Savour the early summer sun with Cornwall’s al fresco dining destinations
From flower-filled garden cafés to restaurants on the sand
With the summer sunshine on its way, we’re looking forward to making the most of time spent in Cornwall’s great outdoors. From sun-drenched terraces to tables by the sea, we’ve rounded up our top five al fresco dining destinations in the county. Whether you’re enjoying afternoon tea in West Looe or sampling a fine dining menu on Padstow’s harbour front, here are our favourites.
Set on the North Cornwall coast, the beach bar and restaurant at Lusty Glaze is a must-visit spot for holidaying foodies with dogs by their side. Serving lazy lunches, cosy coffees and seaside suppers on the privately owned beach, Lusty Glaze offers picture-perfect views whatever the weather. Arrive early and work up an appetite with an early morning surf before breakfast, or take an evening walk along the shallows before a cocktail or two as the sun sets. Sit down to dinner at one of the picnic tables in the sand and take in magnificent views over white sands and turquoise waters, or bring your four-legged friends along for a casual mid-week lunch thanks to Woof Wednesdays.
Less than 15 minutes away in the lovely Mawgan Porth, Tamarisk is an ideal holiday home for families. With a spacious kitchen and luscious garden for lunchtime picnics on the grass, enjoy its serene location only moments from the beach.
Putting a contemporary twist on classic cuisine, the menu at Porthminster Kitchen marries creative global flavours with an incredible Cornish setting. Located in the heart of St Ives, the restaurant offers an extra-special vantage point to soak up the 180 degree ocean views over lunch, dinner or coffee and cake.
Look out to sea as the fishing boats return with the day’s catch and sample the freshest local seafood from the sun-drenched terrace, before taking a walk along the town’s bustling harbour and quaint winding streets. Serving everything from seasonal vegetable curries to indulgent duck dishes and tropical coconut desserts, Porthminster Kitchen is a unique dining destination offering a true taste of Cornwall.
An idyllic west coast gem that’s ideally located for exploring Cornwall’s thriving foodie scene, The Mouse House sits right on the harbour front in Mousehole, just half an hour away. Take a day trip to St Ives and sample the menu at Porthminster before retreating to soak up pretty ocean views from the comfort of your holiday home.
Greens of Padstow
Promising glorious food with breath-taking views, Greens of Padstow is a tranquil spot to sit and watch the tides roll in over lunch. Perched high above the harbour, the restaurant is home to beautiful views over the Camel Estuary, as well as a mini golf course set amongst the gardens, providing endless fun for families.
Whether you stop by for breakfast, enjoy an al fresco lunch overlooking the water or make a reservation for a spectacular evening meal, the locally sourced menu won’t disappoint. Try out the cocktail menu with a punchy rhubarb sparkle or a refreshing gin fizz and take to the balcony to raise a toast as night falls.
After an evening of fine dining, retreat to The Hideaways in nearby Harlyn Bay. Each sleeping six or up to 18 when booked together for sociable holidays, Wolf Rock, Longships and Lizard are moments from the beach.
Island View Café
Popular with locals for its homemade lunches and traditional cream teas, Island View Café sits in an idyllic location with views across Hannafore Beach and Looe Island, owing to its namesake. Perfect after a walk on the beach or an afternoon browsing Looe’s charming streets, the café’s flower-filled garden, abundance of outdoor seating and quirky décor make it a lovely place for families. Take a seat at a picnic table and enjoy tea and cake or a selection of freshly made sandwiches, or settle into a sun lounger with your dog by your side and watch the water sparkling just opposite.
A beachside café serving brunch, lunch and tapas in the ever-charming Port Gaverne, Pilchards is a dog-friendly destination that’s perfect for hungry walkers. After a stroll along the coast path, stop by for seaside refreshments and browse the varied menu featuring Cornish charcuterie, Szechuan squid and passionfruit panna cotta, before taking to the sand with a chilled glass of cider in hand.
With specials changing daily and tables only moments from the sea at high tide, Pilchards promises a great lunchtime location to refuel after long rambles along North Cornwall’s portion of the South West Coast Path.
Occupying an enviable spot overlooking Polzeath Beach, Doyden is a family-friendly holiday home welcoming four-legged friends only 15 minutes from Port Gaverne.
From seaside retreats with bubbling hot tubs to luscious gardens and beautiful bedrooms, take a closer look at our beach houses and get inspired for this year’s Cornish staycation.