Cornwall has always had a place in my heart. Every August in the first decade of my life, I would head down to the most South Westerly point of the UK with my family and make the six-hour pilgrimage to one of the most beautiful spots in the country. Having not been back for at least fifteen years, when I had the opportunity to return to this part of the world, with a stay at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, I couldn’t turn it down.
When you mention the word “Padstow”, it is very hard not to immediately think of resident gastro-genius Rick Stein. His flagship Seafood Restaurant, opened in 1975, prides itself on sourcing the key ingredients directly from the sea; not difficult when the water in the estuary is a mere 100 metres from the front door. We were lucky enough to stay the night in one of the Estuary View Rooms; a cosy dog-friendly room that had plenty of space for myself, Katie and Pepi. There was a real feeling of snugness as you gazed out over a slightly wet and windy Cornish coastline; helped by the beautiful crisp linen on the bed and Jill Stein products that accompanied a very welcoming bathtub. As a place to stay, Seafood is excellent; the buzz of Padstow Harbour is just a five-minute walk away and you don’t even need to venture outside if you want dinner at one of the best tables in town.
Speaking of tables, every guest of the hotel has priority bookings for the restaurant downstairs. Very helpful when every night sees hundreds of hungry locals and tourists alike head inside for some of the freshest food in town. Katie had the entire menu to choose from and went for a beautiful starter of Scallops with Pesto, followed by a very generous serving of Grilled Turbot. I, on the other hand, was slightly limited by my allergy to fish and seafood. Luckily the Seafood Restaurant does cater for this, with a good-sized vegetarian menu as well as a main of Cote de Boeuf with Frites which I naturally opted for. The rib cut was absolutely divine; a huge portion of very tender medium-rare beef that melted in the mouth. For a seafood restaurant, it was surprising to find one of the best steaks I have ever eaten on the menu. Desert was equally as delicious and, washed down with a bottle of wine and a couple of signature cocktails, closed a lovely night. With just a few short steps to that very comfortable bed, it was the perfect end to the day.
If dinner isn’t quite enough, you also get breakfast included with your stay. It is once again a chance to sample some of the culinary delights that Rick Stein himself has endorsed. As life outside moves on by, breakfast in the conservatory is a great way to start the morning as the sun rises in the sky. The Homemade Granola is crunchy and full of flavour (the irregular shapes are very novel), while the selection of fresh fruit is only surpassed by a very strong menu of eggs. With Pepi also welcome in the conservatory, it was a lovely was to finish our stay in Padstow.