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Exceptional places to dine in Cornwall

Give your taste buds a treat! Let me introduce you to some of the finer places to dine out in Cornwall, and share why each one is particularly unique.
If you are staying anywhere in Cornwall you cannot be more than a couple of hours leisurely drive from any of these exceptional restaurants. From pubs and cafés to restaurants oozing with history, each of these hand-picked restaurants will be an unforgettable epicurean experience.

The Victoria Inn at Perranuthnoe near Penzance is an upmarket gastropub in this pretty seaside village. The owner and chef, Stewart Eddy, served his time under Raymond Blanc and Michael Caines but it has not let it go to his head. Do not be deceived by the plain-sounding menu. Pork cheek bubble-and-squeak topped with a perfectly poached egg, crispy bacon and a soupçon of truffle oil is simply divine. Vegetarians are not castigated either, with wild mushroom and vegetable risotto or a chickpea and potato curry on offer. Reservations are recommended in the summer.

New Zealander, Jude Kereama, unleashes unique spicy, citrus influences onto Cornish seafood. Think turbot with mini crab cakes, freshly caught seafood platter French-style, or hake with prawn and green pea risotto. For carnivores he provides sirloin steak accompanied by a mini beef, ale and mushroom pie. His restaurant, Kota, is at the harbour head in Porthleven.

The Porthmeor Café in St Ives is an understated eaterie serving superb cuisine at very everyday prices. The chef from down under, Cameron Jennings, hails from Sydney. His tapas, homemade meatballs and Cajun squid are quite unique, and so too is the outdoor dining area. He has converted former beach huts into cosy nooks with blankets and heaters so you can dine outdoors in all weathers while listening to the pounding surf on Porthmeor Beach.

In a reciprocal move, Rick Stein spends most of his time in Australia, but his famous Seafood Restaurant lives on and continues to serve inspirational seafood. Enjoy Porthilly oysters and sushi at the seafood bar or take a table and enjoy one of the house specialties. The lovely stone and brick building is on the harbourside in Padstow.

Watergate Bay has two claims to fame – its exceptional surfing and Fifteen Restaurant, owned by Jamie Oliver. The mainly Italian-inspired dishes make the most of local Cornish produce such as the 35-day-aged South Devon ribeye which has outstanding flavour, so I’m told. All that and a stunning sea view as well. Book online in peak season.

Another great value recommendation is the Wheel House at Upton Slip in Falmouth. Run by husband-and-wife team Matt and Tina, its charming retro dining room with mismatched crockery sets the tone for informal dining with great food. Fresh mussels, scallops, crab and prawn dishes are served in Portuguese-style metal dishes. Add perfectly cooked chips, side salad and a generous glass of house white and you’re in heaven. Reservations are essential, and it has a cash-only policy to keep overheads down.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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