The coronavirus pandemic has thrown everything for a loop; we were no longer able to do things that we would normally do without a moment’s thought, like spend time with friends, head down to the shops and even hug those you’re close to. Things are slowly but surely getting back to normal and one of the latest steps has been to reopen pubs and restaurants.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve missed the simple pleasure of meeting up with the important people in your life, heading out to a great pub and enjoying a fine meal over a few drinks in a relaxed setting. Cornwall is spoilt for choice for great foody pubs, so it’s been a particularly difficult thing to lose!
Thankfully, things are getting back to normal and the Government is urging the public to support the hospitality trade, which has felt the economic impact of the pandemic as hard as any other sector.
With that in mind, here are 10 of the best gastropubs in Cornwall that are well worth a visit.
The Mariners, Rock
The Mariners pub relaunched under Paul and Emma Ainsworth last year and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Sharp’s Brewery beers are on tap for a refreshing pint, while there’s an all-day menu and cream teas on the food side of things. The menu has been designed by Paul and joint head chefs Joe Rozier and Tom Dawes, with a focus on British classics, but there’s a huge amount of variety to keep even the fussiest diners interested. The Mariners is also fortunate enough to enjoy spectacular views out over the water, especially when dining upstairs.
St Tudy Inn, Bodmin
When a pub holds a Michelin Bib Gourmand, you know that’s a great sign and St Tudy Inn’s rustic cuisine is a delight. The pub itself creates a cosy and warm atmosphere, while on the drinks side of things, you won’t find it easy what to choose from the fine selection of wines and real ale on offer. Don’t forget pudding, with a walnut and honey tart among the many delights on offer.
The Plume of Feathers, Mitchell
This pub has just scooped a gold Taste of The West award following the arrival of new head chef Andrew Dudley. This 16th century inn has been turned into a luxury B&B country pub, but still retains all its original charm, offering a contemporary restaurant while retaining the original oak beamed ceilings and wood burner. Feel free to bring your dog along to this welcoming pub and prepare to enjoy some great food.
Port Gaverne Restaurant and Hotel, Port Isaac
If you’re holiday making in the area, chances are you might pay a visit to picturesque Port Isaac, the fishing village made famous by ITV’s Doc Martin. It’s a fine spot for coastal walks too, so if you find yourself in the area and peckish, the Port Gaverne Restaurant and Hotel, tucked away in a secluded cove, is well worth a visit. It has been hailed as one of the top pubs in the county in recent years, including Best Pub in Cornwall in Pub and Bar Magazine in 2017. Menus change by the season, using ultra-fresh coastal food.
The Ferryboat Inn, Helford Passage
You won’t find oysters any fresher than those at The Ferryboat, which stands in a stunning location on the bank of the beautiful Helford River near Falmouth. They’re farmed only yards away at the Duchy oyster farm, but if oysters or seafood aren’t your cup of tea, the wide-ranging menu should have something you’ll enjoy, which you can wash down with a refreshing glass of Cornish cider.
The Springer Spaniel, Launceston
This is a pub that embraces its Cornish countryside roots, shown through its rustic interior and a menu that is equally rustic, created using local fruit, veg and as much of the food as possible. There’s a playful side to the food too, with Seafood Wreck, Three Little Pigs and even a Fish Finger Sarnie among the options! Don’t let that fool you though, for under the light-hearted exterior lies a pub that demands your attention.
Driftwood Spars, St Agnes
There can’t be many pubs in the entire country that has its own microbrewery on the other side of the road! But that’s true of Driftwood Spars, a friendly inn close to the pretty beach of Trevaunance Cove, which is overlooked by the pub’s upstairs dining area. Three separate bars are timbered with the masts (or spars) of sailing ships, all serving some of the beers made across the road at the brewery. The pub also has a great history; it’s rumoured there is an old smugglers’ tunnel that leads up from behind the bar through the cliff face!
Ship Inn, Porthleven
Standing right on the harbourside at Porthlevel, The Ship Inn’s bustling bar and busy dining room is a testament to the tasty food and welcoming atmosphere. The views out to the sea are fantastic and at night, there are few more romantic sights than the floodlit harbour. There’s a real range of drinks to choose from and the changing guest beers mean there’s always something new to try.
Gurnard’s Head, Zennor
Standing on a pretty stretch of coast between St Ives and St Just, The Gurnard’s Head has built a reputation on a short, fresh and seasonal menu, where everything is done right. The huge enclosed garden is perfect for social distance eating outside, while in the colder months when things are back to normal, the bar area is warmed by log fires. Carafes of wine mean there’s always a wide choice of open bottles to enjoy, up to 20 at once.
Rashleigh Inn, Polkerris
Locally known as ‘The Inn on the Beach’, The Rashleigh does have a perfect position overlooking the pretty cove of Polkerris and St Austell Bay beyond. The pub is well known for its great food and decent beer — and there are few pubs anywhere with a better view.