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Somewhere between Whitby’s harbour front and the beach is The Marine. My bloke waits with the car while I hit the waterfront on foot. Quick as a flash the barman comes out to help with luggage and parking advice. Thanks, are you the owner? “Yes, I’m Dave.”
Dave leaves us to it, once he’s checked what time we want dinner. “No tea and coffee things in the rooms,” he says, “We just bring it up – no charge. That way you get proper coffee. Breakfast is from 8.30am till whenever.” We feel relaxed already.
Our sitting room (yes, it’s a suite – hurrah) overlooks the harbour. Fishing boats pass by, and local kids leap from a pontoon into the cool depths.
The mezzanine bedroom has a second telly, there is a tiled wetroom, fresh flowers, cream sofas, plenty of lamps, and on our small balcony a sign says: “You are welcome to smoke out here.” How refreshing to be advised what one may do rather than what one may not.
Pity about the niggles. Silly fluffy bunnies in the sitting room. No hooks anywhere. No bathroom shelf. Plus one major caveat. The suite is open-plan. The wetroom has no door. Find me a woman who is happy about using a loo with no door on a romantic break.
But hey, this really is like being on holiday. Rosé in ice buckets and spruced up couples at the bar. A pianist is singing modern classics. The piano creates the divide between bar and restaurant (which, incidentally, is packed on this Tuesday night). Soon we discover why. Warm mackerel fillets on toast with piccalilli and a pear, walnut and blue cheese salad are a pleasant warm-up for fish pie packed with smoked haddock and prawns, and a spot-on medium-rare steak. “I want to tell her she nailed it,” I hiss as the pianist sings the closing notes of Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind.
“Lovely place to wake up,” says my bloke when a clock somewhere strikes 7am next day. Pillows are a bit limp, we concur, “But I’m not aching anywhere,” he says. In our sitting room, the scent of sweet peas and water reflections playing on the ceiling. I phone for tea. Very five-star.
We join the other couples sitting in sepulchral silence in the breakfast room. Everyone ignores the fruit and cereals buffet in favour of the extensive cooked menu, but service is slack. Nobody offers toast – or brings any. “Well, no one can complain about the food,” says my bloke, polishing off streaky bacon, “nice, meaty, homemade sausage” and poached eggs. Kedgeree for me – I’m loving the fish.
We know we’ve stumbled on a real find. A bit of fine tuning needed though, at these room rates. The devil is always in the detail, as they say.
• Dinner: small plates at £6.90 to Whitby lobster at £20. Further information at yorkshire.com
• This article was amended on 27 April 2012 to update prices
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