Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Cornwall


Paul Ainsworth is a chef I’ve admired for some time - it’s hard not to. He’s worked and trained alongside some impressive names; Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Marcus Wareing. On top of this, it’s clear he’s known within the local community for doing a lot, and even more so throughout lockdown despite facing the difficulties the industry has faced recently. 

Rightfully, it’s now his name younger chefs are vying to work alongside. He owns several successful restaurants, dubbed big competition for Rick Stein. His flagship Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2013 and has four AA Rosettes. 

I had never been to Cornwall before heading down earlier this year, unfortunately at the same time as the storms decided to batter the South-west coast. We planned our trip down around our visit to Paul Ainsworth at No.6, having wanted to go for some time. 

We arrived on a (very wet) Saturday evening down in Padstow, and were immediately greeted by the insanely friendly staff. Firstly, I was shocked and delighted just how much it is like a townhouse. The decor is beautiful, homely and everything I had wanted more.

Secondly, it’s the best service I’ve ever had. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, they were hot on everything ensuring that we had everything we needed, even radioing someone to be upstairs to show me where the WC was. They talked us through each bit of the menu, the drinks list (we were driving and therefore not drinking), and at the end my boyfriend wanted his menu signed which they happily asked Paul Ainsworth to do. I’ve eaten at hundreds of restaurants, and it’s by far come out on top. 

We were seated right by the kitchen, something we both love, which permitted an evening of people watching and subsequently in awe of the team. 

We opted for the 3-courses for £85 and, upon looking at the menu, were flushed with choices. It’s not a huge menu - everything is perfectly refined - but everything sounds so incredible it made choosing quite the task. 

I’ve followed Paul Ainsworth on Instagram for some time, and honestly I always swipe off feeling hungry and longing to go, or rather go back. 

Finally, after much deliberation and asking for 5 more minutes, I had decided. I opted for:

cod (kelp cured & steamed) - seaweed quaver ~ vin jeaune beurre blanc

red onion fondant (miso tart tatin) - salt baked celeriac ~ goat’s curd

fillet of beef (aged fat ~ raw ~ caramalised) - carrot over embers ~ bacon bearnaise

chocolate (tulakalum 75% grand cru) - silcilian pistachio sponge ~ caramac sauce

With this, you also are treated to ‘today's scone’ which had the most incredible butters, to the point we both started desperately googling how we could get our hands on some. And ‘yesterday’s scone’ which was a sweeter taste. 

The food came fast in the sense, you weren’t agitated, but slow enough you never felt rushed at any point to get out despite it being super busy, which was lovely.

First up was cod (kelp cured & steamed) - seaweed quaver ~ vin jeaune beurre blanc - a dish so beautifully flavoured that I’d have left happy. The cod was beautifully cooked, flaking perfectly and paired so well with the flavours without taking away any of its own flavour. The vin jeaune beurre blanc was amazing, providing the perfect accompaniment to the dish. 

Next, we actually both ordered this, was the red onion fondant (miso tart tatin) - salt baked celeriac ~ goat’s curd. Now call me crazy - and people have - but I usually dislike goat cheese / curd but one of the members of the team talked me through the flavours and it sounds delicious. Delicious it was - the combination of flavours once again worked seamlessly together and every mouthful was one to be savoured. My partner, an avid at-home chef himself, had previously attempted one himself and I think eating this just spurred him on even more.

Our main course, and one of the best pieces of meat I’ve ever eaten, was fillet of beef (aged fat ~ raw ~ caramalised) - carrot over embers ~ bacon bearnaise


Never have I had beef that is so tender, full of flavour and well-cooked. The beef was succulent, paired with the (almost too) epic bacon bearnaise. The quality of the whole dish was out of this world, it had been curated to ensure that every aspect and every sense was overly satisfied.

Finally, our fourth and final course. At No.6 they do the Fairground Tale and upon reflection we both wish we’d gone for this. But we both fancied different things at the time, and I opted for chocolate (tulakalum 75% grand cru) - silcilian pistachio sponge ~ caramac sauce.

It was as delicious as it sounds with all the flavours pairing perfectly, making it the perfect way to finish off a truly exceptional meal.

I hands down cannot recommend Paul Ainsworth enough - it’s one of the best meals I have ever had and we’re even planning our 2021 trip down after a successful 2020 first trip.

6 Middle St, Padstow PL28 8AP

01841 532093

*Photography supplied by Paul Ainsworth Group.


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