A Table For Two With A Sea View

Watergate Bay, Cornwall - A Lone Cyclist - 2/2/2012

I always forget that our wedding anniversary falls on ‘ Groundhog Day.’ If you’re not familiar with this annual celebration where a groundhog’s behavior is supposed to determine how much winter is left, you can read about it here.

There’s also a film called ‘Groundhog Day’ where a TV weatherman has to report on the Groundhog Day festivities and finds himself stuck repeating the same day over and over. He’s fairly self-centered and repeating the same day causes him to reevaluate his life and priorities. I never cared much for it, but it is hugely popular with many people.

All that said, John and I did a sort of Groundhog Day yesterday when we went back to the restaurant Fifteen, at Watergate Bay in Cornwall. It’s a gorgeous location and the third year that we’ve celebrated our wedding anniversary with a tasty meal there and a walk on the beach afterward.

Fifteen - A Table For Two With A Sea View

We arrived for a 1:15 reservation to an almost full house and not long after we were seated, the table next to us finished and I was able to snap this photo before the next couple arrived.

I took this without leaving my chair. It was the kind of day that reminds you of why Cornwall is one of Britain’s top holiday destinations. I love living this close to the sea.

Fifteen has a special menu at times that you can choose from along with other more pricey selections. Today’s special included a 3-course meal for 19.95 BPS each. John started with mussels which I never eat, but he enjoyed. I had a had delicious butternut squash soup that was slightly sweet and very filling leaving me struggling a bit to find room for the main course.

He moved on to roast lamb with a potato something underneath and a spinach topping. I should have snapped a photo of the menu so I could review this properly. I’m sorry I can’t be more detailed, but most of what you need to know can be found in the sentence below.

Four words could easily describe our experience, ‘ Great Service, Great Food.’

Speaking of service, our waiter Nick, who I mentioned last year, recognized us right away even though it had been twelve months since our last visit. He said something cute when he asked about my apple/walnut risotto with gorgonzola cheese choice which was a lovely combination of taste and texture.

Nick said his granny Masie liked to say that ‘ An apple without cheese was like a kiss without a squeeze.’ This appears to be a variation of a popular old saying here that I had not heard before and I have to thank Nick for sharing it with me. I’m sure I’ll hear it in my head the next time I reach for an apple.

I wanted a quick photo of John holding my dessert before I dug into it below. Sorry about the woman growing out of his ear. I couldn’t discreetly avoid her and I didn’t want my ice cream to melt. Even a good photographer can have a shift in their priorities when there’s ice cream involved.

The service was excellent with the special message at the end making my sticky toffee pudding even more delightful. Nick is still teaching surfing and appears to doing a bit of modeling as well now. Click here to see him in a surfer shirt from the Fifteen shop.

I caught a quick snap of these surfers in the parking lot when I was changing my shoes for our beach walk. They were rubbing something on their boards which I assume was surf wax, but I’m sure I’ll find out when I take a few lessons this summer. I only have a three-quarter length wet suit not one of these full body ones and after our winter day at the beach, I’m content to wait for warmer weather.

I thought this family made for a cute photo. This appeared to be an outing to see dad surf complete with a sand crazed dog who was clearly happy to be running on the beach.

You can double-click on these to get a closer look. There were loads of surfers out which was brave considering the weather temperature and the amount of ice on the beach.

John took these four photos of me. I took loads of pictures of the ice from different angles never realizing most of the time that he was snapping photos of me. I managed to get some images that pleased me like the first one at the very top of this post with the beach cyclist riding into the sunlight and last two below.

Pieces of ice were breaking off while I was trying to get the shots I wanted and several times I had jump back to avoid being hit. John took this one of me the one below and I like the way the water droplets are blowing through the shot.

He shot this one after I climbed up on an icy rock to get underneath the hanging ice for a the last two images below.

He disappeared through the place in the rock above and I followed him later to see what he’d discovered on the other side.

There are loads of caves and carved out places on this beach and it’s a fun one to explore.

John on the other side.

Here’s a look at what I saw when I climbed up and shot under the shelf with the ice. Notice the water drop in the bottom right. Drops of water were falling constantly while I was shooting and it was fairly surreal having ice framing a beach shot with surfers and dog walkers in the background.

Having the sun sliding down towards the end of its day made for a nice close to another sweet celebration.

Thanks for all the good wishes on Facebook and for those on yesterday’s anniversary post.

It’s always fun to share special days with you.



