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“Superb all round!”
Review of Galleon Beach Cafe

Galleon Beach Cafe
Ranked #12 of 15 Restaurants in Polzeath
Cuisines: Cafe
Dining options: Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
Reviewed June 17, 2014

Very confused and somewhat startled by the bad reviews of this place, mainly as every time we have been there we have had excellent service, polite staff, quality food in an atmosphere and setting that is tricky to match. I have been coming here for many years and aside from the the decor inside the overall feel of the place has not changed and it is a place i always go back to and if anything i would say it has got better each time I arrive and eat.

The cafe is easy to find and is accessible from the main beach car park by means of a simple 5 second hop and a jump up on to the sea wall to the cafe, you cant miss it, as its big bright and blue and usually has music playing outside. The building is well maintained and looks cared and always seems to be busy. A recently revamped spacious and tidy outdoor seating area consisting of a few large group style tables sits on a raised section outside the main body of the cafe whihc is well thought out as this allows cars and pedestrians to walk by with out having to navigate the seats and tables.

Inside the atmosphere is surfer chic and is decorated in the usual posters and wall signs from the golden age of surfing along with compulsory VW camper van memorabilia, which seems to permeate into every sea side establishment the world over. The seating here is over two levels and relies on benches in the communal style to accommodate it patrons a an effective solution to maximizing seating in what is actually quite a small space. There is an element of simplicity to the Galleon that seems almost at odds with the busy decor and atmosphere yet, despite this, it manages to excel with remarkable credence of fitting in perfectly relaxed nature of the town itself. Rock and Roll classics are churned out the speakers but its not loud and actually adds to the feel!

The food on offer is clearly displayed on the menu behind the main counter as well as on printed menu cards on the tables themselves. There is a fine choice on offer including breakfasts of all shapes and sizes, sandwiches, pasties, lighter bites and salads. Drinks are the usual fair of juices, hot drinks including coffee and tea, milkshakes and carbonated regulars. A nice touch and offer is that you can have a refill coffee for only a £1 which as far as i'm aware is unique in the town as it has so far avoided the influx of chain coffee brands! The coffee was hot strong and very good quality severed in a decent sized cup that didnt cost the earth and pound for pound was far cheaper then the nasty tar based concoctions in SPAR over the road.

We ordered 2 breakfasts, a pancake and a surfers, which were well worth the price we paid for them. Huge portions, good quality ingredients and on warm clean plates, what more can you ask for really? They do a deal before midday on breakfasts that knocks about £4 off the bill which helps a lot and although the price is on the high side you certainly dont feel short changed when the food arrives. Condiments were actual bottles of sauce not the sachets you so often get and it was served in good time by very polite and efficient staff who were more than happy to get us anything additional or take further drinks orders. The staff, of which we counted 4, were always busy and seemed to be very attentive to the needs of their customers, yes there was a short wait for my refill of coffee but it was not the end of the world, i've waited longer in a London Starbucks than i did here!

The owners were friendly and keen to chat making us feel welcome, they obviously cared about the place a lot as they were cleaning and making the place ready themselves along with their staff so not sure where the bad comments about the staff are coming from.

Highlights and plus points:

Great location and easy to find
Varied menu choices for all
Well cooked food using good ingredients
Huge portions
Relaxed atmosphere
Clean, tidy and well maintained
Polite and cheerful staff
Quality coffee and good deals on refills
Value for money

Negative points:

No toilet (you have to use the public one across the street, yet not a lot can be done about that)

Overall, based on my experience i would say ignore the bad reviews and go and enjoy what is a very fine establishment that caters for all, serves good quality food with a smile. Yes at busy times it can get crowded but then everywhere at lunch time on the beach is going to be the same so its hardly surprising that service may slip a little, but it doesnt slip by much! I would rank it higher than it is here for restaurants in Polzeath and i hope that others will as well!

    • Value
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Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (154)
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135 - 139 of 154 reviews

Reviewed May 8, 2014

Came here for about a week for five years when I was a child. I seem to remember this or a similar building on this site but not completely sure. Came down for two days in April this year and used the Galleon while were on the beach. Sadly I echo the remarks of most of the recent reviewers. Service for us varied, not noticeably friendly, food arrived very slowly, poor value. It's a spot which if it had more convivial upbeat provision would be a delight and no doubt do a very great deal more business. Regrettably we just felt uncared for and treated as targeted and fleeced customers by an indifferent or at least blatantly self interested owner/manager.

I humbly suggest, in no hope of it being taken up, that the management send in an objective independent first time customer just to see and comment on how things happen here. It might also be a good idea to go and visit some other each cafés in other parts of Devon Cornwall or further afield to find the places where these things are done properly and still very profitably.

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Thank HillyCirencester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014 via mobile

Look - they are right on the beach and so you've honestly got to expect a bump in prices. But at least you're not paying the Farrow& Ball prices which were displayed elsewhere in Polzeath. Their £1 refill is inspired and food not too bad. A woman at a neighbouring table knocked over her drink and was given a replacement for free. I think it's time you gave them a chance people! :-)

1  Thank Pepperpotpaws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2014 via mobile

We have been coming to Polzeath as a family for nearly 20 years. The Galleon used to be everything a good beach cafe should be, with a cheerful owner, reliable fast and inexpensive food (by Polzeath standards).
Then a few years ago it was sold and has gone downhill ever since. The new owner annexed half the seating area for an open plan office where he now sits counting his takings. All around him sit disgruntled customers eating expensive, Luke warm and badly prepared food. That's if they are lucky enough to get it at all. The service is nothing short if appalling.
I really hoped that it would improve but sadly if anything it's got worse.
It is a waste of a fantastic position and a fantastic opportunity.
Don't go there. Go to the Tube Station instead.
Hopefully the owner will soon retire and it will be taken over by someone who can make the most of it and restore it to what it could and should be.

6  Thank Barrystir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Poor service - girl at the till told me I could not have juices with the childrens meals when they were clearly marked on the menu as included, I had to show the menu to her.

Food - when the childrens meals came out first their sausages were not cooked and had to be returned (lucky we cut our childrens food up still!) we were told the sausages were just thick and took a while to cook and were cooked at 90 degrees.

We had almost finished our meals by the time our childrens meals finally came out and they were very hungry by that time, we were not offered any freebies etc for the inconvenience.

6 pieces of scampi for almost £8 is ridiculous and the chips were cheap.

After leaving we came across two other establishments we wished we had tried instead.

    • Value
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1  Thank Morrelltribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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