There’s no denying that the Kiwi and I are foodies. Whether it’s cooking at home or eating out, our social life and a lot of our free time revolves around food and we’ve made it our mission to find local treasure hotspots to make our go-to’s.
With the requirements of the Kiwi’s job it means that we have to make healthy dietary choices the majority of the time but, like everyone else, we are no stranger to the blow out/cheat/treat/eat everything in sight days. It’s alway been important for us that wherever we’ve lived, we’ve found local places that can cater for either choices – whether we’re eating lean and green or full Paleo-NO. Finding places that can keep our healthy choices exciting and our guilty pleasures formidable, incentivises us to stick to a good plan and keep the balance in check. The Front Room Penzance is the first place we’ve found that deliciously combines both.
Located centrally on Market Jew St in Penzance, the outside of the cafe, come restaurant, come bar has the appearance of a homely cottage which is married up beautifully by the decoration choices of the inside. It’s quirky, meets comfy – country romance, meets cosmopolitan and unlike the ‘kitsch retro cafes’ we see so often being churned out in cafes across the country – the Front Room feels loved – like every decoration and placement of ornament has been done so after much thought, (some humour), and as a labour of love.
It’s rare that a fortnight goes by without either or both of us paying a visit(s) to The Front Room and so, with the place open for food and drinks on Friday and Saturday night, last weekend we headed down for dinner. It so happened that the Friday also coincided nicely with an ‘off phase’ in our dietary routine and so it wasn’t long after opening for the evening that I could be found at the bar – wine in hand. That’s another great thing about The Front Room and it’s team – enjoying yourself under their watch is never rushed. Too often when eating out we are hustled for the table or to move on to our next drink – here I’ve been known to sit on one cup of coffee – or 5 glasses of wine and in either scenario have felt relaxed and able to enjoy the evening at the pace I set.
Wine down, hunger on, the Kiwi and I gave our order before tucking ourselves away in a corner upstairs. The food arrived not long after and, two generous servings of wine in, I was ready to abandon all hope of portion control. Our choices did not disappoint. For starters I ordered Parmesan encrusted Aubergine fries with aioli and the Kiwi, as always, opted for the chicken wings with a combo of sticky and spicy BBQ dip. For mains, I ordered the spicy bean burger with avocado and the Kiwi opted for a Garden Salad without dressing. I’m kidding. Beards aren’t grown for catching lettuce leaves in and no animals were spared in his choice of the beef burger and sweet potato fries. If however, you are vegetarian or have other dietary needs then all options are variable and all requirements catered for. If you’re unsure then just ask – the kitchen are happy to go above and beyond and make those dietary tweaks.
The food was delicious. I’ve let the photos do the talking and if a picture can paint a thousand words then pick up a thesaurus because you’re going to have to be scraping them all from under ‘bloody delicious’. The burgers were cooked to perfection and the buns a soft brioche bun from Baker Tom’s. Those who know me well enough will know that close proximity to Baker Tom’s baked goods may have been a contributing factor in my decision to move to Cornwall…
Bellies full we retired with a drink to the outside area – a sun-trap extension to all the love and charm of the indoors space. Little twinkling details make this area one of my favourite summer-evening spots to crash out with a drink and friends and so we stayed out under the fairy lights until it got dark before a fuzzy headed toddle home.
The next weekend however, I was back. The Kiwi was working and with an empty fridge and a head-space calling out for a cup of coffee I took myself down to a cosy corner of the Front Room once again. I grabbed myself a coffee, complete with a selection from the owner’s souvenir spoon collection, and sat down with a menu.
Unlike our dinner, this time I had done my self-motivational pep talk and had promised myself I was to make good, healthy food choices. So, as I flicked to the salad section of the menu, I hummed and I harred (audibly of course) over which super-food salad I should pick in a vain attempt at convincing my yoga-pant wearing, table neighbour that I am in fact, Queen of the Quinoa.
I ran my finger up and down the salad section…
..and then I opted for the cake.
I mean that’s the thing with the Front Room. The healthy food is delicious and if you’re ever looking for a place to reload your instagram feed’s ‘healthy-highlights reel’ then this place, with these dishes, is where you want to do it. It’s even built up a great reputation as a healthy cafe so even a name drop/hashtag adds longevity to the illusion – but the cakes.
I ordered the cherry, white chocolate and almond cake which was smooth, sweet and generous in portion. I also highly recommend mine and The Kiwi’s personal favourite – the gluten-free carrot cake. If you’re a wheat fan like me whose experience of gluten free has been a dry, limp sampling from the ‘Free From’ range at the supermarket then don’t let the label put you off. The gluten free options are moist and every bit like their wheatey counterparts. Try it out – it’s a no grainer…
So whether you’re looking for a healthy top-up or a blow out burger, a drink with friends or a coffee to soothe the baby’s waking from the night before then The Front Room is able to offer you a cosy seat and a friendly face to take your order. It’s emoji blowing kisses/cartoon thumbs up/toasting beer glasses.
Are you more of a cake over couscous kinda person? Think you know your Cornish Pasties? Then why not test yourself in our 5 facts about the Cornish Pasty. And don’t forget to count those Cornish calories and check out our Dieting Tips…