Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

British, Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

Gold Award

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.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
British, Modern European
Fine dining, Fun, Luxury, Romantic, Widely spaced tables
One Michelin star, SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions


Paul Ainsworth is one of the most recognisable chef names in these parts, operating a clutch of restaurants around Cornwall including Padstow Townhouse, Caffe Rojano, The Mariners Public House at Rock and his chef training academy in Truro.

Located in a gorgeous Georgian townhouse in the heart of Padstow, Paul Ainsworth at No 6 is the Michelin-starred jewel in the crown of his restaurant portfolio, serving contemporary British fare which champions locally sourced Cornish produce. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, the dining room here is a light and airy space which blends old world Georgian aesthetics with luxe modern finishes. There are no tablecloths or silver trays zipping around the room, which helps diners to feel relaxed, but the likes of studded black leather club chairs and plush light fixtures, plus beautifully plated dishes reassure you that this is a special occasion experience.

No.6 offers a tasting menu which is available at either lunch or dinner. A dedicated children’s menu is also available upon request and while the restaurant cannot currently cater to vegan diets, the team are able to accommodate most other dietary requirements. The menu evolves with the seasons, depending on which produce is available at the time, but you can always expect to find intriguing and visually pleasing dishes, including plenty of fish and seafood options (this is Cornwall, after all).

To start, you might tuck into the likes of beetroot with pomme anna aged aged kaluga cavia, or wild red prawn with iberian ham mousseline. More substantial dishes meanwhile, might include wild cornish brill with mashed potato and onion gravy, or pigeon with umeboshi condiment and pain au chocolat. Come dessert, don’t miss the showstopper titled ‘a fairground tale’ - a selection of dainty sweet treats served on a miniature revolving carousel.


Does it have a Michelin star?

Yes, it was awarded one Michelin star in 2013 and has held on to it ever since.

Helpful? 0

Who is Paul Ainsworth?

Paul Ainsworth is a British chef from Southampton who owns and operates a clutch of restaurants around Cornwall, including Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Padstow Townhouse and The Mariners at Rock

Helpful? 1

Is there a dress code?

There is no official dress code, however the food served here is suited to celebrations and fine dining, so you may well want to dress up for the occasion

Helpful? 1


6 Middle Street, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AP

01841 532 093 01841 532 093


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 11:45-14:00
Wed 11:45-14:00
Thu 11:45-14:00
Fri 11:45-14:00
Sat 11:45-14:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-20:45
Wed 17:00-20:45
Thu 17:00-20:45
Fri 17:00-20:45
Sat 17:00-20:45
Sun Closed


Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

9 Reviews 

Carol A

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5

Great place with good food ,service and atmosphere what could be better.

Barry B

11 March 2020  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Second visit absolutely brilliant

Our second visit, but the first an anniversary treat was 4 years ago, and expectations were high.

Arriving slightly early, and were shown to the bar on the first floor, in this swish area, where we had our meal in the past, this is a comfortable and attractive bar, with a very good barman who was happy to talk us through the wine list.

Nice menu, where you build your own tasting menu, three choices for each of the starter, second courses, and five options on the main,four for the deserts, if you choose the fairground (more later) there is a separate menu to ensure you can understand the options that will be delivered.

First - Crapaudine beetroot for my partner, I went for cod. Each were attractively presented and very tasty.

Then a additional course, today’s scone, a cheese scone with seaweed butter, surprisingly tasty especially the butter.

Second - smoked haddock quiche Lorraine, nothing like a quiche and an interesting experience, my partner had the red onion tart, different from the one on the menu to take account of my wife’s allergy to Soya. This had been prepared in advance and on the chance that she would choose this option. Inspired!

Mains. Chicken tournedos Rossini for her and monkfish risotto which was simply outstanding, the risotto was brilliant and nothing like I have had before. My wife was slightly disappointed with the chicken which she just did not like. The staff offered to replace this with something else, but she chose not to replace the course.

Then another extra course “yesterday’s scone, this was ground up to a consistence of breadcrumbs and the with a number of different sugars added,and roasted - really interesting experience.

Then the piece de la resistance the fairground tale, very different from the one that the proprietor won the GBM with in the past, this one has three elements, Old Tyme Coconut shy, a soufflé, the carousel, Mandarin comb, with crunchy brown butter choc ice, and finally all the fun of the fair, a variation on monkey bread.

