Hey, so here we are going to keep you updated with our progress in setting up the new restaurant. It’s a long road from dream to reality when it comes to creating a restaurant, especially one as ambitious and original as ours. But I sometimes wonder if it isn’t the most fun part of the whole process. At the moment we’re here late at night, finishing off walls and planning and replanning. There’s something inherently romantic about a space that’s coming together. Especially when it is you and a loved one putting it together. You’re building your future, and every little bit you do you imagine the years of activity you’ll have in this space, how everyday it will become, how much of life will take place in this space. It’s a beautiful thing.…
Now that the dust has settled over the Christmas period, the time has come for reflection.
If you live in the Robin Hood’s Bay area then you’re probably aware that the lights have remained off in the Fisherman’s Lodge.
It’s been a tough year for us. Despite beginning the development process at the start of 2015, we’ve still not managed to open our doors. The Fisherman’s Lodge has been mine and Jeffrey’s dream for a long time but with all the issues we’ve come up against this year, it’s often felt like a nightmare.
When we first purchased the building back in 2015 we could tell that we were going to be up against it somewhat. The sale all went through too easily. I might have worked in Finance for decades, but somehow I managed to overlook the simple rule that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. We should have known that something was up, but we were simply too excited by the whole buying process to notice the details.
Our first day on-site with the contractor was a tough one. There was a sickening moment of realisation when we knew that we’d bitten off a little bit more that we could chew – it came when our site manager put his foot through a floorboard in what was due to be the kitchen. There was a loud crash, followed by a flurry of curses. The ambulance was with us in a couple of hours, by which time we’d lost our manager and discovered that the entire floor needed replacing. Too good to be true indeed…
Our initial budget for the build did not account for such a drastic change to the building and soon we were considering calling the project off all together. However, despite this initial setback, we persevered, replacing the floors and then moving ahead with the fitting of the kitchen.
It took us a few months to realise that the neighbours weren’t our biggest fans. We’d been pumping out music for nights on end and plastered the windows of the restaurant in cardboard and, although our nearest neighbour was a good half mile away, we were still enough of a nuisance for the police to consider poking their noses in. We hid in our makeshift kitchen whilst they knocked on the covered glass doors, with the music and the lights turned off the place looked empty – they didn’t bother us again, but it was enough shake us.
For a while it felt like we were making good progress, that was until we both had our little near-death experience.
We’d been kidding ourselves for a long time, convinced that we were moving in the right direction when in fact we were simply treading water. We wasted days on end filling our noses with poison and our heads with dreams, whilst our restaurant slowly fell into disrepair and obscurity.
In the spirit of Christmas and in the wake of Jeffrey’s accident we decided to kick our habits together and finish the restaurant off once and for all.
Wish us luck!…
There are plenty of excuses that I could give to you as to why the Fisherman’s Lodge is still waiting to be opened.
The first and most glaring one should be the owners’ (as in Jeffrey and I’s) crippling addictions to certain substances. A year ago, we’d both quit our jobs properly and had well and truly begun our journeys on the road to opening our very first restaurant: a relaxed dining experience that offers the best seafood in the town of Robin Hood Bay whilst remaining accessible to both locals and tourists alike. We’d both come to the conclusion that we were miserable in our jobs and the only time that we were happy was when we were either out eating at our favourite restaurants or at home smashing a crystal mountain.
With enough money saved up to last us both a lifetime, we decided to jack it all in, in favour of opening our dream restaurant, but unfortunately our vices got in the way somewhat. We should have known that having both of us off work and with spare time was going to be a recipe for disaster, we just assumed that we’d be able to control our baser impulses. Before we knew it we were spending thousands in a week and essentially living in our half-completed restaurant without a hope of opening it.
It took a near-death experience for us to realise that we’d gone too far.
After dining on a rather exorbitant meal of whole sea bass, we fancied a dip in the sea. The summer evening’s revelries had got us both feeling particularly adventurous, so the cold of the British sea was no deterrent to us, as we dove straight in. It was the cold that shocked Jeffrey the most. By the time I realised he was drowning we’d already floated 50m away from the shoreline. With no one around, I had to collect my scattered, wasted thoughts and focus on lifting my lover up onto my front to remove the danger of him swallowing too much water.
