North Cornwall, in South West England, has some culinary delights on offer and we found lots of options for coeliacs. From Michelin-starred grub, to fish and chips on the seashore and pasties on-the-go, below is a run through of some places in Padstow, Port Isaac and St Ives (and surrounds) that I have tried and would recommend for gluten free Cornwall.
Gluten Free Cornwall – Top End Restaurants
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac – an absolutely wonderful two Michelin-starred restaurant. Chef Nathan Outlaw was cooking when we visited and the experience was fantastic. The restaurant focuses on sustainably-caught, Cornish seafood and on offer is a seafood tasting menu at £99 per person. If you book 48 hours in advance they can cater for gluten-free and other allergies, as well as vegetarians.
Two of our group were coeliac, plus one of the coeliacs was also lactose intolerant, hence we needed one gluten-free set menu and one gluten and dairy free set menu. The restaurant did a fantastic job of creating alternative gluten free dishes for us that were very similar to the main menu. They went the extra mile in even making special gluten free lentil crackers for one of the dishes, to replace the standard wheat crackers.
Food was beautifully presented and utterly delicious. Lots of interesting pairings and combinations. Plus, the restaurant’s location means you get a fantastic panoramic view across the sea. A really exceptional meal. We loved it!
(Restaurant Nathan Outlaw – paired starters of cured monkfish with saffron and smoked almond, and raw scallops with onion, preserved herring and chilli – a highlight of gluten free Cornwall)
The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow – we visited this Rick Stein establishment for a celebratory birthday lunch.
They were very capable at catering for a gluten free diet and once we got hold of the waiter he helpfully ran through what we could and could eat, and provided gluten-free bread. The food was good (see my Singapore Chilli Crab, gluten free style, below) but maybe a bit overpriced (we went a la carte – they have a set lunch menu that was much better value). Service was a bit slow, but perhaps they were just having an off day when we visited. Overall certainly worth considering if you are staying in Padstow as they did a good job on the gluten-free front.
(Singapore chilli crab at Stein’s seafood restaurant)
Porthminster Beach Café, St Ives – a multi award-winning seafood restaurant. Lovely food, excellent service from staff who showed good knowledge of gluten free. They provided me with a menu marked up by the chef indicating what I could and couldn’t have. They also successfully catered for a nut allergy in our party. Nice views over the bay too.
Gluten Free Cornwall – Lunch and dinner options
Cornish Arms, St Merryn – another one in the Rick Stein empire. I actually really liked this pub, and they did great gluten-free options. They had gluten-free bread so I was able to have sautéed field mushrooms on toast with rocket and parmesan salad. Also, their chips were coeliac-friendly and the grilled hake was beautifully cooked. Big beer garden so you can sit outside if it is a sunny day. I enjoyed eating here much more than the main Rick Stein seafood restaurant in Padstow.
Rest A While Tea Garden, Hawkers Cove – break up your coastal walk with a stop at this cliff-top cafe round the coast from Padstow. Gluten free sandwiches and gluten-free cream teas on offer.
Camel Trail Tea Garden, Bodmin – ah this place was great! We were doing a camel valley trail bike ride and hadn’t taken any lunch with us. We stopped here and it turned out they had a load of gluten-free options! I had an ace fresh crab salad with gluten-free bread. They also had gluten-free cake, can make gluten-free sandwiches and jacket potatoes. The garden is lovely so we had a nice sit in the sun to rest our weary legs. Family-owned. While on the trail, I would recommend a little pit stop at the Camel Valley Vineyard for a glass of Pinot Noir Rose Brut (mmmm).
Becks Fish and Chips, Carbis Bay – for a proper gluten free battered fish and chips dinner, this place is a good bet. They have a wide gluten-free range on offer (fish, scampi) and a separate fryer so it is all very coeliac friendly. You can eat in or buy to takeaway.
Porthmeor Beach Café, St Ives – all gluten free items marked on the menu. Lots of delicious tapas options and gf puds too! Plus lovely view over Porthmeor Beach and there’s a surf school attached.
The Tea Room, St Ives – wonderful range of gluten free tartlettes, sandwiches, scones and cakes on offer. They pretty much have a gluten-free alternative for everything on the menu! Bacon sandwich, crab tartlette, cream team and cakes were all good…including an epic plum and almond cake that even the non-coeliacs in our group were lusting after.
Stein’s Fish and Chips, Padstow – coeliac-friendly, cooking chips in separate fryer. There was no gluten free batter available but they do offer grilled fish or prawns. Staff were totally clued-up on allergens and were really helpful. Note though that a sneaky one to avoid is the tartar sauce – the mustard powder in their homemade version contains gluten (the staff made me aware of this).
Gluten Free Cornwall – Other Treats
The Padstow Pasty Co, Padstow – gluten free pasties! Both meat and vegetarian available, tasty pastry with good fillings. They cook to order, so you can pop off to look at the shops for 15 mins and then come back to a nice hot gluten free pasty!
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, Penhallow – cider cider everywhere! Cider farm with animals to keep the kids happy and lovely outdoor pub area to keep the adults happy :). Varieties available to taste and pints available to buy. The Pear Rattler was my favourite.
While on the topic of cider, Cornish Orchards Cider is also worth trying. We had a nice cool bottle of the original apple variety when visiting the Lost Gardens of Heligan in St Austell.
So there are a few suggested gluten free Cornwall places to try if you are headed down to the county this summer. A couple of additional places that I have not tried personally but that I have seen as recommended for gluten free Cornwall on TripAdviser are as follows:
Madelines Tea Shop, St Ives – “their gluten free pasties – are the best! Amazing pastry and great filling” (Jane Q) and “they do a variety of gluten-free cakes” (Surfandsailz38).
Pels, St Ives – “Excellent gluten free selection of food that actually tastes good. I enjoyed a gluten free pizza and a gluten free pancake” (Wilkinson252), “if you are coeliac and need to find somewhere that does proper gluten free food, Pels is great…they had a great and very varied gluten free menu” (Colly39), “good knowledge of gluten free and explained awareness of cross contamination so you felt confident eating there” (Travellergirl20).
Cup Cakes Cafe, Port Isaac – “Highlight of Port Isaac, the most delicious warm gluten free cream tea:)” (susiewoof)
Enjoy beautiful gluten free Cornwall!