Welsh Witterings: Dining on Aberystwyth’s Pier
This Friday evening my family and I decided to indulge in dinner with a view so we headed off to the Pier Brasserie in Aberystwyth. I had never dined here before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I must say that my dining experience didn’t disappoint.
The Pier Brasserie is situated on the grade II listed Aberystwyth Pier which was designed by Eugenius Birch and is the oldest pier in Wales. Built in 1864 for the Aberystwyth Pier Company and engineered by John Dowson the pier has seen a few changes since its original conception and build. Following its grand opening on Good Friday ,1865 the decking survived less than a year with a hundred feet of it being destroyed in a storm in January 1866. It then took until 1872 for this to be replaced.
On the 26th June 1896 an imposing glass domed entrance pavilion capable of accommodating up to 2,000 people was opened by the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra, who named it the Royal Pier Pavilion, at this point the pier was a popular attraction and thriving, though its future was far from secure. For in the early 1900’s the condition of the pier became of concern and the local council took on the lease of the pier for two years from 1910 onwards, during which time extensive repairs were carried out.
In 1938 the pier received extensive storm damage , reducing its length to just three hundred and fifty feet in total, The pier would now fall victim to the ravages of war and subsequent neglect leading to decay and its closure to the public in 1970. The pavilion, however, remained open and in 1979 it was acquired by Don Leisure who spent over £250,000 updating and renewing the pavilion.
Access to the remains of the pier-neck and open decking was unavailable for a number of years due to safety concerns, but in 2010, the surviving decking on the bay side was reopened, being reached by an external staircase leading down from the Pier Brasserie. Though the future of the pier was not yet secure as in 2015 Don Leisure Limited, announced that they were putting the pier into administration. After problems securing serious buyers who could meet the asking price it was finally announced in September 2016 that Aberystwyth’s Royal Pier had been sold by its administrators to a pension fund.
Today, the Pavilion remains in good condition, and is a very popular venue with facilities including a nightclub (Pier Pressure), takeaway pizza outlet, amusement arcade, ice cream parlour, snooker club and Pier Brasserie plus the Inn On The Pier. I must say that today the pavilion is not the prettiest of structures, but it is a popular and bustling destination and one that I hope now has a secure future.
So, back to my review of dining experience at the Pier Brasserie. From first arrival to departure the service was faultless. The Maltese waiter that greeted us and served us throughout our visit oozed enthusiasm for his job and was skilled in his role making us feel welcome and well looked after.
Positioned on a table with sea views and a large G&T I was ready to enjoy a good meal. The menu and décor were not aimed at fine dining, but at good food, priced fairly and this is what was delivered. The restaurant has a light airy feel to it and relaxed atmosphere and whilst child friendly it was formal enough to be appealing to adult diners as well. My husband and I dined with our four children and it was perfect for doing so, but it would equally have lent its self to a romantic meal for two, especially with the beautiful view from our table at sunset.
The meals all arrived in good time and proved to be of a good quality. The portion sizes were good and the meals ordered all offered excellent value for money with our bill equating to £12 per head including drinks and the children’s ice creams . We will definitely return.
#Aberystwyth # #abersytwyth dining# #the pier# #pier brasserie# #dining out#