Review: Watchful Mary, Watergate Bay

PUBLISHED: 15:02 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:02 03 July 2019

Watchful Mary, Watergate Bay - Lewis Harrison-Pinder - @pindygr

Watchful Mary, Watergate Bay - Lewis Harrison-Pinder - @pindygr


Opening in time for the summer season, Watchful Mary is Newquay’s newest bar and the place to catch a North coast sunset, drink in hand.

I popped along for the launch party last Friday and was immediately enamored by the buzzing atmosphere and epic drinks. But the true showstopper? That view. Wedged on a patch of rock between the cliff edge and the sea wall, the vistas over Watergate Bay and out to sea are the very definition of mesmerizing.

But the new build hasn't all been for fun and frivolity. The bay's latest creation is now proudly sat atop the new RNLI lifeguard service base, which will also serve as the new home for the Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.

Watchful Mary, Watergate Bay - Lewis Harrison-Pinder - @pindygrWatchful Mary, Watergate Bay - Lewis Harrison-Pinder - @pindygr

And the best place to spot the surfers at work and play? From Watchful Mary's sun-soaked terrace of course. While low tide is great for watching the beach unfold, high tide is where the magic is. Thanks to the bar's proximity to the sea, the view across the Atlantic makes it feel as if you're on a cruise ship (without the nausea and dodgy piano music.)

Speaking of which, the launch party was graced with two vibrant, fun-filled sets from Hong Kong Ping Pong Club and a live acoustic set from Sam Green, a South West singer song writer with a penchant for Americana. Much like the tunes, the drinks flowed throughout the night. The night kicked off with Tinkture rose gin cocktails and as the evening unfurled guests were treated to sangria, small-batch beer and even more tempting crafted cocktails.

Watchful Mary, Watergate Bay - Lewis Harrison-Pinder - @pindygrWatchful Mary, Watergate Bay - Lewis Harrison-Pinder - @pindygr

While drink is the main focus at Watchful Mary, the food we sampled worked perfectly .To start with guests enjoyed generous wedges of cheese, olives and charcuterie and, as the sun began to set, executive chef Neil Haydock whipped up posh kebabs on the outdoor grill that went down a treat with meat eater and veggie guests alike.

But it's not just about after hours at Watchful Mary. This continental style bar actually opens at 9am, when you can indulge in excellent coffee, proper tea and a tempting range of smoothies. And while the breakfast food might sound simple, as always there is a focus on quality. Order 'toast' and you'll get sourdough with Rodda's butter and bitter orange marmalade or St Mawgan raspberry jam.

Those with kids will want to head here before 7pm, after which Watchful Mary is for adults and teenagers. Dogs are welcome, though it is set to get busy in the evening so your four-legged friends might prefer a pre-sunset visit.

Oh, and if like me you were wondering about the name - it's inspired by the hotel's co-founder Mary Ashworth's sighting of an otherworldly 'green flash' of light at sunset. I might not have spotted it this time, but something tells me I'll have plenty more chances this summer…

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