Onwards with our Honeymoon tour of the South West! On our drive from The Pig At Combe to Falmouth, we stopped in Padstow for a few hours. This fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall is famous for its numerous Rick Stein restaurants. The Seafood Restaurant is at the fancier end of the list, but there’s also a cafe and a fish & chip shop. We managed to book a table at St Petroc’s Bistro, a nice middle ground of fanciness. Luckily we had beautiful weather for it, so we could enjoy the picturesque harbour and some of the South West Coast Path along to St Saviour’s Point.
The best way to get into Padstow is to park at Link Road Car Park and walk down Hill Street, following the main streets until you get to Padstow Harbour. Heads up, if you don’t have cash you’ll need to download an app to pay for parking (Just Park).
Once we arrived we just had time for a leisurely stroll around the harbour, admiring the other restaurants and all the pretty shops and boutiques along the waters edge. The view across the River Camel really is stunning, especially on a clear day. You can see all the way to Porthilly and even pick out individual people playing on Rock Beach. If you fancy it you can get a ferry from the landing pier to Rock Quarry on the other side. Even though we were there on a Wednesday in October, the pier was packed with tourist queuing to do just this.
St Petroc’s Bistro, Padstow
I was so curious about the name, so I looked it up. Apparently the Welsh missionary Saint Petroc landed at Trebetherick around AD 500. After his death a monastery was established, and the area named Petrocesstow (Petroc’s Place), which later morphed into Padstow. The relics of St Petroc are now at Bodmin, where they were moved by the monks after a Viking attack in 981. There’s still a St Petroc’s Church, St Petroc’s Hotel, and St Petroc’s Meadow in the area.
St Petroc’s Bistro is described as an informal bistro that takes French cooking seriously. The decor is very townhouse chic, with fireplaces and winding hallways, and the menu looked absolutely fantastic.
I started with one of my favourites, freshly caught smoked salmon with toasted sourdough served with a fluffy horseradish cream. Matt went for the fish and shellfish soup with rouille, parmesan and croutons. The soup was excellent, rich with tomato, saffron, garlic, red peppers, fennel and cayenne.
Matt went left field with his main and asked if he could supersize one of the other starters, a crab linguine with tomatoes, lemon, parsley, garlic and parmesan with a breadcrumb topping – fresh and delicious. I chose a creamy fish stew with hake, seabass and mussels. The sauce was so creamy and buttery, it was absolute bliss.
Our plan afterwards was to head out into the sunshine in search of ice cream. This was met with dismay by our waitress, as they’d planned to do a special congratulations decoration on our dessert order. But the call of proper Cornish ice cream in the sun was just too strong. We picked Roskilly’s on the corner of South Street and South Quay, and tucked into two Cornish Fudge flavoured ice cream made with real Cornish clotted cream.
St Saviour’s Point, Padstow
Despite being extremely full, Matt persuaded me onto my feet. We retraced our steps around the harbour and up North Quay Parade, where we found ourselves on the South West Coast Path. This section of the path is more like a lawn, with gorgeous views across Damar Bay and up to Pentire Point.
St Saviour’s Point is a War Memorial with views across the estuary and back towards Wadebridge. This is a beautiful spot to pause for a moment, with lots of benches. Don’t stop here though, if you keep going you get an incredible view over all the coves and out to Padstow Bay.
We admired the scenery for a while before heading back into the little town to peruse some shops, before making our way onward to Falmouth for the rest of our Honeymoon.
I’ve been to Padstow a few times and it really does change based on how busy it is (for me anyway). We were so lucky that we got this amazing weather and that it was midweek off-season, so it wasn’t packed with people. St Petroc’s Bistro was such a nice treat and the whole day was just really special. I will always recommend stopping here on your travels to and from Cornwall.