“ Watergate Bay, Cornwal, TR8 4AA. Tel:+44 (0)1637 861000 „
I stayed at the Watergate Bay Hotel and Extreme Academy as part of a 3 night Taste of the Bay stay. This enabled us to try out 3 of the lovely restaurants including Fifteen in a family friendly hotel.
I was lucky that Sophie the Manager at Fifteen allowed us to bring our 6 month old Daughter to the evening Taster menu - which they do not normally allow. She was very well behaved and slept until dessert.
Information from the website:
Fifteen Cornwall is part of a global social enterprise, founded by Jamie Oliver in 2002 and is owned by the registered charity, the Cornwall Foundation of Promise. At the heart of it all is a chef training programme with a simple mission - to empower young people who are in need of a second chance.
Fifteen Cornwall offers an innovative menu of the best seasonal and local produce, prepared by talented professional chefs and aspiring young apprentice chefs, and served in a relaxed atmosphere by friendly and knowledgeable staff.
On top of this, there's an incredible view over a beautiful two mile beach.
Please look at their website for a sample of the taster menu that we tried.
What can I say? In addition to the Manager being very accomodating about us not wanting to leave our 6 month old with the babysitting service available at the hotel - the location is fantastic and the food is to die for.
Although they request that you vacate your table within 1.5 hours of your reservation, they really do not rush you at all. You are also not rushed in between courses and the waiting staff are very approachable and friendly. The food is very well made and has a unique blend of flavours put together in one dish. Quite unlike I have tasted before and I have had the privelege of eating in many great restaurants.
We also ordered the birthday cupcakes - which for some bizarre reason you get 13 of them and not 15 - apparently that is what the cupcake holder allows - although just 1 or 2 would have been enough for us. These do taste nice and were a lovely surprise for my Husband but I do not think I would order them next time purely because there were too many.
I would definately return to the restaurant again and cannot fault it at all. Even the prices are very reasonable for what you get and I could have sat there all evening watching the waves on the beach.
To be honest with you, I'm not a huge fan of Jamie Oliver! I don't really like his posh-boy-pretending-to-be-a-commoner-act and I find his voice annoying! That being said, I do like good grub, and when it comes to dining anywhere outside of the big cities, you generally have to search really hard for a good restaurant. As I was feeling particularly flush a few months back, and I was in Newquay for a break, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and pop in to Jamie's iconic Fifteen restaurant to see if his food matched up to his hype.
The restaurant offers three dining options -
Breakfast 8.30 - 10.30am
Lunch 12 noon - 4.30pm
Dinner 6.15pm - 12 midnight
Each has its own unique menu which changes regularly. We opted for the Dinner "Tasting Menu" at just £55 a head!!! I suppose deep down, I knew it was never going to be the same price as a McDonalds Extra Value Meal though!
The food was absolutely delicious and we tucked into seven tasty, but not overbearing, courses throughout the evening. We opted for a single bottle of wine (to cut down on costs!) but there is an option for individually tailored glasses of wine to accompany and compliment each course for a mere £42!
There were sufficient vegetarian options on the menu for my wife and I think she was grateful not to have the standard nut roast or veggie lasagna that most pubs do as the "V" option! I can't stress enough how good the food was, it really was out of this world and a really unique dining experience. All of the food is locally sourced to ensure its freshness.
The staff were really helpful and friendly and checked up regularly to see if we needed any clarification as to what each course consisted of. They also were well versed as to how each course was prepared and tasted. I found them very attentive and informed.
The restaurant itself is positioned overlooking the scenic Watergate Bay. It is a little tricky to find as it is off the main road and at the bottom of a car park. Its best to turn off by the Watergate Bay Hotel and follow the car park down towards the sea. A sign for Fifteen can be found here and the restaurant lies beyond that.
