Considering my fear of open water I find it more than a little ironic that I seem to be drawn to the coast when out for a drive. If I believed in reincarnation I'd swear that I was a sailor who was lost at sea - forever soaked into my soul both the need to see the sea and the mortal fear of being under it.
Our recent trip to Midleton took a diversion by way of Ballycotton for no reasons other than that magnetic attraction and also because the kids wanted to get to the sea, as it's not classed as a real holiday unless they do seemingly.
Ballycotton is a pretty, neat village dominated by The Star of the Sea church on the hill overlooking this side of the headland and the 19th century lighthouse on one of the islands that are set adrift just off the coast.
The place seemed quirky and interesting so we decided to stay. It was a showery, cool morning so we opted to sit inside after ordering our two fish and chips for herself and I, and two fish goujons for the smaller people from the guy behind the counter. The tubs by the way were small sides from a selection of eight or so - we chose mushy peas and coleslaw. Seating inside consisted of four tables and an assortment of chairs and benching giving the place a certain charming, homely feel. The window at the back looked out across Ballycotton Bay to Knockadoon head, with the sun making a fleeting appearance just to tease us as we sat waiting for our food.
We sat down and admired the view while we waited for our meals. Some kids came and went - belonging to the owner we assumed from the conversations we overheard - and a few more people came and ordered different things from the large menu that made me think that the small cooking area must have tardis-like properties.
Our food arrived pretty quickly and looked great - I have to confess that I was so excited and hungry I forgot to take a photo of it! The fish was cooked with the skin still on the fillet in a nice light, crispy batter with loads of carmelised crunchy bits and served with chips that at first I thought were frozen. Eating them I wasn't so sure, as they tasted great and didn't have that frozen chip quality. They fish itself certainly wasn't frozen, it was fresh caught hake that had been collected from the pier down the road that morning and reaffirmed my thoughts that every second and mile counts when getting fish from net to pan.
We wandered around the shore for a while, the kids playing on the rocks and their mother looking on, while I studied the local flora a little more, spotting hebes, sea thrift and a host of other plants dotted on the banks, and cast a wary eye out to sea, hypnotized by the waves.
But eventually it was time to get back on the road, so we said our goodbyes to the plants and the gulls, the boats and the lighthouse, and with a special wave to Skinny's - and to Misty - as we drove past, we headed inland ...
Away from the sea and my love/hate feelings for it.
Visited 7th July 2015