It took 45 excruciating minutes to slowly kick my way against the current and cover the 50m back to the shore. When we washed up on the sand, we were both exhausted. The cold of the water and adrenaline that we had both expended in saving our own lives had left us sober. Jeff wheezed and spluttered for a few seconds, before sitting up, saying: “We need to finish this restaurant.”
Since that day, early in summer, there hasn’t been a single day that we haven’t dedicated to completing our restaurant. After consolidating several offshore accounts we both managed to settle any outstanding debts that we had and are now working to a budget and timescale.
The Fisherman’s Lodge was initially intended to be the seafood restaurant of our dreams, through our own foolish ways we almost scuppered those plans for ourselves and left it incomplete. We won’t be making those mistakes again – this restaurant will be completed and we will both be alive to see it happen.…
The last year and a half of development has been an absolute chore.
The strains of paying for the architectural design work alone has threatened to put my very own livelihood at stake.
Before starting this project, I was a simple working Joe. Just a blue-collar girl taking the tube, like everyone else, out of Chelsea and into the Financial Workhouses of Canary Wharf. I was your everyday, totally relatable, Hedge Fund Manager. One of thousands, if not millions in the country, trying to scrape a living just like everyone else. Working the 9-5 grind; getting stuck in the endless routine of ordering breakfast into the office – meeting for coffee, maybe a 5-minute phone call, casual sex with the twenty-something secretary, going out for lunch at The Ivy, then it’s onto more sex with someone else’s secretary and then back home, beaten down by a hard day’s work, for dinner and sex with my twenty-something toy boy and a few whiskeys before bed.
I knew I was stuck in the London bubble that millions of others were in. Every morning and night, upon waking and sleeping, I could hear their cries (not literally, I lived in a safe quiet neighbourhood, quite removed from any noise pollution) of my fellow working man. Until one day, already into my second course at lunch, I thought:
I decided then and there, that I would break the cycle. Not just for my own peace of mind, but for every trapped soul just like me – struggling to scratch a living on a six-figure salary. That’s when I looked down at my plate, and knew what I must do. The remnants of my swordfish stared back at me. I finished my meal, ordered dessert, finished the dessert and once I’d drained two coffees and an aperitif; I stood up and declared to The Ivy:
‘I, Susan Green, of sound body and mind, declare that I will no longer work here in this hell hole of a City. I’m going to Robin Hood’s Bay to open a High-End seafood Restaurant – I’m leaving you vampires, you social zombies. I’m leaving this dirty city with it’s sleepless nights and kilos of coke…right after I take some coke. Does anyone have any coke?’
The restaurant fell silent, shocked – in awe. A blubbery white gentleman, in a Savile Rowe pinstripe four-piece, slowly raised his hand.
‘I…I have some.’
His eyes met mine. Although his outer exterior exuded the kind of opulence and comfort that I despised, his eyes glittered with a hard edge of grit, determination and coke. I knew right away that this would be the man who would help me open my restaurant, the man who would drag me away from the rock-hard bodies of twenty-something receptionists and get me more buzzed than any high-grade Colombian blow ever could.
That’s the story of how I met my husband Jeffrey. We both share a passion for fine food, wine and criminally expensive narcotics. The restaurant might be a way off opening but, until then, we can cover the floor in mattresses and just get high.
