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From the Blog

Where to book Christmas Day lunch in Cornwall

Posted by Bethany Walton on Updated on
Main Image - Walter's on the Beach.jpg

Look forward to a festive feast beside the sea

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are turning auburn and talk of Christmas is in the air. With the festive season just around the corner, the allure of mulled wine and roast lunches are becoming even more irresistible. To narrow down your festive dining options for 2023, we’ve rounded up 10 traditional pubs, sublime tasting menus and sea-view hotels serving Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.  

1. The Pityme Inn, Rock

Renowned for its classic pub dishes, friendly service and extensive drinks menu, The Pityme Inn is a longstanding favourite amongst our guests. Located at the very top of Rock, expect to be greeted by a roaring wood burner, decorated pines and candlelit tables. Using only local, fresh ingredients, the three-course set menu has been curated to accommodate everyone’s appetites. Start with a spiced squash soup, a venison scotch egg or a king prawn cocktail before moving on to the big event. The Christmas roasts feature turkey, pork belly and beef wellington, with a wild mushroom pie as a delicious vegan option. If there’s room for dessert, treat your sweet tooth to a white chocolate crème brulee or keep it traditional with mince pies and mulled wine. 

Where to stay nearby: Soak up the festivities with a week spent at Trehayl, also in Rock. Wake up to sparkling estuary views before unwrapping presents beside the wood burner, all before venturing onto the sand for a walk pre-lunch. 

2. Una, St Ives

Una St Ives via Instagram.jpg

© Una via Instagram

Home to the award-winning Una Kitchen, this contemporary seaside restaurant provides an idyllic setting for festive dining. For those staying in and around St Ives, Una is open for non-residents and are offering their delicious Christmas Day menu to all. Before taking an ocean-view seat, enjoy glasses of fizz and canapes as your loved ones arrive and mistletoe wishes are exchanged.

The restaurant's three-course menu begins with traditional gravadlax and peppery celeriac soup before moving onto a smoked turkey roast or fresh fish main. Delve into mini yule logs and praline choux buns as the meal draws to a close and be sure to toast to a very Merry Christmas.

3. Ugly Butterfly, Carbis Bay

Ugly Butterfly.jpg

© John Hersey Studio

Our answer to fine dining this Christmas, the Ugly Butterfly is offering a spellbinding three-course festive menu curated by head chef, Adam Handling. Using locally sourced ingredients, the menu is a celebration of festive classics with a contemporary coastal twist. Expect roasted celeriac, fresh mackerel and crispy oysters for starters, before a main of Balmoral turkey, beef wellington or pan-seared halibut – served with all the trimmings.

Enjoying a serene coastal backdrop, while away the hours watching the sea roll into shore from your spot in the waterside restaurant. Clink glasses of Taittinger as the King’s trifle is served for dessert – all before heading out onto the sand for a stroll in the late afternoon sunshine.

Set to fully book, be sure to secure your reservation well in advance.    

4. The Hannafore Point Hotel, Looe

Sitting on the edge of the water in Looe, The Hannafore Point’s restaurant offers a sublime fine dining experience on Cornwall’s south coast. The five-course lunch menu features confit duck and crab starters, delicate palette cleansers and traditional meat roasts too - always served with fluffy roast potatoes, honey parsnips and buttery Brussels sprouts. Leaving room for pudding, keep it simple with an apple tarte tatin or indulge in their famous dark chocolate torte, topped with Chantilly cream.

5. The Cornwall, St Austell

The Cornwall via Instagram.jpg

© The Cornwall via Instagram


Set amongst evergreen grounds and endless woodlands, The Cornwall is a slice of paradise not far from Carlyon Bay, Charlestown and Pentewan. Open for Christmas Day lunch, the four-course menu is a celebration of fresh produce with all of the ingredients hailing from local farms, waters and dairies. Begin with the decadent fish soup before moving onto aged roast beef, served with plenty of gravy, braised red cabbage and glazed parsnips. Share cracker jokes over the table with little ones before rounding everything off with a dark chocolate crème brulee and a brandy snap.

Where to stay nearby: Just a short drive away in Fowey, you’ll find our south coast treasures, Lantic Barn and Daymarker. Home to cosy coastal interiors and sparkling sea views, these homes are well-suited to family Christmases in the heart of Cornwall.

6. St Mawes Hotel, St Mawes

The Idle Rocks copyright.jpg
The Idle Rocks copyright (2).jpg

© The St Mawes Hotel and The Idle Rocks

A boutique hotel in the heart of St Mawes, the Upper Deck restaurant enjoys beautiful sea views stretching over to Falmouth, making it an idyllic location for family dining this December. With the festive menu still under wraps, it's set to be another decadent feast complete with their infamous quiz too. Served at midday, enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by loved ones as the lights twinkle on the decorated pines dotted around the restaurant. If the weather allows, take warm mulled wines out onto the balcony to soak up the sea air before heading home to continue the celebrations. 

