Drinking

The Old Coastguard, Mousehole

Sitting out on the lawn under the palm trees that wend their way down towards a sparkling blue sea, with a glass of something cold, crisp and refreshing in hand, is not a bad way to spend a summer’s afternoon. It’s easy to lose hours watching the seals sunning themselves on St Clement’s Isle, getting lost in the views across the bay to St Michael’s Mount, listening to the call of the gulls overhead and the sound of the sea lapping the shore, making The Old Coastguard perfect for lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Lazing on a sunny afternoon…

The Old Coastguard

It’s easy to lose hours watching the seals sunning themselves

  • Perfect for lazing on a sunny afternoon
  • Be warned, one visit to The Old Coastguard and you may not want to leave
  • Time seems to operate to a different rhythm here

It’s easy to lose hours watching the seals sunning themselves on St Clement’s Isle, getting lost in the views across the bay to St Michael’s Mount, listening to the call of the gulls overhead and the sound of the sea lapping the shore, making The Old Coastguard perfect for lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Come to think of it, it ticks all the boxes for cosying up on a rain-lashed winter afternoon too. It’s the kind of place where relaxed Sunday roasts have a habit of elongating into the evening. Another glass of wine, why not? The wine list’s brimming with good quality drops to quaff. And a cheese board to finish? Better have some port to go with that too then. By the time it comes to coffees night is drawing in, the fire’s crackling merrily as the wind whips up whitecaps on the waves in the bay. Just one more for the road then…

Be warned, one visit to The Old Coastguard and you may not want to leave. Time seems to operate to a different rhythm here. It’s a neat trick that owners the Inkin brothers have honed at The Old Coastguard’s successful sister establishments the Gurnard’s Head (just a short distance away on Cornwall’s north coast near the beautiful cliffs at Zennor) and the Felin Fach Griffin in Wales. There’s something about the place that makes you feel immediately at home, melting away the stresses of everyday life. Perhaps it’s the mismatched English charm, which manages to pull off an air of unassuming elegance. Or the attentiveness of the staff. Or the little touches, like shelves stacked with interesting books. Or the simple, yet classic food.

Coastguard interior

 

 

The kitchen is run on the maxim that the best things in life are kept simple. And it certainly seems to be an approach that works. Choose from a scrubbed oak or pine table inside or out on the terrace to peruse the menu – traditional brasserie, shaped by the seasons. Tom Symons came over from the Gurnard’s Head to run the kitchen, under the wise Scottish eye of Gurnard’s Head chef Bruce Rennie. With the thriving fishing port of Newlyn just a couple of miles down the road, fresh seafood is well represented. But Cornish beef, poultry and game are given equal attention too. The food is well-priced, with mains hovering reasonably at just over the tenner mark. As you’d expect, as well as the wine list, which is refreshingly varied, there’s a good range of beers and ales to choose from.

If you’re coming from Penzance, The Old Coastguard is the first large building you see on your left as you enter Mousehole

If you’re coming from Penzance, The Old Coastguard is the first large building you see on your left as you enter Mousehole and it’s just a short stroll down into the picturesque fishing village. Built around the harbour where small fishing boats still come and go, with its winding alleyways, tucked away galleries and artists’ studios, it’s easy to see why Mousehole retains such a special place in the hearts of locals and sightseers. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the laid back ambience of The Old Coastguard, a post meal stroll around the village is rewarded with a glimpse into the past of this beautiful, traditional Cornish village.

Since the Inkins’ EatDrinkSleep team took it on, I’ve visited The Old Coastguard in all seasons and all weathers – and in Cornwall sometimes you can experience all four seasons in one day – whether it’s a Sunday roast, a big group meal, evening drinks on the sofas on the sun deck, or an afternoon lolling in the garden, The Old Coastguard’s easy-going charm makes it equally appealing for snuggling up on a windy February evening or lazing on a sunny afternoon.

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Website | The Parade, Mousehole, Penzance, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6PR | 01736 731222

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