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From the Blog

The best restaurants, pubs and cafés in Rock, Cornwall

Posted by Sophie Hesp on Jun 03, 2022
Sea-view terrace at Trehayl in Rock, Cornwall

A mix of fine dining and beachside favourites

Those planning a foodie road trip to Cornwall this year will find a variety of first-class restaurants, chef-named pubs and charming cafés in Rock, a sought-after village on the north coast. We’ve compiled a list of the top seven places to dine at in the area, from tasting menus to fancy fish and chips.

 

1. The Mariners by Paul Ainsworth

Why we love it: it's the perfect post-beach hangout

 

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Undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Rock, The Mariners has earned a fantastic reputation across Cornwall and beyond. Relaunched by Paul and Emma Ainsworth in 2019, it’s set across two floors right by the water, and offers an all-day menu. With Sharp’s Brewery beer on tap, favourites include St Austell Bay mussels, St Enodoc asparagus, Porthilly oysters and St Ewe eggs – making it a very Cornish affair. 

As well as some tempting vegan and veggie dishes, there’s a Little Sailors menu for smaller appetites, and Sunday lunch is served from the first Sunday in October until the last in June. The pub is also dog-friendly on the bottom floor, so you can reward energetic beach walks from Daymer Bay to Rock with Mariners classics like fish and chips, a hearty ploughman’s, or their signature Scotch eggs.
 

2. The Brasserie and Karrek at St Enodoc Hotel

Why we love it: incredible food in a welcoming setting

 

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Positioned by the water, Trehayl shares the same sparkling views over the water with The Mariners and St Enodoc.

Overlooking the Camel Estuary from its vantage point at the bottom of Rock, the St Enodoc Brasserie is a must-visit if you’re looking for laid back, high-quality food. The a la carte menu features teriyaki mackerel, roast hake and vegan gnocchi, plus a cocktail list championing local brands Tarquin’s and Camel Valley. 

Child and dog-friendly, the restaurant combines fresh, healthy and modern recipes with fantastic views from the suntrap terrace. Be sure to visit in the warmer months and to book well ahead.

Designed to delight fine dining fanatics, the hotel’s Karrek restaurant upstairs opens its doors for an intimate tasting menu every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. Recommended to take three hours and coming in at £65 per person, the six-course tasting menu includes scallops, oyster and mussel risotto, roast duck, Cornish crab, and rhubarb and white chocolate ice cream, followed by coffee and petit fours. Whether you opt for this, or the indulgent nine-course menu, both promise a magical evening.

If you’re visiting during the day, St Enodoc also offer a cream tea and sandwich menu all afternoon, as well as Saturday barbeques from April to September, and Sunday lunches throughout winter. 
 

3. The Dining Room

Why we love it: it's the perfect accompaniment for a stay at Driftwood

 

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Dining area at Driftwood in Rock

Left: The Dining Room | Right: Driftwood

Another of our favourite restaurants in Rock is The Dining Room. Open Tuesday to Saturday, it sits further up in the village and has been loved for its family-run fine dining since 2010. Worthy of a Michelin star in a lot of people's eyes, the sample menu includes rich meat dishes like duck, beef and rabbit, as well as fresh sea bream, homemade bread, a selection of British cheeses and a sweet strawberry sorbet to finish. 

With photography just added, our beautiful new property Driftwood sits a very short walk from The Dining Room, making it perfect for foodie getaways. The latest home to join our Rock collection, ask our Concierge team to book a table on your behalf, after days spent enjoying the beach. 
 

4. The Pityme Inn

Why we love it: dining al fresco in the garden pods

Combining a pub, outdoor kitchen, takeaway and village shop, The Pityme Inn is a popular choice amongst visitors and locals alike. Situated towards the top of Rock and not far from Pentire Drinks and Bluntrock Brewery, it’s a great place to go for family favourites with a Cornish twist. With the menu championing fresh and local produce, highlights include a wild mushroom tagliatelle and an aubergine and coconut curry.

On sunny days, visit The Pityme’s outdoor kitchen for Mexican-inspired street food, and take a seat inside one of their garden pods. Here you can enjoy the laid back feel of a beach hut, complete with blankets and candles for chillier evenings. When it’s time to order, choose from nachos, salad bowls and spicy prawn dishes, to pair with a drink from the cocktail menu. 

For light bites after a day on the water with Camel Ski School or Wavehunters, it doesn’t get better than a chilled glass of rosé, some toasted focaccia and marinated olives as the sun goes down.


5. Fee's Food

Why we love it: everything is cooked fresh with the best ingredients

 

A blonde woman and a dark-haired man enjoying lunch outdoors
Close-up of seafood and vine tomatoes

If picking up fresh pastries for breakfast and crab sandwiches for lunch is your idea of the perfect holiday, a visit to Fee’s Food is a must. Day to day, the counter is filled with everything from chocolate and hazelnut meringues, to bacon and asparagus tarts, and vibrant Caesar salads. 

As well as an on-site café, this middle-of-Rock spot specialises in freshly prepared meals to be cooked at home. For barbeque nights, pick up a selection of monkfish and chorizo skewers or griddled halloumi and vegetables – marinated in fresh herbs and spices. If celebrations are in order, opt for a beautiful birthday cake and a bottle of red, white or sparkling from the cellar. And for seafood lunches in the garden, Fee’s fruit de mer platter promises the freshest fish from local waters. 
 

6. The Rock Inn

Why we love it: magical views over North Cornwall

With one of the best views over Rock Beach and the Camel Estuary, The Rock Inn sits at the very bottom of the village. It’s perfectly placed to sit and watch the comings and goings of the Padstow passenger ferry, and you can see right across to Cornwall’s infamous Doom Bar at low tide. 

Walking distance from a lot of our Rock holiday homes, start the day with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs from the elevated deck. Dogs are welcome throughout the restaurant, but will be happiest here after a good run through the sand dunes. With a children’s menu and plenty of vegetarian options, lunch and dinner are also highly recommended, with salads, steaks, burgers and sandwiches served daily. 

If drinks on the terrace are calling, the well-stocked bar serves everything from award-winning local beers (think Korev and Tribute) to Healey’s Rattler and Knightor’s Madeleine Angevine – a crisp and citrussy wine from the local four-acre vineyard. 
 

7. Blue Tomato Café

Why we love it: great for families with dogs

Putting a contemporary spin on the typical beachside café, Blue Tomato is best enjoyed with salty skin, tired dogs and beach-weary children. In summer, expect fresh and fruity smoothies, lovely seafood dishes, a tempting feta and watermelon salad, and not forgetting their signature ‘big fat sandwiches’. 

When the December chill kicks in, families can bundle up and head here in search of decadent hot chocolates – it’s a great place to visit all year round. Dog-lovers rejoice: there’s even a dedicated menu for four-legged diners.
 

Why not make a week of it...

Good food, beautiful beaches and even better company go hand in hand, so why not stay a little longer and book one of our Rock holiday homes to enjoy during your foodie escape. From new favourites like Driftwood, to flagship properties like Trehayl and Lower Cole, our Concierge team are always on hand for restaurant reservations, taxi bookings and private chefs to make your stay truly special. 

 

 

Sea-view master bedroom with white interiors
Outdoor swimming pool at Trehayl in Rock
Open plan living area at Driftwood in Rock

Left: Lower Cole | Middle: Trehayl | Right: Driftwood.

Image credits: all images are our own.
 

Posted by Sophie Hesp

When she's not out for brunch, Sophie loves exploring the coast path with her partner and their golden retriever pup, Obi. She writes about all things Cornwall and is a strong believer that there’s no such thing as too many house plants.