Bare­foot on the beach

Cornwall Life - - PROMOTION - Words by Shireen Cunliffe, Pho­to­graphs by Mike Searle

In-the-know food lovers and live mu­sic fans are flock­ing to Bare­foot on the Beach for some­thing spe­cial with a lit­tle bit of help from Tre­withen Dairy.

This easy-go­ing beach bar & restau­rant over­look­ing stun­ning Towan Beach in Newquay is carv­ing out a cool lit­tle niche for it­self un­der the stew­ard­ship of its ‘whisky lov­ing and gui­tar play­ing’ head chef Paul McKenna.

Not your av­er­age chef, for the past 35 years Paul has suc­cess­fully com­bined two of his great pas­sions – live mu­sic and good food. A sound and light­ing en­gi­neer work­ing on stage with many na­tional and in­ter­na­tional artists, he also boasts a food CV as long as your arm, hav­ing worked as head chef at Fis­tral Blu, be­fore run­ning the kitchens at The Plume of Feath­ers, as well as a re­lief chef at The Head­land, St Moritz and The Scar­let ho­tel among oth­ers. Back in Newquay once again, Paul is lov­ing the nov­elty of walk­ing to work, cit­ing “it’s a re­ally nice change from life on the road.”

With a well-stocked gin bar serv­ing craft beers and cock­tails and a large sunny beach-side ter­race with a 60-seat restau­rant up­stairs, both of­fer­ing stun­ning views of the ocean - Bare­foot of­fers much more than just a great lo­ca­tion.

The menu, in­spired by street food and easy coastal liv­ing, typ­i­cally fea­tures de­li­cious ‘slow food’, burst­ing with flavour. Think gin cured mack­erel, melt in the mouth belly pork, smoked mut­ton or rum brisket. For the sum­mer their Sun­day ‘Bot­tom­less Brunch’ served with a Mi­mosa or a Bloody Mary – is the per­fect post beach fuel for this end­less heat­wave. But fear not, melt in the mouth roast din­ners are set to re­turn in the au­tumn!

Ev­ery­thing is made in-house from scratch by Paul and his team us­ing fresh lo­cal in­gre­di­ents. “All our in­gre­di­ents have breathed Cor­nish air in some way”, says Paul, which is why he sources all his dairy milk, but­ter, yo­ghurt and cream from fam­ily run busi­ness Tre­withen Dairy based in nearby Glynn Val­ley.

“The dairy has been in­cred­i­ble”, he says, “they gave me a huge amount of sup­port when we started out and also put me in touch with other use­ful con­tacts.” So, in hon­our of their best-sell­ing Cor­nish Cream Tea, Paul has given it the Bare­foot touch cre­at­ing a straw­berry flavoured Tre­withen Dairy clot­ted cream and a straw­berry jam made with Wreck­ers Coast Clot­ted Cream Gin. “It puts paid to the ‘jam first’ de­bate,” he laughs.

At Bare­foot ev­ery­one’s wel­come - you can wan­der straight in off the beach with sandy toes and salty faces to or­der de­li­cious shar­ing plat­ters served up on big bleached wooden boards. As one happy cus­tomer de­scribes, “it’s like be­ing at home with­out hav­ing to do the dishes!’.

While the vibe may be laid back and re­laxed, Paul’s am­bi­tion and drive are not. “I’m de­ter­mined for Bare­foot to be one of the best food and live mu­sic venues in the South West” he af­firms.

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