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Thinking of taking a trip to this well-known Cornish town? Enjoy a holiday filled with fresh seafood, fabulous fine dining and comforting pub grub. Whether you're looking for a relaxed, family-friendly restaurant, the perfect spot for a lavish cream tea or sensational plates for a special occasion, Padstow has it all.
Take your tastebuds on a trip with our top restaurant guides, local foodie tips and holiday hotspots in our travel section.
Paul Ainsworth at No 6
Hidden within the walls of this whitewashed Georgian townhouse on a back street is the town’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, No 6. Owned by Paul Ainsworth but spearheaded by head chef, John Walton – a local who honed his craft at Rick Stein’s nearby Seafood Restaurant – it is a veritable treat. Inspiration spans Asia – think aged soy-glazed duck – and Europe, even including an unlikely custard turnover with brandy plums, but the emphasis is firmly on Cornish produce. Pricey, but a perfect treat. Two-course lunch, £30, or mains from £35.
Prawn on the Lawn
The Cornish spin-off of Islington’s original Prawn on the Lawn, this restaurant continues to break the mould by combining a fishmonger with a restaurant – to great effect. Just a stone’s throw from Padstow’s quayside, this is a rustic operation where seafood lovers can enjoy impossibly fresh tapas-style dishes from a menu that changes with the tides, from hake to a whole lobster. It’s so relaxed, you can even bring your dog. But be sure to book first – it has just 24 covers. Small plates from £7.50, platters from £22.
Appletons at the Vineyard
Brunch, casual dining
Run by chef Andy Appleton (former head chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen) and his partner Lyndsey, and set within a working vineyard and winery, Trevibban Mill, Appletons is reminiscent of a refectory with its high ceilings and open kitchen, while huge windows frame rows of vines and Cornish hills. Sunday brunch is a real crowd-pleaser, from mac ’n’ cheese bites to peanut butter waffles, while lunch and dinner is a more serious affair – think squid ink linguine. Andy’s passion for Italian food is also evident, not least in the alcoholic Venetian dessert, Sgroppino, which packs a punch. Mains from £19.
Tucked away in a 17th-century mill on the historic Saint’s Way five minutes’ drive from Padstow, this unlikely hidden gem has been shortlisted at the British Curry Awards. English chef, Steve Lloyd draws on his extensive travels in the Far East to produce a tantalising range of Indian and Balti dishes, as well as Thai, Chinese and Pan Asian food. The decor is unremarkable, with red table cloths under low beams flanked by thick Cornish walls, but the food is noteworthy. Book ahead. Mains from £18 (including rice).
Ben’s Crib Box Cafe
Brunch, cheap eats, kid-friendly
This recently refurbished café, housed in a homely wooden chalet, perches on Padstow’s South Quay with views across the harbour. It is a hugely popular morning haunt, serving everything from a fittingly named ‘big breakfast’ to an endless variation of eggs, beans and cheese on toast, while its baps – including one stuffed with hog’s pudding (a Haggis-style sausage) – are served until closing at 2pm, along with burgers and omelettes. Dishes from £2.50.
Rest a While Tea Garden
Cream teas, cheap eats, kid-friendly
Find this pocket-sized tea garden tucked away behind a coastguard cottage on the coastal path near Hawker’s Cove, a two-mile stroll from Padstow. It offers a perfect place to refuel and drink in the views over the Camel Estuary. You can access it via the beach if you get the tides right. Arguably most famous for its warm scones and mouth-watering cakes, guests can also choose quiches, pies and soups, while its crab sandwiches are legendary. Open again in time for Easter 2019. Dishes from £5.
Brunch, casual dining
Located at a garden centre, smart but relaxed Trevisker’s is the brainchild of South African chef, Henk de Villiers Ferreira. The product of a cattle-farming grandfather, de Villiers Ferreira is an expert in the art of butchery and the science of beef ageing. Teamed with his top secret recipe for ‘very nice chips’, either his lunchtime fillet steak open sandwich or his evening aged fillet of beef will deliver. There’s plenty of fresh fish on the menu too. His sticky toffee pudding won the 2018 RNLI Annual Sticky Toffee Pudding Competition. Dishes from £4.95.
Rojano’s in the Square
Casual dining, kid-friendly
Another Paul Ainsworth gem, this is much easier on the pocket than No 6, and showcases some excellent cuisine. Food here is Mediterranean, combining Cornish and British produce with artisanal Italian suppliers, from excellent pizzas to inspired pastas – think tagliatelle carbonara with pork meatballs. Sit outside and watch tourists bustle by, or cosy up inside where the walls are hung with Vespa art. Mains from £9.50.
The Seafood Restaurant
Rick Stein might have divided opinion locally but only the churlish (or crabby, even) would deny the enduring success of his handsome flagship The Seafood Restaurant, which occupies pride of place on Padstow’s harbourside. Crisp white tablecloths reflect the light flooding through the glass frontage, while a centrepiece seafood bar sees chefs assembling platters of oysters as guests sip champagne. If fish is your bag and you want to indulge, this is the place. From Indonesian seafood curry to Padstow lobster, it won’t disappoint. Mains from £18.
The Ivy House
Set in a beautiful Cornish farmhouse in St Merryn, two miles inland from Padstow, is the quirky family-run Ivy House – think Cornish cottage crossed with an Asian vibe, with a liberal smattering of the 1970s thrown in for good measure. The array of delicious homemade food includes crab tart and pan-fried duck breast, while returning visitors will also leave room for the exquisite crème brûlée. If the stars align, owner Annabel might even tinkle the ivories as you sip coffee on the terrace. Mains from £14.95. To book, call 01841 520623.
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