Eat Here: Penrose Kitchen
This newly relaunched restaurant offers relaxed fine dining in an idyllic water garden, just five minutes outside of Truro. Muddy does lunch!
The countryside is scattered with tearooms and pubs but an elegant rural restaurant with a fab food offering is a much rarer find.
Penrose Kitchen is well worth the short diversion from Truro for the excellent (and very reasonably priced) food and the scenery couldn’t be prettier. Nestled in a wild water garden, the setting is as peaceful as can be, making for a really relaxing dining experience.
The award-winning restaurant is run by chef Ben Harmer and partner Sam, who describe their style as relaxed fine dining. Ben honed his trade in Michelin-starred London kitchens, including The Savoy and Le Gavroche, so as you might expect, the cooking here has class but without being fussy in the least. He takes a sustainable approach, sourcing as locally as possible and applying a ‘head to tail’, ‘root to shoot’ style of cooking and eating.
Sam heads the front of house team and is so welcoming and warm, taking time to chat to customers on every table. Between them, they have a winning formula, which earned Penrose Kitchen a Gold Taste of The West Award in 2017.
The décor is fairly neutral and pared back – wooden floors and plenty of light flooding in. At one end of the restaurant are some soft seats where you can grab a cosy coffee by the wood burner or enjoy a pre-dinner drink.
On hot days the doors open to a spacious balcony that looks out over the water gardens.
ON THE MENU
We stopped in for a mid-week lunch and went for the set two-course option (£18). Cornish produce is the focus of the menu, from the Primrose Herd pork to the Wing of St Mawes’ Sole – paired with fresh seasonal veggies.
Ben’s most popular starter is the Cornish Yarg soufflé – which didn’t touch the sides – and I loved the deliciously light sea bream with horseradish cream, cucumber and spring onions.
For the main event, the options ranged from Duchy Game venison (so gooood with the little bits of rhubarb) to Newlyn hake with beetroot, confit potatoes and kale.
Although the atmosphere is quiet and the food is reasonably formal, I’d say you’d be fine to bring kids during the day, especially on Sundays for Penrose Kitchen’s special four-meat roast, when it becomes more of a family affair.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: a quiet lunch to catch up with friends, a romantic evening meal for two, a slap-up Sunday roast.
Not for: anyone who prefers the urban bustle – Penrose water gardens is an out-of-the-way place.
Lunch – £18 for two courses, £23 for three courses. Such great value for the quality.
Penrose Kitchen, School Hill, Shortlanesend, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9ES. 01872 225 697. Penrosekitchen.co.uk