DuchyGrub, Padstow: A Sumptuous Small Plates Experience

DuchyGrub, Padstow: A Sumptuous Small Plates Experience

When an invitation came through from DuchyGrub, we were only too happy to whisk ourselves off to St Merryn for an evening of small plates and big flavours. Sitting just outside of the culinary wonder of Padstow, this secluded celebration of food was a dreamy combination of tapas-style dishes and a deliciously cosy atmosphere that wraps around you like a favourite blanket.


People having a drink in the terrace at DuchyGrub

As we approached the restaurant through the sprawling countryside that winds its way above the wild coastline of North Cornwall, we became excited for the evening ahead. As soon as we arrived, making our way up the charming stone steps to the terrace, we were met with a glass of bubbly and a sea of smiling faces. Although we visited under the veil of night, it was easy to imagine the heater-warmed terrace’s usual sweeping views, which meld rural and coastal scenes together in perfect harmony.

The friendly front-of-house staff were only too happy to stop and talk about the evening’s menu, which was to consist of a variety of small plates, giving us the chance to taste our way through a selection of mouth-watering creations. After meeting one of the fabulous minds behind DuchyGrub, Jas, it quickly became clear this is a true labour of love and passion - no wonder the restaurant has amassed such a following in little over a year.

Once we had all enjoyed a pre-dinner mingle, it was time to head indoors to the restaurant itself for an evening of foodie decadents. An exquisitely petite room that seats up to 30 lucky guests, we instantly felt at home in the warming hues and décor that welcomed us. A small bar at one end was packed with an enviable selection of local spirits and world wines, foretelling the delectable evening ahead of us.

Food for thought

Small plates of olives and baba ghanoush at DuchyGrub

Seated and surrounded with equally intrigued faces, our attention turned to the menu in front of us, which promised small plates bursting with creative flair and local ingredients. Before long, the menu was brought to life before our eyes as plate after plate of heavenly dishes arrived on the table.

Starting the feast off with a winsome classic, we dined on De Bara sourdough bread topped with fresh butter and smoked salt, alongside some delightfully buttery Nocellara olives. From this moment on, it was a whirlwind of culinary delights, with fresh dishes adding to the already bountiful table. Our taste buds were swept between the rich and smoky depths of barbecued monkfish and guajillo butternut – the garlic yoghurt was a revelation! – to the fresh and playful notes of baba ghanoush and a brill ceviche with guajillo and beetroot. We could easily picture dining on this dish on a summer’s eve as the sun sets.

A small plate of monkfish at DuchyGrub

We were blown away by the inclusivity of the menu, which featured an array of sea, meat, and vegetarian dishes, providing something for everyone. The nature of the tasting menu also gently encouraged people to explore beyond their comfort zones, a bravery that was instantly rewarded by a new favourite. A vegan hispi cabbage cooked with café de Paris totally stole the show, as did the vegetarian courgette with confit egg yolk and dukkah – there wasn’t a dish on the menu that didn’t have us swooning at our plates.

After the meal, mastermind of the evening Joe spoke to us about his inventive use of the different chillies, which echoed through many of the dishes. From the warmth of the guajillo-infused mains to the depth of flavour found in the pork balls with honey and houmous and pasilla chocolate brownies (which were served with a drizzle of mezcal caramel and a dollop of Cornish clotted cream), we had no idea the chilli was so versatile. His creativity and passion really did shine through every single bite.

An experience to remember

Small plates of butternut squash at DuchyGrub

Alongside the decadent food menu, a list of carefully curated cocktails and Cornish beers ensured our glasses enjoyed just as thrilling an adventure as our plates. From Cherry Bakewell to the So-So Cornish Negroni (that was anything but so-so), our taste buds were well and truly treated throughout the evening.

With our plates polished, it was time to give a thunderous round of applause to the incredible people behind the scenes in the kitchen, who spent all evening ensuring our tables were never bare, and the amazing front of house team that were always there to answer questions about each exceptional dish.

This warmly welcoming hidden gem is one of the best kept secrets in North Cornwall, with locals and visitors counting the days between visits, and after our recent experience it’s easy to see why. The menu changes weekly – if not daily – to make the most of local produce and the creative flairs of the chef, which means there’s always something new to experience, from the freshest seafood to the richest dessert.

Final Thoughts

Brownies topped with clotted cream at DuchyGrub

DuchyGrub is the perfect place for an intimate celebration amongst loved ones, and with their ever-changing menu, you’ll always be in for a memorable experience. Pair it with a soul-stirring stroll along North Cornwall’s rugged coast, or a peaceful day spent browsing the shops and soaking up the idyllic charm of Padstow harbour.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Padstow and start planning your dreamy sojourn in North Cornwall.

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