48. Paul Ainsworth at No6

Padstow, Cornwall

Padstow’s ‘other’ restaurant mogul deals in fun as well as fine dining at his beautiful townhouse dining room

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What is it about Padstow and restaurant empires? The Cornish fishing village was put on the culinary map by a certain Rick Stein, who seems to own half its restaurants, but, more recently, there’s been a new kid in town (who appears to own the other half).

Said chef is Paul Ainsworth, who has a chic boutique hotel and a casual pizza restaurant in Padstow (and has also taken on a pub nearby) but who is best known for the eponymous fine dining restaurant he runs with his wife, Emma. The Michelin-starred restaurant, located in a Georgian townhouse, has built a reputation for its fun approach to fine dining, serving modern British food with a focus on Cornish produce.

Ainsworth is a playful character and someone who is keen to bring something new to the table, as it were. A dosh of cod comes with a seaweed ‘quaver’, while his dish ‘All of the pigeon’ has pain of chocolat as an accompaniment. A chocolate vol au vent for dessert, meanwhile, comes with a caramel made from ceps for a more measured sweetness. The dining room itself is just as fun, with bright, colourful artwork helping create a space that reflects the couple’s personalities.

Fans of The Great British Menu will remember Ainsworth’s winning A Taste of the Fairground dish from the 2011 series, which featured for a long time on the restaurant’s menu before coming off. Such was the popularity of the fairground inspired selection of desserts that Ainsworth recently reprised it as A Fairground Tale. It’s a delightfully whimsical way to finish off a memorable meal.

6 Middle Street, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AP

01841 532 093

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