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The Brasserie, Watergate Bay, Restaurant Review

A Review of The Brasserie Restaurant at The Hotel and Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay

The Hotel and Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay is on Cornwall's north coast between Padstow and Newquay. The Brasserie is the hotel's main restaurant, although the Jamie Oliver inspired Fifteen Cornwall, possibly the best restaurant in Cornwall, is located close by and has links to the hotel.

The Hotel and Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay The Brasserie Restaurant Watergate Bay Interior

The Brasserie is situated at the front of the hotel on the ground floor. It overlooks the car park and has views both up the valley and down towards the sea. The Brasserie claims "a talented head chef, great local ingredients and influences from across Europe and further afield". The Brasserie also claims that it "gives you award-winning, imaginative menus that change daily".

We had booked for dinner at 20:00 hours on a Saturday evening. We arrived at the restaurant on time and were made to feel welcome and then shown to our table by a waitress without delay. Our table was by the window with views up the valley, over the extensive sands of the wonderful Watergate Bay and across the car park.

Within a reasonably short time, a waitress arrived at the table with our menus and wine list. In the evenings, The Brasserie offers a three courses fixed price menu, although certain dishes attract extra charges so it is not really a fixed price menu.

We ordered our meals and wine and a jug of tap water. The wine and water arrived, but then there was a long wait. Eventually our starters and some bread arrived at the same time. The bread looked good but neither of us tried it as we were by now quite keen to get on with our meal.

For my starter I had deep-fried local pork goujon on a non-descript bed of something. It was rather unimaginative and not as tasty as I was expecting. My wife had scallops - three half scallops in fact - very unimpressive.

For our main courses, we both chose Cornish rib eye steaks with "triple cooked chips", flat mushrooms and roast tomatoes. The steaks were OK, but seemed to have been cooked very unhealthily. We each had seven "triple cooked chips" - I don't know how they cooked them, but again it was not healthy and my wife could not eat more than three of hers. The roasted tomatoes were good, however.

After the main course, I could not face dessert, but my wife had a pannacotta, which she pronounced the best part of the meal.

We did not stay for coffee.

Watergate Bay, Cornwall Sunset over Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Throughout the meal, The Brasserie's waitresses were attentive without being obtrusive, but the hotel really needs to replace their uniforms with some smarter cleaner looking ones. The bar staff who served drinks were scruffy and slightly "trendy" surly.

The Brasserie's fixed price menu is £27.50 per person; our steaks were £10 extra each. My wife had a glass of white wine with her starter (£5.25) and we shared a bottle of Azabache Rioja, 2005 with our main courses (£20.00). Before service, the cost of our meal was just over £100 for the two of us. We felt ripped off!

Review by Clive Goodhead
© 2010 Clive Goodhead

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