Our editor Rebecca Moore visits one of her favourite Cornish inns for a lunch that’s had her hankering for more…
When you find a pub with all the best ingredients; charming features, open fireplace, spacious beer garden, and a mouth-watering menu, you sometimes want to keep it to yourself. But St Kew Inn, in North Cornwall, is too good not to share. And since scooping a spot in the prestigious Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs across the country and featuring Rick Stein’s Cornwall on BBC Two at the beginning of the year, its success is no secret.
Being held in such high regard is essential for this Inn, as passing trade is pretty slim. Located at the bottom of a valley in, you guessed it… the parish of St Kew. You might not be treated to beach-front seating or views of bobbing boats on the harbour, but the charm of this 15th century pub makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside… which in part can be attributed to the roaring open fire, but heightened by the cider flagons, exposed stone walls and abundance of fire logs.
There are four dining areas to choose from, the cosy bar, an intimate dining room, a hefty beer garden, and a second larger dining area, which is where we ate. And every nook and cranny is just as a good pub should be, full of charm, unfussy but above all welcoming and homely.
Branding its menu as ‘plates of pure pleasure’ is quite frankly, spot on. The constantly revolving menu focuses around open-fire cooking, so you’ll often find locally-sourced fish, meat and vegetables cooked over coals.
To start I enjoyed a refreshing pickled pollock dish dressed with rhubarb and hazelnuts, followed by a St Kew favourite the smoked sausage, with a hearty gravy and the most delicious creamy mustard mash.
With just enough room for dessert, I indulged in a hazelnut and chocolate meringue with extra chocolate mousse for good measure.
For fancy ‘pub grub’ St Kew Inn is one of the best around, and with high applaud for its roast dinners, I plan to be back on a not-too-distant Sunday.