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I will be visting Cornwall for a week with the family (all adults) in late July staying on the edge of Bodmin Moor not far from Liskeard.

I've done a search on here for recommended restaurants and haven't found much beyond Margot's and Stein's establishments in Padstow.

Has anyone visited the county recently and found a good place to eat, preferably in the eastern half of the county, maybe just over the border into Devon?

In view of the fact this will be in peak holiday season is everywhere likely to be a rip off and/or fast food? I ask this having watched Channel 4s series on Burton-Race's return from France where all standards seemed to be thrown out of the kitchen window come Summer in order to fleece the tourists and ensure the survival of the restaurant. I'd far rather spend time and money preparing decent meals at our farmhouse if this is the case.

Apart from locally, which includes London, most of my eating out has been in France, predominately in country regions.

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Can't remember whether this is in the right part of Cornwall for you and it is almost four years since I've been there but the Driftwood Hotel (www.driftwoodhotel.co.uk) is in a beautiful location with dining room overlooking the sea and we had an excellent dinner. The owner/host was lovely and very friendly. As it hadn't yet been listed in all the guides (may still not be yet for all I know, haven't checked lately), they weren't too full of themselves and their glory. It was also reasonably priced in August and the other diners jolly and chatty.

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The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay has recived praise from this and other boards.

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I can second Bernice's recommendation of the driftwood, not an easy place to find though. For a good lunch in a great spot try the Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes, owned by Olga Polizzi of the Forte family and very stylish. Going the other way there's John Burton Race's place, the New Angel, in Dartmouth.

Edit to say just caught your reference to JBR's place, but according to my spies (well, family actually) the place is still well worth a visit.


Edited by britcook (log)

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just back from a weekend in Padstow and I am terribly biased towards Margot's so if you can get a booking (harder than it sounds!) - I would recommend it.

Also in Padstow is this newish place - No 6 - ambitious fine dining place with a young team from Petrus. Had some very good food on Sunday.

I also enjoyed sitting on the quayside in Cornwall to taste test numerous pasties!!

At St Merryn, Ripleys is very good but can't find a website - so you'll need to google.

Had a good lunch last year at Viners in Summercourt near Truro - but I heard this year was less stellar.

Otherwise some of the best eating as you say is to buy some good local produce and cook at home.

If you can get Olive magazine in the US (try here) - then their next issue (July) has an article on 20 things to do in Cornwall. Had a quick glance at my issue today - could be useful for you?

Other websites to try are ASk Mario on www.askmario.co.uk or the timeout one ... there's a restaurant section there. Some of the recommendations can be a bit hit or miss but most is pretty good.

Hope this helps

Yin

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I'll second/third or whatever the recs for Margot's - here's my write-up. Reports elsewhere have bigged-up Adrian's crab soup. Can't vouch for it myself but his haddock chowder and sticky toffee pudding are things of wonder.

Only other place we ate in Cornwall was The Lugger. The food wasn't astounding but it was good.

Finally, depending on where you're coming from or going to, try out The Riverside Restaurant: my views and their website.

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Hardly mentioned on here (correct me if I'm wrong) is Nathan Outlaws "newish" place St Ervan Manor. Never been myself but I place I would try to visit if I was down that way.

Englands Best B & B

Paul


Edited by Pweaver1984 (log)

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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Try St.Petrocs in padstow part of the Stein empire, but less expensive with more of a bistro feel (family ties dictate my opinion on this one!)

Number six is very good, the menu has changed since I was there quite a bit as it is busier now, but I know a couple of the chefs and they are very good.


Edited by CaptainJack (log)

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I'm probably a year out of date but I really enjoyed The Black Pig in Rock, last summer.

For what it's worth, I found Steins a complete waste of time. The food was average and expensive and the place was chokker with neighing City blokes with their revolting families.

The only redeeming point of an otherwise grim 'tasting menu' was my first experience of a truly 'comedy course'.

The 'Mackerel rechado' was a pilchard-sized fish that appeared to have been spatchcocked, dipped in curry powder and tied to a stick for grilling. It looked like it had been crucified.

It's the only time I've ever seen a course served that made everyone laugh the minute it hit the table.

As an Australian I was dining with pointed out, 'They could have given the poor little fucker a chance".

It kind of summed the place up though. I love Stein, particularly his curmudgeonly insistence on simple stuff, simply cooked. He's made his name by explaining how a fresh fish cooked on a shovel over a seaweed fire is infinitely better than anything you'd get in a poncy restaurant then he puts his name to some of the most up-itself, ponced-about-with nonsense I've ever seen done to fish.

As part of his ever expanding empire he should open a little wooden shack where he's forced, at harpoon-point, to yank fish out of the sea and cook it over a gas ring for tuppence.

Actually, I think he'd secretly prefer it.


Edited by Tim Hayward (log)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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I agree about Stein's - we've been going for about 15 years - it had become a tradition to go every time we went to Cornwall on holiday, and we go there a lot. However last year we decided not to go again - he won't miss us, it's so busy. The food is not as reliable as it was, and it's soooo expensive for what it is. I had some completely ruined red mullet - a combination of the fish, peas and noodles in way too much overheated olive oil.

That said, I had the best pudding I've had for ages - but it was off the children's menu - a perfect, perfectly simple, strawberry tart with crème pâtissière. The puddings on the adult menu were, if I recall, pappy/ice creamy, so didn't appeal.

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Black Pig was Nathan's joint, he's now at St Ervan Manor, new owners of Black Pig are ex Le Manoir chef with his Corinsh wife, nothing on the local radar yet.

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Thanks to everyone above for your inside information and reccos.

We are booked into Lewtrenchard Manor for lunch on July 28th. I must remember to report back on here.

