A Winter Beach Café
As far as bracing winter walks go, striding out along the vast sandy beach at Hunmanby Gap on a bitterly cold January morning probably comes high up on the list.
After the excesses of the festive season - cheese, chocolate, Christmas cake, cheese, chocolate, Christmas cake, cheese....coupled with us all having this nasty flu virus that's been doing the rounds (clearly not affecting our appetites...) we were ready for a trip to the beach with the boys and the pup.
As the rollers surged onto the beach with the boys trying to dodge them, my cries of "Don't get too wet, I haven't packed any spare clothes...", went unheeded and needless to say, trousers got soaked and wellies were sloshing with water within minutes. Our labradoodle Lola was more intent on chasing the tiny bubbles of froth that were getting blown across the sand - oh, and admiring her reflection!
Hunmanby Gap, a couple of miles south of Filey on the North Yorkshire coast, ticks several of my perfect beach boxes. When the tide's out, the sands are huge and you can walk for miles; it's dog-friendly all year round; it's less than a thirty minute drive from our house; has easy parking; is rarely crowded - and perhaps the biggest tick of all, it has a lovely, welcoming beach café.
The Beach Café is perched above the bay with indoor and outdoor seating. It's a snug fit inside but we managed to pile in and pull up a seat on the quirky coffee sack-upholstered chairs. There's a good variety of food here from full English breakfast, burgers and toasties to scones, cakes and ice creams.
It was mugs of tea and teacakes for us while the kids tucked into bowls of chips and an impressive hot chocolate. For some reason I must have been too engrossed in my tea and teacakes as I forgot to take a photo of the interior and more importantly of the hot chocolate - chunky glass tankards filled with milky hot chocolate, a swirl of thick cream and dotted with pastel-hued mini marshmallows.
There's always a warm welcome from the ladies behind the counter here. The views are fabulous from both inside the café and outside. In summer we have had lunch out on the huge decking area which is lovely when the sun is out and the weather is good.
Through winter the café is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm. If you're looking for a beach walk to blow the cobwebs away then this is your place with the bonus of coffee and cake at end, not to mention the panoramic views.