THE FOODIE DIARY: JAN/FEB 2020
Happy new year! We’re back with our latest edition of the county’s tastiest food news.
Cornwall’s culinary scene may seem a little depleted at the moment; January is traditionally the time when many restaurants close for their annual break, or take the opportunity to redecorate. Big thanks to those establishments which are staying open through the quieter times – I hope your hard work is rewarded and you are super busy!
By the time February half term arrives, everywhere should be back up and running, with several exciting new openings planned for spring. Read on to find out more, or scroll down for diary dates.
DRY JANUARY INSPIRATION
For those of you valiantly abstaining for Dry January, check out Pentire Drinks’ fantastic mocktail recipes, all of which incorporate Pentire Adrift, a non-alcoholic spirit made with Cornish coastal botanicals.
The recipes were developed by award-winning cocktail creator Jack Bevan, and range from a classic Pentire and Tonic to an Oatly Pentire Aperitif. We particularly like the Pine Spritz (pictured above), which incorporates Pentire Adrift, soda water, and a special sugar syrup infused with pine, bay, nettle and rosemary.
A 70cl bottle of Pentire Adrift is priced at £26.80, including next-day delivery. Pentire is currently offering new subscribers a 20% discount on their first order – see pentiredrinks.com.
THE ETHICUREAN TO OPEN AT TREVIBBAN MILL
The 80 cover restaurant will “champion vegetable-led cooking, whilst supporting Cornish fishmongers and pasture-rearing farms local to the vineyard, to create enticing daytime menus and refined evening tasting menus”. Dishes will be paired with Trevibban Mill’s own wines, and wine tasting and guided tours of the vineyard and winery will also be available.
The Ethicurean Cornwall is due to open mid-March. For more information, visit theethicurean.com/the-ethicurean-cornwall.
APPLETON’S MOVES TO FOWEY
Following their successful crowdfunding campaign, Andy and Lyndsey Appleton are one step closer to opening their beautiful new Fowey restaurant.
Housed in what was formerly The Globe, Appleton’s will open on 1 March. The restaurant will continue to serve Andy’s legendary handmade pasta, alongside other Cornish-Italian inspired dishes.
Appleton’s will be open from Monday to Saturday for morning coffees and pastries, light breakfasts, lunch and dinner. Sundays will see the return of their brilliant brunches.
For more information or to book a table, visit appletonsrestaurant.com.
PAUL AINSWORTH LAUNCHES CAFFÈ ROJANO, PADSTOW
Paul and Emma Ainsworth have recently acquired the freehold of the Padstow restaurant which they have been running as Rojano’s in the Square for the past nine years. The restaurant will be re-launched as Caffè Rojano on 10 February, having undergone a refurb.
The new-look menu will feature more sharing plates, and is inspired by New York’s café culture and Italian food scene. Don’t worry though, Rojano’s popular sourdough pizzas will still be available, as well as other Rojano’s favourites arancini and Whoopsey Splunkers (pictured above).
Caffè Rojano will be open all day every day from breakfast through to dinner, with a special brunch menu on Sundays.
SUPER FRESH FOOD AT SABZI, TRURO
Kate Attlee opened Sabzi in Truro at the start of December. The gorgeous little takeaway/deli/café (on Walsingham Place, near Mallett’s) serves Persian-inspired food which is beautiful, vibrant, delicious AND healthy.
There is a selection of salads and dahl each day, available to take away (or eat in if you are lucky enough to grab a table), along with cake, Da Bara pastries, and Rising Ground coffee.
Sabzi has a strong environmental and ethical ethos; no single use plastics are used and all takeaway packaging is compostable. Worth a visit when you’re next in Truro. For more information follow @sabzideli on Instagram.
THE DECK RESTAURANT TO OPEN AT THE HEADLAND
The Headland’s third restaurant, The Deck, will open in April as part of the hotel’s brand new Aqua Club.
The Mediterranean restaurant will sit in the centre of the new £10m development, which comprises five swimming pools, including an outdoor infinity pool, a hydrotherapy pool, and a fitness pool.
The Deck promises “versatile dining”, offering light bites, hearty dishes to refuel after a swimming session, and evening dining in a beautiful poolside setting. For more information see headlandhotel.co.uk/swim/aqua-club.
MICHAEL CAINES TAKES OVER AT THE COVE
Renowned chef, Michael Caines has taken over The Cove at Maenporth, near Falmouth. Michael held two Michelin stars at Gidleigh Park for 18 years, and was awarded a Michelin star at Lympstone Park just six months after it opened.
The Cove will re-open in March under Michael’s ownership, after a light refurb, and will offer a “relaxed and informal approach to dining”. The restaurant will be open for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner, with both a brasserie-style à la carte menu, and a tasting menu featuring some of Michael’s signature dishes.
