I write this as I sit aboard the deck of The Herb Garden at the Harbour, glass of chilled Pinot Grigio in my hand, sunglasses firmly planted on my face as I look out to the colony of boats bobbing gently on the water.
My house is barely five minutes from here, but this is my first visit to the Royal Quays Marina’s new restaurant and boy did I accidentally pick a perfect day to come.
Already a fan of The Herb Garden in Newcastle, I’m delighted to give its little sister my “expert” approval. It has everything I’ve been looking for as a local resident and I’m reluctant to tell you all about it because I’d quite like to keep it in the family so to speak.
With a larger-than-expected timber clad deck that hangs slightly over the water and a panoramic view of the marina beyond I’m in heaven. Add a chilled glass of wine and some food into the mix and I’m happy as a pig in….. you get the idea.
I could be in St Tropez on a sunny day (I have been to St Tropez on a sunny day and I can confirm I like this better) as a gentle breeze flutters through the air and neighbouring table’s dogs lie at my feet. I didn’t know I could bring the dogs but apparently they’re welcome here too until 5pm. I’ll inform the girls immediately.
The daytime menu offers an assortment of Mediterranean delights: prosciutto and parma ham wraps, lemon pesto with chicken and fresh salads. I opt for the chicken and lemon pesto wrap and take my seat on the deck. I could have a coffee, in fact I probably should have a coffee seeing as it’s only midday but a glass of wine with lunch in the sunshine seems much more appropriate.
I’m here alone, with nothing but the sunshine, water and odd passerby for company and I love it. No noise, no chaos, no rush.
The staff are lovely and attentive when you go order at the bar, everybody seems to know what they’re doing and there’s a genuinely upbeat atmosphere here this afternoon. While I’m not naive enough to imagine everyday is like this (heck, the place hasn’t seen its first bitterly cold winter yet) but you can bet we’ll all be here, steaming hot chocolates and coffees in hand overlooking the frosty water and stormy sky.
Apologies I digress – back to summer.
The smell of the timber deck and salty water hangs lightly in the air, the barely inaudible sound of sails and gently cracking wood from the jettys is all I can hear.
As far as I am aware, The Herb Garden at the Harbour doesn’t take bookings so it’s a case of turn up and see, but if you’re self-employed like me or have a day off midweek coming up then I’d highly recommend popping down during the week and enjoy your visit at a much slower pace.
With the sun on my back and the sparkling water surrounding me I’m off to sit back, close my eyes and relax for another twenty minutes or so before I head back to the real world.