Also open for Christmas Day lunch, their sister restaurant, The Idle Rocks have a few tables left for December 25th. Begin planning your south coast staycation and make St Mawes the setting for this year’s celebrations. 

7. The Alverton, Truro

The Alverton via Instagram.jpg

© The Alverton via Instagram

One of the county’s grandest hotels, The Alverton is a Grade II listed building, steeped in history and offering impeccable customer service. Sitting on the hillside above Truro’s city centre, this is where you can fully relax and soak up the festivities. Lit by twinkling lights, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with an open fire only adding to the ambience. The menu keeps things traditional with some contemporary twists, elevating it to a fine dining level. And rounding it all off is the cheese course - sample truffled brie, wood-smoked cheddars and apple chutneys, paired with a delicious dessert wine of your choosing.  

For those wishing to treat loved ones in the lead up to the big day, The Alverton are also rolling out their festive afternoon teas in December. Complete with whipped cream hot chocolates, turkey sandwiches and chocolate orange macaroons, this is the perfect excuse to begin the celebrations early. 

8. Oystercatcher, Polzeath

Oystercatcher copyright St Austell Brewery.jpg

© St Austell Brewery

One of North Cornwall’s most popular pubs, the Oystercatcher in Polzeath is run by St Austell Brewery and radiates a warm, traditional charm. Enjoying views over the incoming tides, the pub sits just moments from the sand and is open as usual for December 25th. A favourite amongst locals too, the bar will be brimming with those toasting the big day. Book ahead to secure your spot in the conservatory and pull crackers before your starters arrive. The menu features plenty of options, with slow cooked beef short rib and roasted chalk stream trout as tasty alternatives for the turkey main. 

Where to stay nearby: After lunch, head back over the coast path to Seagrass. An ocean-view paradise high above Polzeath’s waters, this home is perfect for gathering the family together for yuletide celebrations. Pour sherries as the wood burner warms the room or head downstairs for a festive film in the cinema room. 

9. Walter’s on the Beach, Carbis Bay

Walter's on the Beach.jpg

© Frankie Thomas for Walter's on the Beach

A truly magical setting for the yuletide celebrations, Walter’s on the Beach sits on the sand and is run by the same team as the Carbis Bay Hotel. Having opened its doors at the start of the year, the restaurant is headed by chef Andrew Haughton. The seven-course tasting menu is a thing of Christmas dreams, with a delicious wine menu to match.

Also home to sophisticated interiors and ocean vistas, Walter’s makes an incredible location for special occasions. Pop a bottle of bubbly and settle in for a culinary feast, beginning with pan-fried scallops (or banana blossom for vegetarians) and ending with Christmas pudding ice cream. 

10. Chain Locker, Falmouth

Chain Locker copyright St Austell Brewery (2).jpg
Chain Locker copyright St Austell Brewery.jpg

© St Austell Brewery

Another St Austell Brewery pub, the Chain Locker sits in the heart of maritime Falmouth. Home to sparkling sea views, the restaurant overlooks the boats moored on the quayside. On arrival, shrug off winter coats and head to the bar for a festive tipple to kick start the celebrations. The bar is perfectly stocked with Cornish ales, brews and wines, as well as locally pressed juices and cordials for younger diners. Renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere, settle into the dining room and await a culinary feast. Begin with Atlantic prawns, move onto a traditional roast with all the trimmings, before rounding it all off with a panettone bread pudding.

Walk off full bellies with a stomp over the headland towards Gyllyngvase Beach. Skim stones on the gentle waves before heading home for board games and films by the fire. 

Before the big day

If Christmas Day doesn't work for everyone, there are plenty of delicious options for gathering friends and family together during December. Serving celebratory menus until the 23rd of the month, The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Duchy of Cornwall Nursery and The Fox’s Revenge offer lunch beside roaring log burners and under twinkling fairy lights. Perfect for little appetites, they all offer a children’s menu brimming with delicious veggies and mini mince pies. 

Image credit: Keiran Brimson (main image) and Frankie Thomas for Walter's on the Beach | John Hersey Studio for Ugly Butterfly | St Austell Brewery for Oystercatcher and Chain Locker | The St Mawes Hotel and The Idle Rocks | Una, The Cornwall and The Alverton are all via Instagram. 


Posted by Bethany Walton

Beth can usually be found on a Cornish beach or enjoying a swim in the sea. She has great insight about where to visit across the county, plus plenty of recommendations for finding the best Cornish ice cream.

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