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Review: St Tudy Inn, St Tudy, nr Bodmin in Cornwall

Great food and cosy rooms make this inn a must-visit when in the area.

By Natasha Heard  |  February 11, 2022
St Tudy Inn
Image Credit: Adam Sargent

You possibly haven’t heard of the village of St Tudy in Cornwall, with the likes of coastal delights St Ives, Port Isaac and Fowey often basking in the limelight, but with the reopening of this north Cornish village’s resident pub after a tasteful refurbishment, you may just need to delve a little further inland.

In the village, which houses around 750, nestled between the gateway town of Bodmin and a short drive to the picturesque villages of Port Isaac and Padstow, sits the food focused pub that is St Tudy Inn. Harbour Brewing took over the 17th century inn in summer 2021 and new landlord Oliver Parsons joined, with a new head chef coming on board later in the year. In previous years, the inn has been listed in the top 50 gastropubs in the UK list and sets out to provide a welcome retreat for both locals and visitors alike.

St Tudy Inn
Harbour Brewing took over the 17th century inn in summer 2021

When dining here, it’s clear to see that food plays a big part in the inn’s character though it’s careful to maintain its pub identity for those looking to visit for a good pint or wine and excellent chatter with fellow locals.

I visited on a Thursday evening and was pleasantly surprised at how many people were happily chatting in the bar at 5.30pm, enjoying each other’s company alongside local tipples, and I found myself wishing I had a local like this near me.

The welcoming décor certainly has something to do with the comfort factor and the fact that the inn is sectioned up helps. There’s a central bar area, two spaces set out for dining and a private seating area complete with deep red leather button back sofas and a large log burner. Sleek dark slate floors meet pale grey walls and chunky wood dining tables are surrounded with light coloured high-backed wicker chairs in the dining area where I devoured a three-course meal.

St Tudy Inn food
Whole baked Cornish sole main course at St Tudy Inn.

Head chef Siaka Touray brings with him a background at Harvey Nichols and Rick Stein. Celebrating the finest seasonal produce from the surrounding area, of which there is plenty in this region, the menu provides a selection of pub classics with a modern twist. Choose from the likes of seared scallops with butternut squash puree and crispy pancetta; nduja scotch egg with a roasted apple puree to start; pork belly braised in marmalade and Szechuan pepper with pomme puree, green beans and roasted pine nuts or whole baked lemon sole with brown shrimp and beurre noisette to follow.

I had spied the goats’ cheese bon bons on the inn’s Instagram page and couldn’t resist trying them for myself. The perfect sized starter, three little bon bons were prettily presented atop a swirl of sauces with orange cubes of squash and green herbs making for a very appetising looking plate of food. Delicate batter encased a rich, creamy, warm and gooey cheese centre, while a gentle accompaniment of sage made this a delectable dish to start the meal, all of which was washed down with a delicious Malbec.

Harbour battered cod with crushed peas, tartar sauce and triple cooked chips was my choice for the main course, and I am pleased to point out that the delicately crisp, light batter was one of the best I’ve cut into. The cod inside was delicious, the accompanying sauce creamy, the peas tasty and the fat, floury yet crispy chips in their little basket were devoured with gusto.

St Tudy Inn food
Goat’s cheese bonbons at St Tudy Inn.

The rib eye steak, I was informed, consisted of a sizeable, juicy and mouth-watering piece of beef with scrumptious salted fries, but with just watercress to accompany, I think my fellow diner would have liked maybe an onion ring or tomato to dig into as well.

Dessert seemed like an impossible task, but after a break and a glance at the menu, it was hard to resist. Vanilla cheesecake, vegan snickers bar, passion fruit crème brulee, baked vanilla cheesecake and more were up for grabs, but the sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and pistachio ice cream caught my eye.

A delectable wedge of spongy goodness sat in a wide dish and was sprinkled with tiny crispy toffee pieces, drizzled with a toffee sauce and topped with the ice cream. Though I like pistachio ice cream, I’m not sure if it worked for me here as a flavour combination, but I appreciated the attempt at elevating this classic dish. The cheese selection consisted of Davidstow Cheddar, Stilton, and a personal favourite of mine, Cornish Yarg, and was served alongside quince, crackers and grapes – perfect for the savoury fans.

St Tudy Inn rooms
There are four rooms on site to retire to after a fulfilling meal at the inn

After a lovely cappuccino to finish, we commended the team on their friendly and swift service and retired to one of the on-site rooms. Converted from a derelict barn, the four rooms, available to book via Airbnb, all offer a king size bed, an ensuite shower room with lit mirrors and Bramley toiletries, a tea and coffee tray with fresh milk, and chest of drawers with a small TV on top. The compact yet comfortable room provided a welcome place to spend the night after a delicious meal at the pub and it allows you to enjoy a few drinks knowing that you don’t have far to travel.

When in the area, it’s certainly worth checking out local hot spots such as Port Isaac with its beautiful coastline and waterside walks, the pretty fishing port of Padstow, or grabbing a bike and heading out on the Camel Trail.

In a nutshell

Expect a warm welcome at St Tudy Inn as well as a fulfilling and hearty meal all topped off with a pleasant atmosphere. The inn ideally does a great job of blending the local pub with the food destination you need to seek out, and I will be back when I’m next in the area.

Factbox

Rooms start at £111 a night.
Address: St Tudy Inn, St Tudy, Bodmin,, PL30 3NN
Tel: 01208 850656
Website: sttudyinn.com
Instagram: @sttudyinn

See snippets of my travels on Instagram @tashheard_food_travel

All imagery credit: Adam Sargent