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Cornish Seafood Recommendations


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I have been struggling to remember when the missus and I last had a proper "staycation". Maybe it was Edinburgh about 6 years ago but the memory is getting little hazy. What I do remember was excellent Scottish seafood; a fantastic fruits de mer at Creelers in the old town, an arbroath smokie or two in the new town and mussels at Fishers in Leith. This landlocked Brummie boy was in seafood heaven! So it's with long overdue anticipation that we go on the hunt for great British seafood at the other end of the nation, Cornwall.

Her indoors has arranged a couple of days in Bude but I'm up for staying a little longer in the county as I've never been before. So the question is, where's the good seafood to be had? I've just been reading this list in The Guardian about Devon/Dorset and it's exactly the sort of thing that's needed for Cornwall too. I'm not too fussed whether it's fine dining or a crab shack, just that it's good and fresh. Apart from the obvious establishments from Mr Stein what would you recommend?

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I guess Padstow can get very busy which might be 'grim' for some folks but there is plenty of good food to be had without going into one of Rick Stein's many places.

From Bude I think you will have quite long drive to get to the better places to eat.

I wish I could offer you a list of local gems as Bude is not far from where I live but I have not found any yet. We always head to Padstow! (Book ahead for Margot's, it would be a shame not to go)

Lapin

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Sorry Basil - should have been clearer. On the weekend we visited, Padstow felt a bit like the Costa del Sol - thronged with tatooed and sunburnt hordes drinking beer, eating chips, pasties and bad ice cream. We much preferred the other side of the estuary.

That said, I have heard universally excellent things about Margots and would certainly recommend it to anyone visiting the area - if a table was ever to become available!

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Whats so grim about Padstow? Paul at Number 6 is doing some really great stuff.

I must agree: we had a superb meal at No6 last year. Good value for fine cooking. We ate at Nathan's new Seafood Grill in Rock on the same trip and were lukewarm about it, possibly expectation too high after eating at his old place in Fowey. Has he opened the fine diner in Rock now? Or is is still the "Grill"? If so how is it?

I also agree Padstow is a bit better out of season, but I recall many of the visitors are day trippers so the evenings are a lot less crowded than the days. It is also wise to point out that Rock is "Chelsea by Sea". On the walk from the ferry up the hill to St Enodoc Hotel we took great delight in counting the number of male car drivers who wore polo shirts with their collars turned up - nearly 100%. Couldn't compare it to the beer swilling, chip eating prols in Padstow as they don't wear Polo shirts but at least they don't shout at each other when they are talking...!

Edited by PhilD (log)
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We ate at Nathan's new Seafood Grill in Rock on the same trip and were lukewarm about it, possibly expectation too high after eating at his old place in Fowey. Has he opened the fine diner in Rock now? Or is is still the "Grill"? If so how is it?

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw opened in the Spring, its in the same hotel as the Grill. The room is a bit uninspiring but the food was excellent. He could teach a lot of UK chefs about how fish can work as part/the focus of a tasting menu.

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Thanks for all the suggestions so far folks, I think i'll give No6 in Padstow a call asap. We've decided to stay a couple more nights in St Austell as we wanted to check out the Eden Project, so any recs for down there would be appreciated too.

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Even if Adrian (aka Basildog) is fully booked at the moment, Margot's is definitely worth visiting if you have the opportunity. When Adrian gets late cancellations he advertises them on his Twitter feed, so it is probably worth taking at look. The Margot's website is here - with sample menus and link to twitter.

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No6 has been booked but without a menu available online what should I look out for? Don't want to miss out on a treat now do we?

Edited by Prawncrackers (log)
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If you make it down to Falmouth I have a cracker of a recommendation, but I'm almost conflicted about publicising such a hidden gem...

...oh, what the heck. I stumbled across a small cute wharf place called The Wheelhouse that does shellfish, portugese cataplanas style. The menu is a simple chalkboard of shellfish done in a couple of ways, with prices varying daily. Seating is a mixture of tables and benches. Myself and a friend lucked onto both the place and a table (it was packed), and gorged ourselves stupid on crab, mussels, and prawns. We had champagne sorbet for desert, the whole meal (plus some pints, bread and mayo) came in at 35 quid or so. It's closed sunday, monday, tuesday, and it's best to book by calling ahead.

If the idea of eating your body weight in shellfish interests you, then I recommend it. Ping me if you can't find the number online.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the tip about the Wheelhouse. I went last night with Mr and Master PSB and excellent it was too. It has such a lot of character, and, apart fromt the bread (cheap pap) the food was marvellous and such good value. I hadn't realised when I booked that it really is a shellfish restaurant and poor Mr PSB, being allergic to shellfish, could only eat the chips and salad.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If the idea of eating your body weight in shellfish interests you, then I recommend it. Ping me if you can't find the number online.

I didn't make it as far down as Falmouth but i did manage to eat my own weight in shellfish at The Oyster Shack somewhere in South Devon on my way back home to Brum. But as this is a Cornish topic let's talk Paul Ainsworth instead. Thank you very much all those who recommended No6 in Padstow, we had a really terrific meal. Here are some pics of what we had:

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Fresh Line caught Mackerel, impossible to eat fresh mackerel inland so my wife always orders it when we're by the sea.

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Salmon scotch quail eggs with curried mayo was our favourite dish. Deceptively simple sounding but executed perfectly. A dish to try and recreate at home I think.

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A third starter - raw Cornish beef salad. I loved the shallot rings in this dish, a good thing since the beef itself was very almost overpowered by them.

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The wife's main was Plaice with Brown Shrimp, Sweetcorn salsa and samphire. The salsa ate very well, the shrimp being the same size as the corn kernels was very visually appealing. I think there was a hint of fennel pollen in there too which lifted the whole dish.

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As is nearly always the case when she chooses first, she goes for the dish that I would have had. So I plumped for the Bream with Smoked Eel and Beetroot. My only gripe of the whole meal was that my fish was slightly over, having that sticky tooth quality. But thankfully rescued by the ever reliable eel and beetroot combo.

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To finish we had the dessert tasting, which was a little on the greedy side because we were well and truly stuffed. The doughnuty churros thingies with the espresso dipping sauce deserve an honourable mention though as being particularly delicious.

The staff are was very warm and charming. The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable. I'm already thinking about when we can come back!

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