• With Kids in the Westcountry

A child-free evening out – burger and a cocktail at SWIM, Lyme Regis

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Most of my posts detail places to go and things to do with young children, but on the odd occasion I get let out child-free, and last night was one of those occasions – thought I’d give it a quick write-up!

Image credit - SWIM facebook page

So, once in a while Andy and I get let out, and with a babysitter in place, we skipped out of the house (with the parting words “good luck!”) and off we went to Lyme Regis.

I had a clear objective in mind – eat a burger, and have a cocktail, and if possible, do both with a sea view. Fitting this brief is a bar/restaurant called SWIM – which perches over Lyme’s famous sandy beach, fully making the most of its location with a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass folding doors and an outdoor terrace. I was inspired by an advert I’d seen on Facebook for SWIM’s burger and a cocktail night on a Wednesday evening, which sounded pretty enticing.

We were lucky to be squeezed in as we hadn’t reserved in advance (we were trying to do the whole spontaneous ‘let’s see where the night takes us’ thing which doesn’t actually work when you’re visiting a holiday destination during half term.)

Seats found, we ordered from the dinner menu which had a really great selection catering for all tastes and appetites. There was a fish special (as there should be given the restaurant’s proximity to the sea). I satisfied my need for a burger and swapped my fries for salad in an attempt to be good, but ruined that by also having a large glass of rose, and a cocktail for pudding… Andy had hot wings and sticky ribs from the starter menu.

Image credit - SWIM facebook page

Does anyone else find the pressure to ‘enjoy every moment of child-free couple time’ a catalyst for a good old fashioned massive argument about anything and nothing?! Happily I can report we got on famously for the most-part (even though he ordered me the wrong wine, which the staff most graciously swapped.)

The atmosphere was buzzy and although there were families dining (it was only 6.30pm) a well-dressed evening crowd were arriving for drinks, it all felt relaxed and stylish against a backdrop of cool (but quite loud) background music. (Sometimes they have a live DJ in there playing chilled Ibiza styles tunes as I think they’re channelling that sort of cool young vibe.) It’s somewhere you could go quite happily in your casual beach gear, or you could get dressed up – whatever you want to do. With its mix of modern and rustic decor, I’d describe it as the cool and contemporary beachfront destination of Lyme Regis.

Image credit: SWIM facebook page

So the cocktails weren’t cheap (what’s new) but I'd asked for a Cosmopolitan, which turned out not to be on the menu, and I have to hand it to the bar staff as rather than saying no they just googled the ingredients and whipped me one up with a smile – thanks guys!

The food prices were about average for an evening meal, I’d say. As for whether I’d take my young children – I’ve taken them there for a drink and a piece of cake in the daytime, and they do a LUSH brunch offering, but personally I felt it was more of a grown-up place for an evening meal. Having said that, there were families happily dining and it didn’t seem out of place at all.

We finished our evening by walking down the sea wall and looking out across the water to the twinkly lights of Charmouth and beyond (almost romantic!) before finally rounding it off with the discovery of a nice £60 parking ticket courtesy of Dorset Council, yay. Moral of the story is always check the car park information and don’t assume that it’s free in the evenings – at the Cobb car park fees apply until 9pm!!