Gluten free in Padstow and Port Isaac

Padstow Harbour

Last year, me and Neil took ourselves off to Padstow, Cornwall for a few days. I had holidayed at nearby Rock as a child and was desperate to return to the area!

Thanks to Neil checking out gluten free info on google before our trip, I got to experience delightful quirky places to eat safely whilst away. I’m sharing them in the hope that you may be paying this truly stunning place a visit and you can get to experience the same delights that we did!

With the car all packed up we set off early. I had planned our journey to include a ‘compulsory’ breakfast stop on our way down at the fabulous Gloucester services – Neil thinks I’m nuts getting so giddy about a service station – but for me it’s all in the detail – and Gloucester (and Tebay) services certainly know how to focus on that. I love their high standards, individuality, and of course the fabulous goodies on offer – both edible and the ones you  can treasure for ever! Speaking of which, this pretty handmade dish ‘just had to’ come home with me!

Handmade dish from Gloucester services.
Handmade dish from Gloucester services.

Ooh yes, nearly forgot, breakfast was great here too. As it was  last year, I can’t quite remember what I ate, but I know it was a cooked hot one and my choice was made after the kind lady had checked out the allergen sheet and I knew what was safe!

Neil is a huge Doc Martin fan, and as Port Isaac where it’s filmed is only 16 miles from Padstow, we thought we would take a little peep at this picture-perfect fishing village along the way.

Port Isaac
Port Isaac

We loved wandering around here, stopping off for a tasty light lunch at the Chapel Café – good choice as the food was great – delicious spiced butternut squash soup and a gluten free roll hit the spot for me – There were lots more gf options should I have wanted more.  I like Port Isaac very much, with its tiny twisty turny streets, and lovely little shops, one of them being Kiln – this place was ‘just up my street’, delightful hand painted china and other bits and bobs. I wanted everything in here……its where this cute tiny jug ‘found me’ I’m a sucker for stars!

Star jug from Kiln!
Star jug from Kiln!

Whilst we were in Padstow, it was with sheer delight that I was able to enjoy a gluten free pasty each day for lunch – simply by calling in at Padstow Pasty Company, placing my order, and returning after 20 minutes to pick up my hot pasty – Oh my word, they were tremendous!! And the simplicity of finding a nice bench to sit in the sunshine and enjoy this delicious treat straight from the paper bag, was magic!

Perfect Place to sit in Pretty Padstow.

Being a huge Rick Stein fan, I was chuffed to bits to get the chance to eat at his seafood restaurant one evening.  Something I had looked forward to, for weeks before our trip (we booked in advance and let them know I was coeliac). Delicious warm gluten free bread and tiny little fish cakes were served to start and although the speciality here is the super fresh seafood I ended up choosing steak for my main – perfectly cooked and served with sauté potatoes and watercress. As much as I wanted to squeeze in a pudding, it wasn’t going to happen as I was too full! This is a Special place, great food and attentive staff….hope I get to eat here again!

Steak at Rick Steins Restaurant.

I’ve saved this hidden gem until last. Rest A While Tea Garden would be a regular haunt for me if I lived nearby…. packing a book and a head full of dreams, I could lose hours here! It requires a little hilly walk from Padstow, but that’s all part of the experience, as the views whilst you stroll along are incredible and take your breath away. Beautiful Padstow....on the path to rest a while tea gardenWe arrived on a really hot day and were more than ready for a cuppa. The set-up is unique. Simply a terrace garden with a good seating area and a view that is out of this world!

The view from Rest a while tea garden in Padstow!You order and collect your food from the large open window. They serve hot and cold drinks (great quality coffee always a good indication of a ‘top’ place), light snacks and homemade scones.

My gluten free scone with clotted cream and jam was served with a little gluten free sticker on my plate…how very reassuring.

Gluten free scone from rest a while tea garden!

There you go a little glimpse of our Cornwall adventure. I can’t quite express how much I love this beautiful part of the UK. It’s got under my skin a little…and look forward to seeing its soft sandy beaches and turquoise sea again soon!On the beach pathway near Padstow!

Happy holidays to you wherever you may travel!



P.S. Big thanks to myglutenfreeguide for your great blog that helped us discover some great places to check out whilst in Padstow….like your work 😊


*As our visit was last year I have contacted all the places that I ate (except for the pasty shop). They confirmed still ‘all good’ for catering for coeliacs. However, as always, due to staff changes etc, check out suitability at your time of visit to ensure safe for your gf diet. 







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