Where to eat outside in Cornwall
Pop the cork! Here's to alfresco meet-ups come 12 April. These are the best pub gardens in Cornwall from snazzy pods to our favourite local beer gardens. Cheers!
Uncork the lady petrol… pub gardens and outside eateries, we’re coming for you. We’re days away from the April 12 outdoor dining and we’re a little bit excited (can you tell?).
Whether you want your green space near the beach, a river, meadow, fields, village or city, we’ve scoured Cornwall for the best in show. Pick your five fave peeps and bag a table at one of these alfresco hot spots.
The Rocket Store, Boscastle
Bijou seafood bar on the harbour front at Boscastle, serving small plates for takeway, then eat in after May 17th. Heavy focus on locally grown accompaniments to locally caught seafood – menu changes daily. Hike up onto the cliff path and eat looking over the view above…
St Kew Inn, St Kew
If you want to find a peaceful spot in Cornwall in summer, a rural boozer’s is your best bet. A short drive inland from the north coast holiday hotspots of Padstow and Rock, is the sleepy village of St Kew. The historic, foodie pub here is worth a visit whatever the weather but the large safe garden makes it particularly appealing in summer. Tables inside may be booked up to 2 month in advance for a max of 6 people from 17 May.
From 12 April, weather permitting, find a spot on the lawn (not bookable in advance) and enjoy food cooked on the fire by local chef Andi Tuck, sloshed down with Camel Valley wine or Tarquins gin and tonic. Who needs the beach?
The PIG at Harlyn Bay, Near Padstow
From the kitchen garden, straight to you and your plate in the, erm, garden! The Pig are taking their 25-mile menu of wholesome freshly picked veggies and salads, locally farmed meats and fresh fish outdoors for their Big Outdoor Lunch from 12 April until 16 May.
Scarlet Restaurant, Mawgan Porth
This total sun trap of a terrace looks over the spa to the beach where you can watch the surfers – open for lunch and afternoon tea, fresh and seasonal Cornish food under the direction of new head chef Craig Davies plus a well chosen wine list.
The Foxes Revenge, Summercourt, Nr Newquay
This beautiful 400 year old pub set in Carvynick Estate re-opens outside for food and drink served in the new tipi, or on the outside tables. Taken over by new owners Ben and Evie in 2020 (ex Fifteen at Watergate Bay and The Longstore), we look forward to trying their new dishes.
The Bowgie Inn, Crantock
Slap bang between two awesome beaches (Crantock and Polly Joke) is the Bowgie Inn at West Pentire, where the pet-friendly beer garden hits the spot if you’re after a 180-degree sea view. The wild poppies will be coming into flower once we head into May, but the view over the beach and bay makes it one of our favourite coastal pub walks at any time of the year. Serving up a traditional pub menu, using Cornish ingredients where possible, this is not fine dining but the view more than makes up for it. All tables will need to be booked in advance via ResDiary, and food/drink will be ordered via their Bowgie App.
Jam Jar Kitchen, Crantock
Pretend you’re not in Cornwall at all in Jess’s awesome walled garden in Crantock. Woodfired pizzas are on the menu, alongside Aperol spritz and wine/ beer – grab a table under the vines and suddenly you could be in Italy! Opens Friday 16 April.
The Watering Hole, Perranporth
Why restrict yourself to a garden when you could visit Cornwall’s only bar to be found right on the beach! Serving drinks from St Austell Brewery and usually food all day, locals and holiday makers alike love the Watering Hole for its location, sunsets and live music. We’re not sure exactly what is back on the menu when it re-opens on 12 April, but we’re looking forward to grabbing a socially distanced beer on the beach.
The Peterville Inn, St Agnes
From Thursday-Sunday from Thursday 15th April you’ll be able to pull up a pew outside The Peterville Inn, where they are serving a range of food and drinks, including moules, local butcher beef brisket and spring veg risotto primavera. There’s no reservations taken outside, but they are taking bookings for indoor dining from Monday May 17th.
Serving up fresh Cornish seafood and ribs, east coast style, from a wooden shack on the beach at Hayle’s North Quay, Lula‘s has been offering take-away but opens up again for beach-side eating and open-air table-service from April 12th.
