Fabulous Falmouth, on Cornwall’s south coast, is known for its famous harbour. But its’ fantastic food is what it is fast becoming renowned for. Falmouth has everything from top-quality fine-dining restaurants to family-friendly cafes and takeaways and they’re all passionate about local Cornish produce. Falmouth enjoys some of the finest seafood and farm produce in the UK and this is reflected in its eateries, which all makes for a delicious getaway.
If you’re looking for a Cornish seaside holiday, Falmouth is the ideal destination. Not only is it easy to get to, because it’s on England’s south west coast, so one of the first places you reach if driving from London, but it’s also a vibrant town.
Falmouth combines a fascinating maritime heritage with modern creativity and is a good year-round destination. With its sandy beaches, museums and art galleries, restaurants and cafes, Falmouth’s a must-visit destination for foodies. It’s also good for every type of visitor, from families to couples or friends wanting a getaway. We can’t wait to go back.
Where to stay
If you are looking for a classic Cornish holiday home, then you can’t get any better than Abbot’s Loft, a three-bedroom waterfront home with the most outstanding views. Just off the main high street in Falmouth, Abbot’s Loft is a newly-renovated quirky holiday home within a historic building. In what was formerly a sail workshop and later a milliner’s, this beautiful home sleeps six and is a wonderful mix of heritage and contemporary design. With a nautical theme, it makes you feel as though you’re on board a beautiful old boat.
We had a lot of fun discovering all the hidden rooms – we found the third bedroom hours after we arrived. The windows look out over stunning Falmouth Harbour and it was so relaxing, we didn’t want to leave the cottage.
Abbot’s Loft is part of Cornish Holiday Cottages, a family-owned boutique agency which represents stylish hand-picked rentals in and around Falmouth. It’s run by Emily Boriosi, grand-daughter of Ruth Austen, who set it up almost 50 years ago.
Where to eat
For the ultimate Falmouth dining experience, INDIdog, an all-day restaurant on the harbour wall, is everything you could wish for. This sleek eatery, with gorgeous views over the water is the last-word in laid-back Cornish style.
The restaurant was designed and created by Simon and Vanessa Clark, who named it after their dog. The lovely couple served us and you can see the passion they have poured into the place. We had the most delicious cocktails made with artisan Cornish spirits – stand-outs were the blush pink Tinkture organic rose gin and the Indi Sundowner with tequila, cranberry juice and orgeat syrup.
The food is modern-British with a focus on seafood and locally-sourced Cornish produce. Head chef Alfie Hazlitt crafted deceptively-simple dishes which focussed on the flavour of the produce, such as baked cod and creamy velouté with parmesan crisps and seared scallops with prosciutto.
The wonderful Sabzi was set up by passionate cook Kate Attlee. Kate, born to an Iranian father and British mother, grew up around international flavours and after a career in London restaurants and an appearance on MasterChef, opened Sabzi in Truro and Falmouth.
Kate’s concept is to create a daily menu of meals, to take away, meaning you can have restaurant-quality meals at home. It also hosts special supper clubs. With a sustainable approach, she buys quality produce without single-use plastic where possible, is zero-waste and her packaging is made from compostable plant-based materials.
We had so much fun meeting Kate and chatting to her over a coffee and her famous Persian Love Cake, which is to die for. We loved hearing about her heritage and how she creates her delicious food and went off with a packed lunch to eat on the beach.
Sabzi is a great place to pop into to buy a gift, as she sells not only her own brand of products, like herbs, but others that she personally loves.
Falmouth’s new wine bar, The Orgia, aims to be Cornwall’s first restaurant with a “skin contact” wine list – white wines where the grape juice is allowed to stay in contact with the skin for longer, turning it an orange colour - as well as biodynamic and natural wines.
Owners Rob Palmer and Toyah Marshall are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about wine and keen to recommend new wines to try. It’s all about the wine here, enjoyed with tapas-style dishes so you can have light bites or a fuller dining experience.
The interiors are lovely – calm and intimate – and we enjoyed discovering new wines alongside seasonal sharing plates, with unique flavours. Highlights were baked dates with blue cheese and the smoked duck rillettes.
The Greenbank Hotel
From the newest wine bar to Falmouth’s oldest hotel – The Greenbank Hotel has been lovingly-refurbished and is the perfect place for an afternoon tea. Dating back to 1640, this Falmouth landmark sits on the edge of the harbour and is an elegant hotel with, of course, phenomenal views.
Its Waters Edge restaurant is popular for dinners and like us – afternoon tea-goers, enjoying its delicious array of classic scones, with that unmissable Cornish cream. How is it so good! We also liked its quayside pub, The Working Boat.
What to do
While we spent most of our time enjoying the gastronomic delights of Falmouth, we took some scenic walks to work up an appetite for our next meal. We walked along some of Falmouth’s famous sandy beaches, such as Gyllyngvase Beach and Swanpool Beach, taking a picnic. Other highlights were shopping in the many boutiques and independent shops in the town and we loved how many local art galleries there were.
We also caught the ferry to St. Mawes, a pretty harbour village and felt like we were on the Italian Riviera.
Tourist attractions include the Tudor fortress Pendennis Castle, run by English Heritage and the National Maritime Museum, which made for an interesting visit, with its 15 galleries, tidal windows and lookout. And there are many beautiful gardens nearby, like lovely Trebah Garden, a 26-acre stunning sub-tropical garden.
Abbot’s Loft, from £960 per week, www.cornishholidaycottages.com
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