This delightful harbourside pub has been in the Arundel family for over 100 years and while the current owners, Shane and Fiona Arundel, have done a little gentle modernisation, they’ve kept the spirit of the old bar which remains a popular meeting place for locals.
The big change, though, is that they decided to start doing food – and why not, with fresh seafood on the doorstep and all the good things West Cork has to offer in abundance all around them. And there’s no pleasanter place to sit and contemplate a bite of something tasty from the specials board (sea bass, baked cod with a herb crust, sirloin steak...) while enjoying the view of the bay – and, perhaps, admiring the handsome yacht Merlin, which is based here and available for day (or longer) cruises with Mike Hegarty of Carbery Cottage Guest Lodge up the road in Durrus.
Soup of the day might be a delicious variation on French onion soup made with local Durrus cheese and served with gorgeous homemade brown bread - but, with crab and prawns delivered to the door by a local fisherman in season, how could you resist an open crab sandwich – or perhaps the fresh prawn paella, which is proving to be a huge success.
The main menu is not overlong, but well thought out to offer a good range of dishes for different times of day - including sandwiches and panini for that quick bite - and most dishes have vegetarian and coeliac options available on request.
There’s also a cute ‘Little Stars Menu’, with artwork by local children (they held a competition with the local school and playschool and the stars were the three winners – all by 4 year-olds!). It offers a baby bowl and homemade versions of half a dozen kids’ favourites – and, while there’s a beer garden overlooking the cove where you can eat in fine weather, two of the outdoor tables are in the children’s play area which makes a lot of sense for families.
This really is a very pleasant place to be, there’s a real welcome and the food is lovely – and it has proved so successful that a new first floor dining room was very soon added.