Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in St Mawes
Hardens guides have spent 33 years compiling reviews of the best St Mawes restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 11 restaurants in St Mawes and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing St Mawes restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured St Mawes Restaurants
1. The Idle Rocks British, Modern restaurant in St Mawes Harbourside - TR2
“A new chef since our last visit but still excellent” – this Relais & Châteaux property is perched right over the sea and won nothing but praise in this year’s annual diners’ poll (as well as a hard-to-win three stars from the AA). In July 2023, Dorian Janmaat left as executive head chef, but we’ve maintained a rating for the time being.
2. Driftwood Hotel International restaurant in Rosevine
“Wonderful views of the cliffs, beach and sea” help inspire fans to this boutique hotel dining room, which occupies a clifftop Georgian building on the Roseland Peninsula. Opinions on the operation were a little up-and-down this year, citing “slightly erratic service” or food that’s “OK but variable”; but on the plus side, serious concerns were absent and ratings remain healthy all-round.
3. Hotel Tresanton Fish & seafood restaurant in St Mawes 27 Lower Castle Road - TR2
Olga Polizzi’s “wonderful hotel” – a whitewashed former yacht club – is the stuff of interior mag dreams, with its ultra-chic rooms and unbeatable seafront location on the edge of picturesque St. Mawes; it’s not all about show, though, with credit again this year for the “delicious food” (even if, according to one regular, “service is not what it once was”). Visitors can eat in the main dining room, with views of St Anthony’s Lighthouse, or more informal Dog’s Head bar.
4. The Pandora Inn Fish & seafood restaurant in Mylor Bridge Restronguet Creek - TR11
2022 Review: The “lovely riverside setting” – complete with moorings and showers for passing yachties – is the main attraction at this inn, parts of which are believed to date back 800 years. But the low volume of feedback tells you something given the stunning position – it’s well-rated by reporters but doesn’t have to strive that hard given the place’s other virtues.
5. The Cove Restaurant & Bar British, Modern restaurant in Falmouth Maenporth Beach - TR11
2023 Review: 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”.
6. Culture British, Modern restaurant in Falmouth Custom House Quay, 38B Arwenack Street - TR11
Hylton Espey and his wife Petronella are already winning awards for their hyper-seasonal approach with many foraged ingredients at their ambitious yearling, on Custom House Quay: a 30-seat venue presenting a seven-course menu for £75 per person. As yet, we’ve had too limited feedback for a definitive rating, but all reports to-date are ecstatic.
7. Harbour Lights Fish & chips restaurant in Falmouth Arwenack Street - TR11
2022 Review: This large harbourside chippy is well-liked locally owing to fish “so fresh it makes me want to go back again and again”. (For the fish-averse they also have a line in burgers, pies and sausages).
8. The Verdant Seafood Bar Fish & seafood restaurant in Falmouth Quay Street - TR11
“A must if you’re in Falmouth” – this “hipsterish bar” from Penryn’s Verdant craft brewery “serves very hoppy cloudy beers and some seriously good seafood, in all its forms from raw to frittered”. “Knowledgeable staff” are on hand to help you pair tapas-size plates with the brews on offer. “The cheese fritters are also stunning, light but flavoursome and perfect with that edgy beer!”
9. INDIdog Eatery British, Modern restaurant in Falmouth 28 Market Street - TR11
2022 Review: A “fabulous location with stunning views of the Fal Estuary” remains the main draw to this smart quayside brasserie, though its “good, varied menu” is “well presented and precisely cooked” too. Getting a window seat is something of a challenge – as is getting a spot for breakfast and brunch, so think of booking ahead.
10. The Mulberry restaurant in Falmouth 29 High Street - TR11
Tucked away near the high street, this “small plates” venue is the debut restaurant from Cornish-based chefs Harry Cartwright and Nathan Outlaw-trained Jay Brady, with a focus on seasonal local ingredients, and delivers “very good, Cornish-style tapas” in a modern (“acoustically reverberant”) setting. There’s also a six-course tasting menu.
11. Hooked on the Rocks Fish & seafood restaurant in Falmouth Swanpool Road, Swanpool Court - TR11
A “buzzy atmosphere and great views” over Swanpool beach and nature reserve add to the charms of this cliffside venture; the “best scallops” are a feature of the menu, which has a strong focus on sustainability. Ratings for the food are a little middling overall, but the worst anyone has to say is that its popularity means some dishes soon run out – and that “starter portions were more like mains” (first-world problems, eh?).
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