Situated like a beacon, The Gurnard’s Head is painted buttercup yellow from top to bottom, and despite this attention-grabbing exterior you’re unlikely to stumble upon it. Nestled on one of Cornwall’s most northerly points, its popularity is testament to the fact that if you put enough care and creativity into your food, people will come (however far the drive or small the roads).
Part of the Eat Sleep Drink group – which also owns The Felin Fach Griffin in Wales and The Old Coastguard in Mousehole – this pub is from solid stock and manages to retain its feeling of being a ‘local’ while serving up refined food.
The menu showcases pub grub with international twists. Start with crispy Middle Eastern lamb parcels that flake away to surrender a soft, spiced meat centre, or elsewhere try monkfish tail with a robust Madras curry sauce.
For mains choose between dishes like a fish burger with pickled cucumber and pleasingly chunky tartare sauce, or pork belly which is pressed before being pan fried for a crisp crust and topped with kimchee and crackling.
If you’ve undertaken a cliff walk before your meal, you’ll be in need of pudding. A banana parfait is silky smooth and comes covered in dark chocolate that snaps with the satisfaction synonymous with a choc ice. Paired with peanut ice cream and caramel, this feels like a childhood dream.
Menus change with the seasons and ingredients are sourced locally where possible, a principle which sits snuggly with the drinks list featuring plenty of the area’s best beer brands such as Skinners and Cornish Crown.
There are log fires in winter, and everyone is welcome, muddy wellies and all. In fact, part of the Gurnard’s charm comes from people watching as dog walkers and families bundle in throughout the day to be greeted by the friendly staff.
Across the year there are supper clubs, wine evenings and special ingredient-focused menus (goat, for instance). If you’re as enchanted as we are by the prospect of a fairy tale-like pub in the middle of some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside, you might like to know there are bedrooms, too.