If you don’t know the area, the restaurant is located directly opposite the stunning St Michael’s Mount.
When I was still living in Penzance, my friends and I would regularly visit the Godolphin, with many of my friends working there over the years, but having not been for a while I thought this would be a great place to celebrate my birthday with my family.
I was aware of the stunning views from the Godolphin across to St Michael’s Mount, but there recent renovation meant that they now had windows across the full length of the wall, which would make the view even better. Amazing!
I contacted the Godolphin beforehand to double-check all things gluten free and they assured me that they had no problem catering for dietary requirements, so it all seemed perfect.
On our arrival I was presented with a gluten free menu (the standard menu with notes on it as to what was available) and we were shown to one of the side tables, where none of us would be able to view St Michael’s Mount.
We were very disappointed by this, but in addition we were clearly sat at a table designed for 4 people and there were 6 of us, meaning my sister (who was pregnant at the time) and I were sat at the join of two tables that had been put together, which weren’t even level! It felt like despite booking in advance, this hadn’t been well thought through and they were clearly too busy for the amount of people in the restaurant.
As for the food, well unfortunately it wasn’t perfect, in fact far from it and this resulted in a very lengthy email to the Godolphin. Here’s the issues I raised with them:
* On looking at the menu the I felt that the adapted menu was actually quite restrictive so I asked if it was possible to have the chicken from the specials menu but queried the gravy aspect of this and whether it was gluten free. The waitress checked this but as I had concerns I instead opted for the beef special which didn’t state there was gravy so this seemed the safer option, but I explicitly said that the onion rings would need to be removed as the batter wouldn’t be gluten free.
* We then had to endure at least a 45 minute wait for our food!! The waitress kept coming over and saying it was on its way, but it quite clearly wasn’t. It was clear that the restaurant was busy, but it should be made clear when ordering if there is a delay on the food.
* Within seconds that plate was back minus the onion rings or plain onions. There was no way a spare meal just happened to be lying around. We’d been waiting so long initially that it wouldn’t have been possible to conjure up a new one that quickly!
* The next query was that it had gravy. This was not shown on the menu so I had no choice but to query as to whether this was gluten free, especially given what had already happened. I can appreciate that the waitresses were getting annoyed by now, but I didn’t have much choice but to query everything! Apparently it was gluten free so I ate my meal.
I’m sure that I was glutened that evening, as I started to suffer symptoms on my return home which resulted in stomach cramps for the remainder of the evening. Not the best way to finish off my birthday evening. 😦
However, you’ll be pleased to know that this isn’t actually a negative review, this is a review of hope!
Since my complaint, The Godolphin Arms agreed that my experience wasn’t acceptable and confirmed that they were working on a new gluten free menu. They said that they would be breaking down each of the components of their normal menu and trying to make gluten free versions where possible, and I offered some input into this process.
Once the menu was complete I was asked me to go back again to try it out.
22nd May 2014
I went back to Cornwall in May for my best friend’s wedding, so I took the opportunity to go back to the Godolphin to try out the new menu, and took my Mum and Dad with me.
We were seated right next to the main window with an amazing view of St Michael’s Mount. Always a good start!
I opted for the ‘Prime Cornish rib eye steak with sautéed potatoes (their chips aren’t gluten free so potatoes are offered instead).
As I don’t like mushrooms I was offered peas instead.
I have to say the food, and the presentation, was amazing and significantly improved from my first visit.
Everything was going so well that we even opted for dessert this time. I went for a pannacotta having never had one before!
Oh my, this is now one of my favourite desserts – it was simply divine! 🙂
The Assistant Manager (Rohan) came over to introduce himself as he had been the one working on the gluten free menu. I did raise a couple of queries with him, the main one being that ‘Tribute beer battered cod’ was shown on the gluten free menu and this was obviously not going to be gluten free. Rohan said that this should say that it was baked cod and he would amend this.
I said that if he needed anymore help then to let me know. A few weeks later he did email the amended menu through to me and asked for any additional comments.
As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, the second visit to The Godolphin Arms was much improved from the first, and as such the whole family went again for my Dad’s birthday in September! We also needed to make sure that this positive experience wasn’t a one off.
27th September 2014
Once again I prebooked due to it being a Saturday and I also asked if it was possible to have a table window (if you don’t ask you don’t get!).
We were delighted to be seated in one of the window areas and had sufficient space for my niece’s pushchair.
I was presented with a gluten free menu, and the changes previously discussed with Rohan had been amended. On this occasion I decided to have the baked cod with sautéed potatoes and once again it didn’t let me down! 🙂
Since this last visit, they’ve now launched a new menu which I haven’t had the opportunity to try yet, but fingers crossed it’s as good as the previous one. If it’s gluten free I’d certainly be keen to try the ‘crisp pork belly, chick pea, chorizo and butter bean stew’. That sounds scrumptious!
I have to say a massive thank you to The Godolphin Arms for turning everything around. After that first experience a lot of people wouldn’t have visited again, but due to the regular contact and asking for assistance, they’ve shown that they do take food intolerances seriously, and I am now more than happy to recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a gluten free venue in West Cornwall.
Gold star to The Godolphin Arms!!
(However, it would be great to see the gluten free menu on their website…..!!)