The St. Agnes eating scene is not short of a star or two, but a few years ago a new kid on the block took it’s place in Peterville Square, to fill a rather gaping bistro gap in the market. And we visited just a few weeks ago to check out their rather famous brunches.
We’ve been lamenting for years now that the brunch scene in Cornwall is rather lacking – the Blue Bar, when it had it’s side restaurant open, used to do a bloody good eggs benedict, which could be enjoyed along with a view over Porthtowan Beach, but since they stripped back the operation the brunch offering has been seriously lacking. So when No. 4 came on to the scene a few years ago, serving a locally sourced dinner and lunch menu, stuffed with seasonal, quality produce, and a bar filled with local beers, Cornish gin and fizz, they also cleverly picked up the brunch baton.
We headed down there with the black dog in tow. They’ve got a rather pretty, petit little terrace out front, all black painted wood, a huge rustic table and cheerful pots of posies. There’s a dog bowl of water on hand and whilst space is a little tight the black dog did manage to find enough room to lie down and study the menu.
The menu at No. 4 is seasonal, so updates to the ingredients and dishes should be expected and are never a bad thing anyway. On our visit we opted for the full veggie breaky – a No. 4 Veg Fry, and a Small Fry. Coffees were good and essential whilst we waited for the food to arrive – service was appropriately Cornish, with a friendly, ‘dreckly’ approach.
At £7.50 and £4.50, respectively, I thought the value for money was pretty good – the food was freshly cooked to order, the ingredients good and the portions generous. Unfortunately I was told there weren’t any field mushrooms available for the Veg Fry so had an asparagus substitution instead – which although perhaps a bit odd for breakfast was tasty and a mushroom did turn up on the plate anyway.
For me the winning element was the potato cakes. I always think when you go out to eat you want to eat something you wouldn’t cook at home, otherwise what’s the point of paying? Unless you’re just shirking the washing up of course. And whilst I can cook a mean poached egg and we’ve gone as far as making our own hollandaise sauce on the odd occasion, I can never be fagged with rustling up tatty cakes of a morning. These were really well put together, creamy with chives running through them and lightly fried.
If I’d had my way my egg would have been poached (maybe I should have asked) but the fried variety which was served was brilliant – not a hint of crispiness on the underside and a beautifully runny yolk. And the Vicky’s bread was lovely, very rustic, robust and studded with seeds.
The man was a little disappointed that they didn’t have the classic eggs benedict on the menu – perhaps they’ll consider it in the future? Or maybe they usually do it, but had suffered from a heavy Friday night.