An Afternoon at West Quay Watermark
Back in 2015 I had the opportunity to pitch to West Quay to be put on a photography project to cover the development process, from the beginning of the construction to the completion of the West Quay Watermark. I was chosen to take photographs and since have been capturing the development throughout. As the project nears completion and with my Univeristy exams and assignments finished for my first semester, I decided to explore the new place to be in town! Camera packed and a sunny winter day gave me the perfect afternoon to go for a walk around the new build.
Here are my photographs from my walk around the Watermark
After walking around from the Harbour Parade side of West Quay, I past Hollywood Bowl and then walked alongside the Southampton Walls to enter the complex. The bricks on the floor made for a nice display and from what I know the water features will be added soon.
I decided to explore the walls and climbed the stairs to the top of Arundel Tower to view the Watermark from above. The view was stunning and in the hazy summer afternoon and I was able to capture some nice images from the top of the tower. After viewing the site from Arundel Tower I walked down to explore the restaurants that were outside. Noticeably, Bills looked spectacular, with a great atmosphere and boutique like exterior. The restaurant included a nicely lit outdoors seating area for customers to dine. Definitely a place I want to visit in the future!
As I was passing Bills, I found Franco Manca’s, which from what I have heard from friends is a very nice place to eat with a great atmosphere and reasonably priced food. From the outside I instantly spotted the pizza oven, which says to me fresh pizza, and I do love a freshly cooked pizza! From outside I viewed the menu and had a nice conversation with one of the staff members who was there standing to entice customers to try their sour dough pizzas. They also had an outdoors seating area and if you did get chilly they had provided some nice blankets, which I thought was nice idea to add.
As I was hungry, I fancied trying this sour dough pizza, cooked in that stunning looking pizza oven. Inside I found the restaurant very modern and the vintage look was nicely accompanied with the use of driftwood and hanging Einstein looking bulbs. Chalkboards displayed their menu on the walls and you could purchase some homemade chilli oil from one of the shelves.... perfect!
Menu choices were lovely and I ordered myself a Tomato, Cured Organic Chorizo and Mozzarella Pizza with added Parmesan and Cured Meat. The pizza was prepared fresh and the chef cut the meats and prepared the dough just in front of my table. I received a lovely cooked pizza, which tasted fantastic!
My whole experience of the Franco Manca’s was superb and having been a chef for four years, I like to think I know a bit about the industry. The staff, the food, the atmosphere and the overall experience was brilliant and I definitely will be retuning and recommending Franco’s to my friends and family.
I left Franco’s with a full belly and a smile and decided to explore the inside of the Watermark before I left to catch the sunset for my final picture of the afternoon. I walked up some stairs and through a sky of Chinese lanterns, which I presume have been put up for the Chinese New Year. As I entered the Watermark the modern feel was fantastic and the art décor on the ceiling was colourful and appealing.
I enjoyed looking at the different types of places to eat which included Nandos and Five Guys in this section of the Watermark.
After exploring the inside, I come across Dumpling Dumpling. The vintage looking van served Chinese dumplings from their hatch. I spoke to a lovely lady who was more than happy to talk over what their food was about and I found out that their menu is made up of customer’s feedback. The lady pointed out the sticky note board situated next to the van and that was made up of many ideas that customers had for their menu. Dumpling Dumpling then chooses their favourite ideas and they put them on the menu, now that’s taking customers feedback to the heart of your business! Unfortunately I had eaten my lunch, but I would love to go back and try some of their dumplings very soon.
After couple of hours spent at West Quay Watermark I managed to finish the afternoon snapping a few shots of the sunset over the new building. I enjoyed the experience and with lots of restaurants and friendly customer service, I will be making a trip to the Watermark again very soon.