This was all washed down with a reasonably priced white wine and finished with fresh mint tea.

The experience did not finish there, as we were leaving we were invited to have a chat with the kitchen team including the head chef who was friendly and happy to chat to us and talk about the food .

An experience to savour and enjoy this is truly a special place with a special team at the helm

Charlie E

29 March 2019  
The food is creative, whilst remaining classic and delicious. The service is second to none - they are always 2 steps ahead. The dining room is beautiful, and their townhouse seals the whole experience of staying in Padstow. A very special restaurant.

Paul A

22 March 2019  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 1
Atmosphere 2
Value 3
Not our cup of tea

We managed to get a few local strings pulled to get a booking at short notice, but were obliged to accept a table in an alcove slightly away from the main dining room, which had the disadvantage of being cut off from any atmosphere there might have been in the restaurant, but the advantage of a very good view of the kitchen and all the culinary activity. Before expressing any opinion on the food, we have to say that the staff did not come across well. With one exception they were anything but natural and seemed to be trained to follow a script, thus exhibiting no personality and no ability to interact with the diners. On top of this the extremely reasonably priced selections of wines by the glass that we chose were brought to the table, plonked in front of us without a word and certainly never a bottle to be seen, and in addition a couple of the wines were served in inappropriate glasses, for example a Pinot gris in a Chardonnay glass. On the positive side, there were spoons on the table which served well for finishing off sauces. The meal started off well with a delightful Porthilly oyster fritter and its smoked roe and seaweed sauce followed by a quite large first course of scallops in fines herbes with seaweed, a lovely ‘two roe’ beurre blanc and a tasty Yukon gold potato crisp. The only question we had about this dish was: does nobody worry about food miles any more? The scallops were from the Orkneys, the restaurant is in Cornwall! We chose different mains - my wife had a generous portion of decent chicken Rossini with excellent roasting juices and a good brioche, while I went for local hogget pudding, which was disappointing, largely because although the lamb itself was very good and the sweetbread fricassée brilliant, the whole thing was let down by the undercooked, claggy suet covering on the meat, and again there was possibly too much on the plate, certainly sufficient to prevent us making any real inroads into the massive broccoli and truffle sides. After a brief pause we decided we would have a dessert, a chocolate ‘turnover’ matched well by a nice ginger yogurt sorbet and brandy plums. To finish off we decided that, because of the portion sizes and the puzzling price, we would share one plate of petit fours. All in all this was the most traditional and the least impressive Michelin star meal of our three day trip to the West Country.

Emma B

03 February 2013  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
This was our third visit to No. 6 and as with the 2 previous occassions it was excellent. The food was fabulous and the service just right. Dear No. 6 – please can you update the menu so we can justify another visit!

Jon B

17 September 2011  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 5
Been on holiday to Cornwall. Took mum & dad. Fancied a nice lunch. Went to Padstow. 9th September 2011. Reports had been read and viewing of menus and prices at a certain number of Mr R Steins' establishments didn't really enthuse us. But Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 seemed like a good choice. If you watched the 2011 Great British Menu, well he was the one who did the “trip to the fairground” dessert. (here it is £21 for two people – and about half a dozen of them came out whilst we were there) So as Yorkshirefolk who appreciate “value for money” the three of us all had the Express set lunch menu (£17 for 3 courses). We chose drinks, all were £4.50 though other choices at other prices were available, or matched to the menu for another £18 each! mum a glass of white wine, villa rosa sauvignon blanc, chile. dad a bottle of Korev Cornish Lager. and a bottle of Doom Bar for me. We also had a chilled bottle of tap water (no charge) on the table. Home made breadrolls arrived (2 each in a basket) and some butter (could have done with more – didn't ask for any though!) The starter came. Salmon tataki, pickled cucumber, soy. This was very lightly smoked & seared salmon, and also included a little ginger, sesame seeds and micro salad garnishing. Although it looks quite a light dish, it was a good amount. Very tasty and fresh. I'm not a cucumber fan but this was nice. For the main, free range roast chicken, potato, creamed mushrooms. This also had buttered spinach with it. The flavours here were superb. The rich intense gravy/jus against the creamy mushrooms and smooth mash. The chicken was very good too. I did detect a hint of grit in my spinach but it didn't stop me clearing the plate. For dessert, deconstructed orange cheesecake, marmalade, white chocolate crumble. As it says really. The flavour balance was good, the marmalade tangy, the cheesecake “quenelle” rich and creamy, with real vanilla in it, the crumble “crumbly” and crisp. The service was polite and friendly, not rushed or overly lagging either. Overall excellent value for money, a very tasty and balanced meal (compare what you spend for Sunday lunch at your local!) and I would definitley go again. One minor grumble, it was a humid day, and the cold beers and cold water bottles had condensation running off them onto the table, which dripped off whe you raised your glass. Coasters needed I think. We did ring a few days before hand to book a table and recommend this course of action, as our first choice of day was full, so we just re-arranged our plans, the joys of being on holiday when you can do this. At time of writing, one week after our visit, the lunch menu had changed to… EXPRESS LUNCH MENU beetroot carpaccio, chicory, crispy parma ham, parmesan. planeta rose, sciliy ox tongue, purple sprouting, polenta chips, rosemary and anchovy. wildflower valdigue, california apple and raspberry frangipane tart, chateau belingard monbazillac, france 2 courses for £13 ~ 3 courses for £17 ~ 3 courses and wine flight £35

