There is a tiny corner of Cornwall that can claim to be the gastronomic equivalent of heaven. Only two restaurants in the county have earned that most coveted of awards, a Michelin star, in the latest edition of the little red book and they are situated with three miles of each other just outside Padstow.
While other chefs may be sobbing into their soup, Paul Ripley of Ripleys at St Merryn and Nathan Outlaw of the new restaurant at St Ervan Manor can both raise a glass of bubbly and toast their success.
It isn't the first time for either chef to receive a Michelin star - Paul Ripley is an old hand at such things. But for Nathan Outlaw, 27, it is the second time he has rocketed into the guide with a new venture.
He was just 25 when he made his first meteoric entry into the guide within months of opening the Black Pig at Rock.
He left there last year to take over the kitchen at the manor owned by Lorraine, Allan and Jonathan Clarke.
St Ervan Manor is in the old rectory and provides bed and breakfast accommodation together with a restaurant for evening meals.
Nathan's constantly changing menus are designed to showcase the best produce from the manor's vegetable garden and orchard, together with produce from other local sources.
St Ervan Manor has already collected a raft of awards for its luxurious accommodation and restaurant but a Michelin star is the pinnacle of its glittering debut.
Owner Allan Clarke said: "We are obviously absolutely delighted at this and very proud of Nathan, who we consider to be a member of the family.
"My wife, Lorraine, and I had just returned from a few days away. We had been closed for a month and returned to find a huge number of bookings, but with the star being given I suspect bookings will go berserk."
He added: "We had hoped we might get one. We knew we had been inspected last autumn but Michelin is a very old-fashioned and traditional organisation which never gives anyone any indication of whether they have been given an award until the book comes out. Nathan is delighted and relieved and we all think he's wonderful."
TEL: 01841 520976
RESTAURANT CAPACITY: 50 INSIDE, 12 OUTSIDE
PRICE: £6.00 - £30.00
Farmers Arms, Pub & Restaurant. Situated at crossroads in St. Merryn. Tel: 01841 520303
The Corish Arms, Pub & Restaurant. Situated on bend opposite church in St. Merryn. Tel: 01841 520288
Pickwick InnRing O Bells
AWARDS FOR MAWGAN PORTH PUB
- 19 January 2006
The Merrymoor Inn in Mawgan Porth has won two regional awards in the Morning Advertiser's 'Best Pub Awards 2006'.
The popular pub has won both the Best Community Pub of the Year and Best Fundraising Pub of the Year titles.
The freehouse overlooks a beautiful sandy cove on the rugged North Cornwall coastline at Mawgan Porth.
Proprietor Dudley Bennett said: "Obviously there is a very great seasonal boost to our trade, but our locals are our core business. They are here when the visitors have long gone."
Balancing the needs of locals and tourists is a delicate art that Dudley and wife Lynne have mastered.
The Bennetts also go out of their way to support the local community.
Dudley has gained a reputation locally as the unofficial mayor of Mawgan Porth because everyone comes to him for advice on community issues.
Dudley and Lynne lend their support to all the local organisations, schools and clubs. They even support other pubs if they are holding a special event and openly advertise the fact on the Merrymoor's notice board.
Another reassuring fact for locals is that the pub has been run by the same family for 44 years, with Dudley and Lynne ever present for the past 32 years.
During their time the couple have taken part in lots of fundraising activities and raising in excess of £10,000 in the last 12 months. Last year, the event raised around £4,000 for local charities.
Dudley remarks: "The generosity of people around here astounds me. We had a bucket collection for people using the pub's car park to raise money for the local RNLI. People were putting in £5 or £10 notes and we collected £500."
Dudley is quick to praise "a tireless group of helpers who pitch in to assist with everything and who are always coming up with ideas to raise money".
Now that the Merrymoor Inn has won the regional heat it automatically becomes a finalist at the national awards, being held at Old Billingsgate Market, London, on Thursday, February 2.