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
Clean, tidy and well maintained
Polite and cheerful staff
Quality coffee and good deals on refills
Value for money
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!
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