Nothing beats a refreshing drink after a long day of having fun in one of the many Cornish holiday sites.
No matter how many vistas you witness and museums you explore, at the end of the day, you’ll want somewhere cosy to kick back and relax. And with the plethora of vacation destinations in the county of Cornwall, you’ll find no shortage of pubs and bars with a lively atmosphere. Name a type of bar that caters to your specific niche, and chances are, you’re bound to find it.
You’re sure to be spoilt for choice from bars at scenic locations that are bustling with people or smaller quiet pubs with a quaint feel. So, which bar should you choose after a long day of exploration?
Check out these cocktail bars and pubs in Cornwall that you won’t want to miss during your stay. Each of these has something unique to offer for an experience worth remembering!
13 Best Cocktail Bars In Cornwall
1. Secret Garden
Beers, gins, wines or drinks of the non-alcoholic variety: you’ll find it all at the Secret Garden- and more! An extensive, jaw-dropping menu is one of the many things that Secret Garden has to offer.
Located in Newquay, Secret Garden features a sea view that is only made better with a drink in your hand. Its gorgeous terrace with outdoor seating oozes a comforting and cosy atmosphere, with the sea breeze brushing past you under the night skies. Inside, the beer garden has a mesmerising green living wall and an appearance based on the bar’s theme on event nights. And margarita Mondays are a local favourite!
Secret Garden has an extensive selection of meals as well, with the pizza menu dominating the scene. Be it the classic Margherita or the aptly named ‘Cheesus Christ,’ you will experience one of the most unique nights that Cornwall has to offer. To top it all off, the bar caters to all ages, so the kids in your family, too, can come and have fun.
2. The Watering Hole
It may not come off as a surprise that this watering hole named ‘The Watering Hole’ stands as one of the best Cornish beer gardens. You can find it on Perranporth beach, making it one of the only bars in the UK that’s located on a beach.
Owing to its lovely location, an advantage of quenching your thirst in The Watering Hole is that it is guaranteed to have a striking view. The atmosphere is lovely ’round the year, and the nights are made better with the live music nights.
Find yourself a bench, kick off your shoes and relax as you’re greeted with excellent food and drinks. You may gravitate more towards Cornish produce than the brands we’ve all gotten so used to. Fresh ales, bar snacks and Sunday roast prove to be some of the best locally produced items on the menu.
From cocktail nights to exploring the beach, there’s a calm and comforting aura about this beer garden that just can’t be found elsewhere. The Watering Hole may very well be your next favourite pub!
3. The Working Boat Pub
If sitting close to the sea with a beer in hand strikes your fancy, the Working Boat Pub is your pub of choice. Situated in Falmouth Harbour, The Working Boat Pub is a family-friendly bar that has more than delicious food and drink to offer: a rich history.
It finds its origin as the taproom of an inn frequented by workers and local residents nearly 300 years ago. The inn eventually became a hotel, splitting off the pub and becoming a haven for fishermen and oystermen to find a relaxing drink in. Today, it’s the town centre of the Falmouth Working Boat Association, where you’ll find members of the association during the weekends.
Rich history aside, The Working Boat Pub makes no compromises with its services, be it a plate of Caesar Salad or a fresh pint of beer. There are classics for everyone to enjoy, and the varied selection will sate everyone’s thirst.
Lastly, The Working Boat Pub is open to all, even pets! Your family and four-legged friends will experience an afternoon that is unique to the pub, which is enhanced further by the events it hosts regularly.
4. The Dead Famous
Late-night parties can be a great way to top off an already fantastic Cornish vacation. If that strikes the perfect chord for you, The Dead Famous promises to deliver a nightlife experience of a lifetime.
Hard liquor, delicious cocktails like the Cornish moonshine mojito, and live music are all abundant and accounted for, making this Newquay bar one of the most sought-after establishments. Sample the rock-themed drinks menu and couple them with the grub of your choice. This LA-styled bar offers all the classic fast food that you’d find in the streets of LA, with gourmet burgers, fries and pizza on the menu.
