January 30, 2015 by lovenellie
Right then I have about 40 minutes spare between clearing away from yesterdays chalk paint workshop, sending out the booking forms for The Henley House and Garden Workshops, sourcing a 1960’s style Parker Knoll swivel chair, sorting out why my range cooker keeps going out and the getting back in the car for the school run so I thought a blog entry was well overdue. (at least it will give me a chance to sit down for a change with a cuppa)
Things have been a bit manic this week mainly due to the fact that I had to take some time out sadly, to visit lovely Angelsey for my Auntie Nan’s funeral. Whilst that was a really sad occasion, she was an amazing lady who I admired greatly, it was lovely to see all my family in one place at one time, that’s so rare these days. The morning of the funeral I had time to pop to Rhosneigr where I spent a large percentage of my summer holidays growing up for a coffee. It was while wondering there that I was blown away (not literally, although Rhosniger is famous for its windy beaches) by the super stylish Oyster Catcher Restaurant.
But just look at it now it has been completely transformed to a modern light ecofriendly buiding with lots of glass to make the most of the actual location and the amazing views from every window.
The Timpson Group who bought the hotel used Huf Haus, a German company famous for glass fronted, environmentally friendly properties to work in partnership with them to create a building fit for its stunning location. I don’t know if you have even seen the Huf Haus team at work but I once saw them on an episode of Grand Designs and they don’t mess about, they literally arrive from Germany on site with every screw and nail accounted for. They build at a super speed with typical German efficiency, and they even bring their own sausages for lunch! The glass structure has several energy efficient features, including a series of bore holes with a ground source pump to provide their hot water and heating and clever computers that keep energy use to a minimum.The combination of timber and glass creates elegant, clean lines. The overall look of The Oyster Catcher is that of a modern beach house, by rights a modern German glass structure outside a small traditional welsh beach town shouldn’t work but it does and it does so beautifully.
The interior design of this amazing building has also been so well thought out, the open kitchen and pass feature predominantly in the restaurant, as The Oyster Catcher is also a chef academy, helping local young people fulfill their dreams. Following a visit to Jamie Olivers ‘Fifteen’, the chief executive of Timpson James, decided that this site would make an amazing place to train and inspire a new generation of top chefs. So not only does the place look amazing it also has a mission. The Timpson Foundation set up The Oyster Catcher as a social enterprise, and this means that all profits are put back to train, mentor and support the new chefs or cadets as they call them through their journey.Helping to support the young people of Anglesey is not the only aim of the foundation, and they also work alongside other projects for the benefits of many people.
The style of the restaurant was industrial with a slight nod to it seaside location. Amazing oversized lights combined with industrial cage style lighting broke up the linear feel of the Huf Haus design and the use of different types of wood added a softer beachy style effect to the space.
I particularly loved the design of the outside decking area which has a modern twist on the traditional British beach hut, it looks great but also provides shelter on windy days. The views were stunning and you can see for miles and miles.
The light in the stairwell that led you from the bar area to the restaurant was also amazing,made from hundreds of little clay fish all illuminated from the centre and stretching from the top of the stairs right down to the ground floor. Its design details like this that to me, make all the difference.
Downstairs there is a great bar area which strangely enough is decorated to look like an alpine ski bar which I loved. Its so cosy and the sort of place that you would want to hang out for an evening and have a few shots of Jagermeister maybe! The outside area of the bar was also fantastic and on a sunny evening next time I’m on the Island that’s where you will find me!! Its always hard to grow plants near the beach due to the wind etc however clever use of ultra modern over sized white plant pots with beach friendly plants broke up the space nicely. I will be adding one of these giant pots to my Christmas list. I found similar ones on the Urban Planters website.
It was so strange to find out that the stunning building that I enjoyed a coffee in while waiting to go to Auntie Nan’s funeral was a German Huff Haus Design. You see, Auntie Nan or Anne Hoffmann as she was know to most was a born and brought up on Anglesey not far from Rhosneigr and she met and fell in love with Theo Hoffman, a German who had stayed after the war infact he had been a prisoner of war. It was not easy at that time to be married to a German as you can imagine after the war, people were wary of their union as ‘The Germans’ were not hugely popular. They were however super happy and had a lovely life together with two lovely children, everyone who met and got to know Theo loved him too and the Welsh/German connection was and still is strong in our family.
How ironic then, that I was sitting in another great example of a Welsh and German union.The design married with the location was another match made in heaven. It made me think how far things had come especially in the week that saw us all celebrating 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. Theo was also a chef, how pleased he would have been to have a chef academy of such excellence not 5 minutes away from where he used to work in the Bull Hotel.
So now whenever I am on the island I will be reminded of Auntie Nan and Uncle Theo as I pass this lovely monument to German and Welsh design. I am so looking forward to having more time to stop for lunch next time I am there and spend some time admiring the views and hopefully soaking up the sun.
So that’s all folks well worth a visit and Auntie Nan if your reading this wherever you are I only wish i could have taken you there for a cuppa with the girls but I will think of you whenever I am there. xxx
Have a great weekend all.