The Gurnard's Head

British, Gastropub·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Gurnard's Head

Silver Award

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.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
British, Gastropub
Cosy, Traditional
Food Occasions
All day dining, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Beer garden, Great views, Outside seating
Special Features
Dog friendly, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Child friendly, Group dining [8+], Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating


The Gurnard’s Head is a gastropub located near the stunning harbour town of St. Ives. Serving a simple menu of fresh dishes which changes daily according to what’s available, the pub is open for both lunch and dinner every day and is also a cosy spot to just come for a drink or two. Boasting a warm and relaxed ambience, The Gurnard’s Head is also surrounded by stunning landscape and situated moments away from the coast, meaning that it’s a wonderful spot to unwind after a day spent walking or lying on the beach.

It’s difficult to miss The Gurnard’s Head as you approach thanks to its bright yellow exterior, while the name of the pub is painted in bold white letters on its roof. The décor inside is slick while still maintaining a rustic charm; pale green walls contrast with flashes of exposed stone, and one room has a small wood burning stove, which crackles away in the evenings. A mish-mash of mismatching stools sit up by the wooden bar, and chairs and tables are dotted around the rest of the space. There is also a large beer garden out the back of the pub meaning that there’s plenty of outdoor space during the summer.

The regularly changing food menu is kept short and varies depending on what time of day you decide to visit The Gurnard’s Head. Expect light dishes such as crab with sourdough and aioli for lunch and on Sundays various roasts are also available. Heftier plates for dinner range from starters such as St Austell Bay mussels, in a white wine, garlic and parsley sauce, to main courses like duck leg with mashed potato and gooseberry chutney.

Beer and wine dominate proceedings when it comes to drinks at the Gurnards Head with over 20 wines available by the carafe, and a wide selection of beers on tap including three Cornish ales.


Is The Gurnard's Head dog-friendly?

Dogs are welcome at The Gurnard's Head both outside and in the bar area.

Helpful? 0

Is there a dress code at The Gurnard's Head?

The Gurnard's Head does not have a dress code.

Helpful? 0

The Gurnard's Head is featured in


Treen, near Zennor, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 3DE

01736 796928 01736 796928


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun 12:00-14:30
Mon 18:00-21:00
Tue 18:00-21:00
Wed 18:00-21:00
Thu 18:00-21:00
Fri 18:00-21:00
Sat 18:00-21:00
Sun 18:00-21:00
Mon 11:00-23:00
Tue 11:00-23:00
Wed 11:00-23:00
Thu 11:00-23:00
Fri 11:00-23:00
Sat 11:00-23:00
Sun 11:00-23:00


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4 Reviews 

Paul A

24 June 2016  
Food & Drink 3
Service 1.5
Atmosphere 1.5
Value 3
Disappointing to say the least
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.

Sian B

29 October 2013  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4
Value 5
Great food, well prepared - wish we lived nearer!
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.

Chloe L

09 June 2012  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4.5
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.

chris J

28 September 2009  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4
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.
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01736 796928 01736 796928

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