Padstow, a small fishing port situated on the north coast of Cornwall, is mostly famous for its Cornish pasties, traditional ales and fresh seafood. But in recent years it has been
strongly connected with restauranteur and ‘celebrity chef’ Rick Stein and has even been labelled ‘Padstein’. Without begrudging Stein of his success, Padstow has much more to offer the roaming tourist than simply being famous for its connections with a culinary TV personality.
I stayed at the superb Tregea Hotel, located five minutes away from the harbour. A wonderful bed and breakfast with cosy, intimate rooms. It is a family-run business which made for a friendly and hospitable atmosphere. All rooms are £50 per person, per night.
Advertisements of fishing trips and sea life tours engulf the harbour quayside; I recommend booking with Padstow Sealife Safaris. For £35 for adults and £25 for children, you get a two hour guided tour around the coastline, where you can see a myriad of sea life. I was lucky enough to see a group of seals; we also stopped to watch a fisherman reeling in his daily catch and visited the new Padstow Life Boat Station at Trevose Head. With breath-taking views and exhilarating sea life to observe, it’s an exciting trip not to be missed! Check out www.padstowsealifesafaris.co.uk for more information.
If the open sea is not for you, you can explore the delights of The Camel Trail. I hired a bike from Padstow Cycle Hire, (a standard mountain bike being £12 for the day), and despite the unfortunate weather, it was a great chance to enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife of the area.
I would also suggest taking the ferry across to Rock. For pedestrians only, the ferry leaves from Padstow harbour. It runs continuously all day. Rock has a beautiful sandy beach that’s just begging to be sat on.
There is also a multiplicity of shops in Padstow – perfect for buying gifts for friends and family or treating yourself to a scrumptious block of fudge.
Padstow is certainly not shy of places to eat. My personal favourite was a little romantic restaurant called Jack’s. It’s tucked away from all the hustle and bustle and is a real hidden gem. The menu offers a variety of British tapas, all made from fresh, local produce. It was so lovely, I went there twice. The baked camembert to share is to die for! Other places I would recommend include Rojano’s (Italian cuisine – in case you get bored of seafood!), Margot’s, and dare I say it, Rick Stein’s Café.
So there you have it – a whistle-stop guide to Padstow. It really was an enchanting little town, with a great amount to see and do. For sure, the shadow of Rick Stein looms among Padstow’s streets, and although I hold true to remembering it as Padstow and NOT ‘Padstein’, I have to admit, Stein’s food was pretty damn good.