Cornwall

The Old Custom House, St Ives

Imagine taking a seat at a pretty window table as the summer seas turn to glass or winter tremors bring on a frenetic chop. You sip contentedly on your favourite drink as the gentle murmur of conversation floods the room and before you know it, you are brought a beautifully-crafted dish of homecooked food, as visually aesthetic as it is mouth-watering.

Sound good? Thought so. When you enjoy a meal at the Old Custom House in St Ives, you are immediately reminded why Cornwall is so well and truly embedded on the culinary map. Located on the first floor of – you guessed it – St Ives’ original customs house, the restaurant is all modern creativity in a Grade II listed body. Run by Head Chef Stephen Knowles, it serves up a menu of Italian-inspired goodies and for serious foodies, it is a must-visit.

Heading up steep stone steps, access to the restaurant may not be easy for some but it is definitely worth the climb. Overlooking St Ives harbour, you can drink in the views as the atmosphere inside washes over you. If you’re looking for somewhere to bring a big gaggle, this modestly-sized, seven-table restaurant is probably not the place. But, with space for six in the bar and boasting a warm, intimate feel, it is ideal for light aperitifs and romantic dinners.

Complemented with seasonal ingredients and local produce, the varied menu offers something for everyone. There is even a cheese, charcuterie and wine sitting between 3 and 5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays if you fancy something a little different. And, fortunately for us, the staff have also put just as much effort into their small and mighty drinks menu, including a number of wines handpicked from the restaurant’s producers in the Mediterranean.

With the bar open from 3pm, head along and grab yourself a seat. Dinner is served from 6 to 9pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, and there is also a lunch option available on Fridays and Saturdays too between 12 and 3pm. Due to the size of the restaurant, only assistant dogs are accepted.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages around St Ives here.

The Old Customs House, Upstairs, Customs House, Wharf Road, St Ives TR26 1LF | 01736 799943 | www.theoldcustomhouse.co.uk

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