THE PIG AT HARLYN OPENS IN APRIL
The Pig opens its newest hotel at Harlyn Bay on Tuesday 28 April. There are beautiful bedrooms in both the historic manor house and courtyard buildings, and there are also four shepherds’ huts in the grounds.
The restaurant will feature a 25 mile menu, and much of the produce will be grown in the hotel’s own kitchen garden.
Booking highly recommended – we can’t wait to visit! See thepighotel.com/at-harlyn-bay/ for more information and to make a reservation.
NEW COLLABORATION AT THE OLD FORGE, LELANT
Scarlet Wines of Lelant and Antoninis of Hayle have announced that they will combine forces to bring their two businesses together under one roof at The Old Forge in Lelant.
In addition to running popular Italian restaurant, Antoninis in Hayle, Becky and Mike Antonini are taking over the café and deli at The Old Forge – the home of Scarlet Wines – which they will run alongside a wine and spirits store operated by Scarlet Wine’s team.
NEW RESTAURANT AT 27 THE TERRACE, ST IVES
Following the closure of Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in Marazion last year, Ben Prior is teaming up with Porthminster Beach Café’s Mick Smith for his next venture. The pair will be opening a new restaurant at the boutique B&B 27 The Terrace in St Ives. It is due to open at the end of February.
ELECTRIC BAKERY, BUDE
Electric Bakery was opened by Alex Bluett in Bude in November, and though we haven’t visited yet, we’ve heard great things about it.
As well as selling their homemade artisan sourdough and pastries, the bakery café is open for breakfast and lunch, coffee and pastries, Wednesday to Sunday. The menu above gives an indication of the delicious-sounding food on offer. Look out for special “Electric Nights” too – see website for further information.
KOBER OPENS ON HAYLE EAST QUAY
Kober is a new venue on East Quay in Hayle, and is a joint venture between Rupert Cooper of Philleigh Way Cookery School, and Jamie Tonkin of Old Chapel Wines in Truro.
Initially Kober will be opening for pop-up nights, focussing on good food and fine wine, with guest chefs and wine tastings. The first two events take place on 7 February (sold out) and 6 March (tickets on sale early Feb).
BEN AMBRIDGE TAKES OVER THE FOX’S REVENGE
Fifteen graduate and ex head chef of The Longstore, Ben Ambridge and his partner Eve have announced that they are taking on The Fox’s Revenge near Summercourt.
Ben’s cooking is bold, flavoursome and generous, so expect some delicious pub grub. We imagine there’ll be a rather special Sunday roast on the menu too.
The Fox’s Revenge is due to open for dinner on Friday 14 February; keep an eye on social media for menus and more information.
TREVETHAN AND HELIGAN PRODUCE NEW “LOST GARDEN RUM”
Trevethan Gin is launching its new rum – Lost Garden Rum – on 3 February. The rum is the result of an interesting collaboration between Trevethan Distillery and The Lost Gardens of Heligan:
“The first batch of this Caribbean style rum has been authentically crafted using sugar cane molasses fermented here in Cornwall and then distilled using traditional copper alembic stills. Cornish virgin charred oak, that has been soaked in Heligan’s Black Bee Honey and Pedro Ximinez sherry is added to the distilled rum to age for five weeks. The final infusion of flavour comes from adding the juice of the Cornish grown Heligan pineapples.”
Just 200 bottles of the rum will be made in the initial batch, and they will be available exclusively from The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Trevethan Distillery, priced at £49.95 per botte.
FITZROY OPENS SEAFOOD SHED
Just nine months after opening Fitzroy, the team behind the Fowey restaurant (as well as Primeur, Westerns Laundry and Jolene in London) is opening a second venue in the town. Seafood Shed opens at 55 North Street, Fowey on 14 March.
THE TAPROOM OPENS IN ROCK
Popular pub, The Taphouse in St Agnes, is taking on a new venue in Rock. The Taproom will be located at No 1 Rock Road, and promises “great service, drink, food and music”. Due to open in late March.
Saturday 18 January Pizza Night at Electric Bakery
Italian guest chef Marco Sbarra joins the team in Bude for an evening of sourdough pizzas. 5pm-9pm, no reservations, BYO.
Friday 24 January Vegan Fire & Feast at Bedruthan
Bedruthan’s first vegan evening. This plant-based feast of heart-warming dishes concludes with guests gathered by the fire. £42pp.
Saturday 25 January Burns Night at The Old Garage
Rupert Cooper of Philleigh Way will be providing a traditional five course Burns Night feast, with matching wines, at The Old Garage on The Roseland. £40pp + booking fee.
