Sea food and eat it
December 20, 2019
Tuck into shellfish that’s freshly flipped from sea to plate…
No longer a destination where fish is deep-fried fish and wrapped in newspaper, Cornwall has become a gastronomes magnet, with freshly caught seafood at the heart of its foodie scene. Bag a table in one of the many restaurants flaunting coastal views, and you only have to cast your gaze out to the ocean to see the provenance of the ingredients on your plate. While Rick Stein was the trailblazer of the foodie revolution when his flagship Seafood Restaurant opened in Padstow, Cornwall now boasts plenty of venues from Newlyn to Newquay, where chefs are serving up local seafood that’s been flipped straight from rod to pan.
When you take a seat at The Boathouse in Newquay, it’s not just the lobster tanks that give you an inkling you’re about to get the real deal sea-to-plate experience. Nestled in Newquay harbour, the seafood on your plate is landed just a few sandy footprints from your dinner table, by a handful of local fishermen.
A family business
Buck Beckett is one of a handful of fishermen who land daily catch for The Boathouse. For 27 years, since he was kicked out of school at the age of 14, Buck has been hauling in lobster and Newquay Brown Crab on his fishing boat, Frellie. Now his 11 year-old son, Freddie, joins him whenever he can, and is already excited about joining his Dad full time when he finishes school.
Being a fisherman isn’t a 9-5 job. The day starts whenever the tide is in and the boat can be launched, whether that’s 2am, 4am or 6am. It’s usually before sunrise. And days are long, typically lasting 8 hours at sea. There are 200 pots to check, split into three ‘sets’, with each set being checked every three days.
Catch of the day
The bulk of the catch is made up of crabs, spider crabs and crawfish. In the summer Buck also catches turbot, monkfish and ray. Once the pots have been emptied and the tubs and been filled, the catch of the day is landed on the harbour wall. That’s less than 250 metres from your dinner table at The Boathouse.
The best thing about a day in the life of a fisherman is enjoying the Cornish coast – especially in the sunshine. Not many people get to witness the sunrise, afloat on a glassy ocean, far removed from the hubbub of land.
View to dine for
When you take a seat at The Boathouse, you often get to see your food arriving as Buck’s boat pulls into the harbour. Watching the fishing boats puttering in, the whiskered noses of the seals often popping up in their wake, tells the story of the fresh, local seafood on the menu. Pick a crab from the tanks and you can rest assured it’s been plucked from the ocean only hours ago.
Go there and eat now…
Book a table, soak up the watery views and taste Cornwall’s sea to plate dishes.
Many of the seafood restaurants in Cornwall have a local story behind the fish dishes they serve. In addition to The Boathouse, here are ten more of our favourite restaurants to dine on the finest ocean’s bounty.