Cornwall is spoilt for choice when it comes to chefs, and there’s no denying that Paul Ainsworth has a firm grip on Padstow. Within half a mile radius, you’ll find everything from his casual dining Caffe Rojano, to the Padstow Townhouse with overnight accommodation, but the most notable is his Michelin-touting post at No.6. Hidden beneath a charming townhouse exterior, this is the spot that really shows off everything Ainsworth has to offer.
The composed, elegant interior ticks the boxes of a quintessential Michelin dining room, with attention to detail including a personalised menu waiting at your table, and well dressed waiters ready to give first-class service. The restaurant is calm and collected, an atmosphere that is reflected in the kitchen, viewable through a through a large window.
The food here is equally as immaculate, with a tasting menu that has been well-honed by the kitchen team headed up by Paul, and Chris McClurg. There’s a clear emphasis on local produce, evident from the moment our meal kicks off with Cornish crab and a warm vintage Cornish cheddar scone.
From front to back, dishes are laced in luxury, whether it's an artichoke Barigoule and Hampshire trout tart embellished liberally with caviar, or cod - Cornish, naturally - with steamed mussels in a blanquette sauce made with Cornish Camel Valley white wine. But it’s the exceptionally large scallop with Iberian ham mousseline that really struck a chord with us. The mousseline works as a meaty hollandaise, and pairs perfectly with the sweet scallop - with leftovers mopped up by some ‘scarpetta’.
The tasting menu includes a number of desserts too, the most remarkable of which is a classic - an apple tarte tatin with cheese, providing a hit of sweet and savoury - a memorable last bite to the meal.
There are two different wine pairings available, one from lesser known vineyards and one with some more notable old world producers involved, but whatever you choose, it’s safe to say you’re in good hands here. For such a small town, it’s a wonderful thing to have this powerhouse of a restaurant, and chef, at the heart of it.