Summer At The Tolcarne: Your Ultimate Seafood Lunch Awaits!

This summer we’ve decided to mix things up a little here at The Tolcarne, changing our lunch menu to a ‘small plates’ format to help you really embrace the joy of dining on Cornish seafood in the sunshine.

We’ve done this for two reasons. The first is that, like you, when we see a good menu we want to try everything. Choosing at the most one starter, one main, and one dessert (if you can manage that at lunchtime) just doesn’t quite cut it when there is an array of delicious options on offer…

The second is that, with our new day boat license, we now have scope to serve a greater variety of fresh seafood than ever before. While we’re still working with our fab fish supplier Stevensons, we will increasingly be sourcing small catches direct from day boat fishermen as they return from their short trips along the coast. At the moment we’re working closely with a fisherman whose main haul is lobster – as you can imagine our kitchen team have been enjoying creating dishes with this bounty!

With the most diverse fish market in the UK on our doorstep, and scope to buy from day boats, our blackboard menu is always evolving according to market availability and landings, so we can truly showcase the catch of the day.

We hope that by offering small plates it will encourage you to order a selection, try something new, and visit us time and again during what we hope will be a beautiful summer for dining alfresco.

The Tolcarne Inn becomes direct buyer of fish

We have been granted a license to buy the daily catch direct from fishing vessels, making The Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn one of a handful of restaurants in Cornwall with this license.

The ‘Certificate of Designation as a Buyer of First Sale Fish’, issued by the Marine Management Organisation, allows Ben and the team to source seafood straight from day boat fishermen; these small vessels go in and out with the tides, fish immediately offshore, and use traditional and sustainable fishing techniques to catch their low-impact quotas.

Ben explained: “We work with a fantastic fish merchant in Stevenson Newlyn and that’s not going to change, but because we operate a daily-changing menu we have the opportunity to be more responsive and take small amounts straight off the boat – just hours after it has been caught.”

The day boats are a great source of sustainably-caught fish, and the fishermen we work with know that we’re happy to cook a wide variety of species. It means a lot more cleaning and filleting in-house, which is really positive as it means young chefs are perfecting those important skills.

Sheltering behind the sea wall in Newlyn, The Tolcarne Inn is just a few hundred metres from one of the busiest and most diverse fish markets in the UK; up to 53 different species can be landed in any one day.

Now Ben is taking his sourcing policy a step further and going straight to source, working directly with day boat fishermen to bring their catch to table.

Introducing Our Winter Warmer Wine Suppers

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Winter Warmer Wine Suppers – a special incentive to join us for your creature comforts this season.

Ben has created a menu featuring some of his favourite winter dishes, using the best of the catch from Newlyn Fish Market combined with seasonal produce from his trusty sources – local market gardeners and community farms.

You will find the menu below, please note that there may be some substitution of fish species depending on availability.

Current dates available to book are as follows (normal booking arrangements apply, with tables available to book from 6.30 to 8.30 each night):

January Dates:

8th, 9th & 10th

15th, 16th & 17th

22nd, 23rd & 24th

29th, 30th & 31st

Please call our team on 01736 363074 to make your reservation.


Winter Warmer Wine Suppers


Seared scallops, black pudding, cauliflower, caper & raisins

Grillo, Il Folle (Sicily, Italy)

Slow braised squid with chorizo, red wine & aioli

Carignan vieilles vignes, Grange du Midi (South of France) 

Fillet of mackerel, celeriac, chicory, smoked shrimp & preserved lemon dressing

Picpoul, Chateau de la Mirande (South of France)

Roast cod, choucroute, beetroot relish, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, cider apples & vanilla

Domaine Astruc, d’A Chardonnay (Languedoc)

 Fillet of hake, raisin & thyme onions, piccolo parsnips, kale, red wine

Chateau Gaillard, Fleurie (Cru Beaujolais, Burgundy, France)

Jumbo plaice fillets, mussels, leeks, mushrooms, roasted garlic mash

Tremendus ‘Viura’ Rioja Blanco (Rioja, Spain)


Mango & Malibu mousse, compressed watermelon, coconut sorbet, candied lime

Chocolate & Cardamom tart, mulled pear, orange, rosemary & mascarpone ice cream

Mas Amiel, Vintage 2014

Steamed hazelnut & poppy seed cake, poached quince, vanilla ice cream

Monbazillac, Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure

Three Courses £28

Wines Flight £15


Celebrating the first year of the Newlyn Lobster Hatchery

We were honoured to be the venue for a very special Patrons’ Lunch this week, to celebrate a successful first operational year of the National Lobster Hatchery’s (NLH) satellite in Newlyn – an outpost of the Padstow-based marine conservation charity.

Ben, who has recently become a Patron of the charity himself, welcomed key supporters of the project from all over the country as they came for an in-depth insight into the facility at Newlyn Harbour, which has been operational since August 2017.

The Newlyn hatchery helps to enhance natural stocks and stabilise the lobster population, whilst contributing to the NLH’s extensive research and education programme; it is part of the organisation’s long-term strategy for supporting the fishery for generations to come.

Housed in two shipping containers, the Newlyn facility has already nurtured and released tens of thousands of juvenile lobsters into coastal waters, and it is proving to be an operational success.

Edwin Derriman MBE, Founding Chairman of NLH, said: “The Newlyn satellite Lobster Hatchery is a concept that the NLH has wanted to try for several years. With two excellent technicians running the facility – Chris Weston and Ruth Cacharron – the production of larvae and juveniles has been better than hoped for, and the Board of NLH may consider other satellite facilities as a result.”

NLH Chairman Elect, Rob Wing, added: “We are hugely grateful to Ben for his invaluable patronage. He is not only the worthy recipient of a Michelin Bib Gourmand for his culinary skill, but is also a passionate advocate of Cornish seafood. We thank him very much for his generosity in hosting this special event for our growing band of Patrons who make an enormous difference to the scope of what the NLH can achieve.”

The tour was followed by lunch here at the pub, where Ben prepared a celebratory lunch featuring mackerel, hake and – of course – lobster.

Ben commented: “I’m very honoured to be involved with the charity as a whole, and the Newlyn hatchery specifically. The work of the NLH is vital to ensure future sustainability of lobster stocks, which are an important part of the marine ecosystem.”

He continued: “So much of our economy in Cornwall is based around our enviable reputation for outstanding food and drink – particularly seafood. Lobster is one of the most luxurious and enjoyable local ingredients and deserves to be cherished.”

Ben is hoping to feature lobster on the menu more in the future as stocks increase, and will be taking part in the NLH’s ‘Buy one, set one free’ initiative.


We have retained our Michelin Bib Gourmand!

We are thrilled to have retained our Michelin Bib Gourmand for yet another year.

The Bib Gourmand’s are awarded to places which serve good food at affordable prices. We were first awarded a Bib in 2013, a year after opening, and have retained the accolade ever since.

Ben said: “Fantastic news this week – the Bib is here for another year! I’m so proud of the whole team who work really hard to make sure that our food is of a consistently high standard. In the restaurant industry consistency is everything, so to maintain this accolade for a sixth year is a brilliant endorsement.”

We will be celebrating with a special opportunity to enjoy some of Ben’s favourite winter fish dishes matched with wine. Watch this space for more info, as we will be taking bookings (limited availability) soon.

Banish The Winter Blues

Feed The 300: Sample Menu

Summer At The Tolcarne