Although we may be a little biased as Falmouth is our home and heavenly corner of the world, it really is a wonderful location that should explored and enjoyed to its fullest.
We love Cornwall! Not just for its charming little towns, beautiful beaches, and endless scenic countryside – but because it’s much more than a county, it’s a lifestyle. And it’s safe to say that Falmouth is a town that embodies the Cornish lifestyle to the fullest. And it seems that the readers of the Sunday Times are inclined to agree.
We’d love to list every place worth visiting in Falmouth, but I can assure you we would be here for a while. So if you’re ever in town and fancy a drink, a bite to eat, some decent coffee, some unique retail therapy, or even take some time out for the theatre – here are some of the essentials.
Dolly’s Tea Room
Is there anything more British than a spot of afternoon tea? Dolly’s Tea Room fully embraces the dying art of afternoon tea and the history and etiquette behind it. The décor throughout adopts a classic yet quirky style. High ceilings, furnished with reclaimed tables and chapel chairs, an original fireplace, and a piano sat in the corner all provide a sense of unique elegance that we can’t get enough of. Whether you pop in during the day to for tea, coffee or some delicious cake, or in the evening when Dolly’s Tea Room transforms into a brilliantly stylish bar. Cocktails from a teapot is an unusual but brilliant touch. If gin is your drink of choice, then you’ve found the right place, with 166 different brands of gin to choose from it definitely will be a night to remember (or forgot).
Also, dog lovers will be happy to hear that Dolly’s Tea Room is dog-friendly, and their pearl-wearing yellow Labrador ‘Hebe’ is a permanent fixture and quite the character.
While Falmouth town’s main cobbled throughway provides many of the highlights in regards to retail, cafes and restaurants – there are plenty of gems to be found in the side streets and alleys. The Wheelhouse is one of Falmouth’s best-kept ‘foodie’ secrets, especially if you happen to be a seafood connoisseur. The broad range of fresh seafood, polite and knowledgeable staff and the relaxing atmosphere make The Wheelhouse something truly special. With such a high quality of food, service, and the quaint surroundings – from the old fashion heavy door to the overall intimate setting – it’s a hidden gem worth finding.
Artisan coffee shops seem to be appearing all over the place, but yet finding a decent cup of coffee can still be a chore. Which was made abundantly clear upon returning from Australia (when it comes to coffee we’re a fussy bunch down under). Luckily enough it wasn’t long before ‘Espressini’ opened its doors and my need for a daily dose of decent coffee was fulfilled.
Espressini have two locations in Falmouth, fuelling coffee addictions at both ends of the main street. The first, ‘Espressini Artisan Coffee’ acts as both speciality coffee shop and kitchen, with a wide range of tasty treats, meals and of course, hot brews. The second, Espressini ‘Dulce’ is the smaller sibling shop that overlooks the harbour. It also acts as their primary retail premises, so if you’re running low at home, then you know where to go.
As Falmouth’s only neighbourhood café, The Provedore is literally one of a kind. Situated in amongst the terraces of the Bowling Green area, directly above the town, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of town and is the perfect chill out spot.
The owners Tim and Bev have created something really special here, originally a Deli, but after listening to the opinions of their customers decided to change to a tapas bar and café. They’re now a very popular meet and eat location serving Spanish and North African tapas on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We already mentioned that we LOVE decent coffee, which is why we absolutely love the Provedore. They’ve created their own Provedore espresso blend, roasted just seven miles away, adding even more emphasis to their local-style of branding.
The Cornwall Polytechnic Society was formed in 1833 by Anna Maria and Caroline, the daughters of Robert Were Fox of G.C. Fox & Co, a prominent Falmouth firm of shipping agents. ‘The Poly’ is based in an iconic listed building in the centre of town. As a thriving charity, they promote art, science and local history through live events, films, exhibitions, lectures and workshops. Taking some out to catch an art house film or theatre production is a nice change of pace if you live locally, or if you’re visiting the area it’s a unique way to make your trip more memorable.
The High Street
A quick stroll around Falmouth will tell you that this small town has an abundance of hills to climb. One hill that’s definitely worth climbing is the high street, where you’ll be met with restaurants, hairdressers, tattoo parlours, cool bars, and antique shops. You’ll also find yourself surrounded by some of Falmouth’s oldest listed buildings. At the top of the high street, you’ll stumble upon the Old Brewery Yard, a small cobbled square that’s jam-packed with a specialist plant shop, an intricate crafts shop, and two very popular bars (HAND beer bar and ‘Chintz’).
Falmouth is undoubtedly one of Cornwall’s – neigh, one of the UK’s – most charming towns. The scenery alone is a reason to love this seaside setting, but the various shops, pubs, and other establishments all combine to create a sense of localised brilliance that’s impossible not to appreciate. A casual venture into town could see you overlooking the harbour with a bag of fish and chips, chatting to friendly locals in one of the many pubs, or even shopping for antiques on the high street. The term “something for everyone” is used way too much, but in Falmouth, there really is something to suit the needs of many.
An extremely interesting and informative article on the beauty of and the opportunities to explore the gem of Falmouth.
My husband and I are now so eager to return to Falmouth to sample all areas and retail venues you have suggested.