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Ten of the Best Restaurants in the South West

The good thing about Cornwall is that it is a fantastic area to visit for food and drink. There’s so much more to the local food scene than Cornish pasties and cream teas. The success of Padstow and St Ives have brought Cornish restaurants to the fore of people’s minds. But there are also many wonderful places to eat out over the border in Devon and throughout the South West region.

One of the reasons it can be worthwhile to visit the South West of England is because of the fresh produce that is available from the profuse coastline and fields. Similarly, when it comes to fine dining, the South West of the UK has plenty to offer in the form of restaurants that are being run by some of the most innovative chefs. Thus, here is a list of the top ten restaurants in the South West that will leave your taste buds tickling once you have eaten there.

1. Outlaw’s (St. Enodoc Hotel, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LA)

Outlaw’s is a fine dining restaurant that contrasted by the casual ambience and décor of St Enodoc Hotel where it is situated. The seafood menu at the restaurant frequently shifts and they offer a separate list of sauces. The restaurant’s environment itself is quite relaxed and you can enjoy a splendid meal there.



2. Bybrook Restaurant (Castle Combe, Near Bath, Castle Comb, SN14 7HR)

Bybrook is a Michelin starred restaurant where Chef Davies serves remarkably executed food that tends to be as intricate as the Manor House Golf Course adjoining it. Quality ingredients are a compulsory part of their seven course tasting menus and they have matching wines available, while they also offer a la carte.

3. Ellenborough Park (Southam Road, Cheltenham, GL52 3NJ)

The menu of Ellenborough Park has been crafted by David Kelman, the Executive Head Chef at the restaurant, who takes pride in serving splendid British produce. He and his team cook the food that is served from their heart; the classic dishes like Creedy Carver Duck Leg and Roast Hereford Cross Beef Fillet tend to have a refined taste.

4. Le Champignon Sauvage (24-28 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2AQ)

Le Champignon Sauvage has become known for its efficiency, modesty and panache. The dishes that David Everitt-Matthias and his skilled kitchen team serve there tend to be quite dynamic, combining gutsy flavors, while they also have an impressive offering some of the most dazzling desserts.

5. Rojano’s (9 Mill Square, Padstow, PL28 8AE)

There are loads of great restaurants in Padstow and Rojanos is one of our favourites. Rojano’s is a modern family-run Padstow restaurant where you can enjoy a nice meal in one of the many intimate booths. Along with an a la carte menu and an antipasti list, they offer a wide range of options. Cocktails and exclusively Italian wines are also available there, which can even be sampled at the grazing bar.

6. Number 6 (6 Middle Street, Padstow, PL28 8AP)

Paul Ainsworth’s Number 6 is an all-inclusive restaurant with a competitively priced a la carte menu and even a children’s menu. The dishes that Paul Ainsworth serves tend to be fresh and innovative, using well-sourced fine ingredients that are prepared with familiar techniques. The restaurant itself is breezy, elegant and nonchalant.

7. The Masons Arms (Knowstone, Devon, EX36 4RY)

The Masons Arms won a Michelin star only a year after it was opened. The custom-built interior of the restaurant is very spacious where comfort and luxury have been well-balanced. Depending on the weather, you can even dine el fresco. They serve everything from classic French cuisine to rural British food, along with a long list of superb ales.

8. The Elephant (3-4 Beacon Terrace, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2BH)

The Elephant is situated in the peaceful bay while sporting an elegant and modern style. Two and three course dinners are the focus of the restaurant, while they also have a tasting menu prepared with fresh local ingredients, such as hand-dived scallops. The natural ingredients are often combined in an unusual manner, such as beef with seafood and flower petals.

9. The Pony & Trap (Knowle Hill, Chew Magna, Bristol, Avon, BS40 8TQ)

Unlike similar restaurants across the South West, the food served at The Pony & Trap is at a whole new level. It is actually a pub that holds a Michelin star. However, it is a very modern pub with roomy dining areas and they source their ingredients from trusted suppliers. Both local and seasonal ingredients make up their menu, which is somewhere between fine dining and high-end bistro cuisine.

