We have just spent three nights in Padstow, staying at Rick Stein’s Bryn Cottage – an extremely pleasant experience – though we never did fight our way through the hi-tech stuff far enough to turn on the kitchen lights! One thing we found is that Padstow appears to use a different form of currency to the rest of the UK, a form of currency I have only previously seen in motorway service stations.
I will try to explain …
On the seafront there is a large, busy cafe. Self service, open all day, a range of meals. We went in and had a cheese omlette (with ‘salad’), a ham and cheese sandwich (with inedible ham) and two cold drinks .. and somehow, I’m not sure how, the bill came to £17.50
Now, I confess that the cottage we stayed in was the most expensive I have ever been to, and the meal at Rick’s Seafood Restaurant was the most expensive I’ve ever paid for, and the goujons and chips at Rick’s cafe were way over what I would have paid elsewhere – but I really don’t mind that, I kind of expect it. At Rick’s place(s) I am getting top quality food, freshly prepared in the kitchen’s of a famous chef .. and I have CHOSEN to spend my money that way.
What I object to is the assumption by the rest of Padstow’s food establishments that despite making no attempt to emulate the quality of Rick’s food they feel perfectly justified in upping their prices to ridiculous and unjustified levels just because of his proximity. IT IS A RIP OFF made even worse but the extreme rudeness of the staff in pretty well all establishments within Padstow – a fact highlighted by the courtesy we found amongst shop staff in Newquay.
Of course, the Rick Stein machine has its problems too .. the Seafood restaurant is somewhat of a canteen with little more than an inch between tables – but the decor and food are excellent and the service of a high standard. Most enjoyable. The real finds, though, came in his Deli – huge, fresh fishcakes, local ‘fizz’, superb cheeses and all very reasonable … we brought lots home!