Thank God I’m not in London anymore.…
Update! Well we’ve made the adventurous decision(and by ‘adventurous’ decision I mean ‘not my’ decision) to try to make the place fully sustainable! Or, well, as sustainable as possible. That means solar panels! That means making our own compost! That means alternative energy of all kinds! As we are stationed very, very close to the sea we have also been thinking about the possibility of using wood pellet type stuff to heat the main restaurant. What do you think about that? We can be an eco-fish-restaurant! Might offset the awful effects of global over-fishing.…
Woooooooooow hooo. We’re still working away here at fisherman’s! That’s what we do, we work and we build and we make the best darn fish of all the fish that there is that has been taken out of the sea and prepared for human consumption. We have done a lot of things. We have had our menu’s designed by a guy. We have had our oven cleaned by Ovenu. We have held taster evenings. I have eaten nothing but fish for months now, tasted nothing but fish, smelt nothing but fish, looked at nothing but fish and thought about nothing but fish. It’s a long and difficult road, from concept to completion, but it is a road we’re racing down at pace. It’s exciting times around here and I really can’t wait to reveal the amazing work that has been going in to creating this place. But! What a place it’ll be……
Putting in the time, putting in the air miles. If you want to truly create the best food and the best restaurant then you have to find out what is possible. You have to get out into the world and see what is out there. So, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve been on a road trip! Well, on a road-and-air trip. I’ve been flying and driving round the country to find the best seafood to be inspired. And I’m just back from Edinburgh, I’ve been there many times and always been overwhelmed by, oddly, finding a place to put my car at the airport! Luckily parking at Edinburgh Airport has improved vastly. So I could go and taste a little of this:
That is just a taste of the amazing Ondine Edinburgh, a fantastic and inspiring Seafood restaurant that is leading the way in its region. It is a fantastic place that I cannot recommend enough. The try to serve fish in a way that presents it bluntly, they want to give you real fish. Inspiring.…
Big day! We were here late last night with some great folk (and new friends) who where helping us install our stunning tile effect flooring (picture coming soon!). We’ve got to give thanks to the people at ‘Finsa Home’ (http://www.finsahome.co.uk/) who stayed with us way later than they had too last night. When we finally got the floor done we walked down to the beach and tried some of our new BBQ grilled fish recipes out on them. We burnt drift wood that had washed up in the bay and kept warm round the fire whilst feasting on some beautiful fish. It’s a moment like that, eating fish fresh from the ocean on a fire of wood that drifted in from the sea, on the beach, that we want to try to capture and pour into Fisherman’s Lodge. Our beautiful new wooden floor makes you feel a little like your on the deck of an old Fisherman’s boat, so we’re getting there. Thanks again to everyone at Finsa, we’re on our way!…
Hello, My name is Patrice and two years ago I quit my job. I had travelled far for a holiday on the British coast, I sat in a pub restaurant by the sea and ordered fish and chips. I sat quietly and waited, the sea air brushed over me. I breathed it in, deeply. It was like breathing for the first time. It was wonderful. When the fish came it was… incredible.
Fresh from the sea, straight to the fryer. Battered in batter made with good beer and by an exert hand. Chips that were more crisp than potato, soft mushy peas, and sharp oniony tartar sauce. It was so incredibly good it made me quit my job and change my life. Now that is the sign of a good meal.
Food is an experience, and like any experience it can have as much meaning as your fantasies have the potential for. Eating fish by the sea, when said fish has come from that sea, is perhaps one of the greatest, if not the greatest, food experience out there. Eat fish by its sea and let your mind run wild, let your mind run into the nature of our relationship with the earth, let your mind run out to the middle of the ocean and the bottom of the sea, let it run to the edge of existence and back to your plate. Let it think of life and death, of struggle and survival, of the battle between sweet pleasure and deep despair. Let it run.
This is the power of food with imagination. Not just the imagination of the chef but the imagination of the eater. Food is a stimulus, it is nutrition not just for your body but for your mind, for your fantasies and for your soul. We want to make food that makes you think and dream, and will leave you reminiscing. Tastes that stay in your mind, that stay in your heart and stay in your life long past the meal. That’s real food.
That’s the kind of food you’re going to get at Fisherman’s Lodge,
Coming Soon x…
New Year! A time for looking back and looking forward. When I look back I see decisions I’ve made and I ponder them. I feel pride and I see lessons to learn from mistakes I’ve made. I feel good though, because I’m working on something and we are moving and grooving toward something that will be a very important thing in my life. And I get too look forward! Look forward to our restaurant which will join the ranks of the most beautiful restaurants in the world. Look forward to creating and working and providing amazing food for people. Now that’s something to look forward too!…