Head Chef's Blog

Off the menu

From locally-sourced food to mastery in the kitchen, Head Chef Hylton is here to take you through his favourite recipes, top local produce picks, and life in the kitchens at Merchants Manor.

Chef's Journal

Cocktail Club at Rastella

Meet at Rastella on Friday 26th April for our first Cocktail Club of the season. We’ll be serving up some of our favourites from the brand new menu from 5pm – 11pm.  Here’s a sneak peek at the menu; 2 for £10 CORNISH ESPRESS …

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Scallops

My sous chef Aiden and I went for a trip to visit Jude at Kota in Porthleven to see his kitchen and have a chat. After doing the tour Jude opened his fridge and there were echoes of snapping and clacking under camouflage of a wet cloth, they …

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The Team

Team work makes the dream work and we have now developed an exceptional team in the kitchen and front of house. When you work in a kitchen you will spend more time with your fellow chefs than your Family, Partner or friends. It takes time to …

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Cocktails at Rastella

We Love food and drink, who doesn’t! Whether the sun is just past the yard arm or to set you up before a night of decadence we’ve slaved long and hard, putting in the hours, sampling the finest of liquors and blending to perfection …

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Our First Hidden Hero

Room to reward asks charities to nominate volunteers and staff who consistently go above and beyond in their support, their commitment and impact, whilst their hotel partners pledge numerous room nights throughout the year to reward and give …

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Photography Workshops 2019

Photography Workshops at Merchants Manor Uncover the secrets of the professionals with the guidance of photographers Clare Ball and Ben Mostyn. Their two day exclusive workshop offers an insightful and enjoyable journey, sharing their wealth …

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Oysters

One of my fondest food memories was with my Dad and some friends on Arniston beach sinking ice cold oysters in the hot sun, I remember eating 45 of them that day age 9. A few years later we were once again in amongst the sand cliffs and aqua …

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Fall In Love with Falmouth

Whilst we could spend all day writing down all of the things we love about our great town, we’ve made a list of our top five reasons. Discover for yourself and fall for Falmouth this summer.   1. Home of Sub-Tropical Falmouth is …

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A Taste of Home

Bobotie If someone were to ask me about an iconic South African dish it would have to be Bobotie. Nothing sums up our History and cultures quite like it. The dish originated from Holland, brought to Cape Town by the Dutch in the 17th Century, …

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It Must Be NOW

  As members of the NOW Force for Good Alliance we form part of an inspirational shift in the travel industry, striving to be accountable and transparent about sustainability. NOW Track & Book is a new tool to help you find, track and …

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Yoga with Emma Roughley

Whilst we were all tucking into our turkeys this Christmas our yoga pro Emma spent a month in Goa, completing a 300 hour of study in Ashatanga and Vinyasa Yoga. Emma’s knowledge now proceeds 500 hours of Indian teachings including Ashtanga …

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Voted Number 1 by Trip Advisor

We are proud to be part of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Lifestyle collection. Even more so this week as we celebrate being part of the first hotel chain to be awarded Number One by TripAdvisor as their Global “Most Excellent” Large Hotel …

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London Calling

On a misty Cornish evening we set off for the bright lights of London via the A30 as our flight was cancelled due to the North Coast fog. Arriving after midnight we had the roads to ourselves as we made our way past Harrods, Buckingham Palace …

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Lowen

Early on in this balmy Cornish summer we set sail on Lowen, our 1978 Westerly Centaur, navigating in the direction of the Helford river. The crew for this voyage being my family and our Staffy Sally who proudly boasted her life jacket barking at …

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A Proper Cornish Scone

Try Chef Hylton’s Cornish gem of a recipe. Spread with a thick layer strawberry jam, lashings of Clotted Cream and a pot of tea.  Guaranteed to taste even better packed as a picnic and served at the beach. Scones Makes 12 480 g …

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Slow Food

We are proud to be members of Slow Food, an organisation that I have known of since I first started cooking. For me there has always been a connection to nature and food beyond the obvious. Food harvested and eaten on a beach will be the best …

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Powering our way to a greener future

Embarking further into our mission to create a green and more efficient approach to the way we travel. The  recent installation of a combined heat and power (CHP) unit will run the baseline energy (electric and heat) demand using the natural gas …

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100,000 pieces of plastic saved from landfill

  Smother yourself in delicious temple spa products whilst helping us take steps in saving the planet. We’ve updated our in-room products from 30ml bottles to 300ml in a bid to rid ourselves of plastic waste.  This means that each …

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On the water

Living in Falmouth it is hard not to get into Sailing, the town has such a rich sailing heritage with near perfect conditions for the novice and experienced sailor alike. As a surfer I have spent a fair chunk of my lifetime in the sea and have …

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Westcountry Farm Visit

On a lovely sunny Cornish day, of which we have had quite a few lately, myself and two senior members of the kitchen team took a trip into the farm lands of Mylor. We met up with Sam from Westcountry Fruit sales in a lush field just outside of …

