The Salt Cellar in Lossiemouth offers a seaside treat

When our kids were growing up, we loved our RV vacations to parks across the country.

Some are next to gorgeous beaches and many have entertainment to keep the kids entertained for hours.

For a few years now we have been going with other families, the kids have grown up and some have gone off to college but they still try to join us if they can.

Last month we visited Silver Sands Caravan Park just outside the coastal town of Lossiemouth, often described as the Jewel of the North.

The caravan site is set around stunning sandy beaches and in the shadow of the Covesea Lighthouse. I would highly recommend the lighthouse tour and the chance to climb the 144 steps and two ladders to the top.

Salt Cellar’s terrace is great for people watching.

The views are breathtaking and the volunteer tour guides shared fascinating facts about life there as a lighthouse keeper.

Another highlight of our trip was the location of the site right next to the RAF Naval Base. We regularly heard the thunder of the jet engines warming up before the Typhoons took off and then disappeared into the clouds – an awe-inspiring sight.

The salt shaker

When we arrived in Lossiemouth we sat outside The Salt Cellar and enjoyed a drink and a delicious soup – Cullen skink, lentils and bacon. Both soups were top notch, served with nice warm crusty bread.

It was a great table for spotting people and we chatted with a few of the locals who stopped in for a drink and a bite to eat with their furry friends. We decided to book for dinner on Sunday evening as the large specialty board on the outside wall offered many dishes worthy of a return visit.

Going from street level to the Salt Cellar definitely has the wow factor. It looks very much like a cave with curved exposed brick walls. It has a lovely cozy feel with tea lights and small bouquets of flowers on the tables, while industrial style lights hang from the ceiling.

The cave-like salt cellar definitely has the wow factor.

Each table has a buzzer that has buttons on it to alert a member of staff; we weren’t sure to rush them in case we looked cheeky!

We were offered set menus with a wide variety of dishes including steaks, burgers, pizzas and ‘salt cellar favourites’. The specialty board also offered langoustines, sea bass and salads.

Just to confuse us further, we were handed a Sunday menu offering a variety of roasts including pork, salmon and a Sunday special including a trio of meats and pudding for just £14.25.

The restaurant was very busy, especially on a Sunday, so we had to wait a long time to order and also for our food to arrive, but we were on vacation so in no rush – just hungry.

The food

My langoustine starter was delicious. The seafood was served on a buttery garlic sauce and came with a crisp salad and a bread roll, although I had a little trouble getting the delicate, sweet meat out. Luckily a bowl to wash my hands was provided.

Across the table, our other starter of breaded mozzarella sticks with a sweet chilli dip was much easier to eat and polished off in no time.

The catchy langoustines.

For my main, I chose the beef stroganoff, while others chose the roast dinner and an unusual offering, a smoked fish lasagna.

On the menu it was stated that the stroganoff would be served with rice. However, it was also served with fries and a naan bread, which seemed rather odd.

The beef in the stroganoff was tender and the creamy sauce quite tasty, but I really couldn’t taste the brandy and paprika which would have added more punch to the dish.

The roast dinner arrived with slices of beef, pork and chicken and was topped with a fabulous crispy Yorkshire pudding. It was served with broccoli and carrots and mash and roast potatoes, and the obligatory sauce drizzled on top.

The roast dinner was served with lots of tatties and vegetables.

My husband tucked into the smoked fish lasagne which he considered a very different dish to the standard ground meat offering. There was lots of cheese on the crispy top and it was served with a fresh and colorful salad.

He said he would have preferred more sauce as the lasagna had a firmer texture than he would have liked, but he enjoyed the fabulous flavor combinations and would definitely order this dish again.

As usual, we all debated dessert, but settled for the one sticky caramel pudding that was part of the roast. There was plenty of sweet caramel sauce and a splash of refreshing ice cream was the perfect accompaniment.

What better way to end a meal than with sticky caramel pudding?

The verdict

Bellies full, we ended our evening with a nice walk along the beach and the harbour.

We all enjoyed our visit to the salt cellar. It was great to see some of the more unusual dishes on offer as well as plenty of seafood considering the locality of the restaurant.

The quaint interior and cozy atmosphere really added to our visit, but although we found the food to be good value, some dishes could have been slightly improved.


Lesley Taylor is a staff restaurant critic. She works in the events team at DCT Media and is based in Aberdeen.

Lesley has been reviewing area restaurants for over a decade.


Information

Address: The Salt Cellar, 20 Clifton Road, Lossiemouth IV31 6DJ

P: 01343 813027
W: 1629lossiemouth.co.uk

Price: £72.35 for two starters, three mains, dessert and three soft drinks

Scoring:

  • Food: 3/5
  • Performance: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 4/5

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