A Local’s Guide To… Cornwall

With staycations firmly on the agenda this summer, Cornwall is set to be busy. If you’re planning to head there yourself, and fancy some recommendations, who better to share their top spots than award-winning chef Emily Scott? Having lived in Port Isaac for the past 20 years, she’s appeared on the Great British Menu, won a string of awards, and worked with some of the most stylish restaurants in the South West. Plus, this spring, she’s set to start a new residency at Watergate Bay Hotel and release her debut cookbook. Here, she shares some of her favourites…

RESTAURANTS

Rick Stein Restaurants, Padstow 

You can’t go to Cornwall without visiting one of Rick and Jill Stein’s iconic restaurants, which run the gamut from one end of the price scale to the other. There's the Stein Fish & Chips outpost which overlooks the Camel Estuary, or the café offering family-friendly dishes at a decent price. But if you're after a really special treat, then the flagship site The Seafood Restaurant is hard to beat. Expect wonderful seafood dishes like lobster risotto and Cornish crab.

Visit RickStein.com

Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac

I sold this beautiful restaurant to Nathan Outlaw in 2013 so it’s in very good hands. Located in Middle Street in Port Isaac, the team at Outlaw’s serve delicious small plates of seafood. Plus, the restaurant is on the edge of the harbour, so you’re guaranteed a great view while you eat. With one Michelin star, it’s one of the best restaurants in town.

Visit Outlaws.co.u

 

BETH DRUCE
My beautiful seaside restaurant will be reopening this spring with a selection of simple seafood and plant-based dishes. We had a wonderful time last summer so I can’t wait to return with my team this year. 

Emily Scott Food At The Watergate Bay Hotel, Newquay

My beautiful seaside restaurant will be reopening this spring with a selection of simple seafood and plant-based dishes. We had a wonderful time last summer so I can’t wait to return with my team this year. Our ethos is all about creating beautiful, fuss-free food. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve all been shown we need to find a gentler way of living and find ways to connect with people, and I hope Emily Scott Food does that. The menu will feature roasted scallops, Cornish crab with brown butter hollandaise, hake with pickled samphire, and a simple fig tart. 

Visit EmilyScottfood.com

Prawn On The Lawn, Padstow

Prawn on the Lawn is one of my favourite restaurants. Set in the heart of Padstow, it has a wonderful atmosphere and there’s always something delicious on the menu. It’s very popular, especially during the summer months, so advance booking is a must.

Visit PrawnOnTheLawn.com

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve all been shown we need to find a gentler way of living and find ways to connect with people, and I hope Emily Scott Food does that.

Fitzroy, Fowey

One of the best restaurants in Fowey, Fitzroy is not to be missed if you’re in the south of Cornwall. It’s a quintessentially British establishment with a deep-rooted local and sustainable philosophy. An evening here always feels fun and stylish, and they’re extensive natural wine list is great.

Visit FitzroyCornwall.com

PUBS & BARS

JAMES RAM

St Tudy Inn, St Tudy 

I might be biased, but St Tudy Inn is a beautiful Cornish pub with rooms. St Tudy is a small village in north Cornwall and is a great choice if you want to explore the countryside. I’ve owned it for the last six years and most days, you’ll find me in the kitchen creating beautiful, seasonal food and serving local ales. The menu is small and considered, and we source the finest local produce and cook instinctively following the ebb and the flow of each season. Expect local meat, fish and seafood from Cornish waters on the menu, as well as pies, galettes and tarts.

Visit StTudyInn.com

The Gurnards’ Head, Zennor 

The Gurnards’ Head is a lovely pub with rooms located between St Ives and St Just. Inside the distinctive yellow building, you can escape city life to simply eat, drink and sleep. Their seasonal menu changes every day so there’s always something fresh on the menu – a two-course supper here is the ultimate treat. It’s always very popular, so booking well in advance is key. 

Visit GurnardsHead.co.uk

The Old Coastguard, Penzance

This seaside pub with rooms is located in the fishing village of Mousehole. They have a great wine and beer list, and their food is delicious. If you want great fish and chips, this is the place to go.

Visit OldCoastguardHotel.co.uk

The Gurnards’ Head
Ruby's Bar

Ruby’s Bar, Padstow

Another establishment owned by the Steins, Ruby’s Bar is wonderful spot for a laidback evening. Stylish and cosy, they have a great selection of wine, local beer, and boutique gin. For a tasty cocktail, I highly recommend their stormy, Ceylon negroni or campari fizz. I love going here for a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap. 

Visit RickStein.com

Bin Two, Padstow

This is one of the best wine bars in Padstow. They have a wine shop on site, and the staff are super helpful. Whether you want to find great English wine, or simply stop by for a glass or two, Bin Two is a lovely spot.

Visit BinTwo.com

WHERE TO STAY

The Pig At Harlyn Bay

The Pig At Harlyn Bay, Padstow

When you’re in Padstow, staying at The Pig is a must. I always have a lovely time here and appreciate all the small details. The rooms are gorgeous, the food is great, and the location is ideal for a relaxed weekend away. The building itself dates back to the 15th century and the area is steeped in history, so there’s plenty to learn about. 

Visit ThePigHotel.com

When you’re in Padstow, staying at The Pig is a must. I always have a lovely time here and appreciate all the small details.

