Whitby on the North -east coast in the county of North Yorkshire is one of those places seen on the television, mentioned in magazines, heard about on the radio and featured in many brochures. It conjures up the image of a small fishing port steeped in history, cobbles in the harbour, the impressive Whitby Abbey imposing on the headland, seagulls swooping over the rooftops in search of a tasty titbit and the lingering scent of fish and chips, the infamous dish associated with the town.

However wonderful a picture this brings to mind, it is in fact a reality. The town has all the qualities to enjoy quality time spent here be it for pleasure or for day to day living. Many of the visitor who have holidayed here in the past are now relocating to ‘live their dream’.

In response to the growing population and the increase in tourism, the Whitby Restaurants in the town are expanding.The term ‘restaurants’ encompasses those situated in hotels andWhitby pubs. The independent restaurants include a variety of cuisine to suit most palates including Asian, Italian, Seafood and the traditional English.

It is heartening to see that the restaurants of the town are thriving in these difficult economic conditions. Not only has there been an upturn in the number of tourists visiting ‘out of season’ but also the ability, and, indeed, the desire of the local population to eat out once in a while and for some the alternative to a night solely spent drinking.

At the present time, in the run up to St. Valentine’s Day, the restaurants are busy advertising their menus for the Valentine’s weekend and the actual day which happens to fall on a Tuesday this year. Imaginative menus are on display appropriately named for the occasion. For instance, ‘Cupid’s kiss’ starter, followed by ‘Red Devil Steak’ rounded off with ‘Lovers Delight’ dessert! It may sound a little corny but it adds to the ambience.

Differing celebrations at other times in the year also make a difference in the way in which restaurants market their businesses. During the months of late October and early November, the businesses in the town, restaurants included, pay special attention to the events linked with the Gothic Weekends and Halloween. Premises are decorated in the traditional ‘bats and vampires’ regalia with many decorations featuring the regulatory colours of orange, black and green. It all adds to the fun and in no way detracts from the quality of the food on offer. The visitors who choose to visit at this time of year and for these particular events, appreciate the efforts made by the proprietors to enhance their premises in accordance with the festivities. The menus too, are adapted to each particular festivity.

Spring celebrations including Easter and Mother’s Day are a time when the restaurant owners are mor or less guaranteed increased custom from not only the visitors but also the local population. Without the local population supporting the restaurants all year round, the workforce would not be gainfully employed ‘out of season’.

Competition amongst the various restaurants ensures that the customer has an excellent choice of menu and surroundings. Some of the restaurants have a reputation that has reached across the country making the town a magnet for diners. Many awards are bestowed upon certain establishment from accredited experts but there are a large number of the smaller business vying for custom and all the while improving their standards. ‘Large oaks from small acorns grow’ as they say, and that is true of the many, many, restaurants in the town of Whitby. The proud home of the humble ‘fish and chips’ has a much more extensive menu option nowadays.

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