Falmouth isn’t short of places to eat and drink. From fine-dining fish restaurants to funky cafés, it’s a place well endowed with gems befitting Cornwall’s burgeoning foodie scene. In which case, you’d think it would be hard to find somewhere that stands out not only as being not only a fine foodie haven, but that also breaks the mould of all other eateries in town.
Tucked away in a cobbled alleyway, the Courtyard Deli is a traditional Continental-style deli, cum café, cum trendy tapas bar. Through a doorway piled high with crates of fresh fruit and veg, you are greeted by a huge deli counter spread with sun-kissed tomatoes, plump olives, cherry-ball peppers and bread baked daily on the premises. The coffee machine grinds fresh beans behind the counter; another cabinet is stuffed with homemade dips, salads, pies and pastries, while the walls are stacked with jars, bottles and tins of speciality ingredients. Coffee suppers relax in the sunny courtyard, and upstairs, away from the smorgasbord of flavours and aromas, you can sink into a sofa by the fire or take pew by the window.
The lunch menu offers an array of hearty, homemade, international cuisine – from tagine and topped flatbreads to Cornish pilchards and crab sandwiches. Determined to sample as much of the divine food as possible, I opted for homity pie, hunks of bread with beetroot and walnut hummous, and Spanakopita (a Greek dish of filo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta). One lunch sitting simply wasn’t enough, so I had to admit defeat and steal away a rich chocolate brownie for later. Fortunately, if you live in Falmouth, or are visiting the area, you can order a bespoke hamper and have it delivered to you at work, on the beach, or at home.
Unlike many other cafés, the Courtyard Deli doesn’t close its doors once afternoon tea has been served. In fact, from early evening, it sheds the daytime menu and turns into Falmouth’s coolest tapas bar, serving a range of authentic Spanish tapas and pinchos, alongside some excellent beers and wines. Punters can graze on the likes of cauliflower and cumin fritters, patatas bravas and tortilla in a laid-back, friendly ambience, before spinning off into the busier bars of Falmouth for the rest of the night.
Courtyard Deli: www.courtyarddeli.co.uk, 01326 319526
Where is it?
2 Bells Court, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3AZ
When’s it open?
Mon–Weds 8.30am–5.30pm, Thurs–Sat 8.30am–9.30pm, Sun 10am–4pm
Lunch £4.45–£9.95; tapas £4.50–£5.95