Situated in Maenporth Cove, just a few miles south of Falmouth in Cornwall, The Cove restaurant occupies a very coveted spot in the summer. Maenporth Cove is a very popular place for families and holiday goers to visit in the summer, with its breathtaking sandy beach, superb views, and clear blue sea.
The Cove is widely regarded to be one of the best places to eat in Cornwall, having won numerous awards over the last ten years, since the restaurant opened. Head Chef Arty Williams grew up down the road in Falmouth, and returned to his home turf after a period of extensive travel, whose influence is felt in his food – using great Cornish produce, but with a twist.
The Cove is open all year round, and is as great a place to dine on a hot summer’s day, as it is sat by the fire on a chilly winter’s evening.
Making the most of local produce, the menu is short, offering four starters or a selection of tapas to start, and five mains, but with an interesting specials board, which changes daily.
To start, we chose the tapas option, just ordering two to share. We chose the Slow braised pig cheeks and Tiger prawns with aioli and gremolata. Both were absolutely delicious, and we found the portions to be extremely generous – one each was, to be honest, plenty for each of us. Priced between £5.50 and £6.95, we were impressed.
For the main, I had the local haddock with king prawn and shrimp butter, a special, priced at £16. My guest chose the local Hake, which was served with leeks and brown shrimps and was priced at £16.95. The haddock and the hake were cooked to perfection, and both mains were fresh, full of flavour and very light. We chose the Prosecco Superiore to accompany our meal, which was excellent value at £6 a glass.
To finish, we tried the citrus cheesecake, an invidual cheesecake, flavoured with lemon and lime (£6) and the Cornish cheese plate, featuring Cornish Brie, Cornish Blue and Cornish Yarg (£6.50) which finished off the meal nicely.
My guest follows a gluten free diet, and we cannot emphasise enough how helpful the staff were at The Cove. They were very clued up and informative on which dishes we should steer clear of, and helpfully offered a selection of alternative dishes, too.
Although the restaurant was busy when we visited, we received a particularly memorable welcome from waiter Dan, who was delightfully attentive throughout the meal.
The Cove is a particularly relaxing spot in which to enjoy a meal. The restaurant is very open plan with a large terrace, which is even open in the winter, albeit heated and with blankets provided. But watching the sun set, and the waves crash as you relax with a glass of wine and a great meal is an experience hard to beat.
How to get there?
Maenporth is situated around 6 miles from Falmouth. You can catch the train down to Falmouth and finish the journey in a cab, or it is easily accessible by road – follow the A39 from Truro – it is well signposted.
Where to stay?
Holiday Cornwall operate some luxury holiday cottages on the Maenporth Estate, which look out across Falmouth Bay to St Anthony Lighthouse, the Manacles rocks and the open sea. But apart from their tremendous views, the self-catering houses, cottages and apartments have shared facilities including a huge and beautiful indoor pool and tennis courts – as well as direct access to the white sand beach below with its cafe, kayaking, coasteering and watersports on tap. The Cove Restaurant is directly below the estate.
On the self catering front you can order before you leave home with www.cornishfoodmarket.co.uk and they’ll deliver to your holiday accommodation – the freshest and best local produce and anything else you may need for your trip. The Cornish Food Market is so good, it reached the final of BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming Awards in November 2012.