The name doesn’t lie – the Cabin Café, by the beach at Perranuthnoe, is indeed just a cabin. It’s not, as is fairly common in Cornwall, a case of a restaurant trying to inject some laid-back beach vibes into its name (The Beach Hut at Watergate Bay, say, or the Porthminster Beach Café in St Ives…). This is a common or garden wooden shed with a hatch, and a handful of picnic tables and garden chairs alongside – no pretension, no silly prices, no rain cover.
But against the odds, it just happens to be serving some of Cornwall’s best beach food – and, after years of word-of-mouth recommendations, I finally made it over there for lunch. Along with no shortage of others…
The menu Deceptively varied for a garden shed: soups, cakes, dhal & naan bread, Middle Eastern food, as well as lollies, hot chocolates, teas & cakes.
The look Cabin; blackboard; lovely sea views.
The bill Hummous and salad pitta £3; large slab of cake £1.50; tea/coffee £1
The highs Excellent, from-scratch food at incredibly sensible prices (the hand-crafted pitta was in a different league to the shop-bought version); friendly, on-the-ball service; neat takeaway packaging (a simple white paper box and wooden disposable knife and fork).
The lows I had to queue five minutes, then wait 15 minutes for our food, which wasn’t ideal for a quick beach takeout. But, what with everyone getting overexcited about the first sunny weekend of the year and the total kitchen surface area being about the size of Gordon Ramsey’s cooker, no reasonable complaints can be made here. Expensive carpark next door (£3 per stay, any stay).
The location 20 metres from the beach at Perranuthnoe, nr Praa Sands; note that the sand and pebble beach is tidal.
The Cabin applied for planning permission earlier this year to demolish the cabin and rebuild as a restaurant – a request which met with some opposition in the village. You can follow the debate on the local blog here.
I have to say I like the Cabin just as it is. Cornwall has a lot of beach restaurants but it has scarcely any places serving food this good in a casual, affordable way.
Perranuthnoe Beach, Cornwall TR20 9NE (07907 691639). www.peppercornkitchen.co.uk