Sometimes top quality food can be found lurking in unexpected places.

The Prince of Wales Inn at Newtown-in-St Martin is one such place.

Around a 20-minute drive from Helston, into the depths of the Lizard Peninsula, this is a village pub putting out restaurant quality dishes.

Falmouth Packet:

Despite being a cold, somewhat damp Thursday evening in November we booked ahead nevertheless – and were rewarded with a table next to the roaring wood burner. So far so cosy.

We were, however, warned that the table would be needed again at 8pm, but with two hours to play with we had no concerns.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the time of year and the somewhat remote location, there was only one other table eating and a smattering of locals drinking at the bar, but the atmosphere was pleasant and we were made to feel welcome.

Falmouth Packet:

The menu offered a mix of winter comfort food such as Cornish seafood chowder, lentil and red pepper ragu with linguine, and sausage and chorizo casserole on the specials, along with classic pub favourites in the form of sirloin steak, burger and fish and chips.

Of the more unusual dishes, Asian flavoured miso broth with vegetables and noodles caught my eye, but it was the blackened hake fillet with sautéed new potatoes and picked red cabbage that won out.

If it is true that you eat with your eyes first then I was already half full before putting fork to mouth, because the presentation was beautiful.

The hake came with an unexpected kick from the coating, but nothing too fiery and the chive crème fraiche provided a welcome creamy balance.

It could have perhaps benefited from coming off the heat just a minute or two earlier, but overall the dish was well balanced and flavoursome, and I happily scoffed the lot.

Falmouth Packet:

My partner chose the smoked chicken and saffron risotto, and this too was well balanced in flavours, the saffron marrying nicely with a smokiness that was gently prominent rather than being a throwback to Bonfire Night.

A quick time check and with still 45 minutes until our 8pm cut-off we opted for desserts.

Once again the menu offered some classic winter fare along the lines of sticky toffee pudding, chocolate brownie and apple and blackberry crumble, the latter two of which I was pleased to see came served with Roskilly’s ice cream made just down the road in St Keverne. Cornish businesses are best when they support each other.

Falmouth Packet:

Nothing though could distract me from the chocolate mousse that had caught my eye on the specials board, while the other half went for vanilla crème brulee and shortbread.

And then we waited.

At 7.50pm we had become decidedly antsy, only for the desserts to then appear. Our offer to relocate tables was warmly brushed aside and, in fairness, at no point were we ever made to feel rushed, but it was not the most leisurely of final courses.

Thankfully they proved worth waiting for. My chocolate mousse, accompanied by a chocolate ‘crumb’ and yet more chocolate, in the form of curls, was so rich it almost finished off a seasoned chocaholic such as myself, and the raspberry garnish was a welcome contrast. It was, however, delightful.

Falmouth Packet:

My partner’s crème brulee was topped with a satisfyingly crunchy caramelised sugar crust and was smooth, creamy and everything you could ask of it.

My advice to you: make the effort to travel out and visit this pub, which deserves support. Just make sure you have your table for the evening.

Our cost (two people, food only): £44.90

Address: Newtown-in-St Martin, Helston, Cornwall, TR12 6DP

Food hours: 12pm-2pm and 6pm-9pm Monday to Saturday; 12pm-2.30pm and 6pm-8pm Sundays.


Atmosphere: 4/5

Décor: 4/5

Food: 5/5

Service: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

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.