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Amongst the vines

Bringing a flavour of the Mediterranean to north Cornwall’s shores, an exciting new food and wine collaboration opens its doors this summer.

Words by Hannah Tapping

Husband and wife team Katie and Rick Toogood are a force to be reckoned with. Rick was born on the Channel Islands surrounded by fish. His mother trained at Cordon Bleu and her enthusiasm for food, particularly fish, was passed on to Rick. With a passion for food ingrained in his blood, Rick went on to manage various different sites for Fishworks, before realising he and his wife Katie’s common dream of owning their own restaurant. Despite having had no formal food training, founder Rick, along with his wife Katie, discovered their dish inspiration from all avenues, including travelling and visiting other restaurants and spending days working for free at various fishmongers before opening their first Prawn on the Lawn in Islington in 2013. Katie and Rick have since opened two further restaurants in Padstow, including another Prawn on the Lawn in 2015.

Prawn on the Lawn, Padstow has always been a favourite of ours. Serving seasonal dishes, with sustainability at the fore and Mediterranean influences, the eating experience here is a feast for the senses. Following the success of Prawn on the Lawn, Katie and Rick brought their ethos of honest, seasonal and locally-sourced produce to their new venture; Barnaby’s on Duke Street which opened in Padstow Town in 2018. Serving small plates allowing them to showcase seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes, this bijou eatery rose to great acclaim. Named after Rick’s grandfather and with bees adoring the walls, the eatery not only fuelled the bellies of locals and visitors alike, but also raised thousands of pounds for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. When it sadly had to close its doors last year due to issues with the building and site, the hunt began for a new home for Barnaby’s.

It is with delight that Barnaby’s will once again this summer be serving seafood, locally-sourced meat and vegetable dishes, all with its signature Mediterranean and middle eastern flavours; this time as a pop-up restaurant at Trevibban Mill Vineyard and Orchard. Just four miles from Padstow, the venue is accessible, family and dog friendly with ample parking. The new, 45-cover restaurant will have both indoor and al-fresco seating options alongside sweeping views over wildflower fields and vineyards. The site couldn’t be more perfect, overlooking the vines and apple trees that will supply Barnaby’s with wine and cider. Trevibban will also provide the herbs, wildflowers and lamb for their dishes in the true, traceable, field-to-fork style that Barnaby’s is now known for.

As Barnaby’s opens, Trevibban’s apple orchards will be in blossom and there will be bud burst in the vineyard. A thousand vines of a new disease-resistant variety called Sauvignac, a white aromatic requiring minimal spraying, have just been planted and will be underplanted with clover and birdsfoot trefoil. At Trevibban Mill they farm using organic and regenerative agriculture methods and are always looking at ways to increase biodiversity. Trevibban is currently open Tuesday to Saturday for tours, but there are plans for some later evenings in high season so customers can stay a little longer before heading downstairs to Barnaby’s.

Speaking to Katie, I am keen to get a sense of why they chose Trevibban for Barnaby’s new pop-up home: “We’ve always loved Trevibban Mill – it was one of the first places we visited when we moved down eight years ago. It’s such a unique and special place, so close to Padstow, but when you’re sitting in the wild-flower garden looking out over the vines you could be in the middle of the Tuscan countryside. Their award-winning wines are fantastic and we’ve stocked them in both Prawn on the Lawn (Padstow and London) and Barnaby’s since day one. The owners, Liz, Engin and Tom are amazing people and have been a huge support to us over the years. It’s been great working with them to get Barnaby’s open for this summer.”

Prawn on the Lawn Padstow’s current Head Chef Eddie Thompson will move to head up the kitchen at Trevibban, working closely with Rick to bring small-plates to the tables. “The menu is truly dictated by what’s around us,” says Katie. “The small plates will change throughout the season, rolling from one dish to another. A perfect example is the St Enodoc asparagus for its six-week season served with mojo rojo butter which will move onto Padstow Kitchen Garden’s courgette flowers which will be stuffed with our own ricotta, olives and oregano. We have daily changing large dishes for table which include cuts of local meat which we break down ourselves, such as slow-cooked Cull Yaw shoulder from Matt Chatfield (Cornwall Project) which we marinade in preserved lemon, herbs and spices and serve alongside a Persian herb salad. As well as this, we will also have cuts of beef and pork from Phillip Warren butchers. Our fish from George Cleave is also dependent on what’s available at the market, served with sumac butter and dukkah. Finally, we continue to champion the awesome lobsters landed by Johnny Murt straight to our door and grill them with wild garlic butter. The style of food definitely has a Mediterranean-Middle Eastern style to it, using herbs and spices to bring the best out of all the local produce we’re using.

It’s not just the food offering that sets Baranby’s apart as Katie explains: “Our wine list is made up almost exclusively of organic, sustainable and natural wines. We’ve got some interesting ones from Georgia and Lebanon which work amazingly with the food as well as some classics. Trevibban wines make up a good part of the list; we stock their fizz, white, rosé and red, as well as their organic ciders – the apples are grown in their orchards just metres from the restaurant. Cocktails are influenced by our environment – preserved lemon (we do these ourselves) and rosemary (grown in the garden) martini and a frozen apple margarita. We’ve also got our own beers that we made with Padstow Brewing Company on tap. It’s a proper local experience. We’ve always said that we want it to feel like you’re round at a friend’s house for dinner (a friend who can cook!). It’s fun, unpretentious and the food is banging. We work with the seasons, source locally and we hope people feel like they’ve had a genuine ‘experience’ rather than just coming out for a meal.”

For every meal served, Barnaby’s will once again add an optional donation to support the work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a charity that aims to support the conservation of all bumblebees, rare or abundant. Through their projects, the trust raises awareness by increasing understanding of bumblebees and the social, economic, environmental and cultural benefits which they provide. “We’re super happy to be working with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust again. We’ve raised over £5,000 for them to date and can’t wait to support them further. Bumblebees are vitally important for pollinating hundreds of plant species, including many crops. But they are under threat from the loss and degradation of our habitats due to pressures such as development, intensive farming and climate change. They run projects all around the UK including a few in Cornwall so it’s great to be working with something so close to home,” says Katie.

Barnaby’s will be open Tuesday to Saturday from June until September. Bookings are now open and reservations can be made online.

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