Thursday 30 January Stein’s charity dinner in aid of Trevone Hall
A fundraising evening at The Cornish Arms, with the three course meal kindly provided by Stein’s to raise money for the Trevone Hall Building Fund. £17pp.
Sat 31 Jan to Sun 2 Feb MasterChef professionals at Carbis Bay Hotel
MasterChef: The Professionals winner Stu Deeley and fellow finalists Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga and Olivia Burt will be cooking lunch and dinner during their weekend at Carbis Bay. 4-course lunch £65, 6-course dinner £130.
Saturday 1 February Mexican Night at The Old Garage
El Huichol will be cooking a Mexican feast, with wine pairing by The Old Garage. £30pp for three courses and three matching wines.
Monday 3 February Wine tasting at Saltbox
Monthly wine tasting at The Bar at Saltbox. Free to attend, twelve wines to try. From 4pm.
Friday 7 February Middle Eastern Night at The Beach Hut
A long-table three-course mezze feast with live music and a fire pit on the beach. £35pp with optional wine flight for an additional £15.
Saturday 8 February Winter Feast at Nancarrow
The first feast of the year at lovely Nancarrow Farm. Dinner bed and breakfast packages available for £200 for two people.
Sunday 9 February Blind wine tasting at Saltbox
Eight wines and a quiz at this blind tasting to test your taste buds, £20pp.
Sunday 16 February Taste of Tarquin’s at The Scarlet
A distillery tour at Southwestern Distillery, followed by a three course dinner at The Scarlet. £110pp, including a bottle of gin to take home.
Saturday 22 February Curry Night at Harbour Brewing Co.
A selection of fresh beers on tap, as well as a range of cans and bottles, to enjoy along with a freshly cooked curry from Hungry Horsebox Co.. No booking necessary.
Sunday 23 February Brunch at Padstow Kitchen Garden
A two course polytunnel brunch featuring delicious home-grown produce cooked on the Big Green Egg and OFYR firepit, including a “Full Padstow Breakfast”. £16pp, arrive any time between 10am and noon.
Sun 23 to Tues 25 February Pancake (Three) Day at Emily’s
Famous for its super fluffy American-style pancakes, Emily’s in Truro is stretching Shrove Tuesday into a three day affair, and launching new pancake flavours too. On Pancake Day itself the café will be open until 6pm, and will be serving pancakes all day.
Wednesday 26 February Dinner with Alex Polizzi at Hotel Tresanton
Alex Polizzi will be hosting a dinner at her hotel in St Mawes. £85 including arrival drinks, canapés, three course dinner and coffee.
Thursday 27 February Tea Masterclass at Tregothnan
A masterclass for tea lovers, including a tour of Tregothnan’s tea plantation and herbal tea gardens, lunch and a cream tea. Guests will also learn about the history of tea, tea production, and how to brew the perfect cuppa. £145pp. Other dates available.
Thursday 27 February Beer & Food Tasting with Jack Stein and Laura Hicks
A tasting evening hosted by Jack Stein and Laura Hicks from St Austell Brewery, with tasters of dishes created by Jack, all matched with St Austell Brewery’s most-celebrated Cornish beers. £20pp.
Saturday 29 February World Pasty Championships
The Eden Project hosts the World Pasty Championships, with classes open to everyone, from children to professional bakers. There’ll also be live music and entertainment.
Saturday 29 February Taste of Japan at Truro School Cookery
A new course inspired by chef Manuel’s time spent in Japan. Guests will cook four dishes to take home for a ready-made dinner party. £80pp includes all ingredients and lunch, as well as a meal for four and bottle of wine to take home.
Sunday 1 March – Prawn on the Lawn pop-up at Padstow Kitchen Garden
Padstow Kitchen Garden was one of Fifteen Cornwall’s suppliers, and they lost a lot of money when the restaurant closed. Prawn on the Lawn is popping up in one of PKG’s polytunnels to raise money to support the farm. BinTwo are doing the drinks, and Jack Bristow is helping Ross Geach with the cooking. Tickets are £75pp, expect lots of good food, drink and laughter. **SOLD OUT**
Fri 6 to Sun 8 March Spring Gourmet Weekend at Budock Vean
A luxurious two night break, including five course gourmet dinners (with wine) each night, full Cornish breakfasts, unlimited use of golf course and leisure facilities, from £224pp.
Saturday 7 March Charity Wine Dinner at The Headland
Five course wine tasting dinner in aid of the Cornwall Community Foundation. £75pp including Champagne and canapés, five courses with paired wines and tutored tastings, coffee and petits fours. All proceeds going to the charity. **SOLD OUT**
Saturday 7 March Spring Feast at Nancarrow Farm
The menu features Nancarrow’s organic prime beef. £40 pp.
