Some weeks ago now, myself, Mona, Jess and Fritha packed ourselves into a little jeep and headed for Watergate Bay. It’s a tight squeeze in that jeep but I’m racking up some fond memories from the adventures it’s taken me on (courtesy of Mona, of course). Watergate Bay has been added to the ‘fond memories’ list. The horror though, I didn’t prepare road trip snacks! I usually plan ahead for long journeys, the consequences of hanger are to be taken seriously at all times. Luckily, we fed off the buzz and excitement of where we were heading – chatting all things Instagram, alongside everything else.
Watergate Bay sits on the North Cornish coast, the hotel surroundings arguably some of the most beautiful scenes in England. Perhaps I am biased. I’ve never spent much time by the sea, but when I do the sense of calm it brings is something I want to hold onto. Daydreaming of the those sea views right now…
Anyway, this is a food blog. I guess I should get onto the food side of things, it’s just there’s so much else I want to tell you about this place! First food encounter – portobello parmesan chips in the Living Space. I was famished by this point and burned my tongue trying to scoff them down! I’m glad I savoured them long enough to enjoy their crispy fried breadcrumb coating and the mushrooms were cooked to perfection, not too soggy either. Portobello mushroom chips devoured, glass of red in hand and looking out of the window at the breathtaking sea view. I got the feeling it was going to be hard to leave here.
On that first Friday evening we spruced ourselves up a bit and walked down to The Beach Hut to be spoiled with courses of tapas. We were greeted by Bloody Mary’s, live acoustic music and a roaring fire on the beach before moving inside to take a seat at long communal tables. The friendly chatter of locals almost louder than the band! After the day of travelling I was relieved by the relaxed atmosphere, all in good company too. I lost count of the tapas courses but each one kept me on my toes, I kept my eye on the kitchen door trying to get a look at what was coming next! From fresh tuna poke, to spicy scallops, I enjoyed everything that night before falling into a food induced coma back at the room.
I have to say, this hotel has some of the most exciting breakfast offerings I’ve ever seen. It’s Saturday morning by this point, we met down in Zacry’s – the main hotel restaurant where guests can enjoy the usual suspects of a breakfast canteen. By night, Zacry’s transforms into something else, but more on that later! All of the breakfast choices are great, all fresh and quality far superior to any other breakfast buffet I’ve encountered. The crux of it all are their waffle machines. DIY breakfast! The waffle batter is prepared by the chefs for you, you pour, sandwich the maker together and set the timer for three minutes. Perfect waffles done. I don’t know why these waffles are better and more exciting than the ones I could make at home, but they are. Everyone else seemed just as enthused, you might queue for the waffle machine but it will always be worth it!
From one indulgence to the next, if we weren’t eating (and taking photos of our food), we could be found by the swimming pool that looks out onto the sea, enjoying a massage in the treatment rooms and braving the British weather in a mad dash to the hot tub outside.
You must hate me by now? Stick around please, I want to tell you more about the food at Zacry’s! During the evening, the waffle machines are no longer in sight and the restaurant transforms to cater for fine dining. The menu is very much inspired by seasonal ingredients and the produce available locally. Plenty of seafood options, but by no means limited to just that. I ooooooh-ed and mmmmm-ed over the chicken liver parfait, with rhubarb chutney and toasted brioche. For main, an ode to what wonderful British modern food can be – English venison, dauphinoise potatoes, black cabbage, king oyster mushroom and jerusalem artichoke puree. I’d fast for thirty days if I could just eat that meal again right now!
Needless to say, we were sad to say goodbye to Watergate Bay on the Sunday. One thing that became apparent during my stay is everyone had their own Watergate Bay stories to tell. I’ve never been so inundated with lovely comments and messages from sharing my time there on Instagram. I’ll remember the food, the happy dogs I met, the waffle machine at breakfast and that sea view. I hope not to leave it too long until my next visit, Watergate Bay is just too special not to return.
*Watergate Bay kindly covered the cost of my stay and expenses during the trip, but as ever – all thoughts, words and opinions are of course my own.