One of the best parts of going on a trip to a new place is eating local food - and there are plenty of gems hidden right on our doorstep in the UK. Cornwall offers incredible seafood which is what I was super excited about when planning the trip - but after doing some research on restaurants I decided that there is so much, we're just going to stumble into the eateries near us and sample the food.
I have put together a little list of my favourite places to eat around Penzance which is the area where we stayed. Spoiler: we were not disappointed with the food around us! So many fresh catches of the day which were fished in the morning and locally grown produce - there was very little (if anything) to ever moan about!
Food with a view at the Godolphin Arms, Marazion
My absolutely favourite place for lunch and dinner was the Godolphin Arms in Marazion - the food was incredible, and the view even better! Sitting right on the beach, and in front of St Michaels Mount, you really can't beat the scenery in front of your eyes whilst feasting on locally caught fish and sipping refreshing wine. Godolphin Arms in the summer does not feel like England - it honestly felt like we were on a beach in the Mediterranean!
We ate at the Godolphin Arms three times during our stay and each time the food was top quality - my favourite was the dressed Newlyn crab I had for lunch. I have never been a huge fan of crab before Cornwall - they're nice, but not something I would pick as a favourite because the crabs in supermarkets are a little bitter and not very flavoursome. But fresh crab - totally different story. It was succulent, sweet, and light. I fell in love with it and from then on hunted Newlyn crab on the menu everywhere we went! We actually went as far as going to Newlyn trying to buy fresh crab from the market but we just missed it!
During our evening meal, we shared fish and chips and a burger which were both delicious and big in portion - you certainly won't go hungry! The service at Godolphin Arms is faultless - all the staff were so welcoming and accommodating. Prices are very reasonable too, especially for the food you eat. There is also a selection of cocktails which we didn't get to because we were enjoying local beers, ciders and wine - but they looked amazing!
We finished out trip with lunch at Godolphin Arms and we both had fresh fish - Liam had sea bass and I had monkfish which were both just delicious. Some places overcook their fish and it ends up being quite dry - but these were so flavoursome and melted in your mouth. Monkfish is quite a meaty fish, so if you're not a huge fan of fish like trout or cod, try monkfish if there is that option on the menu.
Dinner at the local - The Dolphin Tavern, Penzance
We spent our days exploring the outdoors from morning until evening which was so much fun as we went to loads of different places - but it did have one downside which was that I got a little bit of sunstroke and wasn't very well by the 4th day of our trip. It was then, after searching for a place to eat for a while, we came across The Dolphin Tavern in Penzance which looked like a friendly local - and to be honest by this point all I wanted was to sit down and have a glass of water.
The Dolphin Tavern in an old traditional pub with friendly staff and atmosphere. Now when I say old, I mean old: the pub served as John Hawkins HQ recruiting Cornishmen to fight in the Armada in 1585! Sir Walter Raleigh is also thought to have smoked the first pipe tobacco in England right here in the Dolphin, and the pub was used as a courtroom for centuries to follow. It's also said to be haunted by three spirits - something I can definitely believe because you can feel the history of the pub all around you.
The menu has everything that a good pub would have - pub classics, meat, seafood and veggie options. Naturally, we decided to go for the seafood which is locally caught. I was on a mission in Cornwall refusing to eat anything that wasn't locally sourced or caught in the sea! For starters we shared crispy whitebait, and for mains Liam ordered grilled hake with parma ham and I had (ready for it?!) sea bass with crab and chive crushed new potatoes, and shrimp butter - basically all of the seafood in one plate!
The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was great - we enjoyed chilling out at The Dolphin Tavern before going back out on our exploring mission.
Unforgettable nibbles at The Tearoom, St Ives
St Ives is a gorgeous town in Cornwall - we didn't get to explore it as much as we wanted to but we stopped by for dinner by the sea after a day of surfing and sunbathing. We found The Tearoom right on the beach front and the menu sounded delicious. Actually, we spent the day at Godrevy beach which is riddled with mussels and we saw mussels on the menu so decided to perch and enjoy some shellfish.
There are tables inside and outside - naturally in the summer we wanted to stay outside and enjoy alfresco dining. We ordered some nibbles to start with - olives, bread, oil and hummus to share. And jeez was it good! I absolutely loved he garlic oil which was so delicious with the bread and olives - I totally forgot to ask whether they make it in the restaurant as it tastes homemade. The nibbles were delicious, and enjoyed with a refreshing glass of wine on the beach - perfection, anyone?
We then ordered the mussels in white wine sauce which came with sourdough bread and a slice of lemon to drizzle over. Mussels are kind of our thing with Liam - when we first moved in together, Liams signature dish was mussels in cider sauce with bacon. These bad boys were cooked in a delicious white wine and cream sauce, and the sourdough bread was perfect for mopping it up after the mussels were gone!
We had to ask the waiter whether the mussels were from Godrevy beach because there were so many there - but he told us all about how mussels are sourced. Because they are filter feeders, which means they take in water to eat plankton then filter it out, mussels are at risk of taking in toxins from pollution when they feed. So, most restaurants get their mussels from local farms which grow them in an environment with no pollution. That's not to say you can't forage mussels - you totally can, and Cornwall is a great place to do so! Just make sure you follow a set of rules which you can read on the Eden Project website.
The best beach breakfast at Beachcomber Cafe, Praa Sands
During our vacation in Cornwall, we stayed at a camping site in Praa Sands. We clocked a little cafe on the beach during our evening stroll and marked it as a spot for breakfast the next morning. Beachcomber cafe is settled right on the beach at Praa Sands and is both a cafe and a shop which sells all your beach essentials and little gifts. We just had to have the full Cornish breakfast which has locally sourced ingredients that taste uh-mazing! The Cornish sausages were incredibly tasty, the eggs were runny and portions to fill you up for the whole day! They also do incredible pancakes with bacon and maple syrup - there's enough breakfast choice to mix it up, or stick to old favourites if you want. We also enjoyed lattes to wake us up for the day - now I have my coffee very specific and don't typically order them at restaurants but these lattes were delicious - especially as they were served with a Mikado stick to swirl around!
We also enjoyed brunch at The Beachcomber Cafe - guess what I just had to have! I thought as this was a late breakfast, it was totally acceptable to have a sandwich - a Newlyn crab sandwich! Fresh and tasty, I enjoyed my crab sandwich with an iced latte to kickstart a late day. The iced latte was a mix of coffee and delicious creamy ice cream that really set us up for the day.
The staff at the cafe are really friendly and are happy to advise on local attractions, best places to go sightseeing and fishing, and what is on throughout your stay. Because it sits right on the beach, it's a lovely way to start the day - listening to the waves, basking in the sunshine, and eating the best breakfast around.