Monday, September 04, 2006
Windswept At Fistral
As usual, it was a busy beach at Fistral yesterday. The tourists were thinning out like a rash easing but there was a flurry of activity at the North end with the SLSA National Seniors Championship still going strong.
It was Beach Bum’s first day back with sand between the toes since that run in with salmonella and mighty good it felt too. Bracing, breezy, sunshine – just what the Doctor ordered! Sea Nymph and Nippers in tow, we moseyed along to the South end (after picking up some T-shirts in the Fat Face sale) to let the kids splash about in wetsuits and go crabbing.
Sea Nymph was keen to check out the new-ish beach cafe perched above the rocks - the appropriately monikered “Windswept Cafe”. The cafe perches on top of the building with a board hire-come- coffee shop and the Lifeguard’s station nestled underneath. Be advised, access for disabled is challenging, to say the least.
The staff were pleasant if a little dreamy and we ambled over without any discernible encouragement to a vacant table and plonked ourselves down. The interior décor is suitably “natural”, with washes of white woodwork and pine beams aplenty. Creative decoration as opposed to lavish expense, I reckon. A local photographer’s work is hung around the walls and the atmosphere seems properly chilled.
The balcony seating outside provides diners with a wonderful view of the surf and beach stretching away up to the Headland hotel. There’s a few peculiarities that struck us - like the key required to use the loos and the tiny kitchen area. I pity the poor chef that has to conjure up his culinary thing in this squeezebox.
Alarm bells ring when I see space devoted to the diners at the apparent expense of what should be the heart of any decent restaurant. I couldn’t track down any other reviews on Winsdswept – there’s a link to what looks like their website but it’s broken. Weirdly enough, I was able to find out more about the “chef” at his MySpace site.
“Didn't really wanna stick around my hometown of Worcester, so got a Job and moved to Newquay for a while to see how it goes. So far it is going well and I'm having fun, met some cool people. I'm a chef at the Windswept cafe on south Fistral beach, come and have a meal its all homemade and well nice, I constantly make fishcakes so they must be selling well!”
No doubting his enthusiasm but I think Rick Stein can relax for the moment.
They don’t have credit card facilities installed yet so we had to root around for cash. This fact and the presence of three hungry Nippers baying at our elbows ensured that our selection was something that wouldn’t stretch a chef. Fortunately, the food delivered was tasty and dispatched with gusto.
The menus are scribbled up on blackboards and are not overly fussy or ambitious. It would be nice to have some set menus on the tables though. I have the memory capacity of a gnat, and hate having to shuttle back and forth like a fool to remind myself what’s on offer. So bowls of chips it was, chunky but pleasantly crisp, spinach salad (slightly glutinous dressing) and calamari with the ubiquitous sticky Thai dressing. Coffee was excellent (phew!) and the sliver of brownie slightly squishy, but acceptable. We both felt prices were on the high side for the quality and presentation of the food on offer.
There’s an unusual loyalty card scheme in operation that involves stamping cards in return for some freebies after x visits. Based on this taster, we will be back – minus the Nippers – to try something more adventurous. I hope it does well. There’s stiff competition from the Lewinnick Lodge just over the hill and Fistral Blu at the far end of the beach. The business buzz over the winter months will be the acid test I guess.
(This post has been so Googled many time - there's more on the Windswept including reservation numbers here!)
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