On our recent break in Cornwall we stayed in a house overlooking Newlyn Harbour and Penzance so we had ample opportunity to eat out at a few places nearby. Rather than review some of the establishments individually I thought it would be best to write an overview of some of the places we enjoyed eating at.
For lunch we visited The Old Lifeboat House Bistro on Wharf Road. We both picked a Fresh Newlyn Crab sandwich each and at the price of £8.50 I had initially thought it was going to be a tad over-priced. Then it arrived. The bread was like doorstops and there was a hefty amount of crab filling. Needless to say, we both only managed half a sandwich each. If you’re going to pop by for a sandwich, it might be worth ordering one to share!
The Old Lifeboat House Bistro, Wharf Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AA
We spent a couple of days outside of Penzance exploring other areas and Sunday was one such day where we were venturing away. We were catching the train to St Germans to visit Port Eliot Festival and en route to the train station I started getting a bit peckish and was adamant that we needed some travel food. There wasn’t very much open near the train station other than Costcutter and Warrens. We hadn’t yet had a Cornish pasty so we decided on Warrens and picked up some travel bites. I bought a sausage roll whilst Chris went for a small Cornish pasty. The quality of the pastry received a special mention and Warrens history in Cornwall (and pasties!) goes back over a hundred years.
Warrens have a number of sites in Penzance, visit their website for further details.
For our first evening meal we had wandered along the Penzance promenade until somewhere took our fancy and the baking heat played its part in leaving us wanting to sit outside (we’d had a very warm 12 hour drive). When we approached The Wheelhouse Restaurant the outdoor seating was packed but we spied that a table was soon to be available and lingered around. After grabbing a table, we had a proper look at the menu and decided on our meals.
We were pretty famished and ordered starters as well as mains – I had a Cornish steak focaccia whilst Chris had focaccia with a fresh tomato salsa. The focaccias arrived looking like meals in themselves and Chris commented that he had forgotten about the size of Cornish portions. My steak topping was delicious with a lovely tang from the dressing soaking into the fresh bouncy bread. Chris was just as impressed with his choice.
For my main I opted for the Rainbow Trout special with Ratatouille and Chris chose the Cod wrapped in Bacon and served in a Creamy Stilton Sauce from the main menu. Once again the portions were plentiful and I had the entire fish to devour. I had been a little unsure of Chris’s choice but was assured that the balance of flavours worked perfectly for him. I think it’s sure to say that we left The Wheelhouse Restaurant feeling well fed. Our bill came to just under £60 for 2 courses each and a bottle of white wine – not bad!
The Wheelhouse Restaurant, The Lugger Hotel, 3 Marine Terrace, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4DL
Later into our stay we started to venture a little further on foot and try out some other pubs and restaurants. The second notable eatery for our evening meals was The Dock Inn. We had initially tried to get a table in The Dolphin Tavern but they were packed to the rafters and recommended we tried The Dock Inn further up the road.
The Dock Inn had been pretty busy too and whilst we were able to get a table they had run out of a number of the items on the menu. After our first choices were unavailable we found ourselves with Cornish Rump Steak (for me) and Fish and Chips (for Chris). By the time our food arrived we were pretty hungry following our earlier venture to the Port Eliot Festival (we’d only have a Cornish Cream Tea there) and I think that my eyes were bigger than my stomach on first sight!
The steak pretty much filled the plate and was topped with chips, onion rings and vegetables. Chris’s Fish and Chips was just as sizable but he wasn’t defeated, he devoured the lot and turned to my leftover steak for seconds. Our meals at The Dock Inn were the best meals we had eaten in Penzance up until that point and after leaving, it’s a close second.
The Dock Inn, 17 Quay Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4BD
The best meal for me was from The Dolphin Tavern on Tuesday. We arrived a little earlier this time to try to secure a table and made ourselves comfortable in their dining room. We skipped starters and ordered mains – Beer Battered Pollock for Chris and Crab and Prawn Linguine (from the specials board) for me.
The linguine was the best crab linguine I’ve ever had – the perfect amount of fish, chilli and coriander to create a taste sensation. It was wonderfully fresh yet filling and whilst it didn’t leave me craving more right that second, I left knowing if I was to go back, I wouldn’t hesitate in ordering it again.
After we’d had our mains, we had a little room left for our first dessert of the trip. Chris had eyed up the Spotted Dick on the specials blackboard since we arrived and I was in the mood for Raspberry Pavlova. Both desserts hit the spot, with Chris’s being rich, warm and fruity and mine being light, sweet and fresh.
If there’s one place to eat in Penzance, I think it’s The Dolphin Tavern. They have cocktails on offer too and for the 2 courses for both of us, plus drinks, our bill came to less than £60.
The Dolphin Tavern, Quay Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4BD
Near Enough is a series of blog posts about travel in the UK. To see other posts about places to visit, click here.