Spellbinding cooking in Bude
The gastronomic reputation of the north Cornwall coast that centres on Rock and Padstow has inched up the Atlantic Highway with the launch (in the middle of the pandemic) of this Bude restaurant.
Chef owner Oly Clarke has worked at leading restaurants in the region, but this is his first venture as chef patron – and one he’s undertaken with his wife Nikki.
The stars aligned when the pair discovered a substantial two‑storey building in the middle of the seaside town, which they thoroughly refurbed to create an attractively understated frame for Oly’s culinary art.
The restaurant is an evening‑only affair. Choose between the tasting menu or go à la carte – which includes a couple of extra complimentary savoury courses flanking the starter, main and pud.
The menus are supremely seasonal and feature the likes of fresh local brill with a butter and brown shrimp sauce, served with asparagus and new potatoes. Vegetarians get to enjoy dishes such as wild garlic gnocchi with morels, asparagus and radish.
Oly has special charms in the pastry department so try not to fill up on the incredible bread and save room for the final course. Desserts such as a quivering slice of milky muscovado tart are guaranteed to cast a spell.