The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West

The Old Grammar School, Truro

School’s out for summer (it’s probably out forever if you’re grown up), but this indie restaurant and bar in the centre of Truro is worth digging out your leather satchel for. We’ve done the homework – you just need to turn up to class, says Jo Rees

Still have anxiety dreams about maths class? Familiar with that cold grip of fear that closes in when required to divide a restaurant bill by seven? If the idea of returning to academia sees you running for the hills, you’ll like this schoolhouse where the most important lessons are in learning which garnish best matches each beautifully crafted local gin, and where PE is ditched in favour of pudding.

VISIT for relaxed, casual dining with a really good drinks list. By evening, the cocktail menu comes into play with well-crafted premium spirits (including a stonking gin list with ‘perfect serve’ styles and garnishes) turning the schoolroom into a playground for grown ups on a quest for quality.

The evening menu takes the daytime eating up a notch and features the likes of chicken and prawn Goan curry, and roasted cod with pickled red cabbage, rosemary fondant, market greens and tartar sauce.

‘It’s a work in progress,’ says owner Alex (he and wife Celia took it over a year ago). ‘We make as much as possible in house and are constantly working to develop our food offering so we’re known as much for our food as our drinks.’ They’re fully committed to Cornish suppliers such as Baker Tom’s Bread and all the fresh produce is local.

DON’T VISIT dressed to the nines. This is casual – you could turn up salty and sandy after a day at the beach without the worry of a stern talking to by the headmaster.

WE LIKED the family friendly vibe, especially in the daytime. Lots of alfresco eating space takes the pressure off and a pleasing menu for big and little foodies – as well as good facilities – make it easier than learning your ABC.

Insider's tip

A mobile craft vermouth bar is headlining – for one night only - at the end of July. Check FB for details.

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