their families.

There is a list here, if you are interested.

A U-Boat shelled the town in September 1917, but that is hardly ever mentioned. Three people were killed and five injured. Compared to some of the air raids happening at the time, killing 836 and wounding 1,982 in a 12 month period, the submarine raid was almost inconsequential. These were aeroplane raids, the Zeppelins having sustained too many losses to continue, but not before killing 557 and injuring another 1,358.

Sorry about all the stats and death, but after reading John Knifton’s posts on aircraft crashes and Clare Pooley’s mention of wartime damage to Bungay church, I’ve started thinking how violent history has been in some parts of the country.

Here are a few other photographs – a police box, a sea mine and a ship that went to Dunkirk. Violence, always violence…

(Near the lighthouse there’s a Vickers 13 pounder Naval Gun, the Naval version of the field gun the Royal Horse Artillery uses for firing salutes at state occassions. This one was raised from the wreck of the Hornsund in 1982, 65 years after it was torpedoed. I admit, I didn’t want to walk the extra distance to the far end of the harbour.)

It was a hard life in the Merchant Navy.

And that, apart from buying some cheap reading glasses and photographing a gull, was the end of the day.