Fine Dining or budget friendly supper? Well Cornwall can offer them both and it’s just a question of picking your table and in some cases reserving far in advance. From country pubs, just off the beaten track, to chic little bistros for a special treat. Here’s our suggestions for eating out. Check out our Eating Out section for more and particularly Our Little Black Book (from 2014) for more local places to eat.
When it comes to food – well everybody has their fancy! This year, we took a trip down memory lane to some of our revisit some of our nostalgic memories.
Remember these are personal recommendations!!
Or to put it another way : – “You pays your money and takes your choice”Punch 1846
Fine Dining for a celebration or special treat
The Bakehouse in Chapel Street Penzance
For our thirty-second Wedding Anniversary we returned to The Bakehouse. This is a small, chic, bistro restaurant nestling just off of Chapel street in a cobbled Mews. Perfect for supper for two, with intensely flavoured food with just the right sized portions to savour.
The Victoria Inn
Our outing to the Victoria Inn in Perranuthnoe was to celebrate the completion of a photo shoot in our garden (My lips are sealed until publication!) The hours of gardening – we definitely deserved our supper there!
The Victoria Inn has a fresh new contemporary interior now that sports elegant striped linen blinds and scrubbed top tables. An interior perfectly at home with the old character of the old pub and the simple accomplished Mediterranean style cooking.
Budget friendly and retro inspired Pubs “Off the beaten track”
The next trio of Village and country pubs have a special place in our hearts from our courting days (See thirty second anniversary above!)
Each village pub is at the end of a drive to an atmospheric spot. Perfect and great for a casual, budget friendly supper.
The Admiral Benbow in Chapel Street Penzance
The Admiral Benbow is one of the grand old duchesses of Chapel Street and as such, sees no reason to change her style with fashion.
The Admiral Benbow bustles with life and energy and still holds on to a distinctive 70’s themed vibe from the days when it was owned by an accomplished wreck diver.
It took us several attempts to reserve a table here for our nostalgic evening out. I think that we finally succeeded because the computerised reservation system decided to book out all of the tables!
Expect to find visitors from around the world squeezed under the low beams and a fair number of local dog walkers leaning against the bar.
The Admiral Benbow was founded in 1695 in a part of Chapel Street that is interlaced with underground tunnels leading to the harbour. It was once home to the notorious smugglers the “Benbow Brandy Men”
It was still as wacky and vibrant as we remembered it to be. To be honest we discovered that the starters alone would have been large enough for a main meal. However we’d already ordered the pub staple “Fish and Chips” It was delicious even though we did staggered back to the car replete!
The Star Inn St Erth
It was a beautiful sunny summer evening when we drove through the tree lined lanes to St Erth. Well about half a mile inland from the station for the St Ives coastal railway, beside the river, nestles the hidden unspoilt village Cornish village of St Erth.
There’s nothing fancy about this budget busting traditional pub just good beer and Scampi and Chips on the menu. There are jugs hanging from the beams, Cornish accents and a landlord keeping a close eye on the quality of his ales here.
We stopped beside the church to admire the sun dipping over the lazily flowing water before exploring the lovely ancient churchyard with the sweet sound of the choir practise drifting out from the church rooms. Look out for the wonderful church architecture and The Commonwealth War Graves
The Engine Inn Cripplesease, Nancledra
This is another great un-gentrified Cornish pub. The Engine Inn is set high on the moors beside the B 3311 Penzance to St Ives. The name Cripplesease incidentally, is thought to refer to the effort to climb the steep hill up to the nineteenth century pub – although one source quotes a one legged man drowned in a magical pool nearby!
Cattle graze beside the outside tables and the old mine workings slip into view within the spectacular views here.
The landlord squeezed us in to a little table beside the bustling bar and a huge and delicious plate of Scampi and Chips soon appeared. A friend remarked today that if you ask for fewer chips here they give you at least two less! I promise I didn’t eat them all!
Our drive home took us passed Castle an Dinas before slowly descending towards Penzance. I spotted the broad white Scillonian at anchor in the harbour far below us. Sorry there was naturally “A car behind us” so I couldn’t get a snap.
Coming soon to our 2023 recommendations: – a special birthday outing to The Square in Porthleven for the splurge section and a budget friendly visit to the newly reopened White Hart in Ludvan.
Watch this space as we have to watch the calories – they don’t count if you are on holiday of course!!
Lots of our guests have enjoyed the newly reopened Fire Engine Inn at the top of Marazion this year – particularly the homemade Pizza and chips!