Porthleven is a place that punches well above its weight in culinary offerings.

World-renowned eateries line the harbour of the village that has a restaurant-to-resident ratio unrivalled elsewhere in the world.

This week the mystery diner paid a discreet visit to quirky Amelies.

Our first impressions were the high ceilings and decor that felt a little off.

Fairy lights adorn a white baby grand piano in the corner that for some reason doubles up as a wine glass storage rack, sails stretch across the ceiling, and a random cactus sits on a shelf.

There was nothing too impressive about it. It all felt a little thrown-together and a bit of an unwelcome contrast coming in from picturesque Porthleven.

But nonetheless, within minutes of sitting down and perusing the menu we found ourselves in high spirits.

There's something very unpretentious about the place. The staff are polite but don't dote on you. The kitchen is open.

The menu also offers prices in fractions, which amused my other half.

I liked the sound of the Amelies Pilsner, although when it arrived I couldn't tell whether it was much more than a craftily-named Carling.

I ordered the predictably messy crab linguine which came in at £16-and-three-quarters. Unpredictably, it blew me away.

Falmouth Packet:

An exquisite linguine

It was incredibly rich and creamy with a perfect balance of chilli, lemon and seafood.

My partner went for the £14-and-three-quarters Malaysian curry that was intense but not overpowering.

Falmouth Packet:

The bombastic Malaysian curry

We hardly spoke a word whilst our plates were still occupied and felt that the meal was over far too quickly.

So impressed by the mains, we opted for a dessert. She went for the brownie, myself the cheesecake.

Our waitress warned me that the cheesecake was served in fairly small portions.

She wasn't wrong – I can't say I've ever seen a more miserly slice of cake. It was tasty, but nowhere near worth the £6 forked over for it.

Thankfully my other half went for the chocolate brownie, which I am glad to report (her being the generous soul she is) was delicious and reasonably-sized unlike my paper-thin pudding.

After having sat in intimate proximity with them for a number of hours, we felt a little too familiar with our neighbours.

Their holiday plans, mortgage worries, family disputes and so on were all barked relentlessly into our ears for some time.

Staff could perhaps make better use of the space with a more thoughtful table layout that doesn't cram customers in so tightly.

Even so, we were left with an afterglow having finished a fantastic meal. 

Our cost (two people, including drinks and dessert): £52.50

Address: Mount Pleasant Rd, Porthleven, Helston TR13 9JS

Hours: 12-2.30pm and 5-8.30pm daily

Phone: 01326 653653


Atmosphere: 5/5

Décor: 2/5

Food: 5/5

Service: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating: 5/5

In order to ensure objective reviews, the Mystery Diner is carried out on an independent basis without the prior knowledge of the establishment.