Sail Loft, St Michael’s Mount

The magnificent sight of a sea-encircled fairytale castle off Marazion suggests that lunch is going to be rather special, writes Rosanna Rothery

Walk across the causeway – if the tide is out – or take the boat or amphicraft to St Michael’s Mount and kick lunch off to an exhilarating start.

The Sail Loft is just the kind of dining destination you would wish to discover on a magical Cornish island. With some of the tables offering views over the ancient harbour, this beautifully renovated old building adds a touch of luxury to your Robinson Crusoe-style excursion.

VISIT for the most amazingly fresh seafood and fish imaginable. Short of throwing yourself in the brine with your mouth open, it would be hard to beat the just-off-the-boat beauty of a menu that puts the local catch at its heart.

How easy it would be for the Sail Loft, with its captive passing trade, to go down the route of many visitor attractions and offer mediocre seaside favourites, but dishes like bacon lavash, crab tartine and salmon tostada elevate it far beyond run-of-the-mill.

Chef Gregory Milne obviously has a talent for pescatarian perfection. A delicate lightly smoked haddock crudo showcases fish at peak freshness while Cornish crab on toast, with smoked bacon and sage, demonstrates that even simple dishes can be magnificent when you marry local ingredients with excellent technique.

DON’T VISIT visit for white linen and table service. This is an order-at-the-counter set up designed to cater for the flocks of visitors exploring the mount. It’s a lunch-only affair too.

WE LIKED the attention to quality: local cheeses and produce are flagged up on the menu while everything (from the golden beetroot relish to the delightfully chewy sweet malt bread and cakes) is made in-house. The drinks list is pretty decent too: wine pairings are suggested for each dish and local beers, ciders and wines – including Cornish vineyard Polgoon – are in keeping with the island’s awe-inspiring views across to the mainland.

Insider's tip

Follow lunch with a visit to the sub-tropical garden and ancient castle to discover legends of giants, mermaids and miracles.

What we ate (lunch)

Main Fillet of hake, creamed potato, roast chicken butter, january king cabbage
Pud Carrot cake

2 courses from £8.45

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