SUPPER AT THE OLD MILL BISTRO
A cold January evening calls for comfort eating, and the cosy Old Mill Bistro in Little Petherick proved the perfect place for a wintery supper.
Set in a 16th century former corn mill (complete with waterwheel) The Old Mill House is a family-run B&B and bistro, where chef Adrian Oliver (formerly of Margot’s Bistro in Padstow) helms the kitchen. If you’re familiar with Little Petherick you’ll have driven right past the front door of the beautiful building which sits solidly in the middle of the village.
I’d been meaning to visit since the bistro opened in July 2015; I’ve only ever heard good reviews of Adrian’s cooking. We arrived on a dark, freezing cold evening and were very relieved to find the candlelit dining room warm and cosy. From our comfy corner table the spinning watermill was clearly visible, a nice touch.
The menu is classic bistro fare, with a strong emphasis on good Cornish ingredients. We kicked off with super soft bread – white, with fennel seeds – and salty Cornish butter.
To start, I chose the warm mackerel fillets (grilled to perfection) which sat atop a potato and apple salad – substantial carbs lightened with crisp, fresh apples – and a generous dollop of aioli.
Jim’s starter was smoked duck breast, tender and delicate, with crispy pickled vegetables and a sweet balsamic dressing.
My main course was generous – four perfectly pink, beautifully tender, delicious lamb cutlets in a rosemary sauce, with roast new potatoes and a bowl of seasonal vegetables for the table.
Jim opted for the baked fillet of hake with herbed crust, which sat on clotted cream mash (yup, clotted cream) and a chive butter sauce. Rich, savoury and moreish.
At this point I was full, but when you see “iced rhubarb and custard parfait” on a menu, it’s hard to resist. It was fabulous, served with the first forced rhubarb of the season and gooey, chewy almond biscuits, which took me back to my childhood – they tasted exactly the same as the “macaroons” my Italian grandmother used to make.
Jim obviously chose the sticky toffee pudding (STP as it’s known), for which Adrian has gained a bit of a reputation, and no wonder, it was superb.
The food here is honest and packed full of flavour. Dishes are simple, but deceptive; there are a lot of cheffy twists and skills involved here.
Portions are generous, chairs are comfy, service is friendly, the wine list is good and the atmosphere is relaxed. Thank you, Adam and Adrian, for your hospitality.
We like the look of the garden (pictured below) and can envisage enjoying a cream tea there after a walk along the creek, or drinks and nibbles in the evening sunshine… Roll on summer.
Sunday lunches served from 12.30 until 2pm, one course £14, two courses £20, three courses £25, starting Sunday 5 February.
A special Valentine’s menu is available on 11, 13 and 14 February. £40 for three courses, including a glass of fizz, coffee and petits fours.
Throughout February enjoy (a three course) dinner, bed and (full Cornish) breakfast, from £70 per person, dependent on room.
BISTRO OPENING HOURS:
Lunch, 12.30 to 2pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
Dinner, from 7pm, Tuesday to Saturday.