29 May PORT GAVERNE HOTEL WINS BEST PUB IN THE SOUTH WEST
PORT GAVERNE HOTEL WINS BEST PUB IN THE SOUTH WEST
St Austell Brewery Inn beats off Michelin star rivals to win major award
For the past three years, The Port Gaverne Hotel near Port Isaac has been voted Cornwall’s top pub at The National Pub & Bar Awards. Last week at a Michelin-star-studded ceremony held at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London, they went one better and were named best pub in the South West.
The regional award, which considers pubs from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire & Bristol, has a history of boosting the profiles of its winners and is considered a major prize in the industry.
For landlords David & Jackie Barnard, it’s the icing on the cake after a string of awards including Best Pub in Cornwall, Top 50 Gastropubs and St Austell Brewery’s Tenant of the Year. David puts their success down to three things: produce, attitude and motivation.
“We have incredible seafood landing literally yards from our doorstep. Our local farms rear some of the UK’s highest quality livestock. And we’re surrounded by microproducers of superb artisan cheeses, deli foods and boutique spirits. We use them all, because they inspire our chefs to keep creating amazing food. Another crucial ingredient is the relaxed atmosphere. There’s no pretence here. If you’re coming in off the beach for a pint and chips that’s great. If you’re after three courses of seafood fresh off the day boats, that’s fine too. Everyone’s welcome, and everyone’s treated the same by our team who love what they do and believe in what we’re trying to achieve.”
The Port Gaverne Hotel has made its name by serving day-fresh seafood from the Port Isaac fishing fleet and the cream of the crops from local farms. Head Chef, James Lean explains their simple food approach: “Our cooking follows the seasons. We have such beautiful constantly changing local produce that every day in the kitchen is exciting, because we’re always doing something new. Our menus showcase the best of Cornwall but it’s no-ego cooking – let the ingredients shine. And we always make sure there’s enough food on the plate to fuel your journey home (or upstairs to bed). We’re a pub after all.”
Port Isaac & Port Gaverne challenge Padstow as Cornwall’s food capital
With Restaurant Nathan Outlaw winning UK’s best restaurant in 2017 and Port Gaverne Hotel picking up multiple dining and accommodation awards over the past 3 years, the area is fast becoming Cornwall’s go-to spot for gourmet holidays. The Barnards run three establishments all within half a mile of each other and have no plans to let up. Pilchards Cafe, right by the beach at Port Gaverne, opened last year offering after a half million pound investment, backed by St Austell Brewery. With an open kitchen, it offers seafood tapas & sharing plates alongside a wide choice of local gins and brews. Five minutes up the headland is Stargazy Inn (AKA Wenn House in the TV series ‘Doc Martin’). The luxury B&B is currently being refurbished with a new kitchen, bar, and a decked terrace overlooking the bay to Tintagel. Stargazy will be open to the public for food and drink in June.
Free Tuk Tuk Rides!
Linking the two villages throughout the season will be a free Tuk Tuk taking passengers from Stargazy Inn to Port Gaverne and back again. “We want visitors to be able to explore the area as easily as possible, and same the amazing food on offer everywhere around here” David says. “So from mid-June we’ll be offering free rides up and down the hill on our ‘Port to Port’ service.”