If you’ve got something special to celebrate during your trip to Cornwall, you can take the experience to exquisite new heights with lunch or dinner at one of our many fine dining restaurants. The county is awash with Michelin stars and AA rosettes, awarded to establishments with international reputations serving authentic Cornish flavours. Here are seven of the best dream destinations for a truly memorable meal.
Paul Ainsworth, Padstow
The celebrated Michelin starred chef has a clutch of terrific establishments across Padstow. His flagship restaurant, Paul Ainsworth at No 6, is an undeniably classy offering, housed within a stunning Georgian townhouse. Modern British, European and seafood are the focus, all made fresh from locally sourced produce.
Prawn on the Lawn, Padstow
Fronted by a traditional looking fishmonger, venture inside Prawn on the Lawn and you’ll find a compact, modern restaurant. The menu is packed with local shellfish dishes, cooked to perfection on a charcoal grill by owner Rick Toogood. ‘Fresh’ and ‘new’ are the watchwords here. With the small plates menu updating daily – and sometimes hourly – as fishermen land their catch outside the door. Since they opened in 2015, Prawn on the Lawn has featured in the Michelin Guide every year and won the Best UK Seafood Restaurant 2020.
The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow
Padstow is one of the county’s undisputed seafood centres, thanks in large part to Rick Stein who has been operating from our town since 1975. The Seafood Restaurant is where his fishy empire began and it remains one of Cornwall’s most sought after destinations. You can enjoy some foody theatre at the seafood bar, where chefs prepare oysters, Cornish crab and langoustine. Alternatively, sit on the terrace and feast on views across the gorgeous Camel Estuary.
The Scarlet, Mawgan Porth
Set in an eco-hotel, this arty and modern experience is worthy of any celebration. Enjoy the incredible views over the bay through enormous glass windows. There is also a private dining that can be booked for small groups. The food is excellent, utilising some of the county’s best produce with great options for any vegetarians and vegans in the group. The menu changes regularly to match the changing seasons. Also a great spot for afternoon tea.
The Shore, Penzance
This restaurant offers a relaxed and intimate supper club of the most exclusive kind. This small, family-owned restaurant is run almost single handedly by its proprietor. Bruce Rennie not only cooks but also personally sources the best local ingredients on the day, bringing fish from Newlyn and meat and vegetables from nearby farmers. The Shore is quite literally a love letter to Cornish food, as Rennie says: “I write a menu which celebrates our county and country.”
Emily Scott at Watergate Bay
Emily Scott’s restaurant at Watergate Bay is a fabulous setting overlooking the beach and golden sands. Locally sourced food, beautifully presented, along with local wines is a real treat for any celebration. Try the tasting menu.
The Pig at Harlyn Bay
Another great spot for a celeberation dinner, in a beautifuly restored old mansion house, with quirky rooms, conservatory and private dinning rooms at The Pig. All food sourced within 25 miles and a great option for fish, meat and vegetarians. Check out their Lobster Shed too.
Outlaw’s, Port Isaac
Book a table overlooking the Atlantic ocean at Outlaw’s New Road and you can expect the absolute freshest Cornish seafood and locally sourced produce. Alternatively, visit Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in the heart of Port Isaac. This 15th century fisherman’s cottage is positioned so close to the sea that you can watch that day’s catch being unloaded from the boats while you peruse the menu.