As parents we get very little time alone together so when we do we always want to make the most of it. One of our favourite places to go for a grown up night out is the Barbican in Plymouth.
By day the Barbican is a bustling little shopping area with restaurants, cafes and market stalls. By night it’s alive with diners, drinkers and live music. There are some fantastic hostelries dotted about the Barbican, both traditional and in keeping with the naval history the area exudes. There are more modern venues for those thrill seekers looking for a dance or an elaborate cocktail. One that particularly stands out for us is the Queens Arms which is lovingly run in a traditional manner boasting a wealth of highly polished brass work and rich warm mahogany finishes. This feels very much like a traditional old London pub where their standards are immaculate.
There’s an array of places to eat but my favourite place for dinner is a small Moroccan restaurant that we found, purely by chance one night, tucked down a side street. We didn’t really know what to order so we asked them to surprise us and a little while later we were presented with lots of little bowls filled with all sorts of goodies. It was great because we got to try things that we probably wouldn’t have ordered if left to our own devices.
Another place that we enjoy for food is the new Rockfish restaurant which can be found just over the Sutton harbour swing bridge. The fish is lovely and fresh and the batter is light and crisp, just as it should be.
The Barbican is particularly popular with ale drinkers as a lot of the pubs are ‘Cask Marque’ accredited and regularly hold real ale festivals, much to my other half’s delight! I’m personally more of a foodie but because we can find both at the Barbican, it’s a great option for a night out.
One of the main reasons that we personally love the Barbican is because of our boat that we keep in Cornwall. It’s a lovely trip down from our mooring into Queen Anne’s Battery Marina where we moor the boat for the night and take a wander down to the Barbican. It’s just enough of a walk to stretch our legs after the trip down river and we usually find a seat outside one of the waterfront bars and contemplate life.
Various events are held throughout the year centred round the marina complex; most notably the Plymouth Classic Boat Regatta. How lovely it is to wander around the quayside, admiring all of the vintage craft with wine glass in hand, finished off with the traditional fayre produced by ‘Captain Jaspers’. This is a traditional and very popular fast food outlet situated on the end of the quay which has not only been hugely popular for many years but has just undergone a significant refurbishment. This has been very well thought out with particular attention paid to maintaining the charm that has ensured its many years of success.
There always seems to be something going on whether it's market traders selling their wares, a festival of some kind or street buskers entertaining you while you eat. So find yourself a place to stay in Plymouth, and enjoy the evening delights of the Barbican.