I’m visiting my sister in the “up and coming” bit of Falmouth.  Penryn has the character and history, if not the craft beer yet.  She’s living next to the pub, which is nice.

We made a trip round west Cornwall (near St Ives) to the remaining Beer Guide pubs, a varied bunch.  It’s what sisters are for.  The Star at Crowlas is worth a visit, but we didn’t go for their homebrew, particularly in their dreadful modern glasses.

Great garden, good colours, rubbish beer glasses

One of the joys of pub going is the variety of places, and the surprise of finding the best beer in the most unexpected settings.

The polar opposite of the Star, the Gurnard’s Head near Zennor is the sort of posh small hotel for Londoners you’d expect me to detest, particularly with a menu like this;

Don’t ask the price, you can’t afford it

I can tell you meal prices were well above the threshold expected by most of Pub Curmudgeon’s readers in his recent survey. That said, I do like menus that just tell you what’s in the food as simply as this.

I can’t tell you what Ogleshield Beignet is, but he may be City’s next transfer target.

If I then said that most of the tables were empty, but with “Reserved” signs on them, so that we had to drink in a side room with sofas, you’d assume the worst.

Olives, flapjacks and Cornish Crown – heavenly

Somehow it all worked.  Perhaps it was the chatty northerners equally bemused by the Ogleshield, or the quirkiness of the colour palette, or the floral beers from Cornish Crown (NBSS 3.5), popping up again after their tour to the Lincolnshire coast.

The Gurnard’s Head is clearly a hotel from the North Norfolk stable, relying on residential guests as much as diners, and tipping up at 5pm you felt a sense of warming up the pub for the 7pm dining sitting.

It didn’t look like a pub you’d pop in off the coastal walk, and we couldn’t even see the coast from the road.  But as we walked off the pasties the view of the eponymous Head expanded in front of us,  and the spongy (and crumbling) walk down to the coast was a joy. Around every corner we found ruins, a house clinging to the rocks, a footbridge, and danger.

Don’t fall Martin !

It’s a good job my Mum wasn’t with us.  She’d have had a fit seeing how close we got to the edge. 

Go and see it before it crumbles into the sea.

5 thoughts on “AT GURNARD’S HEAD

    1. Wasn’t bad (NBSS 3), and had v good Potion 9 in Trengilly.Just served a touch warm, as it was in Rusudgeon. Quite a lot of beer served too warm for me in fairness. Thin glasses don’t help. Sure I’ll go back in Winter and enjoy it !


  1. Ogleshield Beignet is presumably the traditional french dough nut affair made with choux pastry and Ogleshield cheese aka The Vegetarian option. Not keen on this sort of place unless a) I’m eating and it’s tip top or b) drinkers are made very very welcome.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Cornwall, and other west country counties, all beautiful, but sadly the food is either outstanding (occasionally) or straight out of the back of a Brakes refrigerated lorry (frequently). If I’m going to eat chicken ding! then I want to be paying ‘spoons prices for it


    1. Thanks Richard. Wi-Fi not great or I’d have googled it.

      I share your views on this sort of country house hotel; it was only redeemed by company, artwork and better beer than I had in better known ale houses.


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