The acclaimed Star at Harome, the pub with the thatch – oh, and really, really good food – spawned a whole industry in the village of Harome; places to stay, shop, buy local produce and now they’ve got the Star in the City, its grown up city version. It’s the whole experience, as it were, not just a nice meal out in a little pub – you can buy into the brand. Of course, it all started in Padstow – “Padstein” as it’s known – when Rick Stein came out of the limelight courtesy of television exposure back in the 1990s.
We stayed in Padstow on the journey back from deepest Cornwall [even deeper than Padstow] on a previous trip and ate in the Seafood Restaurant. We’re sure Padstow has lots to offer but Rick has really put the place on the map and his influence seems to be everywhere. On our trip we stayed at St Petrock’s Hotel, part of the Stein empire, which has its own small bistro serving excellent food – we might well eat there next time – as it has its own charcoal grill with the tempting aroma of chateaubriand drifting round the restaurant, as well as fish.
We ate in the Seafood Restaurant, the flagship of the group and where it all started. So, absolutely excellent seafood – grilled turbot with hollandaise, the king of fish, was wonderful. However, the parallel with the Star at Harome continues. At Padstow the interior of the restaurant is more Mayfair than Padstow. The interior design seems a little out of place for a simple seafood restaurant on the front in a cornish fishing village. At Harome we similarly felt the design overwhelmed the food and, although at Padstow it’s not so marked – it’s the entrance and toilets that are a little bling – it seems unnecessarily over designed. Mind you, the food enables you to forgive almost anything. If you like fish, that is. We do.
Restaurant Rick Stein Padstow