Eating Out Cornwall: Penzance & St Ives
** This post contains some gifted meals: The Godolphin Arms, Fraser’s and The Gannet were all complimentary visits in return for an honest review. As ever, all views are my honest opinion.**
If you get the weather, there is really no need to go abroad in the UK with beautiful places like Cornwall and The Lake District within reach. Earlier this year, Steve and I paid picturesque Cornwall another visit (you can read about where I stayed here, here and here) and we spent our time largely in St Ives and Penzance. Like all good holidays centred around food, drink and relaxation, we managed to fit in lots of eating out and partake in a few drinkies or two, so I thought I’d share with you some of the best spots we visited.
There were a few places I didn’t get chance to visit that I’d love to next time so I’ll give those a mention too: The Shore in Penzance, Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar in Newlyn, The Old Custom House in St Ives (it was being refurbished during our visit) and Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in Marazion. I’ve also visited The Gurnard’s Head in Zennor previously, which was lovely for lunch, so that is somewhere I’ll definitely be heading back to another time.
If you’re in the area then this handy foodie/drinky guide should hopefully help make it a bit easier for you to decide where to satisfy your appetite and wet your whistle! Make sure you check out my full review of Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn also as that is somewhere not to be missed if you’re nearby!
EAT: GODOLPHIN ARMS
This restaurant and hotel is situated in Marazion, near Penzance, with enviable views right onto St Michael’s Mount. It has a laid back cafe feel inside with a modern decor and a light and airy feel and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner aswell as tea and cakes and there is also a bar area.
We were visiting for lunch and the food was really delicious! The portions are very generous so go hungry and there is a lot of choice alongside daily specials on the menu. We ordered the Mediterranean Salad with Chicken and the Crab Mac ‘n’ Cheese with some chips to share. Both were really fresh and full of flavour and it was a delight tucking into them whilst looking out an an idyllic view. They also have a terrace to take advantage on on a nice warm day.
EAT: MOOMAID OF ZENNOR
I have to say, this is some of the nicest ice cream we’ve both ever eaten. It’s rich, creamy and full of flavour and there are lots of delicious flavours to choose from. I’ll save you the tough decision though and tell you right now that you need to go for the Shipwreck flavour as it is AMAZING. Dulce de Leche caramel, honeycomb and sea salt ice cream - you can thank me later! We went to the St Ives branch, which is right on the harbour, although there is also a branch near the farm where the ice cream is made in Zennor.
EAT: FRASER’S FISH & CHIPS
A trip to the seaside isn’t a trip to the seaside without fish & chips, is it? Typically I love eating fish & chips out of the paper. You know, with the vinegar soaking through and burning your tongue on your chips as they smell so good you can’t wait to let them cool? We’ve all done it haven’t we.
But once in a while, it’s nice to sit in and enjoy fish and chips on a proper plate whilst sitting in an actual seat. Fraser’s in Penzance is one of those places where you’ll want to do that. With a fun retro vibe to the interior, it’s a lovely and bright fish and chip shop with a cafe style interior and lots of smiley and friendly staff to make you feel welcome.
Fish and chips are served on fish shaped plates, cutlery in little buckets and ice cream (they do Moomaid’s Shipwreck too - see above!) in a pretty glass bowl with a wafer on top. The fish comes from nearby Newlyn fish market and it was fresh and flaky and the chips, which you can have an unlimited amount of, were chunky and fluffy, just how I like them.
DRINK: ADMIRAL BENBOW
This pub on Chapel Street in Penzance is the place where all of your chintz dreams will come true! It feels like you’re stepping into a ship with the vintage nautical decor throughout and there is something to look at in every corner of the pub. We absolutely loved it and it felt like the perfect place to hide away for a few hours with a pint or two.
EAT/DRINK: THE GANNET INN
The Gannet Inn is situated in Carbis Bay, just up from the main hustle and bustle of St Ives. We visited for dinner but I have to say, it would be a nice spot to just come for a drink and snuggle up in front of the roaring fire with a glass of wine. It has a cosy feel inside with modern and stylish interiors and as soon as you enter through the front door, the wonderful scent and ambience of candles make you feel relaxed straight away. Staff are very attentive and friendly and the menu is bistro style and varied (I tucked into a tasty chicken kiev).
I’ve heard the Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate, which is a sister hotel to The Gannet, are running an exclusive pop-up with Michelin starred chef Tom Sellers, who runs Story restaurant in London, for 6-weeks this summer. That will definitely be something not to be missed!
DRINK: THE SLOOP INN
As my husband would say, this is a “proper pub”. I have to agree as it has a very local feel to it aswell as being somewhere that visitors to St Ives flock to for a lunchtime drink, sat outside at the picnic benches outside on a sunny day. It’s situated right on the harbour and aswell as having wonderful views out to sea, it has a very cosy feel inside with beamed ceilings, snug booths and low lighting. We visited a few times during our last trip and on one night were lucky enough to catch Winter Mountain playing a wonderful acoustic set.