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A la Colthard: Seafood Restaurant Padstow

In my teens I would always enjoy a weekend away with the yachties in Rock Cornwall, when the expression “boom over” had a whole new meaning!! One evening a terribly dishy ex-boxer in the meat trade picked me up on the Upper Deck club and a bit of rough after an excess of hoorays was just the job for Daffers. Terry took me to a restaurant in Padstow which was divine and later to a spa resort  he was constructing. The restaurant was Rick Stein’s, the resort Hustyns, and I visited both again yesterday.

Rick Stein now has a restaurant, deli, fish and chips and fishmonger. No wonder they call the place Padstein. It’s Rick Stein’s this and Rick Stein’s that.

The food and wine came up to muster. I chose a fish soup, lobster thermidor and peach and basil ice cream. The soup was  served with rouille and croutons in the traditional way. The lobster was quite delicious. I had gone for two classic sea food dishes which invite comparison and both passed with flying colours. The peach could have been more flavoursome but the combination worked well.

If I had a criticism it would be that the service was too familiar, intrusive and  pushy. Strangely, there was noone to greet us at  front desk, an odd lapse for such a professional outfit. Eventually we were shown to the table and the waiter was pushing a drink upon us. I said I wanted time to settle, consider the menu. When I ordered  a Chilean Gewurtztraminer, which was fruity and reasonably priced  at £29, this arrived speedily and was poured even more so. The intention was to get us to order a second but I resisted this, largely because of the pressure so to do. We must have been interrupted four times to be asked if everything was okay. In my view, you should be left alone,with a waiter nearby if you need anything.

The restaurant was only half full which surprised me for a busy Sunday in the holiday season. Perhaps the prices made it more for the special occasion. Our bill with service added came to £200 for three which is not outrageous for a ‘name’ restaurant. We all enjoyed the food and drink but in the post-mortem we agreed the service left an unsatisfactory aftertaste.

About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts