Pub Food at The Cornish Arms

The Cornish Arms by Rick Stein is located in St Merryn near to Padstow and is an old school gastro pub serving a simple classic pub menu.

It is described as being a short drive away from the town and I suppose it is, yet as it is up all those windy narrow roads it was a lot less fun driving back and forwards to that one might have hoped.

However the draw of checking out one of Rick’s spots was enough to drag us out despite the drive.

We booked a table while we were staying in Padstow and were happy that we were able to as many other places were full. Once we arrived and saw just how large the place is we then realised how and why we could get in

Even though there is lots of room inside and quite a large capacity for diners, it still retained that country pub atmosphere and did not feel like a fussy restaurant. It didn’t really feel like a pub though that you could pop into for a couple of pints, although I did spot a few people tucked away in various corners that were doing just that.


My Dining Companion was keen on getting a curry even before we saw the menu as we have cooked quite a few of Ricks Curries over the years, in fact one of his recipes I have cooked and written about has been one of the most read posts on my blogs.

So she chose the ”Lamb karahi” a ‘Lamb and spinach curry with coriander, cumin, and green chillies served with basmati rice’ for £15.95 which did sound rather good on paper


The Lamb Karahi didn’t look that pretty on the plate, but hey are curries supposed to live the instagram life or are they just supposed to taste nice and fill the bowl generously. I think the latter and on that basis this one was ticking a lot of boxes.

There was plenty of tender lamb mixed in with a load of spinach and quite a thick gravy sauce. It was not too spicy yet contained enough heat to keep it interesting. Alongside the rice was a bonus chapati or roti that we were not expecting which was great for mopping up the last bits of sauce from the bowl


A quick flick down the menu and there were fewer options to tempt me than I expected. So I ended up ordering a steak which I almost never do when out and about as I kind of have an issue with paying so much for a bit of meat.

I probably could have found something else but thinking about it I really did just fancy a steak and chose to avert my eyes from the price of £23.50 that it was going to cost me 🙂

I almost wavered from my ’steak moment’ as I pondered getting the ”Pondicherry cod curry” from ’Rick’s India’ just because that is a book that I cook from a lot. I didn’t but made a mental note to try cooking that dish when I got back from my holidays 🙂

The 10oz rump steak was served with a ‘rocket, tomato, shallot and thyme salad‘ and a portion of chips. The steak was coming from the locally renowned local butcher Philip Warren from Launceston.

The Steak was perfectly cooked at a Medium-Rare, thick and juicy and nicely charred in places. The fat to the ends was nicely rendered and I was glad of that as I always eat my fat (it’s one of the best bits).

There were enough chips and they were acceptable enough, not particularly exciting but they did the job. I actually really liked the salad but that was not that surprising as I usually have a rocket, tomato and shallot salad at home with my BBQ and the addition of a bit of fresh thyme seemed to be a nice little extra touch.

It might have been the most expensive choice on the menu but it was certainly worth it as it was a quality piece of meat and I was happy to pay for it and for the quality of the cook on it.

I quite liked dining here at the Cornish Arms as it was a lot less fussy than many places. It is pretty big and there were a lot of diners many with families and small children enjoying they crayoning in between bites.

There was a nice gentle buzz around the place and it was all very welcoming and homely and despite being busy we still had a nice relaxing meal and a chat. It was most enjoyable

Outside to the front and the side there were plenty of tables where I suppose you could just get a drink and have a ponder. Sadly the day we went it was raining quite hard and so not many people were braving the outdoor spaces.

I would come here again for sure and perhaps next time just chill for a bit with a pint in the garden before getting something lighter. I can see that in the summer time it would be a great spot to hang out (if you can get a table)

The Cornish Arms is located at Churchtown, St Merryn PL28 8ND, Saint Columb Major you cannot really miss the pub as you drive through the village on the B3276

You can check them out on their website, on their Facebook page, and general Rick stuff on their Twitter feed and Instagram profile

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