Joanne A

28 September 2009  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 5
What a wonderful lunch we enjoyed here. I had the poached chicken which came with croquet potatoes and spinach, the chicken had been poached to perfection and unbelievebly as it was on the special £5 per course lunch menu that's all I paid!!! amazing. My husband and friends all ate off the main menu which included sea bass and a beautifuly presented pork belly with scratching. Every bit as good as the famous sea food restaurant we ate in the night before so on our next visit to wonderful Padstow we will be trying it out for dinner.

Carol M

13 July 2009  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
After visiting Padstow for girlie gourmet and dining at the shrine of “you know who”, we decided also to visit the training establishment of the young Jamie in Watergate. Both very good (obviously!) but neither had the refinement of yer man Paul Ainsworth. Classy, smooth, tasty – and that was just the waiter! Everything we ordered was a picture on a plate (well, a slate actually). I ordered the duck parfait, the belly pork and the coffee brulee. I was scared to eat the first two courses in case I didn't leave enough room for dessert but common sense prevailed and I wisely undid the button and zip on my trousers to accommodate the overload. I would have gladly sent out for a larger size rather than miss one mouthful – sheer bliss. As it was essentially a birthday celebration we had secreted a fairly plain cake into the kitchen. When it arrived at the end of the meal it looked like an illustration for a sugar craft book. A work of art with soft fruit and chocolate layered and drizzled on the top. At the end of the meal I was kindly introduced to the head chef, although I understand Mr. Ainsworth works in the kitchen himself. The space is so tiny I don't know how they get two chefs in let alone produce the dishes they do. I don't know how they do it but I am certainly very glad they do. I wish Mr. Ainsworth would buy the empty pub at the end of our road. If I could afford it I would buy it for him, just so I could eat there as often as I liked without having a 5 hour drive both there and back. My Visa card may well develop IBS after the weekend spend but it has been well worth it – alhough in view of what we had paid before we ate at No. 6, our bill there was extremely modest. Well done Mr. Ainsworth and his wonderful staff. Carol Marsh, West Midlands

Judith K

06 July 2009  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Whilst holidaying in Padstow last week and having dined in Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant, we decided to try Number 6 and what a treat it was! It was as you would expect from a top London restaurant (a number of which I have had the pleasure to dine in, including Petrus) and this was no exception. Friendly service (nothing was too much trouble) a truely superb meal and the price about right. It was certainly well worth a visit. I thoroughly recommend this restaurant and if we return to Padstow Number 6 will be on the top of our list. We were seated in the ‘Library’ for our lunch, which was quite small as there were 5 adults, one toddler and the latest addition in a pushchair. We started with the No. 6 cocktail (just had to be done!), prawn starter and the rump steak and chips for main, followed by the espresso dessert. Everything was wonderfully cooked and flavoursome. 06.07.2009
Book a table

Call Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 to make a booking on:

01841 532 093 01841 532 093

Visit their website

Sorry, you cannot spend SquareMeal vouchers here yet.

Other restaurants we like near Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

Check availability