The type of cuisine
I’ve written classic with a contemporary twist before for a few hotels, and yet the phrase does not quite do justice to the way in which contemporary is not a subtle reworking, a la The Impressionists, but rather an absolute in-yer-face Jackson Pollock reconstruction. At times surprisingly so.
In a word
Set within sunset’s view of the beautiful Constantine Bay, The Quies restaurant is open to residents and non-residents, and has an all-encompassing menu. With children’s options and some ‘safer’ dishes, there’s definitely something for everyone. Romantic enough for couples, and large enough to cater to parties, it was quite an all rounder.
Constantine Bay is very close to where I was when Princess Diana died. This has no significant value in our review, per se, but it contextualises that this area is kind of seared to my retina. I was raving at Harlyn, the sun came up, and everyone’s faces contorted into magic morning grimaces, so we baled on the party and got in the car. Rather than banging out smooth drum n bass, we had the radio on and amid the nineties classics of Texas and Sneaker Pimps, someone announced the news. People say you remember this stuff your whole life, and in this case it’s true. It had likely been nigh on the 18 years since that event that I’ve spent any time of significance in the area, so driving there on a hot day was a psychogeographic excursion.
Sets of glassy blue green waves rolled in across the sandy arc, illuminating the meaning behind nearby The Green Room‘s name, and just as the sun was starting its descent, we arrived at The Treglos Hotel. Starting things off a little early, we went into the bar, which was well stocked and comfortable. Here, we were treated to welcome drinks that took me back to the nineties again, for their colour!
We looked at the menu whilst sitting on the comfortable chairs in the lounge; sipping neon cocktails. I was quite a fan of Mad Dog 20/20 circa 95, and this had the same hue to it. Tasted peachy, though, and the menu was intriguing.
As we were seated, our bouches were suitably amused by a small fish cake with Thai flavours and delicious home made rolls. The dining area has an incredible view across the water to the horizon, where the sun was dropping into the Atlantic and taking neon flashes of pink, orange and yellow with it.
For some reason, this review is coming out in the form of an art lesson, and my approach to ordering on the day is best described by an oversimplification of the situationists. In that a beetroot cheesecake with prawns, watercress and raspberry sounds just plain wrong. However, if we only take the path that is comfortable in life, is that really living? I’m inclined to say no, since every time something awesome has happened in my life it’s been because of taking risks. Anyway, back to the dessert. I mean starter. Oh, you see the confusion?
In a Gregg Wallace/ John Torode fashion, I must say, it shouldn’t have, but somehow it worked. The goat’s cheese and beetroot were whipped into a fluff and tasted a good balance of earthy and creamy. Then the prawns brought a saltiness, and the garnish was just enough to bring everything together. Bold and different, this was a memorable starter for being so unusual.
The food the other two amigos ordered continued to present as colourful and bright dishes that wouldn’t have looked out of lace at Patrick Bateman’s Dorsia. In American Psycho, the beetroot carpaccio on Jack’s salad would have been welcomed by Bateman and his cronies. As it was, the colours were bright and it was a low carb starter with meaty and salty flavours running through it.
The ‘tache had the arancini, which he said were perfectly crunchy on the outside and fluffy and gooey inside. Again, presented as a splash of colour on the plate, they resembled an artist’s palate.
Jack had adopted a bit of the Kernow lifestyle and eaten a lot of fish, shellfish and general seafood, and so when he was given the option of having steak, he did. He ordered it blue, and what came out balanced the line beween blue and rare. That said, it had been sealed, and was blue in places. Decorated with chips so thick, they’d been stacked up to make a hashtag! Like most restaurants in Cornwall, Treglos’ Quies Reaturant clearly took pride in the provenance of fresh, local food and high quality ingredients. The north coast is blessed with hundreds of passionate farmers, growing everything from onions to salsify, and raising cattle.
Kier had a very art nouveau looking dish, which was pressed belly pork, with black and white pudding and seared scallop. He really enjoyed it, and said everything was balanced, from the slightly sweet scallop to the rich black pudding. Again, I think Bateman would’ve been proud to name drop this restaurant with two AA rosettes, and its nouvelle cuisine stylised food. Outside, the sunset cast beautiful colours onto the Atlantic, and the light lowered; making the restaurant more intimate.
Staff were friendly and attentive, with a good knowledge of the menu, so we felt very well looked after. It was quite busy when we visited, but there was no fluster, and each table seemed relaxed and happy. I had a chatty neighbour who chattered about the Boobys at Booby’s Bay nearby. Not a nudist beach, but actually a rare colony of sea birds, that resemble a gannet. When I lived on Galapagos, there were a lot of blue and red footed boobys, so I already had LOL-ed that out of my system, thankfully!
Fine art, fine dining
If the other courses had looked beautiful, then the dessert was best in show for creating a strong visual appetite. The chef knew exactly how to dress a dessert to make it exciting, even when we all already felt full. We’d had a grand day of it. ‘Tache had a tarte au citron, which stole the show for combing the fine dining experience with a fine art look.
I had a duo of sharp blackberry ice cream with a white chocolate mousse. The flavours were divine together, and again, it was decorated in a seriously hi-fashion style. This is good food, made better by sourcing high quality, fresh local ingredients and nailing incredible presentation.
Treglos is perched on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on Cornwall’s sandy north coast stretch. The Quies Restaurant is well situated to watch the sun go down, whilst enjoying excellent and imaginative food, sourced locally. Its smart casual dress code means it’s better not to just wander in off the beach, and the hotel offers rooms at reasonable rates to tempt you to try local beers. Every bite was a party in my mouth, from the, at times, bizarre combinations, but this demonstrated a chef who is bold, and not afraid to take risks, whilst delivering some classics. I definitely recommend a visit there if you are in the area.
More information about Treglos Hotel and The Quies Restaurant can be found on their website at www.tregloshotel.com, where you can book a table, and try out their spa, and hotel facilities too.
Cornwall PL28 8JH
Tel: +44 (0)1841 520727