The walk back from ‘Chiddley Pumps’, near St. Georges Cove had been pleasant and was well needed after a thoroughly fantastic lunch at ‘The Mariners in Rock’, ‘tother side of the Estuary facing Padstow. I was stuffed and in a few hours I was going to repeat the exercise, albeit at a different restaurant.
As I reached Padstow harbour I could see my hotel, aptly named “The Harbour Hotel” standing proud over the working fishing port, perched alongside the Camel River. It was a lovely hotel in a fabulous position, and one I would happily return too due to facilities, lovely rooms, seagull wake-up call, perfect location and convenient on-site parking, soon I was inside and settled down to a quick recovery snooze before the evenings experience.
My original intention was to attend The Rick Stein Cookery School for the two day course, and just eat at Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant, but due to matrimonial persuasion, it became a week long epic, “Eating Padstow”, but I wasn’t going to complain as I was in heaven, enjoying every minute, even those bloody seagulls at 6 in the morning!
So the night came and I was sat in ‘Ricks Gaff”! It was buzzing, waiters pirouetting around the tables, delivering wine and food to an expectant audience who all had high expectations, very high expectations indeed. I had chosen my dishes beforehand but the menu had changed, damn, I had to go through the selection process all over again, a long process for me, I am just awkward. Decisions, decisions and more decisions, the menu is comprehensive
In the end I settled on Seared Scallops with Pardina Lentils, Pimenton and Persillade Butter, matched with a glass of Chardonnay Exmoor Xanadu, Magaret River 2018. It was shocking!……………, shockingly good, I mean really very good. The surprise was the persillade, it was not smack in the face garlic, but extremely subtle and delicate, you could taste the scallops, they sang ‘we’re very fresh’ in chorus, followed with a bass note of the lentils in perfect harmony which I had not had in a dish like this before. ‘Delish’ or ‘Yummo’ as Rick would say.
So starter finished and a few minutes to relax, mains turns up, A Lobster Risotto (which I was to cook the following day at Rick’s Seafood Restaurant), matched with a glass of Turning Heads Sauvignon Blanc 2020.
This was a rich and decadent plate of food, it took me back to fond memories of lunch with a good friend In London, many many years ago. We worked together in sales, and decided to take an important customer to lunch and I chose a Risotto dish with Truffle, she moved out of sales into web design and helped me with my blog image, then my mind wandered to my first cookery vacation, In Puglia in Italy, a lovely ‘Nonna’ taught me how to cook Risotto, this one at Ricks was absolutely delicious, and very comforting indeed. The wine helped things go down nicely
Oh, what dessert to choose, Affogato’s are popular in Padstow!
I went for a Hot Chocolate Fondant with Raspberry Marshmallows. For wine I had been looking at options and whilst it might not have been a perfect pairing (its not a specialism of mine, I just like decent wine) I indulged in a glass of Gewürztraminer Vendanges Tardives, Trimbach 2015 from France, I just love Gewürztraminer and I was determined to try a sweeter version. Its a late harvest wine where the grapes dehydrate, flavours develop and sugars intensify making it sweet.
Boom, the wine was stunning, yes it was the most expensive dessert wine by the glass on the menu, but boy was it worth it. It did match well, the Fondant had a lovely crust, which was very welcome, the Raspberry Marshmallow introduced a sharp acidic note which was very welcome. #satisified
Service was nice, Padstow has massive problems at the moment, staff are difficult to attract, restaurants don’t have the staff/customer ratio they desire and even as you drive into Padstow, there is a massive advert for jobs in Ricks company, and I learnt speaking to the numerous waiters and waitresses the massive problems it has caused, even the Chefs have had to move around helping out to keep things going, so please be kind to these folk, they are struggling and doing their best in extremely difficult times.
The Seafood Restaurant was as I expected, Rick hates fussy, and his ethos is cook not chef, but done extremely well. I had a delicious meal, the staff were attentive, the wine magic, and I would definitely return, probably in combination with another trip to the cookery school.
………………………………………..Until next time …………………………..L8ers………………………….