There is nowhere in the world like The Wheelhouse. Nowhere. Getting a table is like getting a table at The Ivy in London. You have to be very, very organised and book months ahead. But make sure you do, because the experience is brilliant. The room is cosy and eclectic, with various hats sitting on high shelves for those who like to accessorise. The menu is small but mighty – prawns, scallops, oysters, mussels, crab, salad, frites, and bread to dunk. It’s so hands-on and messy that the table set up includes a kitchen roll. The staff are the last but not least element to give a shout out to. They are so down-to-earth and smiley and helpful and open-to-fun that they’ll make your night.
This place wins the view award. Standing on the rocks over the lovely beach at Swanpool, it has a large outdoor terrace and a great menu, featuring everything from fish fingers to a lobster you’ve just chosen from the tank.
This snug little spot is the creation of our local brewery, Verdant, and its mission is to create small seafood plates that team up with beer (and wine – but then we all know about that happy marriage). It’s a taproom, so there’s always a lot of beautiful beer on, including sharing bottles. Then, let a delicious parade of tapas make your day, starring the likes of fish tacos, crab toasts, cheddar and beer fritters, seared scallops, and fish finger butties.
We’re lucky to have this as our local chippy; it’s in the UK’s top ten. The fish comes from Newlyn daily, and there’s a strict policy on responsible fishing – so they’re as good at operating as they are at frying. You can take your feast away or eat in with harbour views. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
When Provedore has its gurnard fish curry on the menu, all other fish curry chefs may as well just put down their coriander and walk away from the stove. Provedore is a tiny neighbourhood restaurant with a massive heart. The menu is inspired by Tim and Bev’s travels, so you can expect an African dish to be on the board next to a Malaysian dish. The sides/starters/nibbles include two dishes I dream about when I’m not eating them: squid so juicy and full of flavour you could cry, and cod croquettes so perfectly seasoned you could cry some more.
This beauty of a little restaurant has co-owner Angus Bell in its kitchen. Angus trained in London at Le Gavroche under Michel Roux Jr, and his food is seriously good.
Another cracking view with outside terrace seating over Gyllyngvase (pronounced Gill-ing-vaze) Blue Flag beach. This is where to enjoy dishes like griddled octopus and crab risotto after a hard day’s beaching.
This is another restaurant with a perfect view, but this one wins the big-time chef awards, having recently been taken over by Michael Caines. Their Seafood Sundays menu says it all, and Michael’s thing is working only with sustainable seafood and shellfish.
The best flavour finds in St Ives Bay