Thurs 26 to Sun 29 March Fal Oyster Gathering
Celebrating ten years of Fal Oyster’s pop up gatherings, this is a long weekend gathering at the Old Ale House Truro.
St Petroc’s Bistro in Padstow is holding charity lunches, to support those affected by the Australian bushfires, from 24 February to 8 March. The three course meal is priced at £15.95, plus a £2 donation to the “Treading Lightly” charity. For more details, see here.
It was sad to hear the news that Fifteen Cornwall closed so suddenly in December. Our thoughts go out to the restaurant staff, apprentices and suppliers, staff at the Cornwall Food Foundation, and all the others affected by the abrupt closure so close to Christmas.
We were also disappointed to hear about The Old Custom House closing in St Ives in December. Good luck to Steve and Haley for their next venture. Keep an eye on their Instagram account @cucinapovera_ to find out where you will next be able to enjoy Steve’s brilliant Italian-influenced cooking.
Guy Owen has moved from The Idle Rocks to St Enodoc Hotel, where he will take on the role of executive chef. The hotel is currently undergoing a refurb; St Enodoc’s Brasserie will be the first of the hotel’s restaurants to open in early February. There will also be an intimate fine dining restaurant with just twenty covers.
Dorian Janmaat will take over as head chef at The Idle Rocks when the hotel reopens in February after a winter refurbishment. Dorian, who is originally from Penzance, has been working at the two Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons for eight years, where he was head chef for the last three years.
Rick Stein has plenty of special offers running across his Cornish restaurants this winter. These include: moules frites and a glass of wine for £14.95 at Rick Stein, Falmouth; fish and chips with a cup of tea for £7.95 at Stein’s Fish & Chips, Padstow; and three course charity lunches in aid of Cornwall Air Ambulance at The Seafood Restaurant for £22.50. See the offers page on his website for full details.
Cornwall Council is currently advertising its pop-up locations, many of which are suitable for food and drink trucks. If you are interested in tendering for a site (which include car parks and beaches) then see here for full details. Tenders need to be submitted by midday on Wednesday 29 January.
Until 25 January, The Gurnard’s Head is running its annual “Lunch for a Fiver” offer, which also extends to the new The Vault Kitchen in Penzance this year. For full details see here.
Amazing news for Cornwall Air Ambulance – Paul Ainsworth’s epic fundraising event at Corinthia raised over £125k for the New Heli Appeal. It looked like a fabulous evening, and the charity’s target of £2.5m is in sight.
She Sells in Mevagissey has expanded and now has seating over two floors, seating 55-60 people. The popular crêperie, run by Rose and her French husband Mikou, serves traditional galettes and crêpes, as well as coffee, cakes, milkshakes and pastries, and is open seven days a week, all year round.
Rick Stein and Jill Stein’s St Petroc’s Bistro in Padstow has raised an impressive £5,500 for Truro based homelessness charity, St Petrocs through charity lunches over the winter.
The Top 50 Gastropubs 2020 were announced on 27 January, and Paul Ainsworth’s The Mariners in Rock was placed in 23rd position and awarded the title of Best Newcomer. Cornwall’s only other listed pub, Emily Scott’s St Tudy Inn, has been recognised by the awards since 2016, and is placed 33rd this year.
Padstow Wine Company is due to open its new premises in Duke Street in Padstow in April, which will be run in addition to The Bar at Saltbox in Wadebridge. PWC is recruiting for both full and part time staff – for more details see here.
The Mussel Shoal in Porthleven, which serves moules frîtes from its harbourside café kiosk, is launching its new Pontoon Dining in March. Up to 25 diners will be taken to the floating pontoon by water taxi, where they will enjoy a four course fish or vegan menu and glass of wine for £50pp. There are six dates already on their website – to book see musselshoals.co.uk.
Ross Geach of Padstow Kitchen Garden has some exciting events in the pipeline, including “Pork, Cure, Smoke & Grill” with Steve Lamb from River Cottage teaching all things pork, and “Catch & Cook”, which includes a morning on a boat, then back to the farm in the afternoon to learn how to fillet and grill your catch. Sign up to email newsletters (at bottom of website) to be the first to find out more information.
Mark Devonshire and David Vazda have launched Dish Cornwall, which offers catering for anything from weddings and parties, to boardroom meetings and dinner parties. See https://www.dishcornwall.co.uk/ for more details.
Mobile pizza business Slice Pizza is opening a new shop in St Austell. Keep an eye on their Instagram page for up to date information.
Emily’s in Truro has the city’s first (and only) Rodda’s milk refill point. Customers can bring their own container to refill, or buy a glass bottle from the café shop. Milk is priced at just 50 pence per half litre.