Updated: Aug 27
Standing in the old gateway opening between two impressive granite stone piers of the former stables of the Falmouth Brewery Company, it is easy to imagine by-gone day’s workhorses clip-clopping out of what was called Carne’s cobbled courtyard, pulling highly decorated wooden carts weighed down with beer barrels onto the steep High Street.
You are brought back to 2023 earth, stepping on to the yard’s cobbles and hearing the chatter and laughter of people enjoying a drink at the collection of pretty coloured outside picnic tables of the crazy Chintz Bar – a two-storey extravaganza explosion of wild interior decoration that is a spectacular mind-blowing experience quadrupling the enjoyment of a drink – all housed in a building closing off and forming the intimate space of former Carne’s Yard.
The courtyard’s attractive granite-stone and slate-roofed buildings boast elevations highlighted with red brick arches and window and door surrounds; they compose the backdrop for a gorgeous balmy summer’s evening settling nicely into the Falmouth Brewery’s historic yard – a space filled with a kaleidoscope of colour and sound and definitely, a recipe for a relaxing time and to indulge in a good meal – right up my street!
Time to turn right and visit a favourite restaurant of mine – Mine! A breath of fresh air in the world of characterless restaurants and seemingly plucked from a small granite-stoned French village in Brittany. Mine has outside seating for about twenty-five guests and a smaller number inside the intimate room, within easy rubbing shoulders of the chef, Angus Bell, who is in command of his bustling kitchen – if you have a query about your forthcoming food, you can chat with your food creator!
Angus learnt his trade at The Star Inn at Harome, a small village in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. Then, he entered the heady restaurant world under Michel Roux Junior, eventually fulfilling his dream of running an intimate establishment by creating the restaurant group Le Bab with Katy Mulheir.
Here is the engine room of Mine, where your fresh and tasty ingredients come together for your aural satisfaction and delight, and what a great selection and combinations of enjoyment are conjured up in front of your eyes.
Ushered into the restaurant by cheerful and inviting staff, I settled in at a table for two within striking distance of the chef – so watch out, Angus!
While attempting to control my stomach, issuing sounds of hunger caused and amplified by the gorgeous aromas wafting across the room, I soften them with a large glass of deliciously silky smooth Maquina & Tabla 'Laderas de Leonila' Blanco, Bierzo originating from Leon in Spain. There is a short but well-chosen list of wines to choose from to complement your meal - I suggest you try them all!
And then the first of my dishes - fried Cornish mushrooms - arrived to quell my increasingly noisy symphony of sounds.
Remember, don't waste your nose receptors - position your nostrils over your dish and take a deep breath to capture the aromas rising from your freshly cooked food - a great start to enjoying a dish - and Angus' mushrooms did not disappoint. Mind you, I had to take a leap of faith here since I hate the coarseness of polenta with my funghi sitting on a rectangle of the offending maize flour – I was assured I would love my pet hate. And yes! My chef was barking up the right tree since the fried mushroom's base was tasty, extremely smooth, and doused with a spaghetti entanglement of properly fried and crispy leeks.
I had an agreeable amount of time to enjoy the flavours rolling around my mouth before my main course was professionally laid on the table with the Cornish equivalent of a smiley, 'Bon Appetite!'
And here it is - Pan Roasted Cornish Trout. A plate of food should taste fantastic and look appetising- and my cured trout belly, caviar, rainbow chard and butter sauce with sauteed new potatoes was a delightful picture to behold.
When eating this dish, try to combine some of each ingredient on your fork or better still, a spoon, and well douse everything in the indulgent butter sauce to experience a yummy experience of delicious flavours. The crispy trout skin and correctly cooked flaky fish were complemented by its accompaniments. Full marks are awarded to Angus - thank you for the tasty experience.
And how did I top that culinary delight? It had to be a dessert time of chocolate delice.
I fell into ecstasy, wrapping my eager tongue around an exquisite mixture of proper Cornish whipped cream, taste-popping candied hazelnuts and, on several well-timed occasions, the satisfying crunch and sweetness of my brandy snap. What a way to end a meal, except I plumped for an eye-popping and deep-flavoured double expresso to keep me going until the early hours.
My summing up? You will not be disappointed whiling away an evening at Mine, so give the restaurant a go – and remember, smile, laugh, don't forget to use your nose and indulge!
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