Words and pictures by Viki Wilson
It was one of those beautiful warm winter days when the sun is shining and you could almost believe it was summer, if not for the chill, when we visited The Waymarker. Tucked away in the pretty lanes of the north Helford area, near Constantine, this really is a hidden gem, and one I had previously visited due to its reputation for delicious and beautifully presented cakes. These are often baked by owner Rhiannon Mann who has run the restaurant, which sits on an eco-frie
ndly landscaped setting on her father’s farm, since 2009.
Over the last few years The Waymarker has gained a very strong reputation for its cuisine and award-winning chef Kevin McCracken joined the team in 2012 following head chef posts at restaurants including the Glenmoriston Arms Hotel and Plymouth Pavillions.
As always, the atmosphere at The Waymarker was peaceful, despite the fact that several tables were filled, despite the midweek timing and the rural location. The Waymarker restaurant opens out onto a deck overlooking some wildlife friendly nature trails which you can explore when you visit. The sound of birdsong and quiet hum from fellow diners is really the only interruption to the tranquillity.
There’s a reason why this restaurant is busy in on a midwinter weekday, of course, and although the ambience, art and crafts and stylish décor are wonderful, it is the sheer quality of the food that draws people in and it did not disappoint on this occasion.
I opted for pork loin and crackling, which arrived with soft, creamy mash, mange tout, long stemmed broccoli and baby sweet corn. It was of course beautifully presented, the pork was tender and succulent and everything was cooked to perfection, but it was the gravy that made this dish really beautiful. Rich, with just a touch of sweetness; it really was a little symphony on a plate.
Adam’s venison burger, supplied by Duchy Game and accompanied with Cornish Yarg was equally well received. The burger was thick and juicy and the Yarg beautifully complemented the meat whilst still holding its own.
Sticky toffee pudding was on the menu for dessert. I had been beaten to the last chocolate crème brûlée which I hope will feature on the menu again soon! Again, the quality of the baking was really wonderful. The sponge was springy and light, yet firm and moist. It arrived scattered with beautiful berries and drizzled in toffee sauce – the presentation writing a cheque the pudding did deliver. A creamy vanilla ice cream countered the rich sweetness of the sponge and toffee sauce and the portion was generous without feeling overwhelming.
It was actually quite amusing to watch Adam eat his Eton mess with raspberries. It arrived looking spectacular in a large glass bowl. He spoke briefly as he began to eat, and was then silent, focussing on the task in hand with a kind of fervent dedication. “Well, it was the sort of dessert that automatically made me dispense with silly niceties such as conversation,” he explained later. “The raspberries worked really well with their slight sharpness taking down the sweetness a peg or two, whilst the generous sprinkling of pistachio gave the dish extra crunch and a further contrast to the delightfully sugary meringue and cream.”
If you’re tempted to venture to the north Helford lanes yourself, The Waymarker have an incredibly tempting Christmas menu with Saffron Turkey and roasted Duck Breast on offer as well as some tempting vegetarian options. Prepare your Sat Nav, this is one hidden gem which is well worth discovering.
The Waymarker, Trewardreva, Constantine, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 5QD
Tel: 01326 341323