Sussex can be proud of its culinary creations making their mark on the European stage after a seafront restaurant was listed among the continent’s elite.
The Crabshack, in Worthing’s Marine Parade, has been ranked as one of Europe’s top ten beach restaurants in The Guardian after the paper’s travel writers were asked to choose their favourite eatery.
The family-run restaurant has consistently topped the Trip Advisor rankings in Worthing and co-owner, Sarah Tinker-Taylor, 51, welcomed the wider recognition.
“It’s great to get some national coverage, not just for us but for Worthing,” she said.
“Someone from The Guardian contacted me saying we had been recommended and asked us to send some pictures, but we didn’t hear back. We only found out we had won when we saw it in Saturday’s paper.”
The Crabshack was nominated by The Guardian’s travel editor Jane Banford, who reserved special praise for Worthing. Her review described the town as ‘quieter than Brighton but with its own lovely pier and sweeping sea views’, and undergoing ‘something of a revival’.
The opportunity to introduce people to Worthing’s hidden delights is something Sarah said is a bonus to the restaurant’s success.
“It’s great that people can visit us and then get out and see what Worthing has to offer,” she said.
“There’s so many young people moving to Worthing now. For the last four to five years I’ve really sensed the whole vibe changing.”
Sarah moved to Worthing 15 years ago with her husband, Andy Tinker-Taylor, who is one of the restaurant’s four owners.
It was opened in June 2015 by Sarah and her sister-in-law, Lynca Racz-Taylor, who is married to Andy’s brother, Phil Taylor.
The pair brought their husbands on board and both couples are assisted by their four sons, who work the ice cream shack in the summer, making it a true family affair.
It is the friendly, family atmosphere to which Sarah credits the Crabshack’s success.
The secret, she said, is simple: “Great service, friendly atmosphere, the food is good and competitively priced and we are in a great location, just off the beaten path.”
All of the ingredients are locally sourced and everything is prepared in-house, led by head chef Leah Hales-Marley.
Sarah said they found a gap in the seafood market, with most fish restaurants offering either fine-dining or ‘bog standard’ fish and chips. While neither of those are bad, she said, it did present an opportunity.
With a reputation buoyed by online reviews and word-of-mouth, the Crabshack soon outgrew its original premises, extending along Marine Parade into the 55-seater building it inhabits today.
The recent recognition is the latest in prestigious publications including The Guardian, The Spectator, the Sunday Times and the Worthing Herald series.
Unlike its namesake, the Crabshack shows no sign of going sideways but is moving forward onto ever better things.