I recently spent a cosy weekend in Cornwall, which although is a popular spot during the summer, I think it’s even better in the autumn and winter months, as it’s less crowded and way cosier, with brisk beach walks, wind in your hair, oversized jumpers and mulled wine. Having spent the first evening at the hotel, I wanted to explore some of the surrounding beaches to get a feel for the beachy culture and a taste of the Cornish sea.
We were recommended to walk along Watergate Bay, the region’s top surf beach, and have dinner at The Beach Hut restaurant, which is parked right on the sand on the beach, with great sea (and surfer) views.
The restaurant had a friendly and relaxed vibe, and the diners were a mix of surfers, dog walkers, and wind-swept families. Small children were running around with crayons, dogs were shaking the sand from their fur, and people were wearing wellies and jumpers, and some were still in wetsuits. I felt a little over dressed in my dress and jewellery, so threw a big baggy jumper over the top and made myself at home!
The interiors are beachy-chic, a sort of Newquay-meets-California vibe, with big wicker armchairs and comfy cushions, duck egg walls, big wooden floor boards, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows so diners hear the sound of the sea and watch the waves and the surfers from the warmth of the restaurant.
There’s even an indoor conservatory-style room which offers panoramic beach views whilst keeping you nice and toasty indoors.
We plonked down in the wicker armchairs and ordered a few ‘bites and nibbles’ to start with. It’s worth mentioning that by the time we’d had a glass of wine and some nibbles (around 8 o’clock) and were ready to order, the children and surfers had left and the atmosphere became more romantic and intimate.
The executive chef Neil Haydock offers a real taste of the bay with an impressive seafood selection, but cooked up in unusual ways. After our ciabatta, olive oil & balsamic vinegar bites and some provence olives, we ordered Moules marinière and ‘Popcorn squid’ as starters.
The mussels arrived in a creamy white wine sauce with shallots and garlic, and came with fries, and the Popcorn squid calamari were lemony and spicy and crunchy, with a sriracha mayo dipping sauce.
The portions were generous, so we barely had room for main (or maybe it was the basket of warm bread we couldn’t stop snacking from), but I happily ate my way through my grilled fish masala which arrived in a Sag aloo sauce with cucumber raita.
Although Jonathan’s free range chicken burger looked great too, with avocado, bacon, fries, and a side of apple and poppy seed slaw, I was pretty satisfied with my choice as the flavours were fresh and aromatic, and didn’t feel too heavy.
We definitely didn’t have room for dessert, but instead cradled our bottle of wine and watched out over the stormy waves, feeling very cosy and content.