We were very VERY brave and veered off Harters' tips for the Wirral! Sheldrakes is an old converted sailing club/beach shack overlooking the marshes of the Dee Estuary and the North Wales coast.
The interior was utterly unexpected - opulent, funky, cocktail lounge type without being up itself. And the menu was moderately ambitious which, again, was a surprise for somewhere 10 mins walk from our front door and, tbh, in the middle of nowhere.
Prosecco to start served in proper champagne glasses, then wonderfully cooked HUGE scallops for me, on morcilla, with a swoosh of pureed salsify and pumpkin dust, and braised pigs cheek for himself with a Scotch quail's egg (never one to say no to slow cooked porky products).
A lamb rack, again perfectly cooked to a blush, with a fennel and potato rosti and truffle sauce for me, and seared snapper (skin was so crisp) and a crabby parmentier potato base with a pear cider and mussel sauce for him.
All really, really good. There's clearly a dab hand in the kitchen as everything was cooked to the teetering on the brink of undercooked point (which I love), and the (oddly, entirely Romanian, apparently the restaurant advertised there so loads of people came over and live locally) waiting staff were charming and efficient.
We were on the £25 for 3 courses Autumn special, but were actually too full for pudding, alas, but will be back. Again and again.
Other intriguing highlights on the menu include: home roasted smoked salmon with a lobster cake and vodka chantilly, Autumn mushrooms on gingerbread toast, pan fried turbot with a salsify and port reduction, peppered venison with an aniseed and parsnip puree and a beetroot and potato dauphinoise, lime panacotta with a G&T sorbet and olive caviar...
I will enjoy our menu exploration! They do a sounds-a-bit-better-than-Toby Sunday carvery, and bistro dishes at lunch. Only word of warning, which came from the waiter, is that they make their money by hosting weddings at the weekend (we were one of only 3 tables last night). They actually have three this wet-and-wild October Wirral weekend. So call ahead as, with the best will in the world, I think you might get a bit ignored if they have 150 wedding guests to look after too.
But thoroughly recommended. For once, food to match a view.