I’ve noticed that a fair few of our favourite locations have been sprucing up in time for Spring and we thought I’d pay them a visit to see what’s going down and what they’re serving up.
While half the island is getting started on their ‘summer body’, there have been a few local businesses doing much the same thing. Two of Jersey’s most popular destinations have just reopened after some restyling and a refit; you know what they say, ‘if you look good on the outside you feel good on the inside’ – and these two iconic spots feel really, really good. Say hello to the new look Salty Dog in St Aubin’s Village and the restyled Suma’s in Gorey.
Whether you’re an avid Easty or Westy, both sides of the rock are equally fortunate when it comes to foodie destinations. Both of this month’s featured restaurants have been serving up delicious dishes to happy diners since the nineties and are renowned eateries with top class reputations. You don’t last some twenty plus years in the industry without being ace at what you do. Paul Dufty and his wife Tara (Sumas), and Natalie Parkin-Duffy (Salty Dog) are local veterans in the hospitality arena and their expertise is relished by the people who pay their places a visit.
As most of you will know, Gallery is made up from a team of food loving, restaurant-roving revellers and we do like to keep our fingers in the pies of what’s what when it comes to eating out. Obviously, we do this research especially for you [insert winking emoji here], so, off we pop on a trip out West to see Natalie at her home from home; The Salty Dog.
THE SALTY DOG – St Aubin’s Village
Having opened in 1998 and forged an impressive following and a reputation for true Jersey hospitality, the Salty Dog has all the ingredients for a foodie’s favourite. Establishing a restaurant and keeping it at the forefront of people’s minds is quite the achievement and Natalie and her team pride themselves on their long standing down in the village.
The Salty Dog has always been a place for realness; real good food, real good service and an authentic and real-good, feel-good vibe. So, why change it?
After chatting to Natalie, it’s pretty clear that the objective wasn’t to ‘change’ The Salty Dog – rather the idea was to embrace and encapsulate all of the nostalgia, ‘Jersey-ness’ and old school island-life hospitality into the actual look and feel of the place. What Natalie and her team call ‘the best bits’… The Salty Dog was getting an action packed facelift while keeping all the best bits. From the white-washed walls, all bright and airy, to the brilliant array of Jersey faces, things and places that adorn the walls; the changes are subtle and superb.
“After 21 years of business in the village and having experienced the mother of all MFs of a year in terms of stress and pressure levels, reaching the stuff of nightmares, I took the ‘bold decision’ (so I’m told) to change the script, grab the bull by the horns (or the dog by the lead, or proverbial you-know-whats), and steer my beloved bistro back to where we needed to be – on top!
My confidence that I’d made the right decision came from the abundance of support and enthusiasm from those around me, the loyalty of our regular customers and the reassurance from persistently welcoming new young faces to our shabby chic little bistro. The old and the new faces are clearly with us for the food and the vibe – not just for the decor, but it means to much to me that the new look doesn’t hide the old Salty vibe that everyone loves – Blasting into 2020, it was time to say goodbye to the fifty shades of grey and give the dog (bitch) a new look!”
It took Natalie only ten days to get the Salty gutted out and refit, refreshed and revived. An amazing project undertaken by some incredible local tradespeople. Quite the feat but then, we wouldn’t expect anything else from the formidable force of Natalie Parkin-Duffy!
SUMAS – Gorey Pier
As we voyaged East for a sneak peek of Sumas, the whole area has been flourishing with newness. There’s something special about Gorey Pier, with its constant ebb and flow of the Jersey tide on one side and verdant backdrop behind it. Fields and fisherman on either side makes Sumas perfectly placed for produce.
Sumas is and always has been about the quality of its food, the superb service and of course, the view. Set up in 1997 by Paul’s mum and uncle, the idea was to create a space that was cool, contemporary, unique and unrivalled in terms of the ideal setting for dining out. Undoubtedly, this family run restaurant has always been a hit with locals and tourists and with its fresh new feel, it will be even more of a favourite in 2020.
To describe Sumas’ new look, think modernity meets beach-side breath of fresh air and if it wasn’t for the recognisable aspect outside, you could be mistaken in thinking you’re in a cool Hamptons hotspot.
Paul attributes the stunning new style at Sumas to his brilliant wife, Tara. Having wanted to update the place but retain the integrity of the original restaurant, I’d say that they got it just right. Taking inspiration from the exceptional view and the beach on their doorstep, the styling is gorgeous.
“We are constantly thinking of ways to improve our business and in a world where fashion and design is at the forefront of everyones lives we feel it is really important to stay fresh. Having been running the restaurant from 2010, we kept Sumas much the same as it’d always been, so moving into 2020 seemed the perfect time to show everyone we are still at the top of our game in food and style.”
Paul and Tara are thrilled with the work undertaken by everyone on the project, which started in 2019 and fit over the Christmas period and Paul credits his wife, Tara for the styling and all of the project management.
From coast to coast, restaurants, gastrolounges, bistros and bars serve up a tasty array of dishes that bring a world of flavour to our shores. Restaurant mavericks, food entrepreneurs and literal taste-makers are busy creating culinary kudos for our island – and sometimes we are somewhat spoiled for choice.