Many foodies will know Tom Adams as the precocious chef and founder of London’s meat-loving Pitt Cue, although this venture sees him out in the sticks – at a 66-acre farm in east Cornwall, which he runs jointly with Birmingham-born April Bloomfield, chef at New York’s Michelin-starred Spotted Pig (who visits when she can).
Dinner is a multi-course set deal that kicks off with nibbles served in the lounge of their 18th-century farmhouse – or outside if it’s fine. Ingredients are often grown on the farm and are always seasonal. Recent tasters have included asparagus and Tymsboro goat’s cheese, home-reared ham, and crackers with salted plums.
After snacks, guests commune around a 12-seater table just off the kitchen, with views of the chefs at work. Unsurprisingly, the menu largely revolves around animal protein, particularly locally- and home-reared, rare-breed Mangalitza pigs – from crispy skin with rowanberries to cured ham with cassis. Cornish fish pops up from time to time (Looe scallops with braised kelp and smoked broth, say), while vegetables and herbs always get a decent look-in, from asparagus with hogweed to a sweet riff involving nettle curds, pineapple weed and rhubarb. If you want to make a trip of it, book one of the five stylish ‘farmhouse’ bedrooms, and expect an equally meaty breakfast.
If you do choose to stay at Coombeshead then you have the option of a lighter meal one evening, which you can pre-book with the kitchen, because as they point out, while the menu will have slight differences day-to-day, it may largely remain the same during your stay.
The team here also run a bakery, which supplies lots of local hotels, restaurants and farm shops, but you can call ahead to pre-order your own loaf if you’d like to take a slice of your experience home with you.