SUNDAY LUNCH AT THE DRIFTWOOD SPARS
A cold January day is the best kind of day for eating comfort food, and last Sunday was no exception.
We’d been invited to sample the Sunday roasts at The Driftwood Spars, a 17th century pub and B&B in St Agnes.
The word “spar” means a thick strong pole such as is used for a mast or yard on a ship, and so the pub’s name comes from the huge beams which support the building, which were salvaged from shipwrecks along the coast in the 1650s.
Dodging the hail, we ran from the car park into the pub, where a roaring fire and bustling bar made for a very warm welcome and we were shown to the upper bar, with its beautiful timbered ceiling.
Across the road from The Driftwood Spars is The Driftwood Spars Brewery, so it comes as no surprise that the bars are well stocked with some fine beers. Jim chose a pint of Blue Hills, a light hoppy lunchtime ale. The wine list has a good selection of wines by the glass as well as bottles.
And so to the food. The children shared a board of warm pitta bread and gorgeous freshly made hummus, which they wolfed down. Jim enjoyed the game and pistachio terrine with apple and ale chutney and toasted brioche.
My scallops were absolutely delicious. They were perfectly cooked and served with the classic combination of pea purée, pancetta and black pudding.
The black pudding had been take up a notch by transforming it into a crunchy little croquette, and the addition of Seville orange purée was inspired.
The whole dish was sweet and succulent and savoury, and a very accomplished creation.
Other starters on the menu were a sweet potato, chilli and coconut soup, and a warm roasted squash salad with Cornish Yarg.
We all chose a roast for our main course; it was Sunday lunch after all. Jim and the children all opted for roast topside of beef and I had the tender and flavoursome roast venison haunch.
Children’s portions were well-sized, and ours were very generous. We all had a huge pillow of Yorkshire pudding and lashings of gravy – a red wine jus with the beef and juniper gravy with the venison.
Each plate came with herb and garlic roast potatoes and parsnips, and we were given a big bowl of vegetables to share: kale, baby carrots, cauliflower cheese, mashed swede and red cabbage. Everything was piping hot, really well cooked and perfectly seasoned.
Other options were slow roast belly pork with apple sauce, a vegetarian nut roast, cod fillet with crushed potatoes and a crab beurre blanc, fish and chips, and a ploughman’s lunch.
I was really impressed with the puddings. My raspberry and pistachio frangipane was warm and moist, and the sharpness of the berries and sweet orange sauce perfectly complemented the rich almond filling.
The lemon and raspberry posset was topped with the first of this year’s pretty pink rhubarb, and served with biscotti. Really smooth and delicious according to Jim.
Evie’s eyes lit up when her pretty dessert arrived. The melting chocolate fondant was served with berries and a butterscotch sauce, and a scoop of ice cream.
The pub was warm and comfortable, service was super friendly and efficient, and everything we ate was spot on. With three courses priced at £14.95 it was also exceptionally good value.
For those of you wanting to work up an appetite before lunch, or walk off your food in the afternoon, there is a good 4 mile circular route from the pub. The views from the coast path are stunning.
The map below shows the route: head west along the South West Coast Path, up to St Agnes Head, and then back along the road to The Driftwood Spars.
Thank you to Louise and Tabitha for inviting us to lunch, and for looking after us so well.
We were treated to lunch, but normally the Sunday lunch menu is priced at £9.95 for one course, £13.95 for two courses and £16.95 for three courses, and the children’s meals are £5.95. There was a £5 supplement for the scallop dish.
For more details about The Driftwood Spars please visit www.driftwoodspars.co.uk.
Phone: 01872 552428 or email: [email protected].
The Driftwood Spars, Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes, TR5 0RT.