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Before, after and in between

Whether you’re in for a relaxed pint and a snack at the bar or a dining experience for a special occasion, this award-winning gastropub welcomes all through the door. Words by Rosie Cattrell.

Some say that a pub’s atmosphere is everything, while others might claim that it’s all in the quality of service or the depth of flavours in the food, and each in their own way would be right. But when it all comes together in that ultimate combination that can truly make an experience memorable, that’s when you end up with pubs like The Rising Sun. 

Tucked away on Mitchell Hill in Cornwall’s own cathedral city of Truro, I find myself welcomed by big leather arm chairs next to a flickering log burner, quaint little wooden games on hand for wholesome evenings spent together. The bar, stocked with an impressive selection to quench any thirst, invites me to take a seat and let my eyes trail over the range of local craft gins and award-winning premium whiskeys on show, wondering at which bespoke cocktail I’d choose from the list in front of me. It’s not long before Managing Director, Katie Hannon sits down to join me and lets me in on the ‘Secret Cellar list’, a little spotlight for some world-renowned Grand Vintages and lesser-known beauties for something really special. 

“Our approach to everything is best described by one of our favourite phrases; inherent quality and verve,” replies Katie when I ask exactly what it is that makes The Rising Sun so unique. “We believe it is not one or two impressive things that make a pub great, but hundreds by a team that care about every guest’s experience. Attention to detail is key, from the smile and warmth of the team as you walk through the door and their unpretentious knowledge in recommending and pouring the perfect drink, to the music playing in the background and everything before, after and in between.”

We wander through the pub to the relaxed and intimate Adit Bar, a space perfect for a quiet romantic dinner with its own cocktail and champagne bar, carrying on to the restaurant with its open pass, allowing us a sneak peek of the chefs busily creating. Leading out onto the courtyard garden with heaters and a log burner for those chilly Cornish evenings, Katie explains that this is in fact the venue for many of the pubs events; from intimate wine-paired dinners and Cornish shouts on summer evenings to mini festivals with seafood barbeques and acoustic beats. 

“We are a destination for the local community, and even though we are off the beaten track, for holidaymakers as well due to the incredible dining experience we offer here,” Katie continues. “Having this diversity in our guests gives the pub vibrancy and personality. Out-of-county guests can visit and enjoy a lively bar and atmosphere on arrival, perhaps a chat with the locals before going through to the restaurant.” 

Tucked away in Truro, the pub often avoids the seasonal peaks and troughs of some of the coastal locations around Cornwall, which has garnered a loyal local following with the feel of a rural pub in the city. “It has given us the great privilege of getting to know a lot of our guests on a more personal level,” Katie explains, “garnering a community spirit and the ability to support local suppliers all year round. Being located in the heart of Cornwall gives us access to the fantastic natural larder on offer, from farms to day-boat, line-caught fish.” 

With some prestigious awards under its belt, including Cornwall and South West Tourism Awards, Trencherman’s Awards, Taste of the West Best Dining Pub and a Great British Pub Award, not to mention inclusion in the Top 100 Gastropubs list, it’s clear that The Rising Sun’s reputation for food is indisputable, and I can’t help but wander into the kitchen to speak with the man at the helm, Head Chef Tom Hannon. 


“Nature is a fluid thing,” Tom explains, “so our menu is fluid to reflect that. We as chefs are inspired by what is available at the time, and our dishes are influenced by what is in season. We have fostered some fantastic relationships with our local suppliers, and are led by them as experts in the quality produce that thrives here in Cornwall. Nature is not a supermarket, and we’ve been able to come up with some amazing dishes by making the most of what is available to us at the time. While some restaurants will need to source particular ingredients to keep up with a fixed menu, we like to follow the seasons as they evolve, and listen to the advice of our trusted suppliers who we very much think of as an extension of our team. After all, it’s true what they say: what grows together goes together!” 

Tom’s philosophy is refreshing in an age where we’ve grown accustomed to the convenience of ‘dishes on demand’, and when it comes to thinking up fresh ideas in the kitchen, no idea is a bad idea. “It really is a joint effort here,” he continues, “there’s an exchange of ideas amongst the whole team, and while it’s all guided by the senior chefs to create unforgettable dishes, we’ve found that the best results come from an open conversation between a group of people with a passion for flavour. There’s always an element of trial and error, sharing flavours, components, textures… It’s all about looking inwards and always striving to be better at what we do.”

Lately Tom has been working towards a no-waste ethos in the kitchen, and the team have been developing a bar snack menu over the last few weeks in an effort to reflect the quality of the food at The Rising Sun, but in a much more relaxed and casual format. Making use of every element possible, vegetable trimmings make for perfect veggie crisp garnishes, while slow-roasted arancini with pickled mushroom ketchup is all too tempting with a pint on an evening. 

“Although the food is incredibly important, we take the same care in selecting everything else that goes into the pub,” Katie continues. “We have lovely relationships with businesses in the region that connect with us, but not necessarily as food producers – we made bespoke steak knives at the incredible Pareuisi in St Agnes and guests can pick their individual knife with their steak,  while the chefs wear British-made Oliver Harvey aprons designed by Fat Punk Studios.” 

That’s the thing about The Rising Sun. Somehow seamlessly combining the bonhomie and banter of a bustling local pub alongside the creative, exciting and sophisticated dining of a high-end restaurant, it’s all encapsulated within a relaxed, welcoming environment, so whatever it is you’re looking for from your visit, you’re sure to feel right at home. 


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