The Headland Hotel is one of the most elegant and iconic hotels in Cornwall. Located on the clifftops overlooking Fistral Bay in Newquay, the views are as breathtaking as the hotel. You may recognise it from the film Roald Dahl’s The Witches!
There are two dining experiences to be had at The Headland Hotel: Samphire, a modern dining restaurant which uses the best local produce and The Terrace, an ocean front dining experience located steps away from the sands of Fistral Beach.
The chef, Christopher Archambault, puts a lot of skill and passion into his food. As well as his dishes being some of the best I have tasted, they are also works of art on a plate. He understands the importance of using fresh and local produce which makes the dining experience even more special.
I was recently invited to try a taster menu from the Samphire at The Headland Hotel, cooked by Christopher and his team. He sat with us and explained a little about each dish and we were able to ask him questions. Each course was paired with a wine, thanks to Kevin Conac. I’m not much of a wine drinker and when I do drink it I normally stick to a medium white wine because I know that I like it! However, I can now see the importance of pairing wine with food. In the past I have stayed clear of red wine but I found one that I loved, I just wish That I hadn’t of been driving so I could have had some more!
Seared diver scallop, bone marrow, leek scapes, caviar and sake bullshot.
The first of the taster courses was a surprise, we were only told what it was after we had finished. It was my first time trying bone marrow, it wasn’t the best part for me but the rest was delicious. Normal scallops are harvested by dredging the sea floor so the diver scallops are more friendly for the environment. The leek scapes are the small flower shoots that grow around the main leek plant and are only available in the springtime.
Cod, Orange, Chorizo and Headland Samphire.
I loved everything about this dish, it was full of smokey and refreshing flavours. The tempura-ed rock samphire was picked by the kitchen team from the clifftops around the hotal.
Pigeon, rhubarb, sesame and hispi cabbage.
My first time trying pigeon! Normally I find game meat quite strong but the pigeon wasn’t so. The sesame was the star of the dish for me because of the sweet and crunchy texture brought an extra element to the dish.
Curried monkfish, Headland Sea Spinach, Soba Noodles, Nori Crisp and Mango.
This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The monkfish in curry sauce and mango compliment each other perfectly.
Aged Rib-eye, Ox Cheek Rissole, Cumin Carrot, Parsley Sauce and Pommes Souffle.
Would you believe that this was the first time I had eaten beef?! I was a little apprehensive as I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be able to eat it , especially with the chef sat right next to me! But, I absolutely loved the rib-eye and now I’m pretty annoyed that I have missed out on eating beef for all these years!
Dark Chocolate and Lime, Avocado Ice Cream.
I’m not a fan of avocado but it was actually pretty tasty in a dessert and went really well with the dark chocolate.
Strawberry and Elderflower Cream Tart.
This was my favorite dessert of the night. It was simple but I could tell that a lot of skill and hard work had gone into the dish. In the middle of the cream tart was a strawberry macaron which was a lovely surprise.
Truffled Cornish Brie Cheesecake, Pickled Grapes and Sultana Puree.
The Headlands version of a savory cheese dessert. Brie is my favorite cheese and cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert so obviously I enjoyed this, especially the pickled grapes.
Thank you to Christopher Archambault and the rest of The Headland Hotel for one of the best meals I have ever had!