Celebrating ten years at The Tolcarne Inn
Chef Proprietor Ben Tunnicliffe is celebrating 10 busy and successful years at the helm of The Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn this year, but warns that very challenging times lie ahead for the restaurant industry.
The historic maritime inn by the sea wall in Newlyn was given a new lease of life when Ben become its custodian in 2012; over the past decade this humble pub has forged a reputation for serving the freshest seafood to a consistently high standard.
Other potential tenants passed up the chance to take on the pub, which is directly next to the sea wall just a stone’s throw from one of the UK’s largest fishing ports and commercial markets.
But for Ben it was a golden opportunity to serve the catch of the day within hours of it being landed; today the unpretentious setting belies The Tolcarne’s reputation as one of the UK’s premium dining destinations for seafood lovers.
To celebrate the anniversary, Ben has devised a Signature Dishes Menu featuring some of his favourites from the last ten years – the menu will run every evening the pub is open (Tuesday – Saturday), from 15th November to the 15th of December.
Priced at what’s described as “an inflation beating” £35 for three courses, Ben says he’s kept the price as low as possible to encourage people to come and enjoy a meal out during difficult times.
He explained: “Times are so tough for households right now, as well as businesses. We’ve really cut back our margins on this menu because we want to see as many loyal regulars and new faces as possible, as we raise a glass to the hard graft of the last 10 years.”
At Ben’s second pub, The Packet Inn Smokehouse at Rosudgeon, he recently adapted the menu in light of the rising cost of living, introducing a competitively priced burger menu, early dining deals and loyalty cards.
Ben commented: “I am honestly so scared for the future of our industry. Our food and drink costs in hospitality are up nearly 20%, and then there’s wage rises to consider. And we’re not over the worst of it yet. A lot of great, family-run restaurants face going out of business this winter.”
Ben is doing his bit to adapt, but urges people to support their local pubs and restaurants in any way they can, saying:
“Even if you can only afford to pop in for a beer once a week, or a modest lunch once a month, do it! There’s a popular quote attributed to Anthony Bourdain that goes something like this: ‘Eat at a local restaurant tonight. Get the cream sauce. Have a cold pint at 4 o’clock in a mostly empty bar…’ It continues very eloquently, but you get the gist!”