The Rockpool, Gwithian
The Rockpool is located at one of Cornwall’s best surf spots, nestled between the dunes of Gwithian and Godrevy, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the far end of St Ives Bay. The vibe here is friendly and relaxed – think barefoot and rustic – buzzing with families, friends, surfers and salty seadogs. Expect good food and sun-soaked beachside views
Carbis Bay Hotel
Seafood and a cold glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc in the hot sunshine looking out to sea – yes please. If that floats your boat, you’ll be pleased to hear the Cloudy Bay pop-up hut / beach bar is heading back to the Carbis Bay Hotel this summer, open to all, not just residents/ BoJo and chums.
West Beach Porthmeor Cafe, St Ives
Located at the bottom of Porthmeor hill, through the car park then down the steps, West Beach offers an alfresco dining experience with a chance of catching the last of the evening sun while watching the waves. Catch the new fish bar on the middle level, or pizzas downstairs.
The Gurnard’s Head, Zennor
Another Muddy fave (check out my review here) The Gurnard’s Head re-opens outside only on 12 April, for late breakfast, lunch and afternoon drinking then inside and the rooms from 17 May. Some say that is more of a beer field than garden, the gorse yellow delight is perfectly positioned on the most gorgeous stretch of coastline between St Ives and Lands End.
The Working Boat, Falmouth
How about a pub you can sail up to? With its own private pontoons and right on Falmouth Harbour (underneath the Greenbank Hotel) the Working Boat is a proper pub serving fifteen beers and ciders on tap including their own Working Boat brew. The pub’s mar-quay on the sea will be back open for you to enjoy al fresco dining on the quay whatever the weather, from 10am until 10pm. With a maximum of 6 people, you will need to make a booking in order to reserve a table for food. The pub’s famous Sunday roasts will also be returning each week, served from midday!
Tremenheere Kitchen, Nr Penzance
Overlooking Mounts Bay just near Gulval outside Penzance you’ll find the beautiful Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens and at the entrance, this lovely restaurant /cafe with outside seating and views galore.
Seafood Shack & Bar, Artist Residence, Penzance
Find drinks including a cocktail list all day from 12pm and food including lobster rolls from 12-2(ish) / 5-8(ish) in the garden behind the Artist Residence has comfy seating, heaters and a retractable awning for cover from light showers.
The Pandora Inn, Restronguet Creek
Cornwall’s Muddy Award winning destination pub is this 13th century inn on the edge of Restronguet Creek, not far from from Falmouth. Housed in a beautiful thatched building by the water – the best part is the pontoon, where the children spend hours happily dangling off the side hauling in crabs (you can pick up crabbing gear in the bar). While the kids are happily entertained, you can sip a glass of something chilled in peace and tuck into a small mountain of fresh Cornish crab meat. You could even be fancy and arrive by boat! If you’re visiting on a weekend, get here early, as parking spots and waterside tables are gold dust.
North Street Kitchen, Fowey
I snapped this photo last year, so this April you won’t find the tables inside, but outside in their new outside eatery. Having tried the takeaway over the winter, I fully expect the food to be as good if not better than last year, with fresh local seasonal produce on the menu, some grown in their own kitchen garden – from the team behind Fitzroy I’d expect nothing less.
The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, Nr Lostwithiel
The re-vamped Duchy cafe opens on 12 April serving up local and seasonal breakfasts, brunches and lunches as well as coffee, and the nursery has found all sorts of places round the grounds to tuck in a table and chairs, so plenty of options round the gardens, plus some tables under cover too.
The Talland Bay Hotel Garden, Talland Bay nr Polperro
Set just off the South West Coast Path with uninterrupted views out over the bay, the hotel’s sub-tropical gardens offer a handy, picture-perfect spot for walkers to stop off and refuel and families and friends to catch up over drinks and snacks. New beach huts are dotted around the grounds to provide shelter on less clement days. The garden bar will be open from 11 am to 3 pm Thursday to Sunday serving refreshing drinks, ‘posh toasties’, ice creams and snacks.
Fancy a more city like location a little further afield? Try these!
Southernhay House, Exeter
Looking for somewhere chic for a lazy afternoon or evening cocktail? The covered veranda and garden terraces at Exeter’s only boutique hotel, Southernhay House, re-open on Thurs/Fri/Saturdays from midday till 8pm on 15 April followed by full re-opening on 17th May.
Winslade Manor, Clyst St George nr Exeter
The hottest new venue in town is ready for you, even if only for drinks and bites on the terrace, overlooking newly planted borders and a backdrop of Grade II listed Georgian elegance. If the totally delicious sesame seed covered sausage roll I bought from their lockdown catering van is anything to go by, the food from chef Matt Mason, formerly of Jack in the Green, it will all have been worth the wait. Open from 12 April.