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Ice and a slice

Who remembers a time where you would walk into a bar, order for a gin and tonic and wait for the “ice and a slice?”reply?  When lime instead of lemon was the new cosmopolitan garnish for a Gordon’s and Slimline? For all you lovers …

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TOG

For a chef, knives are the tools of their craft.  They allow the imagination to run wild in curating a dish and through mastering their skill they learn how to respect their produce.  Keeping his questions sharp and on point, Chef Hylton chats …

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Graduation gatherings at Rastella

Pick a spot outdoors in the subtropical gardens or pull up a chair at Rastella and let us feed the family during graduation. Join us for lunch anytime between 16th and 28th July and tuck into three courses for just £18. We’ll even throw in …

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Lady Killigrew

In April 2016 we took a foraging walk down to Swanpool beach and returned with an abundance of sea weeds. After playing around with them in different preparations we had an excess of sea lettuce or ulva lactuca. The pastry section were preparing …

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Falmouth International Sea Shanty

Friday 22nd– Sunday 24thJune 2018 Wend your way to Discovery Quay  and beyond for 15th Annual Sea Shanty Festival on Friday 22nd June, for a weekend of sunshine, local ale supping, and hearty foot-stomping shantying. Tune into a sea-loving …

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Story of Lamb

One day on instagram an image popped up of a young farmer tending his flock near Porthleven. I  contacted Steve (The Cornish Lamb Co) directly and went to the farm with my wife. I love Porthleven, it has a very Cornish feel about it and happens …

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Tony Bourdain

Words by Chef Hylton Espey In December 2002 I walked into a restaurant and asked for a job as a Commis chef. The owner offered me the position and said something I will never forget. ‘You start tomorrow morning, go buy Kitchen Confidential, read …

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Tregothnan

Located outside of Truro, on the Roseland Peninsula, Tregothnan is the home of the Boscawen family, an estate steeped in history and residence to a thriving tea plantation. Selling its first homegrown tea in 2005, the company was founded by …

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Vinaigrette – Bramble

Last year’s blackberry season began unusually early which leads us to believe that given the recent hot spell we are likely to see the first fresh pickings in just a few weeks. Don’t be fooled into believing that blackberries are only for …

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Foraging

We have a foraging loop which takes us from the Manor on the hill down to Gyllyngvase beach, around to Swanpool and through a forest back to the restaurant. On this 1 mile loop we discover nineteen different foraged greens over the seasons.  

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A Top Tip to Explore

Words by Chef Hylton Espey. The coastal path walk or paddle to Maenporth from Falmouth is a must for any traveller. You have the option (depending on the weather) to explore the coast from land or sea. The walk is fantastic and you get away from …

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Seasons

Words by Chef Hylton Espey. Every dish starts with an inspiration, it may be an experience, the season, a nostalgic memory, farm visit or an adventure in nature. I carry a notebook with me all the time as you can never predict inspiration or a …

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Food Philosophy

‘Nature inspired cuisine with a focus on the landscapes, flora and fauna’ – Hylton Espey From local foragers, butchers and garden marketers to the love Chef puts into every dish on the menu, we have one mantra in the Merchants Manor …

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Chef Patron – The Journey

After being seduced by the Manors devotion to using the finest, fresh local ingredients -Discover South African born and raised Chef Patron Hylton Espey. Now two years into his journey at Rastella, he talks openly about his passion for food, …

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Welcome to The HOP

Welcome to 2018 and welcome to our brand new wellbeing space, one of Cornwall’s largest fitness studios. Affectionately named The HOP House, a throw back to the family history of the Carne family who owned the house and brewed beer for over five …

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Introducing Temple Spa

Since the launch of the in-room therapy range by Temple Spa, we just haven’t been able to stop smothering ourselves, in fact we love this professional spa and skincare brand so much we have now expanded to include therapy treatments at the Linen …

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A rare moment of me time at the Linen Rooms

We had the wonderful Sophie Baker, from Muddy Stilettos, join us for a day of relaxation at our Linen Rooms Spa this week. Here is her review of a rare moment of me time at the Linen Rooms. I picked a bad day to travel to Falmouth last week – …

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Offers

Fill your senses with the spirit of Cornwall and indulge in one of our specially tailored breaks and offers. We look forward to seeing you soon.

11th September 2018

Flavours of Falmouth

Three night’s accommodation, a three course dinner at Rastella, and dinner and drinks at Rick Stein’s Fish. With our Flavours of Falmouth break, …

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24th April 2017

Drinks Inc.

Two nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast. Evening drinks included. Kick back and let the good stuff flow freely with this offer that includes two …

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31st May 2017

Taste of Coast & Country

Three night stay includes two nights’ dinner at Rastella, three mornings’ bed & breakfast and a £50 dinner voucher at Rick Stein’s. …

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Get 10% off room prices