Porthminster Beach is one of St Ives’ prime attractions, additionally blessed by this livewire eatery – a low-slung, whitewashed building bang on the sands. The bright dining room is simply
furnished with wooden tables & chairs, tiles on the floor, & a popular patio for dining alfresco. The café does morning coffee & afternoon tea, but dining here on a fine day is a
classic St Ives experience. At lunch, three courses might start with mackerel fillets, rhubarb, fennel & sumac, proceed to pan-fried hake with white bean cassoulet, herbs & anchovy
fritters, & conclude with a complex assembly of caramel banana, cinnamon meringue, mini sponge pudding, cinder toffee, pistachio ice cream & pistachio biscuit. The seafood-focused menu also
diverts into lamb & vegetarian options. There are plenty of sub-£20 wines on offer, & bottles of white come in cute plastic ice buckets – more commonly used for making sandcastles.
Wine List Of The Year Finalist
A casual seaside restaurant in pretty St Ives, there’s a suitably breezy feel to this wine list, with lots of space, the wines helpfully split up by style and a subtle use of colour to badge reds, whites and rosés. At 50 bins, it could never be accused of over-indulgence, though the odd food-match hint might have been a good idea, particularly since the chef obviously likes his spicy food. But for a place that can shift 400 covers on a busy day, it was a good effort. ‘It’s a well-priced list,’ commented judge Luigi Buonanno from Etrusca Group. ‘There are some real bargains.’