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Scilly Isles food and drink: A culinary journey through the islands

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Nestled amidst the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Isles of Scilly beckon with a promise of unparalleled natural beauty and a culinary adventure like no other. In this article, we're about to embark on a gastronomic journey celebrating the exquisite world of Isles of Scilly food and drinks.


The Isles of Scilly, often dubbed as a paradise on Earth, are a haven for stunning landscapes and a treasure trove of culinary delights. From the freshest seafood harvested from the surrounding waters, iconic dishes that epitomize the island's charm, and a spectrum of beverages ranging from locally brewed ales to artisanal spirits, we'll delve deep into the delectable world of Scilly Isles food and drinks.

Whether you're a passionate foodie seeking the next palate-pleasing adventure or a traveller yearning to explore a unique gastronomic culture, this article is your gateway to discovering the mouthwatering treasures in the Isles of Scilly. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind the culinary wonders of this picturesque archipelago, where every bite and sip is a journey unto itself.


Fresh Seafood


The Isles of Scilly are renowned for their proximity to the sea, which is most evident in their culinary offerings. The islands offer an abundance of fresh seafood, making it a seafood lover's paradise. You can enjoy succulent crab, tender lobster, and sweet scallops, all caught from the surrounding waters. Many local restaurants and pubs serve these delectable dishes, often prepared with minimal fuss to let the flavours of the sea shine.




The Iconic Scilly Crab Sandwich


When it comes to iconic dishes, the Scillonian crab sandwich takes centre stage. A freshly baked, crusty roll or sandwich is piled high with locally caught crab meat, dressed with a touch of mayonnaise, and seasoned with a squeeze of lemon. It's a simple yet divine combination that allows the sweet, delicate crab flavour to shine through. Many restaurants and cafes will have their own take on this classic from all over the islands.


Traditional Cream Teas with a Scilly Twist


The Isles of Scilly, being part of Cornwall, you are always close to an establishment serving the classic cream tea. Served with fresh clotted cream and homemade jam, the scones and tea are complemented by the island's stunning scenery. Many cafes and tearooms provide this delectable afternoon treat, making it a must-try experience on the Isles. Be sure to put the jam on first, as is the Cornish way, as the locals say, "You spread the jam and show off the cream".


Local Produce and Artisanal Goods


In addition to seafood, the Isles of Scilly are home to numerous farms and producers. You can find locally grown vegetables and homemade preserves. Farmers' markets are regular, allowing you to sample and purchase local goods. On Wednesday mornings on St Marys, farmers and fishermen gather for a fantastic local market with farmed and caught local goods. Along with delightful baked goods like Scillonian tatty cake


Island Pubs: A Haven for Local Brews


Island life isn't complete without a visit to one of the charming pubs that dot the Isles. These establishments offer a cosy atmosphere and serve a selection of local ales, ciders, and spirits. Be sure to try some Scilly-made brews by The Ales of Scilly, crafted with care and reflect the unique island character. Not to mention the Scillonian cider from Carn Friars Farm, the award-winning Island gin, and St Agnes gins.


Hearty Pasty Fare


The traditional Cornish pasty is a go-to option for a hearty and portable meal. Packed with a filling of meat, vegetables and seasoning, this hand-held delight is perfect for picnics and outdoor adventures. You can find them in local bakeries, and they make for a satisfying on-the-go meal. The Deli, Mr B's butchery and Old Town Cafe are the best to visit in St Marys.


Scilly Ice Cream: A Sweet Delight


The Isles of Scilly are known for their creamy and delectable Troytown farm ice cream made on the island of St Agnes from high-quality milk; you can indulge in a wide range of flavours that reflect the island's natural bounty, from honeycomb to blackberry ripple. Strolling along the beach with a cone of Scilly ice cream is a quintessential island experience. You can buy this lovely treat from the farm, but it is also sold throughout the islands at various establishments.


Festivals and Culinary Events


The Isles of Scilly hosts various food and drink events throughout the year. These celebrations highlight local produce, cuisine, and the island's vibrant culinary culture.


Whether it's the Taste of Scilly Festival or a special seafood-themed event, these gatherings provide an excellent opportunity to explore the local food scene. There are two low tide festivals yearly on the lowest tides between the two islands of Bryher and Tresco. Here, amid the bands and bars, they set up an extravaganza of local cuisine, most aptly, the seafood paella cooked in front of you on the dry sea bed.


