Muddy Eats: The Mexico Inn, Long Rock
We often go to Marazion at weekends for the windsurfing (ok fine, I just watch with a latte from Jordan’s) and we love a good mooch round Penzance but like a fool, I’ve been driving straight past Long Rock and The Mexico Inn. It took an in-the-know local to whisper in my ear about this brilliant foodie pub.
The Mexico has occupied pride of place on the village’s little high street for 200 years but has recently undergone a major revamp. The lovingly renovated pub has a rustic-chic vibe with colourful, eclectic touches and prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere and great food. The owners, husband and wife team Tom and Amy, are both talented chefs, who have worked side-by-side in the kitchens of some of the South West’s most buzzed-about eateries, including The Scarlet, The Gurnard’s Head and The Old Coastguard. The Mexico fulfills their dream of a place of their own and is also currently the family home, for the couple and their two young children. Making their story even more special, Amy grew up in Long Rock, the pub was her parents local when she was a child and two of her sisters (one of whom designs all the pub’s beautiful posters) as well as Tom’s sister all work here too. And her parents live right next door.
Talking of lovely Cornish stories, you might be wondering about the pub’s exotic name. It’s all down to Long Rock miner Bill Trewartha, who founded the local mine and became the pub’s first landlord, after returning from his adventures mining silver in Mexico. His fellow miners began referring to it as ‘The Mexico’ and it stuck.
We visited on Saturday lunchtime, which was pleasantly busy without being rammed. On the menu were a mixture of pub classics and more creative dishes that boasted a great mix of flavours, whilst providing the sort of hearty meal you hope for in a pub in winter. Everything was delicious but my highlights were the crispy duck spring rolls with green chilli dipping sauce and a perfectly cooked hake fillet, served with olive gnocchi, braised peppers, fennel, spinach and capers (I mean, look at it!)
In addition to their eat-in menu, The Mexico offers take-away fish and chips and proper coffees to-go and hosts weekly offers on Chippy Tuesday and Smashin’ Thursday, when they serve Trelawney sausages, with mash, seasonal veg and gravy, for a steal at £8.50.
For those of you with little folk in tow, The Mexico is very child-friendly (and woof-friendly too). Amy tells me their eldest, 3-year-old Hugo thinks he owns the place and there’s a big cupboard of games and toys to keep the kids amused. Having said that, it still feels like a grown-up drinkers pub, with various tables in the bar area and a particularly inviting corner, filled with armchairs and sofas by a roaring log burner that would be perfect for whiling away a rainy afternoon, while the other half is windsurfing perhaps.
We’ll certainly be back! And dear readers, if you suspect there are any more gems like this I’ve been driving past unknowing — do have a word!
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Families and friends looking for a good feed or a place to enjoy a couple of pints. Walkers, windsurfers and kitesurfers after a day on the water.
Not for: Anyone looking for a large beer garden – there’s a small courtyard garden out the back that’s a suntrap in the warmer months but only space for a handful of tables.
££: The prices are very reasonable for such exceptional pub food, with starters from £6 – £6.50 and mains from £12 – £16.
The Mexico Inn, 4 Riverside, Penzance Cornwall TR20 8JD. Tel: 01736 710625. Themexicoinn.com