Enjoy romantic ocean views, dolphin spotting and laid-back vibes in St Ives. Discover one of the best Cornwall restaurants for your minimoon below, the Porthgwidden Beach Café.


[words by Wersha Bharadwa]

Review: Porthgwidden Beach Café

Always in the running whenever a vote for proper, chilled-out ocean-views Cornwall dining is on the cards, Porthgwidden Beach Café is now as much an institution as any of the big name destination eateries on the scene and gets booked up just as fast.


On a perfect summer’s day, historic St Ives Bay (where Porthgwidden Beach Café is located) is comparable to the white sandy beaches found in the Med with a unpretentious beach-hutty vibe to boot.

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You’ll find yourselves waxing lyrical over Porthgwidden’s enclosed glass terrace too which is a fully retractable sun-trap in the summer and a warm and heated light-filled space in the winter from which you can gaze at the gentle turquoise waves lapping at shore.


Produce is almost exclusively local and by that we mean grown, reared and caught in Cornwall and with the fish and seafood on plates coming fresh off boats only hours earlier in the day. Chef Mathew Nixon is the hottest name in town and knows his way around seafood cooking; he showcases his modern cuisine on a simple and inspired menu you’ll order quickly and cheerfully from.

It’s teeming with easy delights such as crispy fried squid with citrus miso, Newlyn Crab nacho and Cornish mussels steamed in local cider – all are peppy,  colourful and highly shareable.


A standout, whole roasted sea bream is served with sumac and padron peppers and roasted Cornish lobster served in garlic butter proves itself divine especially when served alongside the crispiest, golden sea salt fries using local potatoes.

Good, unfussy lunches of stone-baked wild mushroom and truffle pizzas can be had beach side and ordered as non-guests and the Sunday roasts are exceptional.


No visit to Porthgwidden would be complete without attempting to spot the grey seals or bottlenose dolphins who come to play in the ocean in the late afternoons. Grab your binoculars before eyeing up the dessert menu.

Weddings at Porthgwidden Beach Café

Couples looking for an idyllic, sand-in-your-toes boho wedding with a wow factor view overlooking the ocean in St Ives, Cornwall  are in for a treat as Porthgwidden Beach Café is a perfect setting for either elopement style weddings of intimate gatherings and receptions for up to 50 guests (seated and cocktail style).


The terrace is a great space for seaside cocktails after which guests can head onto the beach for a couple of games of rounders before dinner and speeches. The venue can be hired on an exclusive use basis with full hire of the bar.


On site wedding planner Dianne is on hand to assist couples to personalise their wedding packages and works with local suppliers including florists and photographers with the onsite catering team able to create bespoke food menus including traditional wedding breakfasts and barbeque buffets with vegetarian and vegan options available.

How to Book:

Porthgwidden Beach Café, The Island,  St Ives, TR26 1PL. To book a table visit www.porthgwiddencafe.co.uk or call 01736 796791. For weddings email [email protected] for more information.

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