Plate With A View: Q Fowey, Cornwall

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The Independent Travel

THE PLATE

On the surface a nicely local, if not especially exciting, twist on modern British cooking. Starters take a seaside stroll from deep-fried salt cod brandade with pea puree to lobster risotto with celery and herb salad. Mains veer inland with Cornish beef and poached local chicken, and out again with pan-fried red mullet and braised turbot. Though they were decently cooked and filled space so well that only one of us could manage a pudding (a gloopy honey parfait), none of the dishes we ate were memorable, enough to warrant such a hefty price tag. The crab sandwich I bought from a seaside shack the following day warmed the heart - and the stomach - much more.

THE VIEW

This is what it's all about here. The rather characterless dining room, like the rest of the hotel, looks more like a furniture showroom (one that specialises in wicker chairs and taupe walls) than a place to enjoy a gossip over a glass of wine on a sunny afternoon. Take one of the wooden tables out on the deck, though, and it's a different experience. It's set right on the water's edge, with views of Fowey's harbour, and across to the jumble of houses clinging to wooden coves opposite. Whether you're here on a starry night or a sunny afternoon, suddenly the place transforms into something worth queuing for.

THE BILL

Three courses, with wine, costs around £85 for two people.

Q, The Old Quay House Hotel, 28 Fore Street, Fowey, Cornwall (01726 833302; www.theoldquayhouse.com)

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