In the midst of one of the stormiest periods the Cornish hospitality industry has ever weathered, multi-award-winning chef Ben Tunnicliffe is launching a new destination dining inn
Chef and restaurateur Ben Tunnicliffe isn’t one to let an international pandemic get in the way of his plans and will open The Packet Inn near Prussia Cove on September 2. The chef, who took over The Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn in 2012, acquired the pub before everything locked down in March, but is now steaming ahead once more.
The reinvention of the historic inn will undoubtedly be a major challenge, but Ben says: ‘I’ll always be an optimist: I have so much faith in the quality and reputation of the Cornish food and hospitality scene; in the talented people who deliver and supply it; and in the support of the public. I can’t help feeling we’ll come out of this stronger.’
Working closely with head chef Matt Smith, Ben plans to make The Packet Inn a prominent pin on Cornwall’s foodie map. While The Tolcarne Inn celebrates sensational seafood, the new destination dining pub will cast the net wider to include incredible meat and vegetables reared and grown in the surrounding countryside. Rather than the traditional three course set-up, a sharing-style menu of small plates will encourage diners to explore different dishes.
‘We’ll be guided by seasonal cycles and our love of the finest local produce, and we’ll be working with local butchers and smallholders as well as growers and fishermen,’ says Ben. ‘So, in addition to superb seafood, guests can expect grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and outdoor-reared pork as well as colourful and creative vegetarian and vegan food.’
The building, which was formerly The Falmouth Packet, has been given a contemporary makeover to reflect its location between the Cornish coast and country. Positioned between Marazion and Porthleven (and with ample parking), it’s the perfect pitstop for a lunch or dinner on your escapades along the coastline.