Padstow is beautiful. Ancient buildings congregate around the picturesque harbour and climb the hill in winding narrow streets that date back to the Middle Ages when the town was a busy trading port.
With a little time to kill before lunch we popped into Rick Stein's gift shop where in amongst tea towels and pickles I found a picture of a sea bass that I really liked, by British artist Richard Bramble.
Although almost persuaded by the lobster risotto and despite my dislike of beetroot I decided to go for a dish that featured this ingredient heavily. What's the point of fine dining if you're not prepared to be adventurous?
I also wanted to try mackerel marinated in chilli and cooked with garlic as I thought these flavours would go well with the strong taste of mackerel. Along with this, the other starter we went for was the sea bass 'a la Plancha' with roasted fennel seeds and sauce vierge. This tasted fabulous, possibly because the sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato and basil, complemented the fish so well.
The starters had given us some lovely flavours but were light enough for us to still look forward to the next course. I decided to go for the hake with salpicon dressing, tarragon mayonnaise and samphire, which had been harvested from the Camel Estuary.
I ordered the vanilla cheesecake with cassis sorbet. The fruits had a slightly sharp tartness and the cheesecake was very light. We also tried the strawberry pavlova with strawberry sorbet.
The Seafood Restaurant is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, which was a great time to visit.
Having built a reputation on serving the freshest fish in inventive dishes it's great to know they 're still delivering.
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