Padstow Foodie Heaven
The pretty fishing harbour attracting a lot of attention
Here at Watergate Bay we think we’re really lucky to have some great eateries but a few miles north along the coast the pretty fishing town of Padstow has really made a name for itself in the food department and it’s not difficult to see why.
Wind down the narrow streets and you will find shops and restaurants clustered around the harbour which opens out onto the Camel Estuary. Colourful boats bob in the water as fishing vessels chug in and out with the day’s fresh catches. There’s usually a few buckets and crab lines at the side of the slipway for children to use and the shops are generally bustling no matter what time of year. A local fudge shop, pasty parlours, gift shops, kiosks selling Cornish clotted cream ice cream and art galleries surround the harbour whilst Stein’s Seafood School and shop and a Lobster Hatchery fare well beside the car park.
Padstow can attribute much of its fame to TV chef Rick Stein who has featured it in many of his programmes. The Seafood Restaurant, St Petroc’s Bistro, Stein’s Fish & Chips and Rick Stein’s Café are dotted throughout the town. Number 6 Restaurant, Padstow is also owned by TV chef Paul Ainsworth, and both chefs extoll the virtues of the fresh catches and local artisan made foods freely available in the town.
At the top of the hill overlooking the town is Prideaux Place, an historic Elizabethan Country House with beautiful grounds including a deer park and a quirky collection of teddy bears. Filming for many of Cornish born author Rosamunde Pilcher’s novels took place at the manor which is open from Easter until October or by appointment at other times of the year.
Originating near Bodmin, the Camel Trail follows a disused railway line besides the estuary to finish at Padstow. It’s possible to hire bikes and cycle the 18 mile trail, the last part of which is 5 miles from Wadebridge to Padstow. Surrounded by beaches, Padstow Tourist Information have maps on the trail and other local walks around the town. One of the most popular walks is a 7 mile circular route starting from the harbour or for the more energetic, take the ‘Saint’s Way’ leading to Cornwall’s south coast at Fowey.
Should you wish to stop for dinner at one of Rick Stein’s restaurants or Number 6 Restaurant then it’s worth booking in advance. The multiple Cornish pasty flavours available from the shops also tend to sell out quite quickly. However, in this town of food there’s usually plenty of alternatives!