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The Victory Inn – 01326 270324
Located in an alleyway just up from the main slipway in the harbour, The Victory Inn is the only “proper” pub in St Mawes. Run by Phil & Debbie Heslip, there is a traditional bar downstairs with a more modern restaurant upstairs. There are outside facilities on either a balcony deck at first floor which overlooks part of the harbour or 4 tables immediately outside the pub. These tend to be the more popular. The food is good quality pub style and they do a cracking fish & chips. Prices on the drinks tend to be a little high as it is a tied pub, but the food prices are very reasonable compared to others in St Mawes. Be sure to book as there is very limited space in the season.
The St Mawes Hotel – 01326 270266
The St Mawes Hotel is right on the seafront just past the quay in the middle of St Mawes. A much more modern interior and not to all tastes, this is much more of a drinking pub and is popular with the locals. It does do food though, great value and good sized pub meals, but there is limited space. There is an upstairs bar with a tiny balcony and superb views over the bay. Downstairs there is a very narrow patio with a few tables, right on the road. It is a brilliant spot for a morning coffee as you get fantastic sun and you can watch all the goings on in the harbour! This is a reasonable pub for having a few drinks later in the evening, if you fancy that type of thing!
The Rising Sun – 01326 270233
The Rising Sun is in probably the prime spot overlooking a little square and has a superb terrace. We are not very impressed by the refurbishment that was done last year as we do not think it has really improved the place. Mixed reports about the food, but they do an excellent fish & chips (and cheap!) on a Friday night which they will also let you take away if you wish!
Cafe Chandlers – 01326 270998
A superb deli and coffee shop next door to the Post Office, right next to the quay is St Mawes. They do the best coffee and croissants in St Mawes – by far!! Now with the massive benefit of some outside seating on the quay next to the bread shop, there is not really a better place to read the paper on a beautiful summers morning.
Hotel Tresanton – 01326 270055
Few people who visit St Mawes have not heard of the Hotel Tresanton and the impact that Olga Polizzi’s stunning property has had on the fortunes of St Mawes. It does just about sum up everything about modern Cornwall. Relaxed 5 star luxury, there are few better places in the world than on the Tresanton terrace on a beautiful day! However, do watch out for the prices which can be shocking. Without a doubt, the best place to eat in St Mawes, but don’t forget that you are paying for the privilege to eat in that location as well as the quality of food. Sunday lunch BBQ at the Tresanton is the one not to miss. Great value for money and superb!! Lunches, afternoon teas and evening meals, but expect to pay £40 per head in the evening plus wine.
The Idle Rocks – 0844 502 7587
The Idle Rocks has always been the poor cousin of the Tresanton. Although the restaurant has received all kinds of awards, the interior, despite being upgraded within recent years, still is very dated and does not really work. Having said that, the terrace is right on the harbour and just a great place to watch the world go by. If only they would do something aboout the outside furniture!! expect to pay £40 per head for evening meals plus wine.
The sailing club has just reopened after a wonderful refit. There are two levels offering a lounge and a bar area, with spectacular views right across the harbour. Temporary membership is £10 for a month and the club also has free Wifi. Food will be available after racing, with plans to serve more regularly in the summer.
At the time of writing this restaurant is nearing the end of a complete refit, with the promise of a good restaurant and take away opening in May. We would really like to hear from anyone who visits either the restaurant or take away as we will be updating this guide as soon as we know what the new owners will be offering.