The first encounter with classic Cornish cuisine probably emerged with TV chef, Rick Stein. His famous Seafood restaurant has turned Padstow into the first foodie haven in Cornwall. More recently, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall at Watergate Bay , Nathan Outlaw (the only 2 star Michelin fish restaurant in Britain) at the St Enodoc Hotel and the ‘Great British Menu‘ winner, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow have given Cornwall an ever-growing gastronomic reputation.
However, the humble pasty still rules, and there are brilliant fresh fish and chips to be found in numerous locations for those in the know.
Here are some of the most popular food spots and things you should try in Cornwall.
Fish and Chips
We think Rick Stein has it sussed when it comes to fish and chips – offering the classic battered cod and chips or a whole host of other options, including grilled fish. Everything is fresh and super delicious – down the generous wedge of lemon served with all meals. Rick Stein’s fish and chip shop is found in Padstow and there is also a branch in Falmouth now too. A classic seaside treat, best enjoyed outdoors, we think – watch out for seagulls!
A little known secret amongst tourists, but well-known amongst locals is the marvellous Philips Pasty Shop in Hayle. This town is fairly attraction less and industrial and doesn’t have much to draw visitors in – but it is SO worth stopping off for a pasty at Philips if you are passing through. The pasties here are baked throughout the day by a team of dedicated pasty makers and are the freshest, meatiest and most delicious you’ll taste!
For a winning cream tea head to Fowey Hall, where you can sample the freshest scones and fruitiest jam in the most spectacular of locations. This period manor house is said to be the inspiration for Toad Hall in Wind in the Willows and you’ll have many a story to tell once you’ve been there too. Make sure you take time to stroll in the gardens before or after; they are also worth a visit!
St Austell Brewery – Tribute, a real Cornish classic, 4.2% and everything you’d want from a robust locally brewed favourite, sought after by discerning establishments around the country too.
Sharps – Doom Bar, combines a sweet malty flavour, with that of resinous hops and some roasted notes for an aftertaste too. A true Cornish great.
Skinners – Heligan Honey, a lovely a light coloured pale ale, with hoppy honey flavours, at 4 % you can’t go wrong.
These are three true winners, but don’t be stopped from trying the others on offer by these reputable breweries too. And if you are a real fan of Real Ales, St. Austell Brewery’s Celtic Beer Festival is something to brighten dark November.
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Watergate bay, is a great place to head to if you want to experience funky dining in Cornwall at its best. The menu changes regularly and always incorporates 80% locally sourced, seasonal food from local waters and the land in Cornwall. The food is Italian inspired and the setting, over hanging the beach, is even better.
If you are fan of surfing, or just enjoy the chilled out vibe that surf culture brings, head to the Oystercatcher bar in Polzeath. Overlooking the beach, this is a great spot to pick up good eats at reasonable prices and to stay for drinks afterwards. Check out regular music nights for even more entertainment.
Nathan Outlaws restaurant at the St Enodoc hotel is the best place for fine dining and particularly for fresh fish and seafood. From Scallop’s Tartare, to Port Isaac Crab prepared with Fennel, Apple and Porthilly Sauce, to Burnt Rhubarb with Custard cream, we are sure you will have a culinary experience quite unlike any other!
Number 6 in Padstow is also a great choice at top end of the market, although prices reflect their mission to provide exceptional food at reasonable prices. You will find no end of local and seasonal delights on their menu and the setting and service are not to be faulted.
There is just so much good food and cuisine to be sampled in Cornwall that we recommend making a long weekend, or a proper holiday out of it. If you are tempted by the delights on the north coast, Polzeath holiday cottages, or anything in the Camel Estuary, make for a wonderful place to stay. If you are more taken by the south coast, Falmouth is a great place to look for B&B options or indeed there are many great campsites, hotels and cottages in the area too. Cornwall is a real melting pot of tradition and culture when it comes to food, so get out there and get tasting!