Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall – restaurant assessment | Grace Dent | Life and elegance


When the non secular instructor Heather Small from M People sang of One Night in Heaven, she demonstrated, I really feel, that “heaven”, if we attain it, is a subjective idea. She indicated that it might be a spot of romantic bliss, orbiting like a “love satellite”. For me, although, heaven would appear and feel rather a lot like 1 neverending in a single day keep at Coombeshead Farm in north Cornwall: a self-sufficient, gaspingly tasteful, food-forward, wunderkind-chef-led ardour mission set in 60 acres of rolling, distant British rural splendour. For me, it’s our reply to Fäviken in northern Sweden or Dan Barber’s Blue Hill Farm within the Pocantico Hills, New York.

This five-bedroom B&B is a spot to drag out of the bag when you want to save your marriage, as a result of not solely is it unique and beautiful, however each of you’ll have to be a lot in your greatest behaviour within the communal drawing rooms, whereas consuming ornate, wafer-thin Stithians cheese tart amuses bouches with the opposite eight visitors, that you just’ll bear in mind why you fell in love within the first place.

My heaven, the place I’ll go for my good deeds in retaining your hearts alive with mirth and pleasure, will likely be waking eternally in pristine, high quality bed-linen, with no cellphone sign – ergo no deadlines – to the scent of contemporary, plump, Aga-hewn sticky lardy desserts and exemplary sourdough served with selfmade rhubarb compote. A spot the place I can float by the working farmyard like a rested Sleeping Beauty, festooned in birdsong and daylight.

But this isn’t agriculture as I do know it from my northern childhood, filled with shit, demise, afterbirth and inbred younger males on quad bikes on the lookout for a fox den to dig up. No, in my heaven – as it’s at Coombeshead – all of the unseemly bits of land administration will happen out of my eyeline, and I’ll as an alternative snack on polytunnel sunflowers dipped in contemporary curds, be at 1 with the piglets, geese and bees, and my soul will really feel as if it’s simply had a bloody good jetwash, very like Coombeshead’s yard.

Scallop with seaweed mustard and smoked scallop roe broth.

‘Whopping’: scallop with seaweed mustard and smoked scallop roe broth. Photograph: Ben Mostyn for the Guardian

I felt all of those feelings, and even weirder ones, for each respiratory second of my 17 hours as an inmate … sorry, visitor. I definitely bear in mind shedding a weird and fairly sudden involuntary tear after I left. In reality, the extra I give it some thought, I’m not totally certain that Tom Adams hasn’t began a cult. You arrive round 4pm, however there isn’t any reception desk. Tom, or another person pretty, will wander over to your automobile, lure you into the kitchen, repair you a drink and present you your room, which can make Babington House really feel gauche. Tom will waft an arm throughout the huge honesty bar, then let you know that pre-dinner snacks will start round 6.30pm.

On the May night we ate there, dinner, served in an adjoining barn, and not communally and B&Bers-only, because it was within the operation’s early days, began with mentioned sourdough with Guernsey butter, a sturdy, no-holds-barred porky “country” terrine, a skewered lamb kidney with paprika and a plate of faultless inexperienced asparagus made devilish with brown butter.

A whopping Looe diver scallop appeared in a seafaring, kelp-laden broth. We ate alongside Californians who had made a 600-mile detour from Europe, bankers and bespoke furnishings makers. If the evening had been written by Agatha Christie, one in every of us would have disappeared after each plate of fermented greens, puffed breads, cured pork stomach or paper-thin fennel, every time leaving 1 foodie fewer to muse over Noma’s new summer season vegetarian menu, till there have been none.

The foremost occasion was Waterloo Farm lamb with spring onion and wild garlic, or ramsons, as they name it at Coombeshead. Or weeds, as some readers would in all probability name it whereas questioning the place the potatoes to go together with the lamb have been, or the carrots, crimson cabbage or mint sauce for that matter. But Coombeshead will not be for that kind of particular person.

‘The main event’: Waterloo Farm lamb with wild garlic, new season onion, and spinach.

‘The main event’: Waterloo Farm lamb with wild garlic, new season onion, and spinach. Photograph: Ben Mostyn for the Guardian

Even so, these folks would adore the breakfast right here. Yes, it’s served communally. And sure, you do have to speak to different folks about your day’s plans. But whereas the cooked breakfast of the freshest eggs, griddled home-cured pork stomach bacon and sausage is ready, the desk simply off the kitchen heaves with selfmade bircher muesli, hazelnut granola, heat breads, and a humiliation of gut-healing kombuchas and fruit smoothies.

After breakfast, you’ll wander the farm’s many acres in a jocund method, pointing at nice views, snuffling pigs and bumptious cockerels. You can pay your invoice, hug folks goodbye and return to the actual world. Your rent automobile will scent a bit of of sick and previous Costa cups. The actual world will really feel chilly, unkempt and distinctly non-heavenly.

Coombeshead Farm Lewannick, Launceston, Cornwall; 01566 782 009. Open dinner 7pm Thurs-Sun; 1pm Sun lunch. Five-course set meal £65, Sunday lunch £35 for 3 programs, all plus drinks and repair.

Food 9/10
Atmosphere 10/10
Service 10/10

Grace’s week in different dishes

1 Tom Brown’s potted shrimp crumpet at Cornerstone in Hackney Wick, east London, is one of 2018’s hottest dishes. You could probably make this modern classic at home, but let’s face it, life’s too short.

1 Tom Brown’s potted shrimp crumpet at Cornerstone in Hackney Wick, east London, is one in every of 2018’s hottest dishes. You may in all probability make this contemporary basic at dwelling, however let’s face it, life’s too brief.

2 House sesame labneh, fresh flatbread, charred green chilli zhoug at Caravan in the Bloomberg Arcade, City of London. The zhoug is one of the greatest I’ve ever had in the UK.

2 House sesame labneh, contemporary flatbread, charred inexperienced chilli zhoug at Caravan within the Bloomberg Arcade, City of London. The zhoug is among the best I’ve ever had within the UK.

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