In August on a family holiday to glorious Padstow, we were fortunate enough to get a table at Paul Ainsworth at No. 6. With high expectations and rumbling tummies we arrived and were shown into the “front room” which fitted the 8 of us perfectly and meant the whole dinner ended up being wonderful and relaxed. The table had sculptures of Paul’s Great British Menu dessert on display and along with the other decor provided plenty of conversation points.
Whilst we pondered the set menu (along with the a la carte menu, decisions, decisions..) wonderful sourdough bread was brought out with a trio of accompaniments with “plain old butter”, caramelised butter and cod roe topped with crumbled pork crackling. All three were wonderful, although as so often the case, good quality bread needs nothing more than good quality butter.
As the set menu was so reasonable, the whole table ordered the same starter and main and we were given the option to then order from the main menu for dessert if we so wished.
The starter came promptly, a velvety watercress soup surrounded a mound of flaked smoked haddock and topped with caviar cream. For a summers lunch, it was a lovely starter, yet another display of how food doesn’t need fuss or overworking, simply combining sympathetically and allowing its natural flavours to shine through.
The main continued the trend with perfectly cooked supreme of chicken accompanied by peas, broad beans and a red wine and garlic puree. It also had everyone’s favourite, crispy chicken skin, to add some texture. All this was devoured and nods of appreciation were displayed from everyone.
When selecting dessert, although the set menu dessert of Black Cherry sounded lovely, all bar one selected a dessert from the main menu for no other reason than we all couldn’t resist seeing what else was on offer.I opted for the cheese, Barkham Blue which was served with a truly brilliant apple pie and a glass of Cornish cider. To me this was heaven, a good amount of a amazing cheese, sticky, caramelised apple which was better than any chutney and then a glass of local cider to refresh the palate. I will definitely be trying to find ways to serve something similar at home, although Em may have to do the baking to do this justice.
The others went for:
Bread and butter pudding served with Sharp’s 6 vintage blend, a wonderful blended beer, showing how diverse beer can be.
Chocolate and pistachio served with a caramel sauce
Finally, served with the coffee, a excellent selection of Petit Fours, all contained in a wooden box which resembled a cross between an apothecary table and a Japanese puzzle box. Either way the selection was great and just finished of the meal perfectly.
If you go to Padstow or the surrounding area, I really would urge you to go to No 6. Although you are spoilt for choice in that part of the country (Rick Stein’s is also excellent and I am looking forward to trying Nathan Outlaw’s place on our next trip) This is one of the best meals I have had, simply for the perfect balance of quality ingredients treated well, an environment that felt special without being pretentious and the best plate of cheese I have ever had. Mr Ainsworth, it was a pleasure.
Phone number: 01841 532 093
Address: 6 Middle Street, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8AP