Special food and drink mentions on each Island


St Agnes

The Turks Head pub, a fabulous setting just off the slip with fantastic views over the cove to Gugh, offers a great menu with local Ales to compliment the view. They run supper boats on a Thursday night for St Marys if you are not staying on St Agnes.


Bryher


The Crab Shack, simple local seafood cooked to perfection in this rustic barn where aprons are donned, and friends are made on the long wooden tables. Served in copper cataplana pots, Bryher crab and lobsters with garlic butter are the mainstays - best to get cracking. This is open from May to September and is not to be missed.


St Martins


Adams Fish and Chips is a locally owned establishment just off the beach. Offering incredibly fresh fish and chips where the pollock was caught that day by Adam, the owner, and the chips were cut from potatoes grown a stone's throw away. Simple, fresh and delicious. Just off the cricket pitch, it's fantastic to do on a summer evening. Grab a beer and a fish and chips and watch a local game of cricket.


Tresco


The Ruin Beach Cafe - in a beautiful setting right on the beach- offers a fantastic seafood-strong menu, hand-rolled, wood-fired pizzas, and some signature cocktails—a delightful way to spend a night with family and friends.


St Marys-Star Castle Hotel. Set up on the garrison, this four-star hotel has two restaurants presided over by head chef Billy Little-John, whose culinary skills can best be described as classically French with a modern, British twist. Whether enjoying the turbot with scallops in the seafood-inspired Conservatory restaurant or preferring the seared Cornish venison in the Castle dining room restaurant, we are sure you'll find all Billy's dishes delicious. To go with Billy's food, the Star Castle wine list is extensive and hand-picked by the hotel's owner, Robert Francis, and you will struggle to find a better value for money anywhere in the UK.


The Isles of Scilly are a paradise for nature lovers and a treasure trove for food and drink enthusiasts. The rich maritime heritage and the island's lush gardens and fertile fields provide a diverse and flavourful culinary landscape. From fresh seafood to iconic dishes like the Scilly crab sandwich, the Isles offer a taste of the sea and the land.


Exploring the local food and drink scene is an integral part of experiencing the unique culture and lifestyle of the islands. Whether you're sipping local cider in a cosy pub, indulging in a traditional cream tea, or sampling artisanal goods at a farmers' market, you'll discover that the flavours of the Isles of Scilly are as captivating as their breathtaking scenery. So, take a culinary journey through this enchanting archipelago and savour the flavours of island life that make the Isles of Scilly a truly exceptional destination for food and drink enthusiasts.


Savour the Full Scilly Experience - Book accommodation in the Scilly Isles with us

As we dive deeper into the culinary wonders of the Scilly Isles, it's essential to remember that indulging in this gastronomic journey is not just about savouring the local delicacies; it's also about creating lasting memories on these captivating islands. To truly immerse yourself in the world of Isles of Scilly food and drinks, it's important to have the perfect accommodation for your adventure.


Imagine waking up to the gentle sounds of the ocean waves, knowing that a day of delectable discoveries awaits you. Picture stepping out of your cosy accommodation, ready to explore the vibrant food markets, charming tearooms, and inviting pubs that define the island's culinary scene. Whether travelling with family or furry friends, the right accommodation in the Scilly Isles can elevate your experience.


At Scilly Escapes, we offer a selection of island accommodations that complement your food and drink exploration. Our properties are strategically located, ensuring you're never too far from the gastronomic treasures of the islands. From quaint cottages overlooking the sea to boutique hotels with fine dining options, we have various options to suit your preferences.


By booking your stay through Scilly Escapes, you not only secure a comfortable and convenient base for your adventure but also gain access to our local insights and expertise. Our team is passionate about the Isles of Scilly, and we're dedicated to ensuring that your stay is as memorable as the cuisine you'll taste.


So, why settle for a mere visit when you can fully immerse yourself in the world of Isles of Scilly food and drinks?


Please explore our website, discover the perfect Scilly Ilses accommodation for your needs, and prepare for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you with a deep appreciation for the magic of these beautiful islands. Your gastronomic journey begins with a simple click – book your stay with Scilly Escapes and experience the Scilly Isles in all their delicious glory.

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