Perhaps you thought Cornwall was all pasties is a bag, keeping an eagle-eye out for seagulls dive-bombing your fish ‘n’ chips on the harbour wall, or the ubiquitous aprés-surf burgers with lashings of cheese – yummy though! Or perhaps you have been watching too much television and think Rick Stein cooks nothing but mackerel (which is nice too) and that Jamie Oliver shops in Sainsbury’s…
Not quite so. There is every kind of cuisine available in Cornwall, from Asian fusion to award-winning pasties, Indian takeaway to hearty oh-so-British pies. But one of Cornwall’s stand out styles, and surprisingly easy to find, is the excellent food provided by culinary artists like the following:
Nathan Outlaw, Rock and Port Isaac
Any mention of fine-dining in Cornwall would be somewhat redundant without the phenomenon that is Nathan Outlaw. His many incarnations: At the highbrow St Enodoc Hotel, the Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac (which itself has 2 Michelin Stars and 4 AA Rosettes) serving sustainable seafood and the menu he designs for Mariners Rock all epitomise the cooking that made him famous but in entirely different ways.
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, Newquay
Fifteen Cornwall is a restaurant and social enterprise at Watergate Bay, with all profits going to the Cornwall Food Foundation and Jamie’s award-winning apprentice programme. It holds 1 x AA Rosette and uses only the best ingredients from Cornwall and Italy.
Rick Stein Seafood Restaurant, Padstow
The holder of no less than 3 x AA Rosettes, The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow has an international reputation for the best of local fish and shellfish. Not to be confused with Rick’s Café or his Fish & Chips emporium – both are marvellous, but the restaurant specialises in fine food like oysters, langoustines or sashimi, prepared before your very eyes.
As we described extensively in our “Top 8 Restaurants” piece, Kota specialises in using local Cornish produce with a unique Asian influence. There’s a great wine list, and the restaurant is in a 300-year-old building right on the historic harbour. It holds the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand and 2 x AA Rosettes!
With 2 x AA Rosettes, Tabb’s is a modern fine dining restaurant in the heart of Truro, Cornwall’s bustling capital. With leather high backed chairs and slate floors, the restaurant is the epitome of fine dining in a contemporary setting.
The Scarlet, Mawgan Porth
The Scarlet Restaurant serves healthy cuisine that is as unpretentious as fine dining can be. It’s in a beautiful setting, too, overlooking the surf and the cliffs of one of North Cornwall’s best beaches. The holder of 2 x AA Rosettes.
Paul Ainsworth’s No 6
Another Padstow restaurant, and also featured in our Top 8 Restaurants, No.6 is a lovely hideaway from the slightly hectic streets of Padstow. A very front room experience, with food of exceptional quality and imagination. It has 1 x Michelin Star, 4 x AA Rosettes, and ranks in The Good Food Guide’s Top 50 UK restaurants.
Alba, St Ives
Grant Nethercott trained extensively in French Michelin star restaurants, so it is no surprise that Alba has become recognised for its top-notch fish and shellfish. We recommend you book in advance for the upstairs Alba fine dining restaurant, with its views across St Ives Bay towards Godrevy Lighthouse. There’s no need to book for the A Bar downstairs.
If you’d like to come and indulge your culinary fantasies in Kernow, whether that be lark’s tongues in aspic or surf ‘n’turf, there are many good places to stay. Cottages are available to rent through Cornish Traditional Cottages at any time of the year.
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