St Ives

Characterised by its multitude of paradisiacal beaches, quaint fisherman’s houses that seem stacked atop each other, and fiercely audacious seagulls, St Ives has long drawn the thronging masses to its golden shores. Popular with the school holiday crowd, its culinary scene, up until recently, has catered to this – awash with old-school fish and chippies, harbourfront Italian joints and classic beachside restaurants that serve seafood and capitalise off their exquisite views.

In the past few years, however, there has been change afoot. The town still attracts families juggling candy-striped umbrellas and garish windbreaks, but there has been a number of hospitality venues quietly establishing their presence, catering to those for whom a holiday is just as much about eating and drinking well as it is spending hours laying on one of the town’s many beaches. Now, a visit to St Ives could rival many of Cornwall’s famed gastronomic destinations, validating itself as a foodie stronghold. Here, we round up our pick of the town’s best spots to eat, drink and be merry.

West

a group of people sitting at a table with a plate of food: West occupies one of the most jaw-dropping spots in town (Molly Codyre) © Provided by The Independent West occupies one of the most jaw-dropping spots in town (Molly Codyre)

Found at the far end of Porthmeor Beach in a former changing block, West occupies one of the most jaw-dropping spots in town (and, arguably, the country). Not content to simply capitalise off its unbelievable views, the restaurant and pizzeria (and cafe, until recently) also serves up incredible food.

Upstairs at the Fish Pods, you’ll dine on an ever-changing menu of seafood-oriented small plates that can feature anything from smoked seafood tacos drizzled with a jungle curry mayo, to miso tempura aubergine with a kimchi dressing.

Downstairs, things are a little more laid back, with a pizza-focused menu that lets you dine in or takeaway to make the most of your time on the sand.

Harbour View House

a plate of food on a table: If visiting on a Friday, book a supper club for a dinner of dreams (Molly Codyre) © Provided by The Independent If visiting on a Friday, book a supper club for a dinner of dreams (Molly Codyre)

If you’re looking for somewhere to sleep, Harbour View House is your place. Never fear, though, if they’re booked out or you’re opting to stay elsewhere, the hotel also does a cracking breakfast and evening tapas menu. The former is simple yet inventive, offering either eat-in or takeaway through their coffee hatch. The latter makes for a memorable dinner.

Chef Coco Fruzza has curated a seafood-heavy menu of snacks and small plates that is accompanied by a short but sweet drinks list and joyous service courtesy of owners Ant and Georgia.

In town on a Friday? Book in for one of their supper clubs for a set menu dinner of dreams.

Little Palais

Little Palais is the kind of place you’d be rapt to stumble upon by chance. Hidden in the cobbled back streets of St Ives, far from the maddening crowds on the harbour front, the 10-cover watering hole epitomises everything you could want from a wine bar.

a plate of food on a table: Everything you could want from a wine bar (Molly Codyre) © Provided by The Independent Everything you could want from a wine bar (Molly Codyre)

Owners Rich and Jess are infectiously passionate about what they do, and a stop-off for a glass could end with you staying for hours, dining on their delicious snack menu and soaking up their inimitable knowledge of both the wines they stock and their menu inventions – for example, Rich had the genius idea to infuse gin with beeswax, while Jess created a fig leaf infusion that resulted in one of the best ice creams I’ve eaten in a long time.


Video: The Cornwall food made for generations (Reuters)

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