Ship in Distress
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Good Pub Guide Recommended
This former smugglers' pub is handy for Mudeford Quay and Stanpit Marsh Nature Reserve and is just the place for a fresh fish lunch. It's full of entertaining seaside bits and pieces: brightly painted fish cut-outs swimming across the walls, rope fancywork, brassware, lanterns and oars, an aquarium, model boats and the odd piratical figure; darts, games machine, board games, big screen TV, background music and a winter woodburning stove. As well as several boat pictures, the room on the right has tables with masses of snapshots (under the glass tabletops) of locals caught up in various waterside japes. Ringwood Best and a guest or two such as Dartmoor Jail Ale and Sharps Doom Bar on handpump alongside several wines by the glass. A spreading and bustling two-room restaurant area has a fish tank, contemporary works by local artists for sale and a light-hearted mural giving the impression of a window opening on to a sunny boating scene. There are seats and tables on the suntrap back terrace and a covered heated area for chilly evenings.
Good Pub Guide Food
Using locally caught fresh fish, the good food might include cockles, whelks, oysters, mussels, crab, lobster, fish soup with rouille, whole mackerel, and black bream with scallops and creamy mustard sauce. A few non-fishy choices include sandwiches, duck and orange pâté, cottage pie, gammon and egg and puddings such as lemon posset and crème brûlée with berries; they also offer a two-course set lunch.