MUDDY EATS: The Star & Garter, Falmouth
The buzz around historic maritime pub, The Star & Garter on Falmouth’s Old High Street has been steadily growing, since owners Becca and Elliot Thompson took the reins just over a year ago. Friends who have eaten here love it and those who haven’t, say they’re dying to go. It was named Best Foodie Pub in the Food Magazine awards and keeps popping up in the national press, appearing in The Telegraph and The Guardian this month alone.
Rubbing shoulders with many of the town’s coolest shops, cafes and restaurants, it’s a great part of town to explore and this stylish gastro pub is a perfect lunch or dinner stop, offering a slightly quieter, waterside dining experience than the bustle of the main harbour. The décor is a mix of classic and modern, respecting the 19th century building’s heritage but with contemporary accents, such as copper pendants and industrial-style lamps.
We had a table by the window, with incredible views across the harbour to Flushing but it’s worth mentioning these tables get snaffled up fast, so if you want to guarantee a window seat, book well ahead. There are also more relaxed tables in the bar area and a great little spot by the log burner where you can enjoy a few after-dinner drinks too. The pub had a great atmosphere on Sunday, filled with groups of friends and the odd young family but not too many children. Those that were there, were offered colouring pages and activity books to keep them entertained.
The kitchen is manned by Andi, Adam and Stephen, a trio of chefs who met while working together at Fifteen Cornwall and share a passion for seasonal cooking, inspired by Italy and the Med; as well as Korean-born, Leeds-bred chef, Hoon, who brings an Asian influence to the menu. The team embraces a nose-to-tail philosophy when it comes to meat – butchering, curing and smoking their meat in-house and choosing dishes that make maximum use of every cut. So what better day to visit than Sunday, when clever ordering will allow you to try all three of the slow-cooked roasts on offer?
I chose the smoke-roast rump of beef, my other half went for lamb leg, stuffed with mint and parsley and we ordered a kid’s portion of the slow-cooked pork for our two under-fives to share (there was plenty for both of them). It all comes out on a shared platter, giving the experience the communal feel you have at home on a Sunday — albeit with chicer tableware and none of the cooking and tidying up to worry about. It was served with duck fat roasties, horseradish and thyme Yorkshire puddings and deliciously caramelised, roasted carrots and Florence fennel. It really is a special Sunday roast; perfectly cooked meat, bold flavours and plentiful portions – so you really only need one course.
Except we’re a bit greedy, so we finished with the rice pudding and roasted rhubarb. Other than cheese, this was the only option for dessert but it was a nice sharer and the rhubarb really cut through the creaminess of the pudding.
Clean eaters may want to avoid The Star & Garter on Monday nights when the menu laughs in the face of saintly January diets. Dubbed ‘Dirty Mondays’, the chefs will be serving up smokey, slow-cooked treats and the tastiest morsels they usually save for themselves. Salted caramel chicken wings and dug leg nuggets anyone?
And if you fancy a Falmouth weekender, Becca and Elliot have just refurbished the upstairs flat and penthouse rooms, which are now available to rent via Airbnb.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Meat lovers, small families and groups of friends for lunch or dinner. After-work drinks during the week.
Not for: Those who like lots of choice – the menu is small (but perfectly formed) and there tends to be just one veggie option.
££: For me the prices are very reasonable considering the quality of the food. It’s a little more expensive than your average pub meal but only a little and the food knocks the socks off most pub meals.
The Star & Garter, 52 High Street, Falmouth, TR11 2AF. Tel:01326 316663. starandgarter.squarespace.com