Muddy Beach, Penryn bar

In Brief

Type: Bar, café and restaurant on the Penryn River
Suitable forLovers of expertly mixed cocktails and expertly crafted dishes using local ingredients
Address: Jubilee Wharf, Commercial Road, Penryn, near Falmouth
Opening hours: Daily, 9am until late
Takeaway options?: No
Proper Cornwall’s favourite: Seafood linguine


Picture the scene: you’re on an alfresco terrace overlooking moored yachts bobbing in the midday sun. There’s a refreshing cocktail on the table in front of you with a slice of fresh pineapple and a straw. You take a sip of that expertly mixed concoction and then look out over the horizon towards the sea as a feeling of total relaxation washes over you. You then see the waiter who’s carrying your lunch to your table. It’s a seafood linguine and you can see the fresh, locally caught mussels and crab from here as they sit in their bed of homemade spaghetti and thick cream. You close your eyes and prepare for a taste experience like no other in a setting that’s as wonderfully serene as it is pretty.

Now picture this scene: you’ve just read all this at Proper Cornwall and you’re already on your way to Muddy Beach in Jubilee Wharf, Penryn, so you can live out the above dream all on your own. Or with your family. or with a load of friends. Seriously, this bar, café and restaurant on the Penryn River is one of the best venues in the Falmouth area for food, drink, relaxation and service. It is serene. Overlooking that river from the alfresco balcony is supremely pretty. And the meals really are to die for, as are the expertly mixed cocktails.

Muddy Beach has been in Penryn for a number of years but in the summer of ’22, two local Cornish lads – hospitality expert Ollie Growcott-Smith and experienced chef Jake Heslip, who both also own Falmouth’s popular Windjammer bar – took it over and transformed it into something that would appeal as much to visitors and students as it does to its loyal band of locals. They gave it a fresh look and curated a chic menu that complemented the venue’s ‘formal but not formal’ vibe, with a clear focus on only the best food consistency all year round and only the freshest locally sourced and seasonal meat, fish and vegetables. It worked. Muddy Beach became something that appeals to anyone who wants to experience a fab contemporary Cornish bar and café.

As well as visitors from across the globe, students from the local Penryn campus and workers from nearby offices head to Muddy Beach from 9am each day for some quiet study time, small business meetings and the fab selection of breakfasts, homemade cakes and coffees that are served throughout the morning. And from the afternoon and well into the evening, the mixologists here serves up some belting cocktails, from the refreshing and bright ‘angry pirates’ to the rich and satisfying espresso martinis. The venue is open seven days a week, from 9am until late every single day. Bonus.

Look out for a rolling programme of events at the Penryn bar throughout the year and obviously make sure you head here for the food. That seafood linguine is genuinely a richly flavoured masterpiece but other worthy creations include the BBQ pulled pork burger, the Korean-style steaks and the halloumi fries with sweet chilli and coriander. There are also five or six specials on the board daily that, of course, change with the season. There. We’ve waxed lyrical enough about this place. Muddy Beach is a Penryn restaurant and bar that just needs to be visited. And if you’re not sure yet? Well, go back to the top of this piece and picture that scene all over again…