Much food was eaten, although not as much seafood as I'd hoped. Apparently it's quite hard to get your hands on fresh seafood unless you're prepared to drive, due to some sort of fishing quota. Apologies on the sketchy details, but I was stuffing a scone with clotted cream into my mouth as I was being told this.
It seems Rick Stein really does own a lot of Padstow - Stein's Patisserie, Cafe, Bistro, Deli, Restaurant, Fish n' Chip shop, School - his name was everywhere. Luckily enough, he's one of my favourite chefs.
The fish and chips were very good indeed, although the queue was phenomenal. The list of fish was a long one, plenty to choose from. They also had the choice of whether to have the fish battered or grilled. Grilled? Grilled fish and chips?! It's batter or nothing for me. I chose hake, as it isn't a fish I've had before. It was meaty and succelent, as I'd hoped. Both the fish and the chips were cooked in beef dripping too. They also had various sides, such as mushy peas (average), chip butties, oysters, and scallops. Of course I indulged.
We also went to Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant one night. The menu was very long; there was perhaps too much choice and it took us absolutely ages to decide what to have. I eventually settled on the sashimi starter and the Fruits de Mer for the main. The interior of the restaurant was more modern and a bit more fancy than I expected, due to Stein's portrayal of his own style as being very simple and no frills. The service was average - we asked for more time in making our ordering decisions, and subsequently we couldn't get their attention to take our order for quite some time. Nevertheless, the food was delicious.
The sashimi starter had the freshest fish I've ever tasted; generally speaking mackerel isn't my favourite fish to eat in the sashimi style, as I find it can be a bit too strong. This was completely different - it was so fresh that there wasn't even a hint of the metallic undertone you can sometimes get. The salmon, the sea bass and the scallop were the same. So fresh they were almost sweet, and it melted on the tongue.
The seafood platter was a daunting prospect. They gave me too after tool until I had 3 either side of me. As you can see from the pictures, it was huge. Half a lobster, a crab, mussels, a scallop, cockles, whelks, a razor clam, two langoustines... I was in shellfish heaven. It was all served on ice, with mayonnaise, shallot vinegar and a bottle of tabasco. Thoroughly recommended - it was quite extravagant at £45 for the platter, but I'm glad I went for it, especially when I saw the envy in everyone else's eyes.