Cornwall combines its abundant natural resources with a wealth of incredible culinary talent to lead the UK’s seafood scene. So where better to enjoy the freshest, tastiest seafood than right here in our sea-kissed county?
A hotspot for foodies and fans of fruits de mer, Cornwall promises some of the finest seafood on the market. But what are the best bites to look out for during your holiday in Cornwall? Helping you to select the top local fish and shellfish dishes on the menu and separate your bass from your wrasse, we’ve put together a guide to the best Cornish seafood. Let’s dive in.
In an industry that has thrived in Cornwall for centuries, local fishermen and women head out from salt-washed harbours and coves around the county throughout the year. Championing environmentally-friendly fishing practices, they work in tandem with the seasons and sustainability quotas to procure the best Cornish seafood available. These include:
There are several resident species of flatfish around the Cornish coast, contributing to some of the best Cornish seafood in the county.
Lemon sole, megrim, plaice, dab, brill, turbot and even monkfish are all common names you can expect to see gracing menus and special boards. These species can also be found in local fishmongers including Wings of St Mawes and the Cornish Fishmonger in Newquay. The largest flatfish, halibut, is another great option to look out for, promising sweet, mild flavours and a tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture – this Cornish seafood is perfectly complemented with a glass of crisp white wine.
European bass tend to prefer warmer waters, which is why the UK’s populations are most commonly found in the waters around the south coast. A prized catch, they can grow to over a meter in length and feature mesmeric, silvery scales that glint in the dancing light of the sea. If you are looking for some of the best Cornish seafood, it’s hard to beat line-caught bass, renowned for its delicious white meat that’s particularly appetising when cooked in Cornish butter and served with salty samphire - Corish seafood not to be missed!
One of the most famous species of fish found in Cornish waters is mackerel, putting it in the Cornish seafood spotlight.
A beautiful fish with iridescent scales and distinctive stripes, mackerel has long been enjoyed for its ‘oily’ meat, rich in health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. Often served smoked or peppered, this Cornish seafood meat can also be used to create incredible pâté which, when served with fresh toasted bread and a glass of fizz, creates a sensational meal. Head over to Curgurrel Farm Shop, just a pebble’s skim away from us on the Roseland, for the freshest catch of the day.
Caught all around the coast of Cornwall, brown crab (aka Cornish crab and edible crab) is the largest of all British crabs. Known for its full-bodied, flavourful meat, it is a regular on a Cornish seafood menu, appearing within a variety of dishes – from hot garlic-butter crab linguine to chunky crab sandwiches.
For whole crabs and tubs of white and brown crab meat, The Real Cornish Crab Company in Newlyn has been running for 20 years and offers sustainably caught fresh crab, promising complete traceability and the freshest flavours.
Also known as spider crab, the king crab is a species of crab famed for its size and striking appearance. Though a fairly recent entry on British menus compared to Cornish seafood favourite, brown crab, king crabs have long been relished in Europe for the quality of their sweet, delicate meat and are now rapidly gaining popularity amongst UK seafood fans. Along with brown crab and lobster, the meat from the bodies, legs and claws of king crab can be enjoyed as part of a delicious Cornish seafood repast, best served with a garden salad and side of salted chips.
Few dishes are more synonymous with luxury and indulgence than lobster. Fortunately in Cornwall, everyone has the ability to try these decadent crustaceans as a part of their Conish seafood repertoire, with local fishermen landing pot-caught lobsters all around the Cornish coast. If you are looking to try lobster, classic dishes include dressed lobster and hot lobster rolls. Of course, for the finest experience, each dish can be enjoyed with a glass of something special to really lend a sense of occasion and add a touch of ceremony to this Cornish seafood delicacy.
Mussels and Oysters
Long considered a delicacy, mussels and oysters are types of shellfish that can be found in the waters of Cornwall’s coastline. Blue mussels can be found in abundance in the wild, and there are also several environmentally-friendly companies farming mussels too. Native oysters are less common, with companies like the Truro River Oyster fishery (Fal Oysters) working hard to sustainably manage and farm this Cornish seafood population in Falmouth and the Helford River to secure future generations. For the most authentic Cornish seafood experience, oysters can be enjoyed raw, whilst mussels taste wonderful in a garlic and white wine sauce with handfuls of parsley and wedges of freshly-baked bread.
Here at Driftwood Hotel on the Roseland, we pride ourselves on the exceptional quality of the food produced by our inhouse team of chefs. Crafted by the award-winning Paul Green, our menus are regularly refreshed and updated with the seasons and propose top quality dining in a relaxed setting. Select from carefully-curated dishes comprised of the finest quality local ingredients and take your pick of the best Cornish seafood, with specials boards updated each day with the freshest catch.