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As part of his ever expanding empire he should open a little wooden shack where he's forced, at harpoon-point, to yank fish out of the sea and cook it over a gas ring for tuppence.

If it would pay the bills, i would do that like a shot! :laugh:

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We had dinner at St Ervan Manor on our recent holiday. The 2 dining rooms are tiny [and less than chic, though freshly decorated] - but my word, the food was <i>excellent</i>.

There were two fixed menus - Mr PSB had the £45 one, and I went for the £65, so I could have the lobster risotto. I tasted everything he had, and it was superb. So was what I had - except that the risotto, while it tasted wonderful, wasn't sufficiently cooked. Even the coffee was excellent.

There was a backbone of great techniques, and a clear passion for producing great-tasting food - my main was lamb with haricots - a daube underneath, with freshly-cooked fillet on top: Mr PSB had similar, only made with beef - it was just really enjoyable and reasonably sophisticated food - just what you want when you're on holiday. There was the odd modish flourish - foams topping off the risotti for example, but not very many.

Best of all, having had too many mousse/ice cream type puddings offered on London & Leeds menus, the puddings were proper ones - I thoroughly enjoyed the baked cherry pudding.

I believe it is for sale - I hope Nathan is able to keep cooking like that, if not there, then somewhere nearby.

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This from Ask Mario Newsletter

"Nathan Outlaw to stay in Cornwall (Cornwall)

In our August newsletter we reported that St Ervan Manor was up for sale and that its Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw was looking to move on. Now St Ervan has closed, and after considering offers from all over the country, Nathan has decided to stay in Cornwall and move to the 18-bedroomed, harbourside Marina Villa Hotel in Fowey. In a deal that will give one of our most gifted chefs a perfect vehicle to show off his talent, the restaurant will be refurbished, kitchen equipment updated, and Restaurant Nathan Outlaw will open in January. Nathan has told us prices will be lower than at St Ervan Manor, and that he's moving away from the tasting menu format. For more details watch this space."

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So after living here for over 10 years, we finally got round to The Seafood Restaurant.Well you don't want to rush into these things.Left booking the table too late, so when i rang this week i was only offered 9.30pm or 10pm.Too late for us with little ones and babysitters to consider.Luckily i has a group of Seafood staff eating with me earlier this week, so managed to ask a favour and get a table at 7.oopm.

Opted for the tasting menu at £65 for 6 courses

Amuse of salt cod and salmon fishcake with some chopped sunblush tomatoes.Fine

Langoustine and Mussels Chowder, one of the better dishes, lightly flavoured, good mussels and langoustine.

Steamed Scallops with ginger . coriander, soy,sesame oil and spring onions.Overpowered by the soy, the sweetness of the scallops was lost.

Maryland Crab Cakes. Tarragon and butter sauce.Worst dish.greasy fishcakes(pan fried), no hint of tarragon,seemed to be all white crab meat, which is nice for texture, but lacked depth of flavour.For "butter sauce" read melted butter

Lobster Ravioli, basil and spinach hmm, good pasta, filling was either a lobster mousse which had gone grainy or some over cooked lobster, dominated by basil.Spinach was best part of this dish.Disappointing

Char grilled Fillet of Sea Bass tomato, butter and vanilla vinaigrette Best savory course, lovely piece of bass, light vinaigrette, hint of vanilla.Loved it.Came with side dishes of sprouting broccoli and a fantastic gratin of pumpkin and potato.

We asked to change from the Passion fruit Pavlova that was listed and had a chocolate fondant with icecream and coffee cream??? Didn't try much of this, i was really enjoying my Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue layered thing which was called something like Marquise but wasn't.I don't take notes.Noticed no Cornish cheese on the menu.

Coffee and petit fours in the conservatory.

Bottle of Hunters SB, couple of bottles of water(not cornish, why not?) £169 for excluding tip

Overall a bit disapponting.Nothing "wrong" but 3 out of the 6 dishes were not worth rushing back for.Service was efficent and friendly enough, but apart from the the member of staff that i actually know, the rest of the staff didn't really engage in conversation.The room is a bit too bright.I enjoyed my night out with the Mrs, 12 years is a long time to be married these days !

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I can see the headlines now:

Shock as Basildog Eats Out!

:laugh:


Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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12 years is a long time to be married these days !

I'll see your 12 and raise you 4 (plus another 7 of living in sin).

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Seafood dinner

Thanks for your input basildog, we are currently changing our tasting menu and trying to acheive more of a sensible balance in each course. Over the summer we kinda lost it a bit (owing to massive covers as per usual) putting dishes in the wrong place and not really acheiving the desired effect, but Rick is on the case and we are all trying to build a new menu that is a good tast of what we do.

I am a bit miffed about the lack of cornish cheese at the moment. Not too sure about Cornish water, the only stuff I have seen has a blurb about being from the celtic heartland of Cornwall or something like that, methinks not.

Hope you had a nice evening :)

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Jack, i had a very pleasant evening thank you.The Seafood is a very good restaurant, but just missed slightly with the tasting menu on Sunday.What was the Chocolate/Meringue dessert that i so expertly discribed?

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Tiffin, Fore St, Fowey - dinner June 2009

wandred into tiffin's for dinner - what a lovely place. attentive staff, interesting menu & very large portions indeed

linguine with crab was packed with flavour and substantial amount of beautifully tasty crab

steak frite just perfect - fab chips

cod with brown shrimp, broad beans and sauté potatoes is a triumph

what's better - we had a double take on the bill - nope - it was very reasonably priced even with two bottles wine

highly recommended

(ps - shock horror - Eden Project is pants! - really disappointed - more so at 16 each to get in, gulp. But Lost Gardens of Heligan sublime - go there twice instead)

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