10. The Elephant Brasserie (3-4 Beacon Terrace , Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2BH)

The Elephant Brasserie is a comfortable and tastefully decorated restaurant where the service is friendly and personal. Their menu focuses on homegrown and local ingredients while the use classic European techniques to prepare their dishes, which often even include edible flowers and fine herbs.

Hanging Out in Cultural Fowey

Fowey, a small yet very historic and scenic community at the mouth of the River Fowey, has given inspiration to many of the nation’s literary greats, stalwarts of freedom, and religious figures that still draw a strong following even up to the present day.

Enjoy a day or two exploring the historic sites as well as other Fowey attractions. It is best to stay in the area to really get under the skin of this magical destination. As a holiday town there are numerous hotels, guest houses, holiday homes and self catering cottages in Fowey. Enjoy the countless activities and thrilling adventures in the Fowey Harbor. However you want to spend your vacation in Fowey, it is guaranteed to be well worth it.


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Follow the Steps of History on a Guided Walking Tour

The best way to really understand and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Fowey is by taking a walk down its streets and alleyways, either on a guided tour or as a self-directed endeavor.

Visit the place where the famous Fowey Gallants were given the Royal license to attack and seize French vessels and other foreign ships in the English Channel at the height of the Hundred Years’ War. Explore why Fowey privateers such as Mark Mixtow and Sir Hugh Courtenay were bestowed such a privilege by the English monarchy.

Take a peek at the historic Polruan Blockhouse, the only one remaining of two blockhouses that were purposely built on both sides of the harbor entrance to protect the area from French naval attacks.

Explore the marvelous facade of the Place House that provided another defensive position for the defenders of Fowey against French colonial troops. Although partially destroyed during the attacks in 1457, the structure itself has undergone several reconstructions and remodeling throughout the centuries that followed.

Take some time exploring the ruins of the once-might and elegant St. Catherine’s Castle. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the 15th century structure, built with the purpose of defending English soil against the Holy Roman Empire and France.

Discover Why Fowey is any Artist’s Great Inspiration

Fowey’s naturally pristine harbor and strategic location makes it an ideal place to find inspiration and meaning among artists and writers both then and now. The town’s literary geniuses include the well-known single-letter, pseudonym-welding British writer Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch. Q, Quiller-Couch’s penname, is largely known for his The Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900 masterpiece.

Visit the home of world-renowned playwright and author Dame Daphne du Maurier whose “Rebecca” won the Oscar Best Picture Award in 1941 as a film adaptation. Or consider getting a glimpse of The Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame.

Take time to visit the Fowey Museum and be inspired with its collection of local art as well as artifacts that tell of the story of Fowey’s historied past. Although small by contemporary standards, it nevertheless draws visitors from all walks of life.

Truth to be Told Among Believers

Explore the scenic landscape of Fowey and judge for yourself whether to believe in the popular legend that Jesus once visited Fowey together with Joseph of Arimathea. The legend has drawn many visitors who are either faithful followers of Christian living or curious knowledge-seekers. The story is made more real by the presence of a cross, locally known as Punches Cross, at the Fowey River entrance.

For the devout, a visit to the Fowey Parish Church is a must. Built in the early parts of the 14th century, the church was erected as a dedication to Saint Finbarr. Although it was destroyed by the French in the Hundred Years’ War, it was nonetheless restored by the Earl of Warwick in 1460.

Have Fun in Fowey

Fowey Harbor showcases a variety of fun-filled watersport activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, wake boarding, sailing, and kayaking among others. Spend the whole day at the Readymoney Beach, the Polkerris Beach, or the Polridmouth Cove. Or you can cruise around the harbor on any of the vessels of Fowey Picnic Boat.