Experience live sports on their massive wall-sized LCD screen, or take part in their live music shows held weekly, featuring music from all genres. Take the concept of clubbing to its absolute limit, and visit the Dead Famous during your Cornish holiday!
5. Cove 24
Combining a fine-dine experience with a cocktail lounge, Cove 24 is an open-space establishment located in the heart of Newquay. Relax in the expertly crafted ambience of the bar and enjoy the elegant dining space of this restaurant and cocktail lounge.
For those who prefer a quieter and mellow post-exploration evening, Core 24 may very well be the establishment for you. Gaze at the distant setting sun as you feast on your favourite seafood linguine while listening to the soft ambient music. Or, you can turn your eyes to the brilliant night skies with a snack in your hands.
Visit Cove 24 with your family and spend some quality time with them. It’s an experience tailored for all ages, and you’re sure to leave with a few great memories to boot.
6. The Sloop Inn
St. Ives’ The Sloop Inn stands as one of the oldest inns in the UK, with a rich history dating as far back as 1312. It was once a fisherman’s pub, with a low ceiling, wooden tankards and locally-produced ales to quench the workers’ thirst. Located close to the harbour front of St. Ives, it’s one of the most charming pubs you’ll ever visit.
The Sloop Inn boasts a complete drinking, dining and accommodation experience, with a wide selection of real ales, an extensive menu and rooms to sleep in. Once you have explored St. Ives, find your retreat in The Sloop Inn, enjoy the locally-produced ales and watch the sea from the pub. The harbour is particularly gorgeous as the sun sets, so don’t miss it during your stay!
7. Ruby’s Bar
Spent a day exploring the Padstow Harbour? Just a little ways away, there’s a cosy little bar founded by Rick Stein that specialises in cocktails. Modern and contemporary, Ruby’s bar is a perfect retreat from the smouldering hot summer sun or the monsoon downpour.
Be it hard liquor or virgin drinks, Ruby’s Bar will see your thirst quenched. Sample the boutique gins, perfectly aged wines, locally-produced ales and the best cocktails inspired by Rick Stein’s travels around the world. The main bar is a dream for gin lovers, with a wall dedicated to the drink, featuring several mixers and garnishes.
Along with the cocktails, you can munch on amazing food from the bar nibbles menu. This includes nuts, marinated olives, cured meats and a selection of cheese that will enhance the flavour of your wine several times over.
8. Tom Thumb Cocktail Bar
When you go pub crawling, you’ll find classic drinks that are on every menu, and original creations that dare to experiment with different flavours. And Tom Thumb is a bar that includes both the tried-and-tested classics and special “Tom Thumb-specific” drinks that will make your mouth water.
Located in Newquay, this bar has made a reputation for its tantalising drinks selection, ranging from Margaritas to original recipes like The Rip Chord. And for those who like non-alcoholic drinks, there’s plenty to choose from, like the Easy Bramble and Bittersweet Ruby.
Tom Thumb makes a point about sustainability with quality, producing zero waste through small actions to this end. They use LED bulbs, provide you with paper straws to drink and reuse glass bottles, and power the establishment through a completely renewable source. The bar’s carbon footprint is as small as it can be, all while creating new and exciting drinks to quell your thirst.
9. The Harbourside Refuge
The Harbourside Refuge is an establishment by Michael Caines in Porthleven, the southernmost port of Britain. With the gorgeous south Cornwall coast directly in view, you can enjoy a wide assortment of great food and drinks throughout the year.
This fine establishment presents itself as an idyllic spot for those with a taste for picturesque vistas. The sea waves crashing dramatically into the harbour merely serves to add to this experience.
Since it was created by the acclaimed chef Michael Caines, the restaurant and bar menu is nothing short of top-of-the-line. The Harbourside Refuge presents you with the finest drinks to complement the lovely view and food that is as beautiful as it is to taste. You’ll find professionally plated meals and an extensive wine list for every occasion, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
10. Fistral Beach Bar
Beaches are the kind of places that people often flock to, often with good food and a drink in their hands. Since Cornwall has no shortage of coastlines and beaches, beach bars are a desirable destination for tourists and locals alike. And one of the most premium beach bars in the county is the Fistral Beach Bar.
