The team behind acclaimed seafood pub, The Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn, will launch their second Cornish inn later this month, refusing to let the best-laid plans be scuppered by Covid-19.
Chef and restauranteur Ben Tunnicliffe, alongside his Head Chef Matt Smith, have taken over The Packet Inn – an old coaching inn near Prussia Cove; the pub officially opens its doors under this mouth-watering new management on 2nd September.
The new opening will create jobs and provide a much-needed boost for local suppliers as the autumn approaches.
Promising a “Cornish pub for all seasons,” and “a microcosm of Cornwall’s famously good food and drink,” Ben and Matt have been looking for a second site for some time and, despite difficult trading conditions, refused to be thwarted in acquiring The Packet – even by a global pandemic.
Ben took over The Tolcarne in 2012; it rapidly became known as one of the best places to enjoy fresh seafood in the whole of the UK.
Matt Smith joined as Head Chef in 2019, helping cultivate a team bursting at the seams with talent and allowing the dream of a second site to become a reality.
Whereas the location of The Tolcarne – on the harbourside of one of the UK’s major fishing ports – naturally dictates a focus on seafood, The Packet sits between coast and countryside and so here Ben and Matt will look to both for inspiration.
Ben explained: “As ever we’ll be guided by seasonal cycles and our love for the finest local produce, but we’ll be working with local butchers and smallholders as well as growers and fishermen. So, as well as superb seafood, guests can expect grass-fed beef, free range poultry and outdoor-reared pork as well as colourful and creative vegetarian and vegan food.”
The menu will be in a ‘small plates’ format, encouraging diners to order and share a wide variety of dishes rather than the traditional three courses; the drinks offering will also be hard to resist dipping into, with a carefully chosen selection of local ales, ciders and spirits, plus a larger than usual list of wines by the glass.
Referring to their decision to launch a new pub during one of the most uncertain periods in living memory, Ben is undaunted:
“I will always be an optimist; I just can’t help myself! I have so much faith in the quality and reputation of the Cornish food and hospitality scene, in the talented people who deliver and supply it, and in the level of support and appreciation from the public that I can’t help but feel we’ll come out of this stronger eventually.”
Matt agrees: “The timing is challenging and there’s not many people launching new enterprises right now, but The Packet will be very accessible – both in terms of location and price – and the site lends itself well to adaptation and social distancing. It’s really great to be doing something positive – our staff and suppliers have received a much-needed boost as a result of this launch.”
Online bookings for The Packet will be launching within days – keep an eye on www.thepacketinn.co.uk and social media for more info.