Ugly Butterfly

St Ives

Adam Handling’s considered Cornish restaurant boasts a stunning coastal setting and an effective emphasis on tackling food waste


To those unfamiliar with the concept, Ugly Butterfly could be considered just a regional extension of chef Adam Handling’s Frog restaurant in London’s Covent Garden. The tasting menu is as elevated and theatrical as you would expect to find at the Scottish chef’s beloved flagship, but here the emphasis is more vocally on demonstrating the breadth of sustainably conscious fine dining.

Handling initially established his Ugly Butterfly concept in London prior to the pandemic, before relocating it to Cornwall in 2021. The restaurant’s name is reflective of its ethos on tackling food waste - the drinks and snacks served at the Ugly Butterfly bar use trims and offcuts from the ingredients used in the main restaurant, illustrating that ‘there is no such thing as food waste, much in the same way that there is no such thing as an ugly butterfly’. 

The cooking here puts the Cornish larder front and centre, with Handling and his team focusing almost entirely on produce sourced from within the Cornish borders. The restaurant works  closely with growers, farmers and fishermen across the county and regularly features the likes of Tregullus lamb and Porthilly oysters on its tasting menu.

Boasting a stunning Cornish Atlantic coastal setting, just a mile from St Ives, Ugly Butterfly’s restaurant and bar offers spectacular views across Carbis Bay. The interiors have floor-to-ceiling glass windows, overlooking the ocean, dried local flowers hanging from the ceiling, and white pendant lights illuminating each table. The textures and art displayed on the walls, meanwhile, have a timeless aesthetic.