Say aloha to a new surfer-style bar on Teignmouth's sea-front complete with cool graffiti art and amazing sea views.
Meet South Devon’s newest and coolest cocktail bar, Halulu. Right on the seafront at Teignmouth, it’s a brilliantly designed place to see and be seen, elevated above the water overlooking the beach. The perfect place to kick off a night out, if you can drag yourself away that is (they’re open till midnight). You’d be off to a flier after one of their cocktails, for sure.
Modern beach-cafe by day, cocktail bar by night with a tropical-street vibe, Halulu is run by four local families including the people who created the Victorian cocktail bar Dr Inks Curiosities on Exeter’s Quay and the American-style restaurant Bronx Bar & ‘Cue on Teignmouth’s Regent Street. So, an excellent pedigree.
It features two outdoor seating areas and a small indoor area with yellow leather bench-style seating facing out to sea and a multi-function Scandi counter which has been cleverly designed to convert from bar, to kitchen to DJ zone. Indoors looks a bit of a squeeze for an all year-round bar, but the word is there is a plan to create a further covered area for winter.
It’s all about the surf, so sit back, sip your daiquiri, (or coffee) and soak in those views. This isn’t strictly surfing territory (you need to head to North Devon for that) but when the wind blows from the East you might even spot the odd board or two.
You can perch in a skateboard-style swing seat (safely secured to the floor so you won’t get carried way after one too many), or head outdoors to the slouchy bean-bags and Adirondack seats painted the colour of dreamy Pacific seas.
There’s classy insta-fodder with vertical green bio-walls, and botanical urban grafitti of plants and birds painted by Bristol-based artist designer, The Hass and his team. Halulu is a mythical bird in Polynesian folklore, hence the giant wings at the doorway just begging you for a selfie, but it can also refer to a thunderous roar, like the nearby ocean waves.
You won’t get bored in the loos thanks to plenty of reading material courtesy of Marvel comics. *kerpow*
SCOFF AND QUAFF
It’s all quaff and no scoff at the moment though a street-food style food offering is coming soon (they’ve just started serving croissants and breakfast takeaway). Right now, the bar menu is mostly cocktails, with a couple of choices of beer for the spoilsports.
Due to a mis-spent youth, I pass out if I even so much as sniff a creamy cocktail so I went straight for an alcoholic take on the classic St Louis drink – a Sweet Ass’d Tea, served in a long glass and created from Southern Comfort, peach puree, lemon juice and iced tea. Best ordered with an American accent.
My friends opted for a Hula Bird – a fruity little mescal number topped with fresh strawberry slivers; and a Stranger Tings, served in a can with a straw and made from tequila, lime juice and other delicious ‘tings we’d never heard of. I considered a Bacardi cocktail called The Brexit Jitters, but I’ve got quite enough of those already, thank you. It took quite a while for the bar-tender to make the drinks, but this is early days with staff still learning the ropes, so we forgave them.
They’d love the quirky vibe, the astroturf and the great smoothies available from 11am, but otherwise there’s not much to tempt young non-drinkers on the menu. That’s set to change once the groovy street food arrives. Chinese vegan boa buns with pulled jackfruit ‘pork’ or Chicken Souvlaki, anyone? Teignmouth’s play park with its climbing frame and swings is just 50 metres away for kids old enough to be trusted to go off on their own.
OUT & ABOUT
Teignmouth’s getting better all the time (if you overlook the recent closure of Waitrose *sobs*) with the revamp of the Pavilions Theatre with its comedy nights, bar and cafe, plus there’s an indie art quarter and the back beach where the locals go to drink and watch the sun go down in summer, or to take the summertime ferry over to the pretty village of Shaldon. Fancy moving on for a nightcap? Head to the vintage-style wine bar, The Lobster Lounge with its choice of 130 gins.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Beachfront bars are often accused of being out make a quick buck from unsuspecting tourists, but there’s nothing naff or half-arsed here: everything is done to a high quality with lots of thought and attention to detail.
Good for: beach bums and surfer babes of all ages: seaside chilling without getting sand in your drink; pooches (helpful as Teignmouth’s main beach is dog-free during the summer months).
Not for: anyone who hates the surfing spirit, or spirits full-stop; smokers – it’s non-smoking even outdoors (on the astroturf side).
The damage: Short drinks £6.50; long drinks £7; shots £3 each or 4 for £10.
Halulu Bar, The Seafront, Teignmouth, TQ14 8BD. Tel: