Goat Ledge – Why the big plaice?
If you weren’t on the hill this Bank Holiday, pretending the heat was fun or down amongst the bikes, or on the pier for Appetite, or just in your garden without your clothes on, rolling around in jelly and ice cubes on the trampoline, taking selfies for Instagram, then you were probably at Goat Shelf. People went and then went back and then maybe went again, then went the next day and went back and then forgot where they lived, or who they were and entered a different dimension, filled with stones, grilled plaice and pickled cucumbers. We’ve all been there, or have we?
Goat Ledge is the name of the group of rocks that lie opposite it: “There used to be a council sign for it, that’s gone now but it always stuck with me,” said owner Will
of William the Conequerer. “It’s groyne 34, we were thinking of calling it that because the bingo call is ‘ask for more’ but Goat Ledge stuck.” It’s a good name though, isn’t it, should be rhyming slang for sandwich or something. Then you’ve got HMHB, Girls Gone Greek. All good names, well done St.Lens, none as good as Jason’s Donor-van in Oldham but that takes some beating.
So, you want to know about the food, simple and delicious. How very great to get a local couple of plaice fillets, lightly grilled with a bit of salad and some pickles. Something I would eat regularly, not like a pot noodle or a packet of salt and vinegar but something I would feel pleased about filling up on and would regularly fill up on after a few dips in the sea and maybe a bit of burning, I mean sunbathing.
So as we nervously scoot around each other, wondering what is gentrification and what is improvement, Goat Ledge very proudly steps out of the loop of pretentiousness. The drinks menu roughly written on some cardboard, not for the appearance of cool but needs must, resting comfortably in snagging.
The menu offers you, one, the choice of grilled or lightly coated crispy fried fish, in a bap or as part of a salad box or for our vegan friends, some crispy tofu replacing our scaly compadres. I tried the tofu, it was again simple, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, like a confident partner that compliments your shoes. Not my shoes though, that would be a lie and cause for suspicion.
If you haven’t encountered William the Conequerer and his fun, then you can happen upon more fun now. If you’re lucky, he will show you his state of the art awning, that draws down, rescuing you from the wind and giving you a window to the sea.
• Here’s the gumph:
Open 10.00am-6.00pm weekly. Closed on a Tuesday.
Prices range from a moderate £2 to the most expensive food dish £7 Goat Ledge.
They may open for nights soon with live music and cocktail ice-creams.
• It’s opposite Warrior Sq Gardens on the seafront in St. Leonards.
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