In Cornwall, 283.4 miles from London lies a golden oasis, surrounded by a legion of top Italian restaurants who understand what it is like to feel something as exquisite as a ‘foodgasm’ so pleasurable in the tastes, textures and colours that meld into one awe striking gastronomical theatrical production. After all when we place importance on eating as something more than simply fueling our bodies, and it has become a genuine hobby which we relish spending our disposable income on, the pleasure of eating out only becomes more of a wickedly delicious privilege. Especially when more and more restaurants are popping up each year, vying for undivided attention with their glutton seeking theatrical dishes, bathed in a sea of wondrous colour and delight, making ‘eating out for pleasure’ an even more accessible pastime than ever before. And it’s not just me who takes great pleasure in sampling new restaurants; as a nation, we are becoming more and more interested in food – just look at the success of cooking shows and food bloggers like ‘Deliciously Ella’ whose position as a ‘food blogger’ in the UK, has placed her among the ‘Top 10 British Food Blog’s’ In The UK!
Now more than ever, the UK is committed to bringing ‘gastronomic experiences that are suitable’ for anyone regardless of dietary requirements or lifestyle choices, and Cornwall is no exception. With ‘new vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants such as ‘The Bean Inn’ , The Cornish Vegan (as listed in the Vegan’s Guide to Cornwall by PETA) and ‘The Mex, ST Ive’s being a vegetarian or vegan in Cornwall, does not limit what you can and can’t eat, and with an abundance of new Italian restaurants that offer something for ‘vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters and in-betweeners’ , who says that you have to miss out? Being a foodie, I have lost count of the amount of people who have told me that ‘real food critics’ should ‘eat everything ‘ but as someone who respects other people’s food choices, regardless of whether they align with my ‘moral ethics’ or not, critics themselves should also recognize that with more people choosing a plant based diet, regardless of area there needs to be food ‘options that are open to all’. But what does this have to do with Cornwall I hear you ask, after all Cornwall is famed for their love of ‘fresh sea food’ meats and BBQ stakeouts on the beach. But here is the deal, as I choose this year to be a chance for new culinary adventures, both abroad and at home, Cornwall has always been on my ‘bucket list’ because not only have I heard that it has excellent gastronomical experiences to suit everyone, but as someone who counts Italian restaurants , Thai and Indian Cuisines among my favourite ‘eatery hotspots’, hearing that Cornwall has award winning restaurants, that take vegetarian needs into consideration, is enough to have me mulling over the five hour train journey that it would to get there. And don’t even get me started on how excited I got when I heard that Cornwall offers ‘personal dining experiences’ like having your own chef prepare private meals and shows , but that is a story for another time…
So if you want to be rewarded with a welcoming glass of prosecco, that fizzes delightfully on the tip of your tongue, or would like to spend your Italian experience surrounded by tranquil blue waters and silky soft sand, then Cornwall is the ‘gastronomic staycation’ that you need to add to your bucket list this summer. Read on below to find out which three Italian restaurants have been voted by locals as the best in Cornwall. The question is, where will you go first?
1.Elements Cafe Bar & Restaurant, Bude
The beaches are sandy, yellow and silky, overlapped by the tempestuous sea waves, where surfers dance in synchronized harmony and the walkers trail across coastal walking paths. But Bude’s beaches aren’t the only beautiful aspects of the town, as Elements is certainly one of them, too. Located atop of a cliff, Elements is a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant that offers some stunning panoramic views of Widemouth bay below and was even awarded the certification of excellence from Tripadvisor in 2013 too. Oh and if you’re impressed by the view, you’ll certainly be impressed by the food, too, which has been inspired by authentic Italian cuisine, with a delightful Cornish twist. Serving everything from pizzas to pastas, salads, steaks and a specialty, chicken saltimbocca, you can find incredible food, morning noon and night here. Weekend brunches here are especially tasty according to locals and tourists, and you’ll find gluten free options to cater to those with special dietary requirements, alongside a children’s menu and even activities to make the entire dining experience that much easier. And don’t worry, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, Element’s also offers ‘vegetarian friendly Italian dishes’ such as roasted butternut squash risotto, a creamy risotto of butternut squash, roasted pepper and wilted spinach , finished with ‘creme freche’, available also as a vegan option too.
So if your idea of Italian Restaurants, involves you eating copious amounts of cheese, drinking wine and overlooking a stunning ‘beach bay’ then Elements is the Boutique Hotel who is bringing those dreams ever closer to you.
2.Papa Nino, Looe
Papa Nino is a well known family owned Cornish Italian Restaurant and is famous for its fresh Italian cuisine, offering diners the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of dishes, which include seafood options, too. They even cater for vegetarians and children, which means that the whole family can enjoy a trip out. It’s perhaps best for “special occasions” thanks to its extensive selections for all three courses that you might want to savour; although since the service is renowned for being fast, it’ll also do for a quick-stop as well. The restaurant does very well in reviews, and is suitable for all occasions. People particularly rave about the lobster thermidor, and with Deliveroo recently declaring lobster their “dish of the day”, you won’t want to ignore one of the year’s hottest seafood trends, if ‘sampling seafood is your kind of gig. For the vegetarians among us, why not treat yourself to a relaxed and unpretentious selection of Italian Vegetarian classics such as the spinach and ricotta cannelloni or spaghetti a la Napoletana, served with a rich tomato and basil sauce.
Meet Antoninis, an exquisite fine dining Italian Resturant, in Hayle, Cornwall, which offers a rustic Italian dining experience with dishes that are homemade and locally and authentically sourced. Antoninis features at number one on TripAdvisor out of all of the incredible Cornish-Italian options (except for an ice-cream parlour…), and it even has a Certificate of Excellence. The historic town of Hayle hosts diners at this exquisite eatery from Monday-Saturday, and you’ll find you’ll be spoiled for choice once you get there. Menus are changed monthly, taking into account locally or authentically sourced produce, while everything that you eat is fresh and seasonal, meaning that no matter what you choose to feast your senses on, you won’t be disappointed. Oh and for those of you who are into ‘fine dining experiences’ then Antoninis might have hit the nail on the head, with its exquisite preparation and craftsmanship of dishes to suit all dietary requirements, so this is definitely an opportunity to dress to impress!
As a vegetarian, if you are after a three course meal, then why not start with a Bruschetta, topped with heritage and sun blush tomatoes, creamy burrata cheese, sweet balsamic and basil leaves, with a Spicy arrabiata pasta sauce, tossed through linguini for and topped with creamy burrata and fresh basil leaves for your main, followed by some mouthwatering Traditional Italian Tiramisu, with Sponge fingers, layered with cream, coffee and liqueur? And don’t worry Vegans, because Antoninis also has vegan options like carrot and fennel soup, served with crumbly foccacia bread. One thing to bear in mind when choosing Italian Restaurants however is that it is important to pay attention to authenticity, as many restaurants use ingredients that are not fresh, have additives and preservatives and are not authentic to the cuisine that they are portraying. That being said these restaurants have proven their salt (and pepper…) time and time again, and they’ll certainly make choosing a venue for your next treat meal in Cornwall that little bit easier.
Have You Ever Been To Any Good Italian Restaurants In Cornwall?