Cornwall is home to a host of excellent pubs, restaurants and cafes – a few of which are owned and run by celebrity chefs. If you venture into Rock, near Wadebridge, you’ll find The Mariners owned by Paul Ainsworth. The Mariners is a cosy and inviting pub right on the waters edge, with unrivalled views over the camel estuary.
The Mariners was recently taken over by Paul Ainsworth, having previously been owned by fellow celebrity chef Nathan Outlaw – another name well known across Cornwall. We’ve been regulars at Rojano’s in the Square for years, another Paul Ainsworth restaurant, and we’ve also visited his No. 6 restaurant in Padstow – so I was excited to see what The Mariners had in store for us.
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While we were staying in Padstow we decided a trip over to Rock would be necessary – mostly as an excuse for a ferry trip and some lunch! So, one lunchtime we jumped on the ferry and headed across the estuary to find The Mariners.
We didn’t bother booking, although we probably would next time as it was very busy, and we managed to grab a seat inside by the window. You’ll find more formal seating upstairs where you are able to book, and more casual dining downstairs that operates a first-come, first-served, order at the bar policy.
Look at this view – how could we resist?
The Mariners was incredibly busy, and it’s clear that the pub is thriving and a great success with Paul Ainsworth behind the scenes. The beautiful location, fresh ingredients and excellent menu all contribute to a great dining experience.
We decided to be restrained and order a starter and a main to share (mostly because we had a huge breakfast) – so first up was some whitebait. Crispy and fried, served with Marie Rose sauce. Coming in at only £5, which is refreshing so close to Padstow!
Whitebait is a classic and something we always like to order. It was fresh and perfectly cooked – we’d order it again in a heartbeat.
Our main of choice, and something I’d been absolutely dying to try, was The Dogs Pollock. A stunningly well presented crispy pollock hot dog topped with pickled cucumber, mustard, parmesan and dill – served with a side of excellent salted skinny fries.
The Dogs Pollock was delicious – crispy, tangy and covered in cheese. A well thought out dish that we definitely could have eaten two of! Definitely a little messy, so be prepared to get hands on.
If you’re heading to Padstow soon for a few days away, I’d suggest considering visiting The Mariners in Rock for a meal. Some of the food is a little pricey, but that isn’t unexpected in a pub owned by a celebrity chef (or in Cornwall) – and the food is definitely worth the price tag.
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