Now that I’ve plopped myself down in Guernsey, I’ve decided to start a new series reviewing the various kiosks (and beach cafes) around the island. As the Quirky Kiosks board on Pinterest notes, “dotted along Guernsey’s coast and found at most beaches, we love our kiosks which are known for serving icecream, crab sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee!”
It’s a fair assessment. What I have learned about these kiosks direct from the owner of Rouse Kiosk is that they were originally started to feed/water the fishermen coming off the sea at the end of the bay. The Kiosks would serve warm tea, some Guernsey Gache bread, and perhaps even a steaming bowl of Guernsey Bean Jar. They sea men could tell whether the kiosk was open by the position of the flag on the flagpole outside the hut – if it was up, they were open; if it was down, they had missed their opportunity. I always hate it when I don’t see a flag.
Nothing beats a quick trip to the beach, particularly when there are very few people on said beach and several places from which to lounge. It’s with this in mind that I review today the kiosk at Saints Bay.
Important to note is that there is no public parking at Saints Bay and so those who are visiting must park right at the top of Saints Bay road, Saints Harbour, or the public lot at Icart Point. All require visitors to transcend (by foot, not karmically) a steeply declining hill (and return journey) in order to reach the bay. It’s a beautiful spot, though, and because of the lengthy journey you are certain that the beach will never be overrun with children and adults. The busiest I’ve seen it on a hot summer’s day has been with eight small groups scattered across the rocks.
Although the relative calm of the beach perfectly fits my hermit-like nature, this does not bode well for the kiosk and the poor teen boy working inside. His books came in handy as today we were the only ones on the beach – it was a guilt-ridden decision to buy a crab sandwich today as it felt wrong to pass by the kiosk without stopping to give the kid some company. (Note, he’s a friendly chap and will carefully put together your order, whiling away the rest of his time slowly reading “The Time Traveller’s Wife and playing solitaire).
The Saints Bay kiosk serves a few basic sandwiches (including Guernsey crab), as well as scones with guernsey cream, tea, cold drinks and crisps as well as Guernsey Strawberry Fudge. And ice cream of course! They have two ranges on hand – your traditional Guernsey Dairy ice cream as well as Guernsey Farmhouse ice cream. Both are made locally and more equally delicious.
Saints Bay kiosk is located in the parish of St Martin along the south coast of Guernsey. As my favourite beach, I often visit on foraging trips and quick sea dips. The water (I believe) is warmer due to the sheltered nature of the bay, and I’ve heard that there is a shipwreck or two within the bay. The kiosk is open seven days a week until 5 pm. Equally important – there are toilets available but are only open during kiosk operational hours.