The Cornish Arms: Sunday Roast à la Rick Stein
Just like my Mum will never order pasta in a pub, I’ve always been a bit snotty about pub roasts. See I’ve been perfecting the classic meat and thirteen veg combo myself for many years and have had my hopes dashed too often by overcooked meat and soggy potatoes. So the discovery of a traditional roast done really well is cause to celebrate (because I can’t be bothered every weekend, alright?)
After a morning stroll through Padstow, the heart of Rick Stein country, we headed over to St Merryn (a few minutes drive away), which is home to the chef’s family and dog-friendly pub, The Cornish Arms. It is opposite the historic village church and surrounded by terraces and lawns, with plenty of outside seating for sunny days and lots of free parking. Despite having two under fives and a lively spaniel pup in tow, we were warmly welcomed by smiley staff, who cooed over our little folk and were very patient as we debated hotly over tables.
The pub itself is divided into three parts, the original pub building, where locals were chatting and nursing their pints, and side and back extensions (mainly reserved for dining), which manage to be airy and light yet warm and cosy, even on a rainy January day. The new back extension has floor to ceiling windows and looks onto a large terrace with panoramic views of the rolling countryside beyond.
The Sunday menu, like all the pub’s menus, is proudly short and simple, with just three options for each course, including the roast, with a choice of chicken or beef (which is pink and plentiful) and lots of fresh, local veg. Hug-in-a-bowl puds are in keeping with the traditional British theme too, like treacle tart with clotted cream and oozy rhubarb and apple crumble. And there are no special kids’ meals here, which I love, just smaller portions from the main menu.
If you plan to visit on another day, you can choose from hearty pub classics, like real beef burgers, mussels and chips and scampi in a basket, accompanied by ales from St Austell Brewery and a carefully selected wine list. All the dishes on offer are based on Rick Stein’s recipes and whipped up by head chef Alex Clark and his team. We’ll definitely be back to try the signature fish dishes served up on Fish Fridays and the Saturday Curry Night sharing platter.
Good to know:
- Sunday roasts are served from 12noon-8pm, every Sunday until 12 Mar 2017.
- There’s no need to book, just turn up and you’ll be seated ASAP.
- St Merryn’s motto is ‘seven bays for seven days’ on account of all the beautiful local beaches. Our favourites are Harlyn Bay and Constantine Bay – perfect places to walk off your lunch!
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Anyone looking for classic pub food done really well and a good local pint. Brilliant for families and dog walkers, at the end of their Sunday stroll or friends or couples looking for a relaxed, mid-week meal.
Not for: If you like lots of choice, The Cornish Arms’ menus may come up a little short (though I personally take this as a good sign). And if you want the full, Rick Stein, foodie fish experience, I’d recommend booking a table at his famous Seafood Restaurant in Padstow instead – though Fish Fridays may whet your appetite.
££: Expect mid-range pub prices. On Sundays: 1 course – £13.95, 2 courses – £19.95 and 3 courses – £23.95.
The Cornish Arms, Churchtown, St Merryn, Padstow, PL28 8ND. Tel: 01841 532700. rickstein.com/eat-with-us/the-cornish-arms