“ Crossroads Close,St Merryn, Padstow, PL28, Tel:01841 521 560 „
We recently spent a few days surfing in Cornwall, staying at Treyarnon Bay and surfing at Harlyn Bay. Padstow is not far away and we decided to treat ourselves eating out each night. We discovered the Seven Bays Bistro purely by chance - and what a fantastic chance that turned out to be.
We had stopped to get some milk in St Merryn and to decide where to get pasties from to take home the following day, when we spotted the Bistro next door to one of the pasty shops. Its just off of the Newquay to Padstow coast road and is set back opposite a small supermarket and next to a pasty shop and another shop (can't remember what that one was!)
A quick look through the window decided us that this was the place for our meal that night. The staff were very helpful when we popped into to book it and we were impressed with their attitude. This bistro doesn't specialise in any particular type of food but has a range of meals to cater for every taste, including pizza, which is made to order on the premises as well as being available as a takeaway. The night we were there, they had been overwhelmed with people ordering pizzas to take away as the football was on the television. This didn't affect the service or quality of the food being served in the actual restaurant at all.
So, on to our arrival and subsequent meal.
You enter by a front door into a small vestibule before going through into the main restaurant. The floors are wooden, and beautifully maintained in a honey colour. Seating is either at light ash coloured tables with matching circular seated chairs or in "booths" painted cream and with comfortable seat cushions on. The tables are simply laid but look elegant with clear shiny glasses, proper linen napkins and shiny cutlery. The restaurant seats a maximum of 40 people but it doesn't feel crowded. The night we went there were two parties in plus three other tables in use but this did not affect the service we received at all. They stagger all the arrival times, so no one arrived at the same time as any one else.
Again the staff were really helpful and were never far away but were not obtrusive at all. We ordered drinks whilst perusing the menu and also had bread for dipping in oil and balsamic vinegar.
We make a point of always ordering different things when we eat out, so that we can all try something from the menu and this was no exception.
For starters we had; the soup of the day which was leek and potato and it was the best I have ever tasted - it was deliciously smooth and creamy but very tasty. Pan Fried King Prawns with a mint and coriander salsa verde was wonderful and the Ciabatta topped with Tomatoes, Red Onion, Basil and Pesto was so tasty you could have it as a main course on its own.
The portions were all just right - not so little that you didn't feel you had eaten anything and not too much that you felt you hadn't room for the main course.
The main courses we ordered were freshly caught and pan fried mackerel, which is the one thing I don't like, but I am reliably informed that it was fantastic! The Food from the Sea, which is Pan fried white meat, squid and King Prawns served with spaghetti and a cream and white wine sauce garnished with parsley was melt in the mouth heaven. The spaghetti was done to perfection and the fish in the cream and white wine sauce was flavoursome but not overpowering. The Hot & Spicy Chicken Pizza was exactly as it said - hot and spicy, well cooked but not over cooked and freshly made to order.
Desserts - well we still had room for dessert!! A beautiful Lemon Tarte with Cornish Cream, a Chocolate Freddo (not absolutely certain what it was but it was scrumptious!) and Stilton with Honey, Pear and Biscuits, which was so artistically presented, it seemed a shame to eat it.
The wine list looked good but as we were driving and had our daughter with us we stuck to soft drinks, which were reasonably priced and they were more than happy to also provide a jug of iced tap water for us.
The bistro is open Monday to Saturday from 6.30pm and during the school holidays on a Sunday as well.
It is well worth the visit to St Merryn, although it would be advisable to book. The meal for 3 of us came to £81.00 including a tip which considering the quality of the meal and the whole experience that the Bistro offered, we considered good value. As they say - you get what you pay for !.
Seven Bays Bistro is situated in the village of St Merryn, just outside Padstow on the beautiful North Cornwall coast. Using the freshest local produce we fuse Cornish and Mediterranean styles to create truly memorable dishes.