Located in Newquay’s surf beach, the bustling nature of this bar will keep you going. Take the party outside, where the regular live music performances and DJs create a lovely atmosphere complementing the sea breeze and the gorgeous Cornish coastline. Or, if you prefer to be indoors, you can enjoy the warmth of a comfy sofa with a hot drink made by the locals.
Some people visit cocktail bars just for a nice drink, and Fistral has enough to entertain every single one of your 4000 taste buds. Go for the classic draught or bottled beers, seltzers, gins, wines or something of the non-alcoholic variety. Grab yourself a cheese side, or enjoy the drink with a pizza; there’s plenty to taste and enjoy here at the Fistral Beach Bar.
A bar with a view of the beach in Towan Bay, Newquay, Belushi’s is located in a place that keeps it busy throughout the year. Summers see the bar occupied so much that it becomes difficult to find a good seat. All the gardens and huts are already claimed if you don’t book beforehand. And that’s because this bar has a reputation in the county for being one of the best locations to find a drink.
Unlike most bars that have happy hours on only weekends, Belushi’s has them every weekday from 4 until 7 pm. Moreover, the cocktail bar has a dedicated app for you to order and get great deals without having to approach the counter. Find your perfect drink in the menu, which ranges from the classics like gin and tonic, to exotic wines and whiskeys to treat your taste buds.
Besides, Belushi’s is a family-friendly establishment, with a menu for people in every facet of their lives. This includes a selection of various cuisines and a non-alcoholic drinks section for you to sample and enjoy. A steaming mug of double espresso often is the beverage to go with breakfast or evening tapas rather than something strong, after all.
12. The Ship Inn
If you’re scouring Porthleven for a drink, you can visit The Ship Inn, a local favourite. This cocktail bar is located right next to the seafront, offering you a nice, quaint feel to go with your helping of ale. The terraced garden further adds to the old-timey feel to the pub, complete with a view of the mesmerising coastline.
It’s an old pub, which means you can learn something about its history and the surrounding area as you sip on your gin. The beer mats, brasses, flagstones and floorboards used to decorate the inn all tell a story. Like most old-timey pubs, the Ship Inn began as a fisherman’s watering hole that transformed into a fine establishment in this picturesque harbour of the county.
The Ship Inn sources its beer from the locals only, bringing to you the spirits to keep everyone’s spirits high. You’ll likely find at least one of the five local ale specialities on the menu at all times, including ales from Doom bar and more. It’s a fine place to sit back, relax and bask in the sun while taking in the panoramic sea views from the Porthleven harbour.
13. Senor Dick’s
Seeking traditional Mexican food and drink while you’re in Cornwall? Senor Dick’s brings you the flavours that will definitely transport your taste buds to the country.
The restaurant and cocktail bar has been serving tourists and locals for over 20 years, offering a perfect place for gatherings, parties and celebrations. Situated right in the middle of Newquay, the cocktail bar is handled by consummate professionals. And you can expect the flavour of your drink to match the way in which they are presented.
If you’re up for it, you can learn how these professionals create a drink in a personalised class. Learn all about this process of making the perfect cocktail as you sample the freshly made drink, along with a complimentary champagne cocktail on arrival. You’ll be introduced to cocktail blending, shaking, pouring and decorating techniques, and you’ll be free-pouring Margaritas in no time!
Moreover, the authentic Mexican family meals use herbs and spices dictated by traditional Mexican recipes to bring you a mouth-watering dining experience. Treat yourself and your family to authentic Mexican cuisine at Senor Dick’s!
Cocktail bars dot the Cornish landscape, so you shouldn’t have to go on a search for one during your limited time in the county. You needn’t end your vacation with any time wasted during pub crawls, after all.
Besides, the pubs and bars in this county are right next to picturesque locations and mesmerising vistas, further deepening the connection you form with this holiday destination.
Each of these pubs offers a unique experience, no matter which one you choose. And that is the beauty of Cornish vacationing: you will leave with nothing but good memories!
On that note, we will see you next time. See ya!
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