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Cornwall’s best food & drink

  • Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 28 April, 2024

Cornwall is renowned for fresh and locally sourced food – attracting foodies from the world over.

Ingredients and flavours are strongly influenced by its coastal location and farming heritage. The region is especially known for outstanding seafood, with dishes such as fish and chips, crab sandwiches, and Cornish pasties being popular staples. It’s home to several artisanal cheese makers, producing award-winning cheeses such as Cornish Blue and Yarg, and produces the world’s best clotted cream.

In terms of drinks, Cornwall is known for its brewing and distilling industries, with a number of exceptional local distilleries producing award-winning spirits, beers and ales. The region also boasts a burgeoning wine industry, notably for award-winning still and sparkling wines, and excellent cideries.

Cooking styles vary from simple to exotic and environments from casual to smart, although the emphasis is on excellent produce, simply cooked, and served in a laid-back beach café or gastropub.

What to try

Cornish pasties – meat- and veg-filled pastry shells that started life as fuel for miners, and a Cornish cream tea consisting of scones smothered in jam and world-renowned Cornish clotted cream.

For drinks, don’t leave without trying the locally-made sparkling wines, ciders and artisan gins.

You can visit most of the farms, distilleries and breweries to see the produce being made. See our recommendations below.

Food markets

Whatever the season your sojourn, you can stock up on fresh goodies to eat or take home at a Farmers Market close by, with many hosting weekly events for much of the year.

Top picks include Sennen, St Ives, Bude, Pendeen, Helston and Truro. Fill your boots (and reusable carrier bags) with anything from the odd piece of art and craft to meats, hand-made farmstead cheeses, free-range poultry, eggs, fruit, vegetables and locally made fare such as chocolate, bread and cakes.

The dining scene

For top-notch eating and drinking, head to Padstow (which is home to four Rick Stein restaurants plus Paul Ainsworth at Number 6) or Falmouth’s Discovery Quay area. Watergate Bay near Newquay is usually a lively spot, with both Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and The Beach Hut, and there are other great beach cafés in Bude, St Ives, Sennen Cove, Falmouth, and on the Rame Peninsula.

Cornwall is liberally scattered with traditional pubs, many serving local ales, ciders and micro-brews. Newquay is Cornwall’s party town, but with a lairy, binge-drinking scene, it’s best avoided.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Chocolate-making workshops at Coco Kitchen

  • St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

children making chocolate at cocos kitchen

Experience

Families and chocoholics will love these chocolate workshops, that see you designing, moulding and decorating a variety of chocolate treats (that you take home after). A brilliant group experience for all ages, with special activities even for the toddlers.

Adult price: 25

Good for age: 4+

Duration: 1 hour

When: Selected dates

Freq: Selected dates

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Colwith Farm Distillery

  • Lostwithiel, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

vistiors take a distillery course at Colwith Cornwall

Experience

This plough-to-bottle distillery, owned and run by the Dustow family, has mastered the art of transforming their potatoes into award-winning spirits, notably gin. You can book in for tours of the distillery and gin tastings, and courses to make your own custom bottle of gin.

Good for age: 18+

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  • Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Bucket List Experience

Excellently run and fascinating foraging and cooking courses with professional forager, ecologist and cook Caroline Davey. A must for foodies.

Adult price: 45

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 2 hours - 1 day

When: Selected dates

Freq: Selected dates

Fowey Valley Cidery & Distillery

  • Lostwithiel, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Fowey Valley Cidery & Distillery

Experience

A small family-run cidery that produces a range of high-quality, award-winning ciders. The cider is made using a blend of locally sourced apples, including rare varieties, and traditional methods. Book in for tours of the orchards and pressing facilities, followed by cider tasting. They also offer cider-making courses.

Good for age: 18+

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Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm

  • Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm

Experience

Cornwall is famous for cider, and Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm produces award-winning cider the old-fashioned way. The farm offers tours and tastings where you can learn about the cider-making process, and sample different ciders. They also have a farm shop and restaurant selling locally-produced treats.

Good for age: 18+

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Knightor Winery

  • St Austell, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Knightor Winery

Experience

A boutique winery that produces a range of award-winning wines and spirits, including still and sparkling wines, vermouth, and gin. Book in for guided tours of the winery and vineyards, before a tasting of their products in the on-site tasting room.

Good for age: 18+

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Origin Coffee Roastery

  • Porthleven, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Origin Coffee Roastery

Experience

Established in Cornwall in 2004 by a group of enthusiasts, Origin specialises in sourcing and roasting exceptional coffee. Book ahead for tours of their roastery in Helston, or head to their café at Harbour Head in Porthleven to sample the goods (with a slice of artisan cake).

Good for age: 18+

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Potager Garden

  • Falmouth, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Potager Garden

Experience

Vegetarians and garden-to-table advocates should stop by this organic garden that prides itself on producing its own organic food. Explore the gardens then sample its produce in the café. The garden hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as music festivals, workshops, and markets.

Good for age: 18+

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Roskilly’s

  • Helston, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Roskilly’s

Experience

Family-run organic farm producinf a range of sumptuously delicious organic dairy products, including ice cream, yoghurt, and milk – using milk from their own herd of Jersey cows.

Good for age: 4+

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St Austell Brewery

  • St Austell, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

St Austell Brewery

Experience

This family-owned brewery, founded in 1851, produces a range of award-winning beers and ales using local ingredients, such as Cornish barley and spring water. They offer guided tours of the brewery, teaching you about the brewing process, ending with tastings. The brewery also runs a variety of events throughout the year, including beer festivals and live music.

Good for age: 18+

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Tarquin’s Gin School

  • Padstow, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Tarquin’s Gin School

Experience

A highly-regarded distillery producing award-winning gin using only locally-sourced and organic botanicals, and a traditional copper pot still. Book in for tours of the production process, onsite tastings – and the chance to make your own bespoke bottle of gin.

Adult price: 85

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins

When: Thurs, Fri & Sat

Freq: Selected dates

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Tea plantation on the Tregothnan Estate

  • Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

Tea plantation on the Tregothnan Estate

Experience

Tea lovers should head to this, the only tea plantation in the UK. It produces a range of fine teas, grown using sustainable and organic methods, from classic black tea to innovative blends like Manuka and Cornish Earl Grey. You can book in for tours of the plantation and learn about the history of tea in the UK, before a tasting in the on-site tea bar.

Good for age: 18+

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Trevibban Mill Vineyard

  • Padstow, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

exteriro landscape shot of the terrace at the Trevibban Mill Vineyard

Experience

This family-owned winery and orchard produces a range of award-winning still and sparkling wines, as well as apple juice and cider. The offer guided tours of the vineyards and orchards, that end with wine tastings in the on-site tasting room.

Good for age: 18+

Website >

Truro Farmers’ Market

  • Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

View of the Truro farmers market in Cornwall

Experience

A buzzing weekly farmers’ market held every Wednesday and Sunday on Lemon Quay. Here you’ll find everything from fermented foods to raw chocolate, chilli jam to craft beer. A great opportunity to sample local Cornish produce, and snack on Cornish ‘street food’.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 4 hours

When: Wed & Sat am

Freq: weekly

Website >

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: -