Cornwall Live: Coombeshead Farm is named England's next foodie destination
By Lee Trewhela
It's based near Launceston and has just been named as the 18th best restaurant in the whole country but how many people in Cornwall have actually heard of the place that has beaten the likes of our own Restaurant Nathan Outlaw and celebrated London spots such as La Gavroche?
The National Restaurant Awards, which recognises the Top 100 restaurants in the UK as voted by 180 top chefs, restaurateurs, food critics and other experts, placed Coombeshead Farm in the Top 20 earlier this week.
Perhaps better known, Port Isaac's Michelin starred Restaurant Nathan Outlaw was at No 27 while Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow was placed at No 71.
So what do we know about Coombeshead Farm?
WHERE IS IT?
It's based at Lewannack, near Launceston, and is first and foremost a B&B but also boasts a restaurant set in 66 acres of meadows, woodland and streams, just three miles from the A30.
WHO IS IT?
Renowned chefs April Bloomfield and Tom Adams purchased Coombeshead last year, four years after they met at Adams' London restaurant, Pitt Cue.
Tom's American-inspired barbecue cooking was the talk of the foodie world; the menu featuring rare breed Mangalica pork. The pigs are farmed at Coombeshead.
April, originally from Birmingham, opened New York City's first gastropub, The Spotted Pig, and now helms six of the coolest restaurants in Manhattan, attracting fans such as Bono.
WHAT IS IT?
According to its website, Coombeshead Farm is an "informal guesthouse and dining room offers glorious isolation and farmhouse comforts in the heart of Cornwall's rural countryside.
Tom forages in the grounds of the farm.
"Inspired by years working with farmers, butchers, growers and producers from the surrounding area, Tom and April showcase what can be achieved when farmer, grower and cook work side by side.
"Once the dairy farm of the original Trelaske estate built in 1748, work has begun on bringing Coombeshead back to its former glory as a working farm.
"Whether you spend your time getting lost in the garden, curled up by the fire in the living room or chatting with the chefs in the kitchen while we prepare your evening meal, we hope you will make yourself at home."
If you like sitting quietly for dinner with your partner then Coombeshead Farm may not be for you. Communal feasts are served in the dining room from Thursday to Sunday only.
The dinner offering changes each day depending on what the farm is producing and what is ready from the smokehouse, curing and pickling rooms. They endeavour to grow what they can on the farm while continuing to work alongside a local community of rare-breed farmers and growers to ensure only the most special things enter the kitchen.
They will guide you through their small but beautifully formed wine cellar before dinner to allow you to select a bottle of choice.
Dinner is charged at £65 per person with all drinks charged additionally.
It is also acclaimed for its bed and breakfast, though you don't have to stay to book for dinner.
The Telegraph: "They don't just wine and dine up to 10 people with a surprise three-course dinner, preceded by delicious, inventive nibbles from 6.30pm onwards; they have to make sure the guests gel and then cook with everyone chatting to them in the central farmhouse kitchen."
Financial Times: "Guests are encouraged to walk freely around the kitchen to watch their food being prepared up close and chat to the four staff, who are all in their twenties, and have a drink with them — a bit like being round at a friend's house. All in, honest and heavy yet fresh; up there with the best meals I've had."
Travel & Leisure: "England's next foodie destination."
Tom A, from London, on Tripadvisor: "If you are remotely interested in eating incredible food surrounded by absolutely lovely people then you must go and stay at Coombeshead Farm."
Stephenandhazel, on Tripadvisor: "This is not a starched linen and Michelin star evening, it is a relaxed farmhouse evening of intelligent food combinations made with raw materials from food producers who share the same passion for quality. You must eat here."
Peter B, of London, also writes on Tripadvisor: "Coombeshead is one of the very best food experiences this country has to offer. In terms of the simplicity, quality and sourcing of the food served, it is every bit as brilliant as Faviken in Sweden and a lot easier to get to."
If all that has whetted your appetite then head here to book and find out more.