I recently visited New Quay in Ceredigion, West Wales, with my friend Sian and her family. After a stroll along the sea front we were feeling rather peckish and so we decided to look for somewhere to eat nearby.
We were immediately drawn to the Old Watchhouse restaurant. Situated just at the entrance to the pier, this restaurant seems to tower over its neighbouring food outlets and seaside memorabilia shops. We climb the stairs to the seating area, an elevated sun terrace scattered with wooden picnic benches offering breath-taking views over the blue waters of Cardigan Bay.
It’s a hot, sunny day and as you can imagine the outdoor seating area is beginning to fill up, but we manage to find a table big enough for all of us to sit down. The children are excitedly looking out to the sea for dolphins and seals, having been told that they can sometimes be spotted swimming in the distance, but we’re not lucky enough to see any for ourselves today.
In line with its seaside location the Old Watchhouse serves a good range of fresh fish, in addition to pub classics, salads, pasta dishes, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, desserts and more.
Our younger diners enjoyed taking their pick from the children’s menu, featuring a selection of popular meals for smaller stomachs, each priced at £4.00.
The spaghetti bolognese is a fairly large portion for a kids’ meal – a mound of meaty, tomato sauce lies on a bed of linguine in an oval dish.
The omelette and chips, on the other hand, is in my opinion somewhat dull-looking. I appreciate it is only meant to be a children’s meal, but considering it cost £4.00 they could have made a bit more effort with the presentation.
Sitting next to the sea, I can’t think of anything better to eat than some good old fish n’ chips. The beer battered fish and chips (£7.95) is exactly what I had in mind – a chunky fillet of fresh cod encased in crispy batter, accompanied by a portion of traditional, thick-cut chips. Seasoned with salt and vinegar, they remind me of the chips I ate at the sea-side with my brother and sister as a child.
Sian initially orders the vegetarian bolognese but unfortunately she is told that this dish is no longer available and that they need to remove it from the menu. She seems rather disappointed but settles instead for a jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw (£4.75). The large jacket potato is almost overflowing with coleslaw and grated cheddar cheese and is served with a salad garnish.
Sian’s father and her step-mum both decide to opt for a jacket potato as well.
The chilli con carne jacket is stuffed with homemade meaty sauce and topped with sour cream and cheese.
Whilst the cheese and pineapple jacket is covered in layers of melted, warm cheddar and freshly sliced pineapple.
If you’re looking for a good quality restaurant in New Quay, look no further than the Old Watchhouse. With its beautiful views and freshly prepared food, the restaurant is the perfect place to rest your legs after a stroll along the beach. Hot drinks and lighter snacks are also available if you’re not feeling particularly hungry. I recommend booking in advance if you are visiting during the holiday season, as the restaurant gets very popular with tourists and locals alike.
The Old Watchhouse
South John Street
(01545) 560 852
Monday – Sunday: 12.00pm -11.00pm
N.B. During the quieter season, opening hours may be limited. Contact the restaurant directly for details.