Think of Cornish fare and you can’t help but think of clotted cream and Cornish pasties. Or just pasties, as they’re known down in these parts. But freshly caught fish and seafood are also surely high on the list? In the interest of research, we sampled a few places during our recent stay in West Cornwall. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Here’s my suggestion of 10 places to eat and drink, in Mousehole and beyond.
This historic harbourside pub with rooms became our go-to hostelry during our stay in Mousehole. Serving up St Austell Brewery ales alongside a wide selection of other beers, wines and spirits, there’s also a good traditional pub grub menu. It’s a cosy little bolthole to wile away a wintery evening, with its original oak beams and crackling fire, and it looks particularly pretty at Christmas.
Open 12-10:30pm. Food served 12-2:30pm and 5pm-8:30pm. Dogs are allowed in the bar area.
Located in a prime position on the harbourfront, ‘Hole Foods Deli is a ground floor coffee shop and grocery store, with a cafe/restaurant located on the first floor above it. We visited on our first morning when we found ourselves with no tea-making supplies in our cottage; the coffee and toasted breakfast sandwiches were most welcome. We returned on our final night to sample the evening menu. I had the roasted duck leg with spiced lentils, whereas Mr Fletche chose the seafood paella. My only complaint? The young server wasn’t sure what a liqueur coffee was when we asked for one after our meal. I got a Baileys (sans coffee). Mr Fletche got a hot Jamesons with a spoonful of coffee. A different take on the usual post-meal beverage.
Deli open 8am-9pm; food served 8-11am for breakfast, 12:30-3pm for lunch and 5-9pm for dinner. Takeaway food also available.
Offering unobstructed stunning views across Mount’s Bay, Rock Pool Cafe became our go-to place for a late lunch or a decadent hot chocolate. It has a beautiful terrace but we preferred the cosiness of the interior of this cafe/cocktail bar/coffee shop/gift shop. The luxury hot chocolates are the star of the show (although Mr Fletche declared it “too chocolatey”) with a mound of chocolate shavings to stir into hot milk, and a Turkish Delight flavoured marshmallow.
Open 11am-5pm every day. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.
Widely recommended when looking for the perfect restaurant for our wedding anniversary meal – including a spot in the Michelin Guide – 2 Fore Street is a friendly and unpretentious bistro serving food all day. During the day the light floods in and there are views of the bobbing boats in the harbour, and yet it is cosy and inviting at night. Naturally the seafood is locally sourced and fresh from the day’s catch. The menu changes regularly, under the guidance of Raymond Blanc trained chef Joe Wardell.
The proprietors have also recently opened No 1 Millpool Deli/Stores, a deli and artisan grocery store in Mousehole – well worth a visit to pick up local produce and a foodie souvenir or two.
Open from 9am-10:30 for breakfast, 12-3pm for lunch and 5pm-9pm for dinner. Reservation recommended, telephone 01736 731164.
This is an inviting café and tea room, with plenty of chintz and vintage decor. Old battered suitcases as shelves? Check. Garishly patterned standard lamps? Check. Slogan cushions? Check. Glitter balls in the garden? Check, check, check. Oh, and an incredibly friendly singing host, who took time to check in on all her customers. We opted for a tapas-style lunch, with a few small dishes to share and everything was delicious.
Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-4pm. The Front Room is dog-friendly.
It might be Britain’s most southerly cafe but it’s definitely worth the trek. Just a short walk from The Lizard car park (National Trust, parking charges apply to non-members), Polpeor Cafe has a fantastic location atop the cliffs. There’s a lovely outdoor terrace if the weather allows, but we took shelter from the wind and rain inside. It’s not just a tourist trap for a captive audience – the food is delicious, good value and plentiful. Mr Fletche had jacket potato, spilling over with a tuna filling; I went for the Ploughman’s Lunch, with doorstop sized slabs of bread and cheese.
Opening times change seasonally; check Polpeor Cafe’s Facebook page for latest times. Dogs are welcome. And positively encouraged.
Godrevy is a 4 mile sandy beach, perfect for families and surfers alike, and above it runs a headland with walks out to Godrevy Point for spectacular lighthouse views. The Godrevy Beach Café (National Trust Car Park, but the café is independently run) provided a haven for us when the heavens opened on the way back from our lighthouse walk. It was an extremely welcome hot chocolate!
Open 10am-5pm every day.
There are plenty of fish and chip restaurants to choose from in beautiful St Ives, and the family-run Beach Restaurant does excellent well-priced food but in an elegant first-floor dining room with panoramic harbour views. Mr Fletche went for the classic haddock and chips; I opted for the lemon and herb tempura king prawns. There are local ales available too; I recommend the Meor IPA from St Ives Brewery.
Open 11:30-10pm every day. Dogs are welcome at The Beach Restaurant.
After a morning exploring St Michael’s Mount, we managed to sneak a table at Shutters just five minutes before breakfast service stopped. And we were glad we did. The relaxed and friendly bar/restaurant has stunning views over Mounts Bay and a superb choice of breakfast/brunch options. Mr Fletche chose the eggs benedict with smoked bacon; tempted as I was by the pancakes I was extremely happy with the bubble & squeak… just look at those onion rings!
Open 8am-11pm every day. Breakfast is served from 8am-11am. Shutters is dog-friendly.
There are few cafes with views as spectacular as this one, found within the grounds of the iconic open-air theatre. It’s a simple cafe, with simple fare, but worth stopping by for a quick cuppa to soak up the magic of the Minack.
Only available to visitors of the Minack, please check website for seasonal opening hours and for information on upcoming performances.
You can’t avoid the pasty when you’re in Cornwall. We picked a couple of Ann’s Pasties up from the Polpeor Cafe and one pasty was big enough for the two of us. You’ll find branches of Warrens in most towns; they claim to be Cornwall’s oldest Cornish pasty maker. Sadly we missed out on pasties from Auntie May’s in Newlyn, widely recommended as one of the best.
Cornwall has something for everyone when it comes to food and drink. And for spectacular views, you can’t beat some of the venues mentioned above. These are just a few of my favourite foodie spots and places to eat and drink in Mousehole and beyond.