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Posted on Mar 1, 2018 by

We couldn’t have picked a more perfect winter’s evening to head to Polkerris; the reflection of the breathtaking sunset turned the sea shades of pink and purple, and we had a window seat at Sam’s on the Beach from which to spectate.

The restaurant is housed in the old lifeboat station, with the conversion designed by Laurence Associates, and interior design by Emma Sixton. We loved the quirky feel of the place; it was warm and cosy on a February evening, but you could imagine in the summer, with the huge glass doors thrown open, that it would be a brilliant place to hang out, enjoying a drink or two while the children build sandcastles on the beach below.

The stacks of logs above the open plan kitchen were striking, but they had an important part to play, as lots of the cooking here is done in a custom built wood-fired oven. The restaurant has an extensive stonebaked sourdough pizza menu.

No pizza for us though – we were at Sam’s on the Beach to try out their Cornish Fish Fest menu, which runs each year from the second Saturday in January until 22 March. This regular winter promotion aims to raise awareness of sustainable fish and the amazing Cornish seafood we are lucky enough to have here.

Sam’s in the City is also running fish-themed menu. Its “Sharer Seafood Bonanza” is £100 for four people, and includes a feast of seafood (mussels, prawns, sardines, calamari), bouillabaisse (packed with mussels, squid, crevettes, red mullet, white fish and scallops, with rouille and croutons), Singapore crab claws, salad, fries and garlic bread, as well as a bottle of wine.

On Facebook, Sam’s in the City is currently running a competition to win a “Sharer Seafood Bonanza” for four people. Enter before 23 March for a chance to win > click here.

Back to our meal, and I started with a tasty deep-fried soft-shell crab, served with a simple salad and sweet chilli sauce.

Jim opted for mussels with a chunk of focaccia. The mussels were huge – plump and juicy – and the sauce was garlicky and lovely.

For mains, Jim chose the fritto misto from the Cornish Fish Fest menu. It was a huge portion of tempura fried cod, mullet, gurnard, and calamari, with tiger prawns and mussels, all sitting upon “Sam’s Super Salad”.

The roasted black sea bream I chose was fantastic. Again, it was a generous portion, and the fish was perfectly cooked (lovely crispy skin) and really well seasoned. The two fillets of fish sat upon sautéed new potatoes, with brown shrimp butter and tomato and basil oil. I ordered a side of green beans to go with this as I felt I needed to eat a few vitamins.

I was full at this point, but I couldn’t resist a slice of lemon meringue roulade. It was light and zingy, and just right. Although it didn’t need the dollop of clotted cream as there was plenty of cream within the meringue.

Across the restaurant we saw two children’s faces light up with delight as they received their “Beach Chocolate Bocca Sharer”. The huge sundae glass (it must have been over a foot high) was filled with ice cream, brownies, whipped cream, marshmallows, flakes, etc., and they attacked it with glee.

Jim opted for the smaller version…

All our food was really tasty – good quality ingredients, cooked simply, and served with a smile. This is the kind of place you could happily take your kids or grandparents – there’s something for everyone on the menu – and know that you’d all have a good time.

It’s a testament to Sam and Emma Sixton’s hard work that, on 21 March this year, Sam’s will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary, no doubt in true Sam’s style. The Sam’s brand is continually evolving (yet retains its core values of serving great food in the most welcoming of atmospheres) and is currently bigger and better than ever. Keep an eye out on social media for competitions and special events to mark the occasion.

For more information about Sam’s on the Beach, as well as the other Sam’s restaurants (Sam’s in the City in Truro, Sam’s in Fowey, and Sam’s Diner in Par), for menus or to book a table, visit

Disclaimer: We were guests of Sam and Emma Sixton, and were very well looked after by the lovely team at Sam’s on the Beach. Thank you for your generosity.

Photography credit: Barefoot

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