Muddy Eats: The Vault, Penzance
It's your last chance to visit this pop-up Penzance gem before it closes for good on 6 March.
Back in 2019, renowned pub and Muddy fav, The Old Coastguard in Mousehole sadly caught fire and had to close for refurbishments. Not one to sit around, the team decamped to the top of Chapel Street in Penzance, creating a pop-up restaurant and bar, The Vault, in the old bank building.
Led by Head Chef Jamie Porter (who only joined the team just before the fire – he spent much of his career with the Rick Stein group) the team has been serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner in Penzance for the past six months.
If you haven’t heard of The Old Coastguard (and you should have done, if you like your foodie pubs!) you might recognise the team behind it as Eat Drink Sleep also owns The Gurnards Head in Zennor as well as The Felin Fach Griffin in Wales.
Well, it’s an old bank, so it’s got lovely high ceilings and combined with the modern decor and large artwork on the walls (including the herd of cows from the wall at The Old Coastguard) manages to be both reminiscent of the other pubs but also have a personality of its own.
It’s quite dark at the back but perfect if you’re searching for a grown-up, after-work drink. First thing in the morning at the large sharing table at the front with a pile of newspapers, it has a great weekend brunch vibe, and I hear good things about the cocktail list too.
SCOFF & QUAFF
We popped by for Sunday brunch with the kids and there was something for everyone – eggs several different way, a full English, if you desired and I enjoyed wild mushrooms on toast with mushroom ketchup. As you’d expect from a brunch place the coffee was plentiful and the bloody mary very welcome.
For lunch and dinner, small plates and appetizers for sharing is the name of the game and you can enjoy singles or a platter of oysters. The cinnamon doughnut dessert special is well worth a try, but you want to under-order as they may be light but they sure are very filling!
As you’d expect from the team behind Eat Sleep Drink the wine and cocktail list is well thought out.
We took our two and they were very happy with the breakfast and colouring (and we were massively appreciative of the staff who dried out a pair of shorts when a glass of water was spilled). This is the kind of place you can pop in with your buggy after the school run for a latte and quick read of the paper, or bring the kids for an after-school pick-up.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Breakfast meetings, brunch with the girls (or the fam), a working lunch, after-work drinks, a casual dinner date. Penzance is going to miss this iteration of The Vault when it closes in March.
Not for: If you’re seeking out fine formal dining, this is not for you. Likewise, if you’re after a ‘proper’ pub, The Vault is not it either.
The damage: Not bank-breaking – small plates are between £6 and £8.