Although diminutive compared to other tourist attractions in Cornwall, Fowey has just the right combination of rich cultural heritage, religious sites, and inspiring scenery to draw throngs of tourists and vacationers.

Learn more about Fowey at

Best Beach Venues in Cornwall for Wedding Photos

If you are looking for tranquil beaches which you want for yourself, your soon-to-be-spouse and the wedding photography team you’ve hired, those sun-bleached beaches in Spain, the South of France and the whole stretch of the Mediterranean won’t do.

But you know what will? Yes, you got that right! English beaches will. And to be more specific, those in rugged, golden sand beaches in Cornwall would be perfect as a backdrop for wedding photos!

Now, here are six of the best Cornish beaches which you should definitely go to for your wedding day shoot.

Lansallos Beach, two miles west of Polperro

Often peaceful, this sandy (with some shingle) cove is one of those places where you can just lay back with a nice book and a basket of snacks for the whole afternoon. Reed Water, a small waterfall located at the eastern part of the beach is also a great spot for photos, especially if you and your wedding partner are the adventurous sort. Many of the top Cornwall wedding photographers choose this spot for spectacular wedding day photos.

Access: You could park near the church and then walk down the footpath towards the beach. This takes about 20 minutes from top to bottom.

Kynance Cove, two miles north of Lizard Point

For several centuries, Kynance Cove has been a tourist spot of sorts already with famous personalities like Alfred Tennyson visiting it. Unknown to a lot, this beautiful spot is actually formed by coastal erosion. But who really cares about that bit of fact when the green and red-colored rocks emerge during the low tide? With its tall cliffs and rocky outcrops, golden sand beach and blue sea, it’s a particularly stunning location for Cornwall wedding photos.

Access: You could park in the lot of National Trust and go for the 10-minute walk down. For those who love the convenience, there’s a café nearby complete with wireless connection.


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Porthcurno, 2.5 Miles from Land’s End

Nature loving couples will definitely love the gold-colored sand and super clear sea waters; so clear you can actually see fish swimming around. A cove (accessible only during low tides) can be found nearby, great for viewing basking sharks and private pre or post wedding photo shoots. It makes a spectacular backdrop to create stunning wedding photos you will cherish forever.

Another Great Spot: The Minack Theater would be one of the most interesting areas for a wedding photo shoot. If you’ve got an artistic team of wedding photographers with you, they will definitely figure out a concept which you would love!

Gwithian Towans, very near Hayle

Measuring about three miles, this dune-backed beach is great for adventurous couples and extreme sports aficionados. You and your future husband or wife could definitely ride a wave while your photographer clicks merrily on.

Access: From the A30 at Hayle, go right just beside the Lidl then to the B3301. The road to the beach is the first left turn after you drive for a mile.

Daymer Bay, East Side of River Camel Estuary

Are you and your girlfriend or boyfriend more of the playful kind of people? If so, this Cornish beach is the best for you. The Camel Estuary looking out on to the rugged headlands is as Cornish as you can get and is a firm favourite with wedding photographers in Cornwall. You can even bring kids with you since they will find a lot of great activities (sandcastle building, rockpooling, paddling, etc.) to be enjoyed.

Another Great Spot: Right across the Camel Estuary is a great spot where you’ll see an amazingly golden field (corn) during summer. That’s another spectacular photo shoot spot for couples.

Porthminster Beach, St Ives

One of the best things about this beach is that view to the Godrevy lighthouse. Built so many years ago, this would be great backdrop to your Victorian themed wedding pre-nuptial photo shoot. The second great thing about the beach is that the management cleans it as often as possible. And just in case you get hungry, you will be glad to know that they serve food. Also, you can rent equipment from paddleboards to windbreakers in their shop, just in case you left those at home.

This is a beautiful location with near white sand and crystal clear waters – this is a close as it comes to a Caribbean wedding photo shoot right here in Cornwall.

