Eating & Beaching Cornwall’s Northern Coast

We loved our trip to Cornwall last year, but having split time between St. Ives and Padstow last year, and some dubious weather, meant we didn’t get to see as much of Padstow as we’d have liked. It’s an excellent base if beaches and fine food is your thing, so, this year, we rented a house and stayed a full week.

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Cornwall is rightly known for its food and we spent a lot of time researching where to go, but Padstow is more than just Rick Stein. We decided to rent a house in town to be able to walk to pubs and restaurants and made a lot of reservations. Having grandma with us even allowed us to sneak in a few date nights.

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We hit up Rojanos again, which I wrote about last time, on our first night which was as good as before, but we also managed to get a res at Paul Ainsworth Michelin starred place, No. 6. It was all a bit OTT for me, but was a lovely experience.

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The beaches around Padstow are great and following the coastal path along from the ferry terminal, and St Saviours Point, brings you to the nearest beach. It’s a little rocky and the descent a little tricky, but worth it at the end.

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Refreshments at Greens after a day at the beach are always welcome with lovely views across the room bar.

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The beach over at Rock is also lovely and is popular with dogs – the ferry ride to get there is fun too. We had a good day there bucket and spading, before having an early dinner at The Mariners – a concept gastro pub set up by Nathan Outlaw and Sharps brewery.

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Back in town we checked out Stein’s Fish & Chips for lunch – which grandma said was the best she’s ever had – and Stein’s Cafe where we nabbed a seat in the garden. Both were very good and kid friendly.

Our favourite meal of the week was at Barnaby’s: a small resto with warm service that took pleasure in helping us celebrate our fifth anniversary. Truffle and lardon wagyu burgers, and duck with cherries with some Cornish Rose helped us celebrate in style.

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Speaking of which… Cornwall, believe it or not, is home to some pretty excellent wine producers with bubbles, wine and rose being the specialities. We had to check them out.

We parlayed a truly incredible brunch at Appleton’s at the Vineyard into some tasting at Trevibban Mill as they share the same site. Only about a five minute drive from Padstow this is highly recommended, particularly on sunny days.

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Slightly further (about 30 mins) is the Camel Valley winery that produces award winning British “champagne”. If you’ve ever had a glass of champagne on British Airways, it’s theirs. Top stuff and they do lots of tours to tell you about it all.

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On our way back we enjoyed a bit of pop-up food at Craftworks, that also have some great views back towards Camel Estuary. Top stuff.

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Keen on a change of beach scene and to scout for another time, we went on a tour focussing on beach towns. The north Cornwall beaches are mostly sandy, but have surfers breaks. We started out visiting Port Isaac.

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Famed for Nathan Outlaw’s two-star restaurant we didn’t think much of the place. We took a walk along the coastal path and swiftly headed for Polzeath – we wouldn’t go back.

The beach at Polzeath is vast and C had a lot of fun playing in a little stream. It’s got lots of bodyboarding and surfing activities for older kids and a bit of a town, so could be a good future base. On a good day you walk all the way to Rock along the cliffs or beach (at low tide).

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We also visited Trevone Bay, Harlyn Bay and Constantine Bay on the Padstow side of the Camel Estuary. Each beach was bigger than the next and Constantine was our favourite.

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Lastly, back in town we walked the coastal path away from the beaches, upstream of the Camel Estuary towards Wadebridge. It’s a pleasant walk and you can rent bikes which we’ll definitely do next time.

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A superb trip, all in all, and we’re getting to the point where it’s going to be an annual thing.

Until next time…

-MKC

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