Being into our food and cooking shows, we were quite excited to be staying near Padstow – home of Cornish celebrity chef Rick Stein – for a few days following our wedding.
We of course paid a visit to his renowned fish and chips takeaway in Padstow harbour, but we were also keen to check out The Cornish Arms; his family-friendly, down-to-earth pub in St. Merryn – about a mile or so away from where we were staying in Haryln Bay.
Unlike many of his celebrity chef counterparts, Rick Stein thrives on cooking simple food with simple ingredients, and The Cornish Arms provides just that. We were warned by our holiday cottage’s property manager that the pub gets pretty full of families with kids around 5-6pm, so we waited to almost 8pm before heading over. Fortunately, we found a table straight away within the large conservatory area towards the back of the pub.
I instantly noticed the simple choice of food on offer – alongside the one burger was scampi in a basket, sausage and mash, ham, egg and chips, lamb curry, steak and much more – all classic English dishes, and all very reasonably priced. I of course ordered the burger, which was priced at just £10.95, including chips.
Whilst I was waiting I ordered a pint of the Tribute Cornish Pale Ale. Brewed in St Austell in the south of the county, I was pleased to be drinking something authentic to Cornwall. The taste was light, with a touch of hoppiness – as usual with Pale Ale’s, it made for a perfect blend to go alongside a burger.
When the burger was put in front of me it’s safe to say that it didn’t blow me away. Presented split into two halves, the beef patty was fairly small, and therefore it didn’t really seem like this was a necessity – more the pub trying to fill the space on the plate.
But, I then remembered that Rick Stein isn’t trying to offer the gourmet experience at The Cornish Arms, and so far offering simple food has worked a treat for him here. Whether he would be able to offer such a menu in Padstow itself however is a different question.
That isn’t to say that the burger wasn’t tasty though; it was clearly made with fresh ingredients and I was more than satisfied with what it offered. The beef, topped with cheese was soft, all of the salad items were crisp and the bun was a sesame seed bap which at no point struggled to hold all of the items inside together. The chips were also tasty and well-cooked.
Considering the price, combined with the experience of being in a Rick Stein eatery, I was more than happy with the meal I had paid for.
The burger at The Cornish Arms is never going to win any awards, however it is a solid choice and a good alternative for those looking for something else other than fish in the Padstow area.
The Cornish Arms can be found at Churchtown, St Merryn, Padstow, PL28 8ND. This review took place on 23/06/2015.