Gylly Beach Cafe, Falmouth

Jo Rees discovers the hip beachside cafe’s alter ego as a smart evening dining destination where conversation is compulsory

Drop by Gylly Beach Cafe when it’s stuffed to the gills with brunching students and you’d never guess what candlelit dining delights await after the sun dips below the seascape horizon.

Gylly’s head chef Dale McIntosh brings out the big guns come evening, letting his creativity fly on a smart dinner menu of dishes such as chorizo and chickpea cassoulet with lemony scallops (in the shell) and sparkling cod.

The vibe changes channels too: intimate lighting and a muted buzz from the open kitchen provide a grown-up, chilled ambience. It encourages diners to pay proper homage to the Dorset Blue Vinney doughnut (not really a doughnut, but let it go), whose rich molten centre is cut by aromatic pickled walnut and the sweet crunch of a perfectly pared baby pear.

VISIT for delectable dining right on the beach. Admittedly, you don’t get much more than a distant glimpse of the lights of passing container ships on dark winter evenings, but as the days get longer, expect to be wowed.

DON’T VISIT with the expectation of staring into your phone all evening. There’s no WiFi, so you’re going to have to talk to each other. It’s the perfect dinner spot for families who’d like to have an actual conversation with their teenagers.

WE LIKED the contemporary wood panelled interior and minimalist white furniture that typifies modern Cornwall. Equally fresh is the suggestion of lighter eating: zesty lemon tart was served sans-pastry and the accompanying raspberry coulis and passionfruit sorbet pleasingly light on sugar – while remaining beautifully balanced.

Insider's tip

Swing by early for an aperitif and to make new friends on the communal beachside terrace.

What we ate (dinner)

Starter Dorset Blue Vinney cheese doughnut with poached pear, walnut salad and beetroot reduction

Main Roasted cod and grilled Cornish scallop with chickpea and Spanish sausage cassoulet and lemon butter

Pud Lemon tart with tuile, passionfruit sorbet, raspberry coulis and meringue

3 courses from £28

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