Inside, the restaurant has a modern, woody design. There are some beautiful views to be enjoyed across the bay and two large windows that run the length of two sides of the restaurant. If you're going to dine here, I implore you to book early and request a window seat. We enjoyed watching the sunset as we dined whilst watching surfers catching the evening waves. A beautiful setting.
The whole Fifteen idea revolves around Jamie giving under privileged youngsters a second chance in life. The lucky ones are put through a chef training programme and work at the restaurants. Before anyone asks, no Jamie wasn't there when we went!
Overall this is a great little restaurant with wonderful food and wonderful views. Yes, it is expensive, but it is also worth it.
I love food and food programmes and really admire Jamie Oliver for mixing what he wants to do with using his public profile for good causes. One of these is the Fifteen set of restaurants which are like an apprenticeship for disadvantaged youngsters who want to get into a chef's career.
We had a holiday booked in Newquay in August and whilst doing a search of nearby restaurants I found Jamie's Fifteen restaurant at Watergate Bay just outside Newquay. I had a look at the attractive, informative and user friendly website and saw that the 3-course lunch menu was £25 which was around our budget so booked a table through the online facility. It was about 3 weeks before our holiday and there were a couple of slots available for that week so I booked one on the spot.
Watergate bay is a very small place a few minutes drive outside of Newquay - it's about the size of a village but consists of the restaurant, hotels, apartments and watersports so not very 'villagey'. We drove past the sign for the restaurant and car park so had to turn round and then parked in a car park that was quite full. Bearing in mind that this was the middle of August but that it was raining and had been for a couple of weeks, if it was actually nice weather I don't think I'd fancy my chances of parking there.
At the back of the car park there is a sign for Fifteen and some steps down to the resturant which is located across the front of the cliffside. Watergate bay is beautiful and even in the drizzle had plenty of people doing watersports and walking on the beach. The restaurant is modern and nicely laid out, there are small tables all along the window area with fantastic views and larger booths slightly further back.
The set menu had a couple of choices for each course and a decidely Italian feel, I had a fish salad to start, aubergine pasta and a lemon polenta cake to finish. It sounds simple and is certainly not pretentious food but is really, really tasty and the cake in particular was beautiful. We then had a cup of coffee which was really one of the nicest coffees either me or my partner have ever tasted (even though we both have different tastes).
It was beautiful food, in a beautiful location and I'd love to go back.
We decided to visit this restaurant as part of our holiday to Cornwall and as an early birthday present to my partner. It turned out to be the perfect romantic experience. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen in Cornwall is well worth the expense for a special occasion and a credit to the staff and chefs who work there. Be sure to book in advance for both Lunch and Dinner to avoid disappointment, particularly in the Summer months.
The restaurant itself is in Watergate Bay: an isolated and beautiful part of the Cornish coast. The absence of hordes of tourists was a welcome break from the mayhem of nearby Newquay and the seafront location gives all evening diners an unforgettable view of the sunset over the Celtic Sea. The seating plan also allows everyone enough space and privacy to enjoy the restaurant's atmosphere without being cramped or excluded from the view.
So, down to business: The price was £55 each for a 6-course taster menu and a further £20 each for specially selected wine with each of the 5 food courses (the 6th being coffee) . The waiters and waitresses are experts and you can expect 5 star service which includes a quick but informative explanation of the choices on the menu. When the wine arrives before each course, the resident connoisseur will also give you a rundown on the wine( Why it complements the food, where it's from...) before leaving you to enjoy the food and the delights of Watergate Bay.
The food itself is immaculately presented and each course offers something different. Obviously the menus change from day to day, but the research and care that goes into sourcing the ingredients and getting the flavours right means that whenever you visit, you won't be disappointed with what arrives at your table. I even decided that for pudding, I'd deliberately go for something I thought I'd hate (Lemon) but even the dreaded Lemon blew me away with the quality of the taste. The coffee at the end of the meal was also a cut above and a great, relaxing way to end the evening. If you're driving or you don't drink, Fifteen has its own specially-flavoured soft drinks with the Dandelion and Burdock being a personal favourite.
