inside-the-harbour-lightsHarbour Lights is situated in the building that was previously occupied by the Chinese buffet restaurant Harbour City and boasts stunning marina views of Burton Waters with a new outdoor terrace, ideal for alfresco dining or drinks on a pleasant summer’s evening.

On arrival we were greeted and shown to a window table with a view of the harbour. The restaurant is fabulously decorated, with beautiful industrial lighting hanging from dark walnut beams, matching tables and cladding with high quality upholstered booths for private dining, all with panoramic views of the marina which generated a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

The staff are friendly and efficient. It is worth noting that the service was not rushed, just the right kind of tempo for the sort of casual lunch we were looking for.

For a midweek visit, our sensible drinks consisted of a still water for Niamh (my dining partner and daughter) and a Coke for me. We decided on a no alcohol policy (on a school night) but had a good look at the extensive drinks menu including 14 cocktails, a range of draught beers, lagers and ciders (including Batemans, Staropramen and Aspalls), champagne and impressive wine list.

Our drinks soon arrived and we were ready to order. This was the moment I was dreading! My beautiful daughter is a self confessed ‘Gym Bunny’ and counts her macros daily (whatever they are). I was expecting hours of deliberation and off-menu requests but was pleasantly surprised to see a more than average selection of dishes available to health conscious diners.

harbour lghts reviewThe chefs at Harbour Lights have prepared a high quality British and Mediterranean menu and are very passionate about providing the very best local cuisine with fresh fish landing daily from Grimsby Docks and locally sourced seasonal produce, including Mountains famous Boston sausage.

Armed with this information, I placed my order of Boston sausage scotch egg. This was quickly followed by Niamh’s unhesitant selection of soup of the day with fresh bread.

Our starters arrived soon after and both plates were visually stunning. The scotch egg (highly recommended) was a huge cricket ball sized portion, freshly made with a distinctive flavour profile of the Boston sausage encasing a perfectly cooked runny yoked egg, served with a tangy red onion chutney and fresh mixed leaf salad. Niamh declared her carrot and star anise soup as deliciously creamy with a sweet aniseed-like fresh aftertaste. The talking soon stopped whilst we both dived into our generously portioned starters.

With both plates almost licked clean, we eagerly anticipated our mains which came out in good time. It was difficult to choose from the extensive menu but we were pleased with our choices. My sea bass (two large fillets) fresh from the North Sea, was cooked beautifully, paired with a Thai coconut cream with cockles which gave the dish a pleasant and fragrant kick of heat, providing a perfect balance to this delicately flavoured fish which was finished off with wild basmati rice and pak choi. Niamh’s choice of fillet steak was cooked to perfection, medium rare and was served with sun-blushed vine ripe tomatoes, a large portabello mushroom, watercress and a mixed leaf salad which she preferred to the triple cooked chips.

After clearing our plates of two generously sized dishes, we were too full to tackle a pudd, although the chocolate delice of praline cream, candied hazelnut and chocolate ganache was tempting Niamh, she couldn’t quite bring herself to break through her allotted calorie intake for the day and as much as the classic sticky toffee pudding was calling my name, I made a mental note for next time.

All in all Harbour Lights is excellent. The idyllic setting is probably one of the best in Lincoln. The food, service, value for money and atmosphere are on par with the very best restaurants we have reviewed. 

Will I return? Absolutely.. I will be dining at Harbour Lights very soon with my (less judgemental) good lady wife and will have my pudding without fear of a ‘you are what you eat’ lecture from mini me!

Venue: Harbour Lights, Burton Waters Marina, Lincoln.
Parking: Ample free parking on-site.
Cost: £58.95 inc. drinks.
Verdict: Delicious food in a beautiful setting.