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Review: The Pickwick Inn, St Issey

Published on November 9, 2018
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Good times come with the territory at The Pickwick Inn, a secluded insider’s find just off the A39, discovers Jo Rees

pickwick

So hidden away in the north Cornish countryside that it’s highly unlikely to be stumbled upon by chance, this hundredseater restaurant and quirky pub with guest rooms is an astonishing find just off the A39. Who knew? Lots of the locals, it appears – and they’ve been keeping it pretty quiet, the sly devils.

Anyway, the secret is out, and you can thank us for letting you in on this marvellous spot that guarantees a good time – along with stunning views over Rock and Padstow.

This is the kind of gaff you need in your armoury when the occasion demands crowd-pleasing food, a buzzy vibe and super friendly service. Yep, it’s one for a goodtime gathering.

VISIT for mini fryer baskets of crisp, fresh calamari with deliciously stinky garlic aioli, or a grilled whole meaty plaice with caper and anchovy butter. On the pud front, the house fave is a seriously rich chocolate brownie, although the wobblingly unctuous bread and butter pudding that’s carefully crafted from croissants and whisky-soaked fruit is pretty unbeatable.

DON’T VISIT if you buckled and had a slice of toast to tide you over before visiting The Pickwick for dinner. The portions are GENEROUS. Too big probably, but the quality isn’t compromised, and some people love a big feed, so who are we to argue?

WE LIKED the vibe. It’s buzzy and friendly, with good acoustics so you can hear each other, even though it’s big – and usually busy. Soft lighting also ensures that dinner with a crowd still feels intimate.

Decor-wise, the smart, wood-themed interior features an attractive wine wall and benefits from the theatre of an open kitchen.

Everything comes together in the service, which is warm and helpful. The team’s recommendations include craft vermouth as an aperitif this season, although a mosey through the gin list – which features lots of South West-distilled sips – is hard to pass up.

INSIDER’S TIP Smart guest rooms and suites are a big draw if you’re on a trip through the county or want to hit up the wine list.

What we ate (dinner)

Starter Crispy calamari, salad, garlic mayo

Main Whole plaice with lemon, dill and caper butter, anchovy, seasonal potatoes and vegetables

Pud White chocolate bread and butter pudding with whisky and orange syrup and Cornish clotted cream

3 courses from £28

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