28th June 2023
The teams at the National Lobster Hatchery and EW Wines share their recommendations for venues offering great food and drink in great coastline locations…
Across Cornwall, the list of places to enjoy the finest food and drink is eclectic and increasingly sustainable. We asked some Cornish residents working in the wider industry – with their own produce and drink credentials – to reveal recommended venues.
The National Lobster Hatchery (NLH) is a standout organisation in Cornwall’s dynamic seafood scene. Founded in 1998, the charity’s focus is education, research and conservation. Its key conservation project is a pioneering programme to enhance the Cornish lobster population, working closely with the local fishing community.
Image credit: National Lobster Hatchery
The NLH expert team rears lobster babies through their most vulnerable life stages, to improve survival chances by approximately 1000% above survival rates in the wild. This supports a healthy and sustainable lobster stock, and the local fishing communities, both now and in the future.
Chief Operating Officer Nicola O’Donnell says: “For an up-close look at marine conservation in Cornwall, including a peek at our lobster maternity ward and nursery, you can join us in Padstow at our main hatchery site. A centre for all ages to learn more about marine biology, sustainability and, of course, lobsters.”
Seafood with sea views
Nicola recommends The Lobster Shed at Harlyn Bay for great, sustainable seafood by the sea. The lobster served at The Lobster Shed is caught off the coast of Padstow by local fishing boats, and the whole menu is sourced within a 25-mile radius.
“The Lobster Shed are one of our incredible fundraising partners and run our scheme ‘Buy one set one free’ – a great way for organisations and their diners to support sustainability.”
Image credit: The Lobster Shed
Keeping it local but with the sound of something more exotic, the restaurant’s Lobster & Camel pairs Cornish lobster with a Pinot Noir Rosé Brut from the Camel Valley.
“Another champion of the seafood scene on the south coast is the beautiful Hooked on the Rocks. Located overlooking Swanpool beach near Falmouth, this restaurant is perfect for a long lazy lunch overlooking a spectacular vista,” says Nicola.
Bar on the beach
Molly Gardiner, Communications and Admin Officer at the NLH, says the Blue Bar in Porthtowan is a great seaside spot any time; a café by day, with a bar and live music for the evening. “Grab a coffee or a pint and sit back, right by the beach. Siting there recently I saw about 50 dolphins out in the Atlantic. It’s a perfect stop off on a coast path walk or post-surf,” says Molly.
The team also recommend the Cornish Cream Teams available at Berryfield Tea Room, on the road down to Porthcothan Beach.
And to drink?
EW Wines, based at Indian Queens near Newquay was voted the best regional wine shop in the South West last year by wine magazine Decanter. One reason for the accolade is probably that it offers more than a quality selection of fine vintages.
The company is on the journey to becoming a B Corp – a certification scheme for more sustainable business. And as well as special tasting events, you can call in for free wine tasting from a selection of 16 wines, with Jim Bass – EW Wines’ WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Diploma qualified lead educator – offering a guide to the wines in store too.
For anyone staying by the sea this summer, they’ve curated a coastal wine box which can be delivered to your door on arrival.
Image credit: EW Wines
When it comes to finding a great spot for a glass of wine with a view, Jim recommends packing a picnic and adding some cans of wine to the hamper.
Favourite spots for picnic lunch or dinner include Porth Island and Whipsiderry Beach, both north along the coast from Newquay. “We had a takeout dinner up on Porth Island recently and watched the setting sun, one of the best views I’ve had with dinner for a long time.”
“For a picnic lunch, we’ll call in to Da Bara bakery for provisions and I’ll take along some of our new range of premium canned wine,” says Jim. “We’ve got a dry Muscadet that is absolutely delicious; it’s the same quality as a bottle – light and crisp, with a little texture. And the canned Fleurie we stock is the first Beaujolais in a can I’ve tasted that I would recommend.”
For takeaway dinner, Jim recommends the filled homemade flatbreads and fried beignet potato sides served at Babu, tucked away on the Treloggan Industrial Estate in Newquay. For dinner out, The Secret Garden in the town isn’t to be missed, serving artisan pizza paired with organic and biodynamic wines. “You wouldn’t know it from the outside; the terrace is really cool and has an amazing view,” adds Jim.
Found a favourite place by the sea for food and drink? Share your recommendation with us on social media, using @beachretreats and #bigreveal.
Huddle-up in a place for two, a walk from north Cornwall’s renowned beaches and eateries, or make the most of being together this summer, footsteps from picturesque picnic stop-offs. Where will you stay?