Hotel Tresanton 

Hotel Tresanton is a wonderfully romantic spot on the edge of St Mawes. Staying here really feels like going on holiday where you can escape everyday life – it’s pure magic on the south coast of Cornwall. The generous rooms are simple yet stylish, and the views overlooking the water are very special. Make sure you spend a day on the water aboard Piniccuia, the hotel's beautiful yacht, to sail around Falmouth Bay and the River Fal.

Visit Tresanton.com 

Ropehawn, Fowey

For something a little more secluded, Ropehawn in Fowey is a beautiful house tucked away on the water’s edge. With four large bedrooms, it’s my go-to place for group trips. The property is only accessible by boat or on foot, so it feels totally secluded. Inside, the rooms are bright and airy, and the interiors are so chic. Guests should make the most of the beautiful wild swimming waters, great walking routes and mackerel fishing spots. It’s total escapism. 

Visit Boutique-Retreats.co.uk

For something a little more secluded, Ropehawn in Fowey is a beautiful house tucked away on the water’s edge.

Watergate Bay Hotel, Newquay

This hotel is so close to the sea you can watch the surfers from the pool. The Bay is a very special place to me – not only because my restaurant is here – but because the location is beautiful, and the atmosphere is so relaxed. Here, everything is about getting the balance right – eating well, drinking well, feeling rested, and having a good time.

Visit WatergateBay.co.uk

Harlyn Beach House, Padstow

Harlyn Beach House in Padstow sits 200m above the beautiful sandy beaches of Harlyn Bay with uninterrupted sea views and a private footpath to the beach. It is a perfect place for a family holiday or romantic getaway. 

Visit HarlynBeachHouse.co.uk

SHOPS

Willow & Stone

Busby & Fox, Truro

This boutique shops stocks stylish clothing, accessories and homeware. They have a wonderful selection of womenswear – their denim is especially good.

Visit BusbyandFox.com

Botanical Atelier, Falmouth

Located on Arwenack Street in Falmouth, Botanical Atelier stocks lovely illustration supplies, books, jewellery, and homeware. You’re bound to find inspiration in this lovely shop.

Visit BotanicalAtelier.co.uk

The Garden Gate Flower Company, Lostwithiel

Located in the small town of Lostwithiel, The Garden Gate Flower Company create the most beautiful floral arrangements. I’m lucky enough to collaborate with its founder Becca for my restaurants and her eye for detail is second to none. It’s my go-to place for flowers in Cornwall.

Visit TheGardenGateFlowerCompany.co.uk

 

Located in the small town of Lostwithiel, The Garden Gate Flower Company create the most beautiful floral arrangements...It’s my go-to place for flowers in Cornwall.

Willow & Stone, Falmouth

For unique homeware, head to Willow & Stone in Falmouth. I always lose time in this shop thanks to its great offering. Whether you’re looking for unique doorknobs or antique fixtures, there’s something special on every shelf.

Visit WillowAndStone.co.uk

Molesworth & Bird, Bodmin

I collaborated with Julia and Melanie at Molesworth & Bird to create some beautiful botanical prints at my seaside restaurant, so they come highly recommended! As well as their signature hand-pressed prints, they also sell beautiful calendars, greeting cards and homeware.

Visit MolesworthAndBird.com

THINGS TO DO

Kurt Jackson Gallery, St Just 

I’m a huge fan of Kurt Jackson’s work – he’s a total inspiration. His gallery is a great place to spend a few hours where you’ll find a range of art. 

Visit JacksonFoundationGallery.com

George’s Surf School, Polzeath 

If you want to improve your surf and hit the waves, George’s Surf School in Polzeath is one of the best surfing schools in Cornwall. You can book private lessons or group courses where the instructors will show you ropes. They also have a school at Harlyn Bay, too.

Visit GeorgesSurfschool.com

The National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow

The National Lobster Hatchery is a marine conservation charity in Padstow. You can adopt your own lobster, and donate to the charity, or simply learn about the sustainable fishing practises in the area. It might sound niche, but it’s a lovely afternoon out.

Visit NationalLobsterHatchery.co.uk

Cliffside Gallery, Port Isaac 

Established up by artist Katie Child, Cliffside Gallery was set up in the late 90s. Open all year round, the walls display an ever-changing exhibition of her work. 

Visit CliffsideGallery.com

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno 

The Minack is a unique open-air theatre perched on the cliffs high above the sea. Built by an extraordinary woman, Rowena Cade, it’s an amazing place to visit. During normal times, they put on a range of summer shows and outdoor exhibitions. When in Cornwall, taking a picture here is a must.

Visit Minack.com

Daymer Beach

There are hundreds of beautiful beaches in Cornwall, but Daymer Beach is my favourite. I’m lucky enough to walk there most days with my dog. Being by the sea really inspires me in the kitchen – the changing seasons are breathtakingly beautiful. At low tide, you get long stretches of golden sand and a vast shoreline with pretty views across the Camel Estuary. 

 

 

Emily Scott’s debut cookbook Sea & Shore: Recipes and Stories from a Kitchen in Cornwall will be published by Hardie Grant Books on 10th June 2021. 

Visit EmilyScottFood.com and follow @EmilyScottFood

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