Fresh from sea and field: why we love the Port Gaverne Hotel & Restaurant
Recently voted the Best Pub in Cornwall, the Port Gaverne Hotel & Restaurant is one of our favourite local hangouts.
Not all of our guests will have heard of the small and peaceful cove of Port Gaverne. Next door neighbour to Port Isaac (of Doc Martin fame), this 14th-century fishing village is often missed by visitors to the area. But once you discover Port Gaverne, you'll want to come back time after time.
Port Gaverne isn't simply beautiful. It has a long and interesting history, which adds to both its character and intrigue. Once a thriving port and boat building centre, the village became a bustling hub where the famous Delabole slate was loaded onto ships for transport. It was also one of Cornwall's most profitable pilchard and herring ports. You can still see the large fish cellars that were built to cope with storing all the fish. The arrival of the railway in 1983 saw the decline of Port Gaverne as a trading port and tranquility returned to the village.
Today you can discover a sheltered beach, dramatic headland and scattering of beautiful whitewashed cottages. The Port Gaverne Hotel & Restaurant is nestled in the centre of this picture-perfect setting and really is everything you could hope for in a Cornish pub.
With whitewashed walls, beautiful hanging baskets in bloom and hand-painted driftwood signs, the Port Gaverne Hotel delivers delight after delight to those lucky enough to discover it. Recently refurbished with a state of the art kitchen, the pub hasn't lost any of its original charm. Discover quirky rooms with beams, nooks and crannies and nautical accessories. Getting a little lost and ducking under the beams to reach the bathroom is all part of the charm.
On a sunny day you can sit outside, soak up the atmosphere of the village and breathe in the sea air. If it's stormy, cosy up by one of the fireplaces and enjoy a warming, hearty meal. The pub is dog friendly so you can enjoy sit with your four-legged friend in the outside seating area or inside at the bar.
The food here is inspired by the seasons and the produce found on the doorstep. The emphasis is fresh, whether this is mackerel caught off the rocks or from Jim's boat yard, only metres from the front door. At lunch you can enjoy everything from Cornish crab on toast to locally caught fish with chips. At dinner the menu includes Porthilly mussels and oysters through to lobster, all with a delightful twist. The price tag reflects the quality of the food here.
The Port Gaverne Hotel has received a whole host of foodie awards. It was voted the 'Best Pub in Cornwall' in this year's National Pub Awards and last year scooped the 'Best Food Pub in Cornwall' at the Great British Pub Awards. This is thanks to the award-winning combination of experienced owner David Barnard and Head Chef James Lean (formerly of Nathan Outlaw and Gordon Ramsay).
"Our cooking at the Port Gaverne is an expression of the season. The focus is to showcase the quality of Cornwall’s produce, while always going for no-ego elegant simplicity. And always enough food on the plate to fuel your journey home (or upstairs to bed). We’re a pub, after all."
James Lean, Head Chef, Port Gaverne Hotel & Restaurant
The atmosphere at the Port Gaverne Hotel & Restaurant is laid back and friendly. You'll always find a nice combination of local characters and visitors from further afield, and it's not uncommon to make friends with the diners on the next table as you share stories and pass the time away.
Our recommendation for a day out in Port Gaverne:
- Port Gaverne is only a five-minute walk from Port Isaac so it is quite possible to explore both villages in a day. However, Port Gaverne is such a beautiful place that you can easily spend a whole day enjoying it.
- There is limited parking at Port Gaverne so we recommend parking in the pay and display car park at the top of the hill and walking down (just save a little energy for the walk back up)!
- Those with a sense of adventure might like to book in with Cornish Rock Tors for a coasteering or kayaking session. This is a great way to explore the cove and you will be treated to caves, wildlife and views that you won't get to see from the shore. Find them in the old fish cellars at the bottom of the hill into Port Gaverne.
- If you prefer a gentler start to the day, spend some time on the beach or brave the Cornish waters for a paddle or swim. The bay is sheltered and often has great conditions for swimming.
- Once you've worked up an appetite from all the activity and sea air, head to the Port Gaverne Hotel and Restaurant to experience some of their delicious seasonal cuisine. Try some local seafood and sample the Cornish ales.
- Walk off your lunch on the footpaths above the beach. You can access them up the stone steps from the beach or from the road. Walk to the end of the headland where you will be treated to views of Castle Rock in front of you, over towards Port Quin and Tintagel to your right, Port Isaac to your left. There are lots of benches along the way where you can sit, relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Browse our Port Isaac properties, just minutes away from Port Gaverne.