30 Mar Appleton’s at Trevibban Mill
In their eagerness to configure the perfect destination restaurant the one thing that is sometimes overlooked in the quest for style and impact – is actual taste.
Happily the latest addition to the north coast’s growing canon of restaurants Appleton’s, under the guidance of head chef Andy Appleton, has its priorities in order. Flavour and taste, classic and unusual provide for a table that is delicious, surprising and often comforting.
The ‘crispy bits’, small pre-meal amuse-bouches, like the sage and anchovy fries,, and the olives and smoked almonds, like tiny bhajis with a zingy crunch, set the tone for the meal ahead. These small tantalising bites, served in the airy, high ceilinged room with lots of natural wood and a long bar with countryside views, are a sign of Appleton’s seductive approach to food; the more we crunched at those small bites the hungrier we felt.
The menu is small. Just four choices in each category. Among the starters the Padstow crab, crispy quail egg and monk’s beard, balanced exude texture, taste, and colour, and the Cornish coppa (cured pork), coal roasted beets and yoghurt had real tang and worked well with a dry white wine.
Three of our table opted for the slow cooked duck leg served on a bed of cannellini beans, while the other two ordered the whole roasted sea bream, firm and white, on a bed of pine nuts, peppers and sumac.
The restaurant is housed within the Trevibban Mill winery, an award winning venture that began in 2008 when the first vines and orchards were planted on the slopes of Issey Brook, a couple of miles outside Padstow. There are five whites, mostly dry and flinty in the manner of English wines. Two roses, and sparkling wines, and an exceptional red, the 2014 Black Ewe made with Pinot Noir bearing all the satisfying complexities of a Burgundy. All are available by the glass. Additionally there are Trevibban Mill ciders and apple juice.
Deserts comprised chocolate with wine and berries, and lemon and almond polenta cake. Being tradionalists we opted for the rhubarb and custard served with as cubes of chilled custard and slivers of rhubarb peppered with tiny meringues. The selection of Cornish cheeses was paired with arguably the best chutney our taste buds have ever been exposed to.
Expect lunch for one at about £40 per head plus wine ranging from £13.45 a bottle to £36. There is also the option to sit at the bar and graze.
Appleton’s, Trevibban Mill, Dark Lane, nr Padstow, PL27 7SE 01841 541413 /