I want to say that Caffe Rojano is tucked away, down the winding streets of Padstow. But when it comes to Padstow in general, most of it is winding and many of it’s great eateries are tucked away down cosy streets which you have to breathe in to squeeze down (I do anyway!).
This little town sits on the River Camel estuary, a safe harbour from the wild bluster of the North Atlantic. Cornwall has a strong fishing tradition which is reflected in the food, and Padstow’s history as a fishing port encapsulates a nostalgia that has never really left.
We had come down to attend the re-opening of Caffee Rojano, one of Paul and Emma Ainsworth’s restaurants that make up the family of establishments including his eponymous Paul Ainsworth at Number Six and The Mariners which has recently opened. Under the steerage of Chef Director Jack Clements, Caffe Rojano takes the quality that the Ainsworths are famed for in a casual dining setting.
Caffe Rojano was first opened by Stan Rojano in 1974. Since the Ainsworth family took the reigns, they’ve continued Stan’s legacy, serving seasonal small plate cafe favourites and that touch of quality which comes with a restaurant with such heritage.
As with most of these exuburant gatherings, I like to observe parties. We got to experience the full swathe of tasters; little samples of a menu that is incredibly strong. Local, seasonal, casual, relaxed.
Paul and Emma themselves welcomed guests and friends at the entrance. As I do quite often, I got a little starstruck and mumbled something to them both and ran off.
After we took hold of our champagne, we found a nice spot to watch the jazz band, there is something special about live music, especially good jazz with talented musicians.
Caffe Rojano will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their small plates – think tapas but slightly bigger – are available as well as traditional larger plates with casual options like beefburgers and deli sandwiches.
Caffee Rojano is going to be busy this summer, Padstow is a mecca for tourists, and if you visit later in the year then booking will be essential. The A La Carte menu is available from 12pm-9:30pm and the collection menu from 12pm-10pm. Breakfast is served 8:30-10am, with coffee, homemade cakes and Cornish cream teas served all day.
9 Mill Square, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8AE.
Visit the website – www.paul-ainsworth.co.uk/rojanos