A Day At The Beach Shown In Reverse

Thanks so much for all of your good wishes and kind thoughts for our anniversary. We had a fun day out despite the weather and the rain held off until we made it home from our beach walk and a special lunch at Fifteen.

Some of you may remember that John took me to Fifteen for our first anniversary (click to see) last year. It can be difficult to get reservations unless you book well in advance especially during the warmer months of the year, but he was able to secure a table with a window view with as late as last week. I’ll say more later since the photos are in reverse today. You can get a glimpse of the building that the restaurant is housed in by looking over the top of John’s head.

John headed down the beach ahead of me after lunch.

I tend to lag behind taking photos and often have to run to catch up like you see in the image above.

Now we’re just trading shots across the beach with John trying to get back to the car because it’s chilly and he did not bring a heavy coat.

The wind was pretty fierce and you can see by double clicking on this photo that the little boy in it is looking up because he’s lost something to the wind. It kind of looks like a baby bib to me … what do you think?

John got this picture of me with Fifteen in the background. Our table was about midway down the upper level of windows. I think I was photographing the family with children in this shot.

Inside Fifteen - Watergate Beach, Cornwall

John tried to get a photograph of our waiter/server, Nick so I could put it here with my review of his service. He was fabulous and I would recommend if you book a table at Fifteen in Cornwall, ask for Nick. Not only was he fast as you can see by his blurred image above, he was very food knowledgeable and a surf instructor too.

There was someone outside doing something called Kite Surfing(new to me) and Nick took time to discuss the challenges of kite surfing as well answering my questions about the best beaches in Cornwall for a novice like myself to learn to surf.

You might think this strange information for him to be chatting about while taking care of our food needs, but I asked him a few questions as I usually do when meeting new folks and before I had attacked my main course I was thinking about my wet suit and wondering if I might still be able to learn to surf.

You are looking at a yummy dessert John and I ordered. It is chocolate cake obviously, but what it not so obvious is that it has beets in it. See the red layer …  it’s what they call beet root here.

This was our cake before we devoured it. An amazing feat as stuffed as we were by then.’ Stuffed …’ you might ask, then why order dessert? Fifteen has a fixed price lunch option that includes three courses, so full or not, I was not skipping dessert. Plus it’s my favorite part of a meal!

John began his meal with fish before moving on to Cornish pheasant and I had a Tuscan bean soup that was so rich I wanted scoop it up with the thick slices of bread Nick brought to the table. I followed my soup with the lightest, best tasting gnocchi I have ever put in my mouth. I’m afraid I was too busy eating to photograph my food.

Here you can see the kite surfer I mentioned earlier.

Finally, we are back at the beginning where I took a quick photo of John just before we walked down the steps to have lunch.

A Sweet Day Out

Thanks so much to everyone who left us a sweet message for our anniversary. Although the rain made it day to stay in, we ventured out for lunch to a special place to celebrate the day. In Cornwall, there are some places that receive a great deal of attention for their food and the place where John and I had lunch is one of those that people talk about. In addition to serving up yummy meals to please your palate, they also serve the community of Cornwall though a special apprentice program modeled after Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Foundation and restaurant in London.  Tucked away in a place called Watergate Bay, we enjoyed the sea views from our table even though we were not inclined to brave the beach as some of the people you’ll see below.

We had a front seat view of the ocean from our table for two by the window and while I usually stick to water with meals, I surprised John when I said,  ” I think I’ll have a cocktail.”

Mmm … a Cosmopolitan, just like I remembered from evenings out with the “Girls” back in Atlanta.

Here’s one of John at the end of our meal … well fed and relaxed.

There was a Tuscan theme to the menu this month as our food choices below reflect.

Cornish smoked mackerel with celeriac remoulade and wild rocket.

Pappa Pomodoro ( a rich tomato and bread soup finished with a good oil).

Roast fillet of pollock with Fifteen’s amazing squash caponata, spinach and aceto di balsamico.

Roast Cornish rare breed pork loin with oozy polenta, Savoy cabbage and salsa verde.

And we are back where we started …  well sort of anyway … burp … oops, pardon me.

After a quick picture and …

… a last look at the beach …

… we said goodbye to Fifteen and headed for home.

I wanted to say that John was completely surprised by my anniversary gift. He had no idea that the tiny heart was there and he suggested that I post a photo showing more of the building so you might see its size in contrast with the rest of the wall. If you are having trouble finding it, look to the far right and you will see it about half way down the wall. Adding to our lasting memory, Kristin over at Gypsylife has a sweet story of her own. It made me smile to see that my post had triggered a special memory for her … I wonder if you have one of your own you might like to share below.