Cornwall LivingIssue #126

A hidden foodie gem

Away from the crowds, in a quiet nook, you’ll find this timeless jewel.

Dining at Talland Bay Hotel is a must for anyone visiting or living in Cornwall that loves their food. The experience is nothing short of a show-stopping culinary adventure, with many different components and performers contributing to the final dishes that appear on your plate, from the fishermen in Looe and the neighbouring farmer, to the wild mushroom forager and Cornish cheese makers. Not to mention the hours of toil committed by Head Chef Glen Merriott and the team in the kitchen.

To eat at the hotel is to go on a sensory journey. The evening starts in the bar, where appetites are whetted with a pre-dinner tipple and intricately crafted canapés. All of this, before moving through to the restaurant where the amuse-bouche sets the tone for the hotel’s modern take on classic British dishes. 

The menus change to reflect the seasons and spoils of the surrounding countryside and sea. Seasonal highlights for starters might include a heritage tomato salad with gazpacho and a crunchy sesame cracker, or John Dory with fragrant curry oil, toasted macadamia, cauliflower and bittersweet chicory. For the main event, Glen cites the melt in the mouth fillet of beef with beer-braised beef cheek amongst his favourite dishes. And while the menu is unashamedly heavy on meat and fish, when it turns to vegetarian options, it does so with no less aplomb. There is also the regularly changing specials menu, which works to the mantra ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone.’

The dessert menu is where the young pastry chef Alisha gets to shine, carefully pairing palette-pleasing sorbets with a delicate strawberry mille-feuille or a black forest dark chocolate delice. Alternatively, cheese-lovers can opt to take a taste tour around the county via Bude, Redruth, Padstow and the Helford. 

What is abundantly clear is that a good deal of love has gone into the execution of every dish. That such a small team can turn out such exquisite fare is a delightful surprise, one that simply has to be enjoyed first-hand to be believed.

Talland Bay Hotel