Diners feast their eyes on the Gower peninsula – Beach House
With truly amazing spectacular views out over the Gower peninsula, a stunning new beachside restaurant – The Beach House – has recently opened at Oxwich Bay.
With a superb menu from head chef Hywel Griffiths and views that rival the Riviera, the Beach House was opened by Neil Kedward and Zoe Agar – the team behind The Grove hotel in Narberth and sister restaurant Coast, Saundersfoot.
The Beach House has been created with the assistance of acclaimed interior designer Martin Hulbert, who also designed sister restaurant the Grove.
The new restaurant seats 60 in the dining room and a further 50 guests on a large new terrace, which has fabulous views across Oxwich and Three Cliffs.
Featuring natural materials and colours inspired by the beach and the sea, the overall design of the restaurant is somewhat understated, wisely standing back to allow the unique location and views to shine through.
Martin Hulbert said: “The original building, which is literally on the beach in a spectacular location, was originally a coal shed. The building itself has lots of character and features natural materials including wooden beams and slate walls.”
The works included remodelling the original window apertures to maximise the views over the beach, as well as the installation of new windows.
A large terrace at the front of the building was also created, complete with tables, chairs and planting to provide open air dining overlooking the sea.
The interior includes a bar, dining area and a new ultra-modern state-of-the-art stainless steel catering kitchen which can be viewed from the dining room, so diners can see their food being prepared. The double height internal space complete with exposed beams has a light, airy feel.
Martin Hulbert said: “The interior design is really very simple and understated, complementing the stunning location, which is what this restaurant is really about, and takes its inspiration from the sea and the beach.”
The bar area is very small, with seating just at the bar – providing a place for an aperitif. Original timber panelling on the walls has been painted in white and a very dark navy blue – almost black. In contrast, the long bench seating has been painted a bright blue.
Blending the modern with the traditional, the interior also features moveable seating including contemporary style Italian leather chairs, complimented by tables with recycled oak tops – again giving a rustic hint of the beach. Recycled gas lamps throughout provide low level mood lighting, and the original wooden flooring has been retained.
“One design trick that we used was to place mirrors within the window reveals to reflect the light and outside views within the interior,” said Martin Hulbert.
He added: “The building was a real ‘find’ – the location and the views are outstandingly beautiful and this is what really makes it exceptional. This was a delightful project to work on. The clients seem happy and the restaurant is proving popular.”
Which is hardly surprising, given the pedigree of Chef Hywel Griffiths – a fluent Welsh speaker, who grew up in Gwynedd and honed his craft at leading restaurants throughout the UK including the Lanesborough in Knightsbridge, the Chester Grosvenor and Ynyshir Hall, near Machynlleth.
More recently, Hywel has been Head Chef at the renowned Freemasons Arms in the Ribble Valley, which is currently the highest rated pub restaurant in the Good Food Guide.
The ingredients too, are first-class. According to The Beach House: “We are blessed to be in the position to source wonderful local cheeses to incredible meats, together with the freshest fish and shellfish caught daily in the seas around us. We have sought out the best, most consistent suppliers from all over the Gower peninsular and beyond. These are the people we rely on to deliver Beach House with the highest quality ingredients.”
Sample dishes include pork belly with black pudding, potato and comte pressing, apricots and chard, roast loin and crispy breast of lamb, with wild garlic, ewe’s milk, cockles and laver sauce, lobster with lambs sweetbreads, potato, charred gem lettuce and grapefruit butter.
Based in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, Willow Joinery design and manufacture all types of bespoke joinery, from windows and doors to various joinery works for restaurants and bars. Willow Joinery undertakes work across the whole of the UK, with everything tailored made to suit the clients’ needs and budget.
The team at Willow Joinery pride themselves on their attention to detail, as well as their close working relationship with their customers. Willow Joinery understand in a commercial setting time is of the essence, so they utilise their skilled workforce in addition to modern machinery, to meet tight deadlines – the result is a large volume of repeat customers.
Most recently, Willow Joinery were involved with the Beach House project. Working on this scheme, Willow Joinery was asked by Martin Hulbert Design to provide a selection of furniture for the Beach House which complimented the building and surrounding landscape.
James Gibbin, commented:
“We love working with Jay & Martin as their concepts are truly unique and exciting to produce and we thoroughly look forward to working with Martin Hulbert Design and their team again in the future.”
Previous work for Martin Hulbert Design includes The Grove Narberth, which saw Willow Joinery produce a range of metal-based furniture for inclusion in the refurbishment of seven suites.