The Harbour Restaurant, Port Isaac

Taking the entire family out to a grown up restaurant is a calculated risk. At best the children won’t whine. At worst we will be asked to leave for causing such a rumpus and spoiling the other dinners’ intimate soirées. However, there comes a time, when the ‘little darlings’ have to be initiated, or no family would ever enjoy a bit of civilized dining out. I enquired cautiously on booking, “We’d like to bring our kids, would that be alright?”

“We do mostly fish,” came the warning. Fresh Port Isaac crab cakes, scallops, sardines, mackerel, lemon sole and sea trout: it makes perfect sense.  From the front door, the view is direct onto the Platt where fishermen still land their daily catch. “That’s Ok, they all like fish,” my fingers firmly crossed. My youngest has an expensive predilection for lobster. It’s just important to keep greenery off his plate. Luckily, owner and chef Emily Scott has children too so accommodating kids doesn’t faze her in the least. Continue reading

The Arboretum at The Cornwall

Soused Mackerel Starter

Some menus are written to impress or bewilder with mousselines and veloutés. Others are distinctly ‘French’, ‘Italian’ or ‘Fusion’ in flavour. Methods need to be translated and dishes explained in dialogue that entices enthusiastic responses. Head Chef Tom Bradbury’s English dishes were presented as lists of ingredients, nothing more, in the most straightforward way a menu can be. Without the ritual of appetite seduction, I felt abandoned to an objective rational. Who’d have thought a lack of description could leave me so underwhelmed. “I’ll try the lamb,” I opted, “Not had that for a while.” Continue reading