The Gurnard's Head

Treen near Zennor St Ives , Penzance, TR26 3DE

4 reviews

25 British Cornwall

  • The Gurnard s Head
  • Gurnards Head Cornwall 2012

SquareMeal Review of The Gurnard's Head

Sitting in a beautiful wild landscape on the coast road to Land’s End, this sister restaurant to the Felin Fach Griffin certainly comes close to the foodie dream of stumbling upon an undiscovered gem in the middle of nowhere. Open fires, slouchy sofas and plain wood tables create a relaxed atmosphere in the dining room, while a firm commitment to using local produce and a flair for fresh and robust flavours take centre stage in the ambitious kitchen. The menu is constantly tweaked to promote seasonal ingredients, and diners are rewarded with such dishes as salt whiting brandade with a poached duck egg, followed by roast pollack, braised fennel, black mustard leaf and saffron aioli, or beef shin in ale, mashed potato and thyme dumplings, with gorse flower and honey buttermilk pudding for afters. The drinks offering includes local ales, and there’s a quirky, thoughtful wine list.

Former Pub List Of The Year

The Gurnard’s Head 100-bin wine list is a perfect, easily navigable example, with neither fat nor unnecessary indulgence, yet plenty of carefully selected, interesting listings. The by-the-glass wines all feature a short, enthusiastic tasting note that captures the wine’s essence quickly and then stops – no 100-word rambles or ‘wannabe writer’ essays – something a lot of restaurants could learn from.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Penzance Station 8km

St. Ives Station 8km

Address

Address: Treen near Zennor St Ives , Penzance TR26 3DE

Opening times

Mon-Sun 12.30-2.30pm 6.30-9.30pm

Nearby Landmarks

Chysauster Ancient Village 4km

Pendeen Lighthouse 5km

Details

Telephone: 01736 796 928

Website:

Cuisine: British

Private Dining: 14

8.3

Food & Drink: 8.5

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 7.5

Value: 8.3

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 3.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 24 June 2016

The reputation of the Gurnard’s Head seems to have spread far and wide judging from the number of foreign number plates, especially German, in the car park, but when we left the restaurant, disappointed, we had to wonder why. Although we had booked well in advance we were not offered a table in the dining room, the existence of which only became clear to us later when people drifted in on the off chance and were seated there, although it was doubtful whether we would have escaped the pub-level muzak anywhere. The service varied from the cheerful to the sullen, the main example of the latter being when we pointed out that we had been undercharged and we got the impression that we were thereby making more work for the poor soul behind the bar. The wine list contained some interesting bottles and a low mark-up and plenty of helpful explanations from the restaurant’s consultant on why all the wines were really good. My wife started with dunkable monkfish “scampi” which allowed her to make full use of the soda bread we were served, seemingly in lieu of any canapés, and came with good kohlrabi slaw, tartar sauce and some fennel cress, and I indulged my crustacean habit with some decent crab decorated with red basil leaf, pasta and basil gratin. We both chose the red gurnard in honour of the restaurant’s name and the fish was light and well-seasoned and bathing in a fairly tasteless squid ink sauce, accompanied by orange which failed to have any input, an intrusive anise gel, and roasted broccoli. The dessert choice was easily sorted; my wife indulged herself with chocolate pavé, coffee macaron and melted caramel, while I went for what turned out to be a deconstructed Eton Mess with sweet Cornish rhubarb, toasted almonds, lemon balm and chunks of meringue. Our assessment would be that this was no more than run-of-the mill even for Cornwall’s wild west, and if we pass this way again we have better dining destinations to return to.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Sian B. bronze reviewer 29 October 2013

We had a lovely meal here last Wednesday evening. The wine list was new and really rather good – choice of easy drinking as well as more serious stuff, and mostly from smaller wine growers which is always welcome. The food was simply prepared and well presented (not too stuffy) with very good seasoning and the waiting staff were great. The pub for eating was much busier than the restaurant which was a bit of a shame (as we chose to eat in the restaurant) and because it was dark when we arrived we didn't get to see the view that everyone talks about, but we would love to go back another time. When we thought we might be stranded at Lands End with the threat of the storms on our return from Tresco, we did think about booking a room here, but the storm wasn't that bad in the end, so we'll have to wait another time. We hope to be back next year so look forward to staying the night here.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Chloe L. 09 June 2012

Beautiful location, but you can't see that when you arrive on a dark wintry evening, alas, the warm fire, a friendly face and tantalising smells oozing out of every corner await you. The wine list is fab. The dishes are well thought out and honest, with the menu denoting only key flavours. Savour every mouthful, it really is delicious. I believe their partner pub is The Felin Fach Griffin in Brecon, Wales… I cant wait to pay a visit.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

chris J. bronze reviewer 28 September 2009

My wife and I attended a party with friends nearby. After a night of revelry, a few stout partygoers met at 10AM to walk to this pub, across the moor and through fields of rich pasture with huge resplendent bulls, fenced in by low stone walls in their miniature fields, the Atlantic shimmering into the distance with a lone white sailboat catching the morning sun. Quite a way to clear a dreadful hangover. The pub itself is on a headland of quite immaculate beauty. As we stood in the garden a helicopter circled before dropping down gently into the field next to the pub, where a family with young children dis-embarked to visit the pub for their lunch. It put the Ferraris' in the car-park quite to shame. Food was homely and exceptionally well cooked, Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, young broccoli and home-made horse-radish, followed by blackberry and apple crumble with custard. The atmosphere of convivial, relaxed service that ran without hitch is a winner. The helicopter was still there when we left, the braided pilot waiting patiently for his party to return. This is really quite a special place.