If you're going to Cornwall or within driving distance of the restaurant, this is a unique and rewarding dining experience. I can't think of any Michelin star place I've been to that beats Fifteen on food or location. In Summary, it's a special restaurant for a special occasion.
Wow Dooyoo have excelled themselves turning round my product suggestion for Jamie Oliver's Cornwall restaurant in a little over 24 hours!
Some of you may remember Jamie Oliver's fantastic TV show that was on about 5-6 years ago, it involved Jamie taking several (my memory fails me but I think it was around 25) students all of whom came from challenging and under supported backgrounds who had aspirations of being chefs. He supported them through catering college but it was significantly more tempestuous and difficult than Jamie could have imagined with the students facing daily difficulties, lack of motivation and generally being put off by the hard work. After many months Jamie took 15 of the students who had completed the course and opened a restaurant in London with the 15 doing all the cooking, menu preparation and ingredient sourcing. The restaurant received rave reviews and after two years of working in the restaurant the students 'graduate' as chefs, free to go and do their own thing. I loved the show and the idea has proved a great success with Jamie now opening four of these restaurants around the world. One of these restaurants is in Cornwall and on my recent holiday I was searching for somewhere nice to eat as a treat for managing a whole week in a tent and with English summer weather.
I had actually forgotten he had one of these restaurants in Cornwall and only by accident on a Google search did I come across it. It was about three weeks before our break and I logged onto the website - the problem with celebrity chef restaurants is generally the cost and I wanted to make sure that it was not going to be really scary before I made a booking. The website is really informative providing clear sample menus, I was surprised how much Italian food was on there but pleased at the variety. The dinner menu is a set course affair with seven courses for £55 and lunch can be a set menu of three courses for £25.45 or a la carte. I thought lunch sounded very reasonable but on trying to book at table discovered they were booked for the next two months! Tail between my legs I stared forlornly at the 'last minute availability' option that had crept onto the front page of the website, the only thing left for the week we were down there was dinner and even I, food and restaurant lover, could not legitimise the £55. I decided to check back and a week before we left on the last minute section a table for two for lunch on a Wednesday popped up. I booked it immediately! Delighted with myself. I had to provide credit card details and should you fail to turn up your card will be charged £20 per head, you can cancel up until 24 hours in advance with no fee.
On the confirmation email the location was listed as Watergate Bay, I am led to believe this is the largest beach in Cornwall and sits about 8 miles east of Newquay and before Padstow. The instructions confirmed that when we arrive we should go to the far left of the carpark. At the time I thought they were incredibly detailed instructions On our arrival the carpark that was mentioned was completely full, the area around Watergate Bay is tiny, Im not sure it even qualifies as a town, a few hotels and clearly a huge beach. We managed to park a few minutes away and arrived at the designated carpark. Indeed a sign at the entrance directed us across it but no sign of the restaurant, as we got closer to the back of the carpark we saw 'Fifteen' emblazoned on some wood and then nothing but a fantastic view of the bay. It was only when we reached the sign that we looked down and saw the restaurant nestled on the cliff. I cant begin to do justice to just how stunning it was. Panoramic windows overlooking a popular sunny, surfers beach was a heavenly vista to admire when scoffing delicious grub! Jamie had clearly picked a winning spot.
On entering the restaurant (12.30pm) it was already a third full. The décor was natural and chic with chunky wood tables, windows covering two thirds of the restaurant, white walls and columns that were adorned with pink and brown bold floral stencils. I am probably not depicting this too well but it looked fabulous and very relaxed. In fact the whole ambiance of this place was relaxed, the servers wore matching dresses for the ladies over jeans and white t-shirts and the men wore matching shirts. The relaxed, surfer atmosphere suited us perfectly and the music kept the other half amused as Jimi Hendrix and Oasis wafted out. If I could sum it up in one word it would be cool.....
