Possibly one of my favourite places, Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula isn’t the easiest to get to, especially for Midlanders, but if you’re into your food and drink it’s well worth the journey. We’ve been a few times now, and each time I end up updating this post to add great new foodie finds.
From fine dining restaurants to fresh fish cooked at the campsite, wonderful pubs to arrive at by water, street food, and more, I guarantee you won’t get bored. Whether you head for busy Falmouth or walk the coast path from St Mawes up to Portscatho, or potter around the estuary by boat, you’ll find somewhere to eat, drink and be merry on any corner. I can’t really wax lyrical enough to be honest, so I’ll stop here and let you browse a list of places to try.
The below is by no means exhaustive, but if you’re planning a trip down to this part of the world, here are a few places we’ve found on our travels.
Treat yourself to lunch at the Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes
This hotel in St Mawes is owned by the Polizzi family, so it really should be good – and it is. It’s not cheap, but the price tag is worth it for the view alone from the upstairs terrace and the service, which has been bang on point every time we’ve been.
Food is excellent, and their wine list is rather lovely. Plus, if the weather doesn’t oblige then they’ve got an indoor restaurant and a bar downstairs as well as the ‘dogs’ bar’ which, as the name suggests, is a dog-friendly snug-style lounge where you can enjoy a cosy meal on colder days.
Try the wine at Knightor Winery
I love a trip to a vineyard and fortunately for us, the Knightor Winery in St Austell also has a vineyard in Portscatho on the Roseland. When we went it was relatively new, hosting street food pop-ups, but from what I can see it’s now more established and named The Vine by Knightor, but still serving up light lunches and street food pop-ups – along with Knightor’s own wine. The barn is sheltered, with plenty of space, so perfect whatever the weather, just like wine.
Bag yourself some tickets for the Hidden Hut
I’ve written a whole blog post about the Hidden Hut, so I won’t go on, but if you’re nearby you should definitely try to get some tickets to one of their feast nights. It really is a wonderful experience. You may struggle, so don’t build a whole trip around the assumption that you’ll get tickets (they go on sale at the beginning of each month and are harder to get than tickets to Glastonbury) but it’s definitely worth a try.
Head to The Standard Inn in Gerrans (Portscatho)
If you don’t manage to get tickets for one of the feast nights at the Hidden Hut, or wander down there for lunch, fear not! Owner Simon Stallard took on The Standard Inn at Gerrans – just above Portscatho, a couple of years ago and I can confirm it’s well worth the visit.
Whether you sit in the lovely garden gazing at the outdoor kitchen turning out everything from light, soft pillow bread and fish cooked over fire, or cosy up inside in the evening by candelight for slow-cooked meats and hearty meals, you’ll love it. We’ve been several times now and each is superlative. One not to miss.
Eat Al Fresco at the Nare Hotel
We found The Nare by pure chance on our first trip to the Roseland and it’s one I’ve written about before on this blog. It calls itself a country house hotel by the sea and is the most beautiful setting to enjoy good food in a fairly traditional setting.
Sit on the terrace if it’s sunny and enjoy oysters, fresh fish, and great service, or retreat inside to their lounge where you can fill up on tea and cake snuggled in sofas with blankets.
Stock up on treats from Mr Scorse Gourmet Deli & Wines, St Mawes
You could almost miss Mr Scorse Gourmet Deli in St Mawes but make sure you don’t. It’s packed full of everything from local cheese and chutneys to wine and cakes and bakes. We stocked up on a few cheeses for our homemade cheese board but you can sit outside the deli and enjoy a little platter right there, or takeaway sandwiches and hampers for a trip to the beach. If you’re in St Mawes make sure you don’t miss it.
Arrive in style at the Pandora Inn
To experience the Pandora Inn, ideally you want to try to find a boat and arrive by the water. I know, that sounds ridiculous. But it really is the stuff of Swallows and Amazons dreams. Potter around on the water, moor up on the pontoon and enjoy drinks overlooking the estuary and what is rather good gastro-pub grub, despite it being chaotically busy on any given sunny day.
Don’t worry, you can get there by car, or via a coast path, and I’d certainly recommend checking it out. You don’t get many settings like this.
Do a cookery course or attend an event at Philleigh Way
I’ve written about Philleigh Way and our epic Cornish Pasty making attempts elsewhere on this blog. If you’re into cooking, or generally just having fun with friends that involves food, I can thoroughly recommend a few hours here. Rupert the owner is great and it seems to me that their calendar of courses, lessons and events is getting bigger by the minute. Check out their website here for more details and get yourself booked in to something. The Asado course is on my list to go back for!
Fill your boots with fish and chips
It doesn’t matter where you do it. Just do it. Fish and chips tastes so much better by the sea. We’ve had them at pubs in St Mawes, restaurants in Falmouth, takeaways elsewhere. It’s just a must-do, especially when you’re this close to the sea.
Go back to the Hotel Tresanton for cocktails
Okay, I’ll say this now, the Hotel Tresanton is not the cheapest place to have a cocktail but they were bloody good and (in my view) worth the £10 price tag. We had ours on a cold day snuggled up in the dogs’ bar but I imagine they would go down even better sat up on the roof terrace. One for a special treat but well worth it.
Enjoy the views and great food at the Driftwood Hotel
When we went to Driftwood it was quite some time ago when it still had its Michelin star, and was a wonderfully memorable experience for all the right reasons. It’s since lost the star but I understand the food is still very good, and the views simply can’t be beaten.
Castaways at Mylor Yacht Harbour
Another one if you manage to get your hands on a boat – though again you can drive or walk there easily from Falmouth or Flushing (or further afield, obviously). Mylor is a huge yachting harbour complete with yacht club and a lovely little bar called Castaways.
It’s a great place to sit with a pint of Rattler and watch the sailing fraternity do their thing but each time we’ve been we’ve also been impressed by the food. The menu’s mixed, but we’ve always stuck to fish which is brilliantly cooked and fresh as can be. They do a rather lovely picpoul as well…
The Heron Inn, Malpas
Go up the river inland towards Truro and you’ll find The Heron Inn at Malpas. This foodie pub perches above the river with amazing views, and lovely seating indoors and outdoors. Their menu’s packed full of fish, like most places down here, and it’s a great place to sit and watch the boats come up the river. Don’t forget to wander down the hill and pop into the lovely farm shop by the jetty for some provisions.
Buy some fresh fish and cook up a storm
When produce is this good, why wait for someone else to cook it for you? We’ve stayed at Trethem Mill Touring Park before which has a fish van arrive once a week, but you can get your hands on fresh fish in St Mawes, as well as from various places in Falmouth. There’s nothing quite like cooking up fish that’s come out of the sea that day and enjoying it outdoors with a glass of something cold.
Get to an event in Falmouth
Falmouth is the busiest place in this quiet little corner of Cornwall, and it’s food scene really is thriving, with a restaurant or cafe on every corner. Each time we’ve been there seems to be something going on, whether a street food festival or the International Sea Shanty Festival, full of options to eat, drink or be merry. Don’t miss out if you’re in this neck of the woods.
We paid in full for all of these foodie treats and they didn’t know I was a blogger.