So there you are, sipping a smooth cappuccino, your fork hovering over a rich home made cake, or a freshly made crab sandwich, the sun glinting off the sea. Oystercatchers patrolling the golden sands below, the North York Moors tumbling down behind and away to your right the breathtaking two mile expanse of Whitby bay all the way to the ruined cliff top abbey.
Dream on? Well, no. This is the reality of dining at the Sandside Café on NorthYorkshire's stunning heritage coast. For more than a century visitors in search of refreshment, relaxation and hospitality have sought out the café-in-a-cabin which stands at the entrance to picturesque Sandsend village, an unspoilt gem of a place with old world cottages, towering sea cliffs, a secret ruined castle, woodland and a beach cut through by streams.
Sandside was always known as the little café with the big view, sitting as it does on the very edge of the beach, just off the A174 road, one of the most beautiful coastline drives anywhere in the country.
Now the café has been entirely re-built by owners of 14 years Neil Hodgson and his sister Karen Mortimer to provide high standards of comfort, cleanliness and refreshment while retaining the rural charm of the old cabin. It was so popular that regulars begged bits before demolition. Oh, and do remember that Neil and Karen are local people, so if you need to know anything from bus times and tides, or even the route to the secret castle, just ask.
It is a firm favourite with motorists (free roadside parking), beach lovers, families, walkers, dog owners (plenty of outside seating), cyclists, artists and surfers. And most importantly, it is the place where the locals go.
The Sandside is open seven days a week during the season. Weekends and school holidays through winter.