We were greeted by the restaurant host who introduced our server. As you might expect the window tables are in most demand so we weren't able to benefit all that much from the view but the tables were well spaced out so you could look out without feeling like you were invading other diner's privacy. I opted for the seat overlooking the open kitchen so I could see the kitchen in action.
As it was a Wednesday the students were actually in college, the Cornwall restaurant is about to say goodbye to Cohort 4 and a new set Cohort 5 are due to start in October. It was a bit of a shame that our meal wouldn't be cooked by them but I knew I was going to enjoy it all the same.
The most delicious bread and olive oil was served, the olive oil was so good I debated buying a bottle but figured my hips and behind wouldn't appreciate the gesture.
The menu is changed and printed daily and you are encouraged to take it with you which of course I did! The effort that goes in to a daily changing menu should not be underestimated and is even more effort when you consider the menu is only produced for lunch as the evening is a set taster menu.
The menu was separated into four parts following along the Italian theme. Antipasti, Primi (pasta and risotto dishes), Secondi (meat and fish).deserts (which included a cracking array of cheese). If you want to eat off the set menu the dishes you can chose from are in bold, I liked the way this was done as I am a nosy person and loved seeing all the dishes they had on offer rather than being given my set lunch menu only.
On the back of the menu is lots of information about the students, the restaurants and the concept. It made some great reading as we waited for our starters, it included you and made you feel part of something.
The drinks were not cheap, glasses of wine were £6 for 175ml, beers were £3.50 which isn't bad but the Prosecco was also £6 which as it was a special occasion is what I opted for! The wines by the glass are varied and they had some expensive bottles that still only cost you £6 per glass so could be perceived as good value. My other half tried the 15 herbal cola which was really nice.
This may seem like an odd thing to comment on but they had amazing glasses! The couple beside us had a gin aperitif and it arrived in a stunning, vintage but thick stemmed glass which set it off beautifully.
To start I had broad bean, pea, and mint salad on brucshetta with 'micro herbs' and my other half had Cornish sardines on a tomato salad. As you would expect presentation was exquisite and service quick. The sardine that arrived was the size of a mini whale and was the fattest, meatest sardine I have ever laid eyes one. Landed that morning it was so fresh it didn't even have that sardine smell! He devoured it and had it not been for the fact that fish bones make me heave I would have had that. My starter was equally delicious but I had not really thought it through and having consumed so much bread with the olive oil didn't really fancy the brushetta which was also slightly burned. The broad bean and mint was very refreshing though.
For our main course my other half struck gold. We both avoided the pasta courses as I cook a lot of Italian at home and fancied something a little different. He had the chargrilled pork loin with slow roast pork belly with potatoes and broadleaf spinach. The pork was amazing, melting in the mouth and although pork belly is not my thing the flavour was exquisite! Again presentation was fantastic with the pork nestled on top of the potatoes and spinach in a tantalising manner. I opted for the roasted Pollock on a lentil stew.....hmmm. The Pollock was fantastic, fresh and perfectly cooked but sadly there was something in the lentil stew that didn't taste right. However it is important to note that it was purely my personal taste.
For deserts as if we had room! I had a hazelnut meringue with fresh berries and my other half had rhubarb and cinnamon cake which looked beautiful but was a heavy end to a massive and satisfying lunch!
**The Really Really Good Bit**
All profit goes to charity, Cornwall Foundation of Promise. I was staggered, why do it? Yes it raises his profile but this is more than just a publicity stunt for his restaurants this is genuinely doing something for the good of others, the furthering of knowledge and the all round good guy image that Jamie has will continue to gain pace. Not only do you leave with an overall feeling that life is good after staring out to a great view, eating till your belly is full and the satisfying haziness that a few glass of bubbly gives you but you feel morally righteous! Yes my £70 dinner just went to a good cause!
Highly recommended for foodies or those who are also suffering a holiday in England this year and deserve a little luxury. I would point out that if your expecting a formal, black tie affair this place is not for you!