Barefoot on the beach
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.