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115735 1

Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

AA Notable Wine List 2017-18
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Technically innovative food in the bustling town centre

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass

Padstow is certainly not short of custom, especially in the season when the narrow streets are thronged with the curious, keen to see one of the destination locales in gastronomic Cornwall. Paul Ainsworth's place is tucked away in the town centre, though only seconds from the harbour front, and is possessed of its own special appeal. The twin windows of the whitewashed frontage look into the compact front rooms of a Georgian townhouse, but dining goes on over two storeys, the neutral decor of the upper rooms offset by bold artworks, while the black-and-white tiled floors and stolid dressers laden with bottles of wine establish a homely atmosphere below. Ainsworth's culinary vision, facilitated here by John Walton, has always been drawn to the creative sharp end of the modern British spectrum. There are technical peculiarities galore, and presentational innovations in abundance too – dishes arrive on boards and blocks, in grass-lined boxes and little pans, with sauces in transparent teapots for self-serving. While much press comment has been excited lately about this tendency, at No 6 it works to enhance the novelty and delight of dishes, rather than as a distraction technique. Prime materials here are of the finest and freshest, from the locally landed fish to the thoroughbred meats such as Tamworth pork and Tamar Valley hogget to the never less than splendid cheeses. Remodelled classic dishes are powerfully persuasive, as in the version of quiche lorraine made with smoked haddock, but new-fangled combinations are sensational too, perhaps a pig's head fritter with smoked eel, Cox's Orange Pippin and roast onion. At main, that hogget is accompanied by a fricassée of the creamy sweetbreads, with a relish of red garlic ketchup to provide lift-off, while Dartmoor fallow deer comes in a very meaty array with a serving of pâté in crackling and January king cabbage roasted in duck fat. Fish of the day is typically teamed with white crabmeat for a true taste of the Cornish waters, offset with leek royale and shellfish gravy. Mellow Barkham Blue is the star cheese, served with a little apple pie for sweet contrast, but the ingeniously conceived desserts are equally hard to pass up. Expect Michel Cluizel 100% chocolate with olive oil sponge, sheep's-milk cheesecake on puff pastry, or a revolutionary trifle made with tea-soaked prunes and saffron. The set lunch menu offers exemplary value, perhaps centring on a serving of grass-fed beef short rib with cauliflower cheese in red wine sauce.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Closed: 24-26 December, 13 January to 6 February
  • Days closed: Sunday to Monday (excluding Bank holiday Sunday)
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2.30
  • Dinner served from: 6
  • Dinner served until: 9.30

Chef

  • Chef(s): Paul Ainsworth, John Walton

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 8
  • Wines over £30: 43
  • Wines by the glass: 14

Price guide

  • Starter from: £14
  • Main course from: £32
  • Dessert from: £12
  • 2-course dinner from: £25
  • 3-course dinner from: £29
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 1
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 46
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 8
  • Off-site parking available: Harbour car park and on street

Getting here

A30 follow signs for Wadebridge then sign to Padstow.

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Nearest train station

Newquay, Bodmin Parkway
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