Best Sights to See in and Around Falmouth

If you have already visited all of the tourist attractions Falmouth has to offer, tried the many activities its beaches and parks have in store, and sampled all the local and fusion cuisine that distinguishes Falmouth dishes from the rest of Cornwall, you may be tempted to ask: where else?

Falmouth is just one of the several towns that dot the mouth of the Fal River on the Carrick Roads. If you still have time for some more adventure, why not explore the rest of the region to make your vacation all the more worthwhile?

Move Up Northwest to Penryn

Moving up about a mile northwest of Falmouth is the equally-historic town of Penryn. This town was once the busiest port in the exportation of granite and tin to the rest of the world. Explore its many historical sites as well as equally fun-filled attractions.

Visit the horse and donkey sanctuary on the Flicka Foundation or try your stuff waterskiing and jet skiing at the famed Kernow Wake Park. For your kids, you may want to treat them to an afternoon of fun-filled learning fun at the Raze the Roof Indoor Play & Laser Tag. You can also visit the Fannie & Fox that specializes in trinkets and souvenir items as well as other specialty gift items.

If you want to sample a taste of the arts, you can visit the Penryn Museum then call it a day with refreshments and food at The Thirsty Scholar and Number 20.

Cross the Carrick Roads into St. Mawes

On the opposite shore of Carrick Roads lie St. Mawes. You can rent a boat from Falmouth or take a boat taxi to get you to this small yet flourishing community just opposite Falmouth. You can also take a ferry service direct to St. Mawes or drive there yourself in your car as it is only 30 miles away.

St. Mawes Castle is the town’s answer to Falmouth’s Pendennis Castle. It was also built by King Henry VIII as an answer to the threat of Continental invasion of the British Isles. Relive history as you walk through the many structures and armaments of the once-mighty citadel. The community boasts of a variety of outdoor activities to offer visitors. You can go windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, and fishing on its many beaches.

Cross the Penryn River to Flushing

From Penryn you can cross the Penryn River and into Flushing, a coastal village just four miles northeast of Falmouth. Although not as progressive as the other towns that line Carrick Roads, Flushing is home to the annual Flushing Regatta Week in the last week of July to the first week of August.

The Regatta Week boasts of unique activities that are not found anywhere else. These include bathtub racing and sand castle-building along with the more common swimming, rowing, and sailing competitions. There is also a church service held in the open, crab-catching competition, and a pub quiz. Other must-sees include the performance of Nankersey Male Choir as well as recitals and classical concerts that are commonly held at the Methodist Chapel.



Move West to Budock Water

Moving two miles west of Falmouth is the community of Budock Water. Unlike the communities of Falmouth, Penryn, Flushing, and St. Mawes, Budock Water does not have the luxury of offering visitors an excellent view of Falmouth Harbor.

The western tower of the St. Budock Parish Church dates as far back as the 13th century, making it a significant historical landmark for the town. The church is home to the monumental brass of the first governor of Pendennis Castle, John III Killigrew, and his wife, Elizabeth Trewennard.

Wherever you visit in and around Falmouth, you will want to find good quality holiday accommodation to stay in. There are many agencies with Falmouth Cottages available for rent by the week or long weekend. There are also some great sea front hotels and guest houses of all standards for a good sightseeing base in this amazing part of Cornwall.

The area around Falmouth is rich in history. By visiting the other towns or communities that line the Carrick Roads as well as the outlying inland communities, you will begin to appreciate the amazing developments that have shaped the British Isles into what it has become today.

For help with organising a holiday in Falmouth try:

An Adventurer’s Guide to Cornwall

Cornwall offers a wealth of opportunities for adventurous travellers. As a local, I’m sometimes upset at the quality of the information that is circulated to local residents and holidaymakers in Cornwall. There are so many things about this county that people miss or don’t hear about in the standard Cornwall guides. That’s why I started this blog all about things to do and see in Cornwall. In the Action Aquaflight I will bring you news, reviews and features about some of the amazing places, events and businesses which deserve promotion so more people can enjoy them. Check back soon for more Cornish awesomeness.

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