The Mariners is Nathan Outlaw’s first pub in Rock, Cornwall (he also owns a two Michelin star restaurant round the corner and the one star Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac) and as we were staying in Padstow which is just a short ferry ride away we thought we’d pop along for lunch.
The website spoke of no reservations for the dining room upstairs but we arrived to be told it was fully booked which was a tad annoying. Instead, we found the only available table (in the bar area) which was as wobbly as the tiny stools we had to sit on. It also happened to be by the front door which meant the most horrendous gale would ruffle us up every time it was opened. It was the only meal I’ve ever eaten in my woolly hat and coat; it was an awful place to sit.
Being New Years Day, only a reduced menu was available. I opted for the roast topside of Warren’s beef, Yorkshire pudding and Horseradish cream (£12.50) which certainly wasn’t bad, in fact it was very tasty, but it wasn’t perfect. It was all luke-warm and the beef, although tender, should have been a lovely shade of pink and not the unappetising grey. The cauliflower in the accompanying cauliflower cheese was raw and the carrot and swede mash was watery and tasteless. The ginormous Yorkshire pudding was a particular highlight though.
My gentleman companion went for the grilled cod fillet, spring onion mash and parsley and caper sauce (£12.50) which again was very pleasant but let down by it not being quite warm enough. The quality of the fish was great but it would have been more enjoyable had its skin been crispy instead of soggy.
By this point our numb bums and the force ten gale meant it would be unbearable to stay for puddings so we left, which was a shame as I wanted the steamed treacle sponge with custard. I was shocked by The Mariners to be honest, I was expecting a cosy Cornish pub but it was quite the opposite. The place was packed though, so who cares?