Back in the summer lil’sis & I headed off on the train from London to Cornwall. It felt like a big adventure: we hadn’t been away on holiday together for what seemed like an age, and although Posetta Baddog had to stay at home, we were feeling footloose and fancy free. Even if it did start raining about four hours into the journey and not stop for more than a few hours for the duration of our stay.
We pretty much holed up at the lovely Scarlet hotel for the duration apart from one morning, when we were picked up and taken for lunch at The Cornwall, a very new & shiny hotel, carefully & tastefully converted from a beautiful large white, manor house, about thirty minutes inland, on the outskirts of St Austell.
Now you all know that I eat out A LOT. In New York, that’s at least once a day if not twice, racking up at least eight meals not cooked by me each week and even in London, where eating out can be both time consuming and wallet-screamingly expensive, I still manage four or five restaurants each week, thanks to many business meetings over meals. That’s a lot of food.
So when I say that the lunch I ate at The Cornwall is one of the best meals I’ve eaten, hands down, on either side of the Atlantic in the past year, I’m comparing it against hundreds of others.
GOD IT WAS GOOD.
I don’t really review restaurants on this blog. I’d rather leave it to the pros, and talk about the experience, the mise en scene, the people I was with, what I wore, my usual kind of navel gazing. But in this case, I was so blown away by my lunch, I can barely remember much else of the day.
Seasonal and local are to very overused words in the restaurant lexicon, but chef Tom Bradbury does more than pay lip service to them. He’s been sourcing his ingredients from the local area for over ten years, and it shows in the flavours that sing from his plates of food now he’s at The Cornwall. Judging by own experience, I’d say he has a perfect palate.
Even the simple salad with which I started tasted of more than damp leafiness, perfectly dressed & seasoned. But the high point was the plate of gnocchi (below at right). These little dumplings are so often a plate of vegetarian cop out, bland and effort free, dumped in a bowl and slopped with sauce, but this was a plate as carefully considered as any of the meat or fish on the menu. The gnocchi were fried to add textural crunch, the vegetables were cooked a point, the seasoning was accurate and the sauce sublime. I would have happily eaten it twice over.
Pudding was just as good.
Book a table now. Call 01726 87 40 50, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Estate • Pentewan Rd, St Austell, PL26 7AB •T 01726 874050 • www.thecornwall.com