British, Modern Restaurants in Cornwall
. Emily Scott at Watergate Bay
British, Modern restaurant in Watergate Bay
With its “simple, top-quality seafood” combined with “one of the most romantic locations in Cornwall” – “who could fail to be impressed on a date at Emily Scott’s new restaurant overlooking stunning Watergate Bay?”. One of four restaurants in the Watergate Bay Hotel, it followed a 2020 beachside pop-up from the Cornwall-based chef whose profile has been on the rise. On the downside, there are those who feel the experience is “lovely, but overpriced”.
. Penrose Kitchen
British, Modern restaurant in Truro
Penrose Water Garden, Tregavethan - TR4
This “hidden gem just outside Truro” from husband-and-wife team Ben & Sam Harmer features “impressive” cooking, “exceptional service” and a “splendid outdoor eating area” for warmer weather. Ben’s classical training took in the kitchens of The Savoy and Le Gavroche – hence “the soufflé is impressive”.
. Sam's on the Beach
British, Modern restaurant in Polkerris
“A gorgeous spot to eat tasty food while watching the sea”, this former Victorian lifeboat station has been transformed under Sam Sixton, who launched his local dining empire at the age of 17, back in 1988 (his son Noah is now part of the team). The “casual” menu runs from “wonderful fresh fish and seafood” to “tasty pizzas with both traditional and unusual toppings”.
British, Modern restaurant in Lostwithiel
19 North Street - PL22
“A small and intimate restaurant” – opposite an old church in Cornwall’s antiques capital – Graham Cuthbertson’s wood-panelled spot “serves great modern European and local dishes and the dining room is really comfortable”. “I went there with all my family and they were really accommodating with young children”.
. The Cornish Arms
British, Modern restaurant in St Merryn
Churchtown - PL28
The Stein empire’s village pub has been much-extended over the years and nowadays feels much more restauranty and professional than when the family first took it over in 2009. Results in prior years have been up-and-down, but ratings were good this year – “had mixed expectations for this, but the food was enjoyable, and pretty reasonably priced given its good execution”.
. St Petroc’s Hotel & Bistro
Mediterranean restaurant in Padstow
4 New Street - PL28
Part of the ‘Padstein’ empire of Rick, Jill and family, this hotel bistro a little away from the harbour is a simpler offering than their flagship. Its performance has sometimes been a little uneventful historically, but its “well-priced menu of great tasting fish and seafood” is well-rated by all who commented on it this year.
. Paul Ainsworth at No6
British, Modern restaurant in Padstow
6 Middle St - PL28
“Face-slappingly good flavours” – “it often takes me by surprise with the amazing combinations of tastes” – have long established Paul Ainsworth’s bijou Georgian townhouse as a less commented on but higher rated alternative to Rick Stein’s nearby HQ. “It’s not cheap but has to be on the list to eat if you are in Cornwall.” Top Tip – you can book at a counter by the kitchen as well as in the dining room.
Fish & seafood restaurant in Fowey
2 Fore Street - PL23
Associated with London foodie hits Primeur and Westerns Laundry, this three-year-old favourite, which occupies a former bank, continues to inspire high ratings for its food. It’s a seasonal operation, which closes each year between late Autumn and mid Spring.
. Karrek, St Enodoc Hotel
British, Modern restaurant in Rock
Rock Road - PL27
With its good views over the estuary, this 1920s hotel (owned since 2019 by Lucy & James Strachan and family) has a prime position in this chichi resort, and in former incarnations has provided a springboard for the likes of Nathan Outlaw. With its choice of 6-course and 9-course tasting menus, it inspires as yet limited feedback, but all of it rapturous.
. Dining Room
British, Modern restaurant in Rock
Pavilion Buildings, Rock Rd - PL27
“Not been here for a few years… I had forgotten how exquisite the food was” – this “serene”, long-established venue in a low-key parade of shops is one of the area's more enduring culinary destinations. Run by the Beedles – “Fred makes some incredibly inventive dishes and his cooking is as reliable as ever. Wife Donna keeps everything calm front-of-house. The wine list has some unusual entries and is well-priced”.
. The Pig at Harlyn Bay
British, Modern restaurant in Harlyn
“Just excellent” – “laid-back yet friendly service combined with good food ticks all the boxes” at this “buzzy” Cornish operation, this year’s highest-scoring member of Robin Hutson’s shabby-chic Pig hotel group. Chef Adam Bristow’s “delicious, locally sourced menu at a great price” avoids some the inconsistencies that mar the food offering at sister Pigs, while the “great old building” – a substantial fifteenth-century house with decor inspired by Wolf Hall – and “great surroundings” with Padstow and Rock close by, complete the appeal.
. Hotel Tresanton
Fish & seafood restaurant in St Mawes
27 Lower Castle Road - TR2
The last word in calm elegance on Cornwall’s south coast, Olga Polizzi’s famous former yacht club is “consistently classy”, with “good food, fantastic service” – and, inevitably, “prices to match”. The restaurant is open to non-residents but you need to book in the evening, while the Dogs’ bar and Beach Club offer more casual eating options.
. The Cove Restaurant & Bar
British, Modern restaurant in Falmouth
Maenporth Beach - TR11
This “glorious spot” by the sea, close to the SW coastal path and with a front-conservatory to take advantage of sea views, was taken over by high-profile chef Michael Caines of Lympstone Manor in 2020. Quell hopes of any culinary fireworks, though – reports here didn’t hit the heights this year, with the experience too often “let down by chaotic service and pedestrian food”.
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