Muddy eats: The Pandora Inn
There are pubs that you clock every day as you drive by, and then there are pubs that you’d never find without a bit of assistance from locals and brown road signs. The Pandora Inn falls in the latter. Situated on the Restronguet Creek (a creek! exotic), its not hard to see why this is one destination gastropub with awards coming out of its ears.
Seems like it took the Muddy awards back in the summer to get me off my backside and get down there for a bite, but more fool me – I can see why Muddy readers voted it best destination pub 2016.
Simply decorated without naff pub accoutrements with low beams and flag stones, parts of the pub date back to the 13 Century. Following a few name changes, it became known as the Pandora Inn, after the HMS Pandora, the naval ship sent to Tahiti to capture the mutineers of Captain Bligh’s Bounty.
The day we visited the fires were roasting, the bar bustling, snug and cosy. On the ground floor, the pub meanders through a series of rooms providing intimate nooks and cosy corners you’ll forget the other diners.
On warmer days you can enjoy alfresco waterside and on the water dining thanks to the pontoon, with plenty of boat moorings in case you feel like arriving by yacht.
The thatch caught fire in 2011 which sadly meant upstairs had to be rebuilt – my pics really don’t do it justice. The rebuild is stunning – sympathetically restored with traditional materials and building methods. The new roof has a new thatch and the frame is traditionally pegged green oak.
The food is no-nonsense but high end gastro, served in generous portions. The menu features thoughtful interpretations of trad classics, so beautifully presented #nofilterrequired. Much is made of the local ingredients – they make a point of listing their suppliers on the menu. Chefs source where they can from Cornish farmers and fishermen. Specials are changed daily and there’s a decent kids menu.
I had Pernod fishpie with garlic bread – except it was a Cornish pastis instead of Pernod. Subtle delicate flavours, the pastis twist makes it really special. That’s a recipe I’m planning on bribing out of Catherine at their new years eve party.
Mr MC went for pork sausages with roasted tomato, mash and a deep pool of gravy. I had sausage envy so we swapped and shared a bit. Portions were so generous we were not able to manage dessert (yes I know, perhaps I was coming down with something?).
The wine list deserves a shout out, even though sadly this was lunch and I had to pick the kids up so didn’t participate – eight wines from Devon and Cornwall alone, with 62 stocked.
Want to see more? Check out their vimeo
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Mr MC bookmarked the pontoon as a scenic pitstop for his weekend paddleboarding adventures. And it’s a nice spot if you need sustenance before/after a family walk. Food is served all day starting with morning coffee and cakes from 10.30am, with full menu from 12 noon until 9.30pm.
Walkers will love this pub! The owners have commissioned four circular walks that take in the Pandora about half way.
Dog friendly (muddy intern Ruth is a huge fan and included them in our dog friendly pubs guide) oh and the private dining room upstairs is rumoured to be haunted!
Not for: The impatient. Everything is super fresh and cooked to order, so remember, patience is a virtue. And its so worth it! Parking can be a pain at peak times (like all summer), so you may have to queue for a spot. If you can, leave the car at home and arrive on foot or by boat.
£££: Mains around £11 – 14 – really reasonable. Kids menu available from x
Early flag wave: the Christmas Party menu is available from now until 24 December. They are open Christmas day for a few hours, so if you’ve the rellies visiting, worth popping in for a drink while the Turkey dries out. Book now for New Years at the Pandora – four courses is just £40 per person.
The Pandora Inn, Restronguet Creek, Mylor Bridge, Falmouth TR11 5ST