t Ooh La La - Soupe de Poisson & a Glass of Wine Beside the Seaside - Ethical Hedonist

Ooh La La – Soupe de Poisson & a Glass of Wine Beside the Seaside

August 9, 2013 in General


Alison Jane, the editor of Ethical Hedonist enjoying a sustainable lunch at the Seaview Hotel on the Isle of Wight

Alison Jane, the editor of Ethical Hedonist enjoying a pink icecream parfait to delight Barbie, at The Seaview Hotel, Isle of Wight

As a cub reporter, I used to hang out with friends into the small  hours, in the most alluring French bistro called The Café Pelican on St Martin’s Lane in London. I would linger over a robust, perfectly executed soupe de poisson and watch actors like Simon Callow and Sian Phillips at play. My soup would come with a faint, sweet aroma of the sea, and all the right embellishments  – an unctuous, garlicky roule and tangy, mountain Gruyere, which would melt into silken, sticky strands on contact with the soup, which never failed to please.



The Seaview Hotel's Classic Soupe de Poisson made with sustainable local fish.

The Seaview Hotel’s classic soupe de poisson made with sustainable local fish.

Now, I have found a new place to enjoy this simple, French bistro classic – The Seaview hotel on the Isle of Wight. Chef Alan Staley learnt the art of cooking well at two great hotels – The Savoy and Chewton Glen.  Alan is at the helm at this baby jewel of an English hotel, situated in the sleepy town of Seaview, which turns into Chelsea on Sea in high summer.  As you can see, it’s a great spot to watch the world go buy, whilst feasting on a great dish, made even better by the use of the freshest, local, sustainably caught fish – Alan likes to use a combination of: gurnard, whiting and red mullet – which he buys straight from the local fisherman, Captain Stan, in Bembridge. Alan’s soup is thick, comforting and has that all-important hint of a sea breeze – perfect! Of course, a great deal of skill goes into making a really good fish stock, with the right combination of spices and vegetables from the hotel’s own farm.  I followed it with a parfait that would delight Barbie – local, seasonal raspberries from the Arreton Valley, transformed into a pretty, fashion on a plate confection, which tasted tart and refreshing, but not overly sweet. Thus, guilt free! I will be back.

To book lunch or stay at The Seaview, a gem of a British hotel beside the sea visit  – www.seaviewhotel.co.uk






about the author

Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid - Journalist, Editor & Emerald Princess of Slow, Sustainable Luxury Living - 18 year track record interviewing real icons for: The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life. Now leading her alluring fairtrade, emerald revolution - Don’t Miss Out - Have you joined The Ethical Hedonist set?

One response to “Ooh La La – Soupe de Poisson & a Glass of Wine Beside the Seaside”

  1. Mr S says:

    What a perfect combination – seaside location and soupe de poisson. It’s great to hear of a place going back to the classics rather than deconstructing this and that and adorning with pea shoots. I’ll definitely raise a glass of red to that 🙂

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