Got a bit of a soft spot for Anglesey. Quite often nip over for a bit of camping in the summer. However, the flame and I and two others couples checked in at a beach side cottage on Red Wharf Bay for New Year. Had a belting time. However, whilst we mainly cooked ourselves we fancied a final celebratory meal. Another pal, Mr Gardner, a cove of some standing suggested we try ‘The Gazelle’.
It’s initial attraction is it’s amazing location. It juts invitingly into the waters of the Menai Straits, directly opposite the famous Bangor pier. A glance to the right reveals the magnificent, original Menai bridge. If you look forward you get the Snowdonian mountains. Its all rather impressive. You have to negotiate a narrow track down from the ‘Beaumaris’ coast road, it’s easily missed, but it’s well worth the effort to seek out and take on. When we arrived the tide was in and a winter storm was lashing up the straits. However, a warm welcome beckoned.
The place looks to have had a fairly recent makeover and all to a good standard. There are a number of rooms. The residents lounge resplendent in red leather, the bar is homely with a good range of ales, a couple of other rooms have ornate, antique perches, all for eating in. We however, plumbed for the ‘restaurant’ bit. It is tastefully decked out with a more contemporary feel than the other rooms, light oak splashed with pastel shades and heavy, grey wicker chairs. Very pleasant it is too. It was warm as well, no mean feat given the wind and rain lashing against its modern bay windows.
The food was good as well. A comprehensive, professionally printed menu suggested it was all standard pub fayre. It does have a specials board though and claimed most of the produce is locally sourced. It did have Menai Strait Mussels, so you can’t get more local than that! As you’d expect for an island, fish and seafood is heavily featured. Indeed the starters were either fish, mushrooms or goats cheese. Prawns, whitebait, mussels and salmon all listed.
Mains are more varied but the party mostly went for fish, except for me, who had pork belly ribs in a homemade barbeque sauce with salad and chunky chips (£9.95). The ribs were set in their own dish on the plate. They were succulent and tasty, the sauce was sticky and lovely, definitely home made. Even the chips were great and doubled up as small mops to wipe up the excess sauce that was left.
The flame went from the specials board and had a trio of smoked salmon, trout and halibut with a well dressed salad (£11.95). I must admit cured fish is not my cup of tea, but she proclaimed all to be well and thoroughly enjoyed it. It seemed a bit sparse for £11.95 to me, but the flame was well chuffed. One of our friends had a halibut steak wrapped in spinach and pancetta with a cheese sauce, whilst another scooped up the smoked haddock fish cake which was massive.
A few of us had deserts. My caramel apple pie was lovely but was easily surpassed by the hot apple crumble filled to the brim of the dish with hot custard. This was wolfed away with aplomb by the flame. I was allowed a spoonful and can vouch that it was comfort food personified, perfect for a cold winters eve.
The whole shebang came to £106 for six of us. We only had two courses but it was a perfect end to a great new year break.
So there it is, if you do happen to venture onto the wonderful isle of Anglesey there are some great places to visit and plenty of great pubs. I would definitely give ‘The Gazelle’ a thought if you need a decent feed in a superb location. I can imagine sat outside in summer it would be a real treat. Give it a go. We’ll be back.
The Gazelle Hotel
Isle of Anglesey