Padstow’s ‘other’ restaurant mogul deals in fun as well as fine dining at his beautiful townhouse dining room
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.
Diners can either choose from a set seasonal menu (two courses for £30 or three for £34) or from a relatively tight à la carte selection of dishes, including some more old-school ones that are given a playful kick up the backside (the smoked haddock quiche lorraine being one example). 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.