Set in a secluded wooded valley, the 18th century Mill House is a cosy nest from which to explore this mystical corner of Cornwall’s rugged coast – not to mention stop off for a decent bite to eat, says Rosanna Rothery
The former corn mill is just a short drive from King Arthur’s fabled castle at Tintagel – a town selling everything from medieval armour to Himalayan singing bowls. While nearby Boscastle’s Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is the place to stock up on witchy wares such as lucky charms and broomsticks. And just a five minute walk away is Trebarwith’s splendid beach for surfing, coastal walks and rock pooling.
VISIT FOR relaxed dining. Owner Mark Forbes has added a smart modern restaurant to the historic mill buildings, which is perfect for posher dinners and events, but in winter we appreciated being in the cosy dining nook of the easy-going bar: think Delabole slate floor, beamed ceiling and snug leather sofas by a cosy wood burner.
DON’T VISIT the Mill’s informal pub if you hanker for glitz and glam. This is a dog-friendly, laid back country inn specialising in lively music and weekly budget foodie nights.
WE LIKED having a few surprises alongside classic dishes and a long wine list. A pomegranate molasses glaze on a blue cheese crème brûlée starter, with glazed figs and walnut crumb in supporting role, gave the traditional French pud a quirky savoury twist.
INSIDER’S TIP Join locals at the bar for a pint of Tintagel Brewery’s Cornish Pride from the barrel, try your luck at the infuriating hook game (a tradition at the pub since 1971) and then careen upstairs to one of the characterful bedrooms.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Confit duck leg rillettes, chestnut velouté, pickled cherries
Main Slow roasted Cornish lamb shoulder, thyme dauphinoise, parsnip puree, broccoli root, savoy cabbage, red wine jus
Dessert Chocolate and orange cheesecake
When a country pub takes the leap from village watering hole to rural dining destination and still manages to keep its band of loyal locals happy, you know it's special