Great pizza, perfect setting | Pizza Tipi, Cambrian Quay, Cardigan, Wales SA43 1EZ
It’s not very often that you get ten days of glorious weather in the UK. When you have gambled your only family holiday on the notoriously wet and windy west Wales coast, 27*C of sunny blue skies feels like you’ve won the lottery (almost). Amid classic ‘Britain hotter than Bahamas’ tabloid headlines, we jumped in the car for the five-hour drive the Cardigan Bay – not really knowing what to expect. We needn’t have worried, the journey was relatively incident free, our accommodation was amazing, dining out options were limited yet fantastic and obviously it being hotter the Caribbean was the jackpot bonus.
Our home for the week was an apartment in The Granary Lofts , a beautifully converted riverside warehouse. Decor was a hybrid of clean Ikea slickness and chipped-around-the-edges shabby chic. Trendy but comfortable, cool but cosy and most importantly (especially for the kids) all WiFi’d up!
Just over on the opposite riverbank was Pizza Tipi, which turned out to be our second home. Partly due to its beautiful setting on the River Teifi, its easy going atmosphere and their ‘cloud bread’ (more on that later). But mostly because the staff took my 10-year-old daughter under their wings and let her ‘play’ waitress in return for soft drinks and freshly baked brownies.
Pizza Tipi is owned and run by fforrest, the same people who own The Granary Lofts, a couple of eco-friendly camping sites and a cafe/store (which was unfortunately shut). A giant tipi forms the centrepiece of this riverside courtyard. It’s flanked by a small rustic pub (selling a leg wobbling Black Dragon cider with a whopping ABV of 7.2%) and a cafe selling in-house baked quiche, cakes and freshly prepared salads. Most importantly there’s the woodfired pizza oven with its small yet perfectly formed menu.
Opening days and times were a little strange… Only open between July and September, closed all day Sunday and Monday (so we went to The 25 Mile restaurant instead). It opens at 10am, therefore missing any breakfast trade, whilst the pizza oven is only fired-up for 6pm, so no pizzas for lunch then! Each day’s adventure started at Pizza Tipi with a great takeaway cup of coffee, a quick hello to Arrow the resident dog and Charlotte clocking in for the start of her day’s ‘work’.
But it was when we saw the smoke rising from Tipi’s oven from our apartment’s balcony that the kids got very, very excited. For they had both fallen in love with cloud bread, or focaccia to you and me and at £2.50 a portion it was good value too, you got two thick slices served with oil and balsamic vinegar. Home baked in a huge paella dish, these wheel-sized loaves had that perfect mix of a crunchy, salty crust, a light spongy middle and a crisp yet oily bottom.
The actual pizzas were good too, the dough was made on site and all the toppings sourced from local, organic suppliers. As mentioned before the menu is short, five or six pizzas, the cloud bread, some olives, the occasional salad and brownies. We stuck to the same pizzas on most of our visits. Oliver, my son, and I had the Summertime £7 – cheese, chorizo, red onion, red peppers and olives. Saff ordered for the Farmhouse £7 cheese, ham, mushrooms and red onion (although Saff went cheeseless). While Charlotte, the world’s fussiest eater, went for the aptly named Simple £6, as the name suggests just cheese and tomato. All the pizzas had the freshest ingredients as humanly possible and those gorgeous thin, crispy bases with those blackened bubbled edges. It wasn’t until we took the final bite of our pizzas on our last night that we spotted the salads, bowls overflowing with colourful leaves, but it was too late for us to try them.
The evenings here just flew by, it was so relaxed. Maybe it was due to the fact that as Charlotte was being occupied by the Pizza Tipi staff (sorry about that, guys!), Saff and I could have a more grown-up conversation with Oliver, or maybe it was simply the Black Dragon cider acting as a sedative! Charlotte was offered a summer job (when she’s old enough), already she’s nagging me about going next year ‘so they don’t forget me’. We’d go again in a heartbeat if you could guarantee the same weather, but what you can guarantee at Pizza Tipi is a great evening in a great setting.
Cambrian Quay, Cardigan,
Wales SA43 1EZ
Telephone: 01239 623784
Opening hours: July to September
Tuesday to Friday 10am – 9:00pm
10am – 9:30pm on a Saturday
Pizza from 6pm.
Live music every Saturday.
Nearest station: Fishguard Harbour (38 mins drive)