The Schooners, St Agnes
Relaxed beachside dining on the north coast. Expect small plates, big flavours and a dreamy sea view
There’s nothing more exciting in the life of a Muddy Editor than when a buzzed-about new restaurant opens just down the road.
Ok, I should probably say re-opens. The Schooners has occupied pride of place overlooking Trevaunance Cove in St Agnes for years but it’s been revamped under new (but very familiar) management – and just in time for summer.
Hello, after-work beers that accidentally turn into dinner!!
The trio who have taken the reins are long-term friends, who grew up in the village and indeed, in the Schooners.
So it’s a homecoming and a very personal project for them all, especially for Chef Adam Vasey (formerly of No4 Peterville), whose family owned the beachside café in the 1990s. He has loads of happy memories of the place and watching his Mum prepping food in the kitchen here was what led Adam into the profession.
Like many Cornish villages, St Agnes has an amazing sense of community and the area around Trevaunance has a great atmosphere on a summer’s evening.
We stopped in to try out the new menu on a still, balmy evening but it’s also the perfect spot to hole up and watch a storm roll in. We had a table by the window upstairs, which is the best place to enjoy the gorgeous view down to the beach, starting with homemade houmous and crisps that kick Kettle Chips into touch.
It was busy, for a mid-week night, out of season and there was a great buzz about the place. The vibe is really relaxed – just what you want from beachside dining and it’s the sort of food you can take your time over, chatting and eating as the evening rolls on and the sun goes down.
There’s lots of live music gigs planned for the coming months too, so keep an eye on The Schooners Facebook page for updates.
We were really impressed with the menu too, which is mostly made up of really tasty small plates, designed to be shared. Though it’s tapas-style eating, it’s not traditional Spanish cuisine, with lots of different influences in the mix.
The meat options we tried were the Duchy charcuterie with pickles and sourdough and chicken wings with scallops and hazelnuts (a big hit!).
Unsurprisingly, considering the location, fresh fish and shellfish is also a firm fixture on the menu and there are equally flavoursome vegetarian options. We loved the burnt squash with feta and salsa verde (pictured above). We chose two small plates each and a couple of sides, which was loads.
And we didn’t need it but managed to squeeze in this posh take on a choc-ice for pudding, a simple but indulgent dessert that went down a treat.
At The Bar
To drink, there’s a choice of great beers on tap, including Lushington’s Sunshine Pale Ale (a current fave) and a choice of guest ales, local ciders and a carefully curated wine list, as well as Origin coffee, to perk you up after dinner.
If our visit was anything to go by, summer’s set to be busy at The Schooners, so be sure to book ahead. They’ll be sick of the sight of us by September!
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Chilled out beachside dining. Tasty small plates, great beers and gorgeous views that make you feel like you’re on holiday for the night (even if you only live down the road).
Not for: If you’re looking for something fancy or want a big choice of dishes for to devour solo, Schooners might not what you’re after.
The damage: Not too expensive but probably not a once a week affair either with the amount we ate. Small plates cost from £6 – £10 and sides are from £3.50 – £6, so about £40-50 for a selection of sharers and £6/£7 for a pud.