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“"I wasn't aware that it had changed management again...I've been missing out!”

The Ancient Mariner Bistro
Ranked #2 of 90 Restaurants in Looe
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: We are a family run Bistro located only 100 metres from the beach and have a great pride in the quality of our Local food, from the Freshest of Fish and shellfish direct from the Harbour on our doorstep, to the amazing meats supplied from farms nearby. We try to accommodate for every taste and are happy to adjust our dishes for you. We are able to cater for parties and special occasions for up-to 20 guests, including your Wedding Breakfasts, and Birthdays.
Reviewed 18 October 2017

I last visited this restaurant (Higher Market Street, Looe PL13 1BW, England) on Sunday 8th October. The restaurant, which is right across the narrow street from another great restaurant Ocean & Earth (see my review) is likewise small but comfortable and is small and intimate.
I've visited this restaurant in its previous guise when it was "Morrell's", and the food was always excellent.
Under new management it became The Ancient Mariner Bistro, and was not so; so I stopped visiting.
I wasn't aware that it had changed management again and I think I've been missing out!
We had booked and we were seated straight away and our drinks were served quickly. The waitress (not Mel the chef's wife and co-owner who had been detained by traffic) was very friendly and attentive.
The menu is not extensive, but the food and service were excellent.
The chef and owner Mark came out to talk to everyone who was seated and chatted about the food.
We had the Trio of Scallops with Pea Shoots and Sweetcorn puree to start and I the John Dory for the main course. All was superb!
I will definitely dine here again on my next trip from Cardiff to Looe which is quite I do quite often.
Highly recommended.

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Thank crofty217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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71 - 75 of 448 reviews

Reviewed 14 October 2017 via mobile

Ate here 14th Oct after booking table which is recommended as only small number of tables. I had sea food chowder to start, it was thick, creamy full of flavour served with chunks of fresh crusty granary bread. He had pork parfait served with granary toast & home made chutney. Mains consisted of sea bass, ribboned veg & sauteed rosemary potatoes. It was to die for, easily the best fish I've ever tasted! He had fillet of beef with red wine & shallot sauce, apparently melted in the mouth. I had to try the desserts so opted for the choc fudge mousse which was light, chocolatey & heavenly. Service was spot on, with a romantic ambience. The only odd thing I found was I was told I could only be offered a table for 7.30pm after asking for 8.00pm which seemed a bit odd when there were empty tables & people arriving after us? Highly recommended though, you won't be disappointed!

Thank mooreboots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2017 via mobile

Where to begin.... I’ll start with our regret with this place. This is our third year coming to Looe for a week away and I can’t believe this is the first time we’ve come to this restaurant. I feel like we’ve been missing out!
We phoned in advance on the night we decided to come and spoke with Mel who confirmed there was space left. The restaurant is intimate (I think there was 8 tables?) so I would definitely recommend checking in advance just to be sure and to avoid disappointment! When we arrived, Mel greeted us warmly and made sure we were comfortable. Mel explained their menu well and it’s great to gain an understanding as to how the restaurant get their fish on a daily basis from the local fishermen. Top marks for supporting local businesses! I opted for the mussels, which were caught that day, my other half opted for the seafood chowder for our starters. Both were incredible - the mussels were the best I’ve had! My other half had never had seafood chowder before and he loved it - unfortunately I feel he will be disappointed next time he has a seafood chowder from somewhere else as it was so good! Thanks to Mark (cook) for sharing his story on the history behind the chowder.
For our mains, I went for the catch of the day - pollack, my other half went for the beef with a red wine and shallot sauce - wow both were packed with flavour and cooked to perfection!
Unplanned, as we aren’t typically dessert people, but we were having such a lovely time and I’m a sucker for cheesecake, so we couldn’t say no! I think the desserts change regularly as they are all home made. I had the raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake (insert drooling face here) and Jack had the chocolate mousse.
Overall, on the food front I can’t pick out a single flaw - it was perfect and they have timings down perfectly. We were not rushed at all (once you have a table, it’s yours for the night).
Now for the service. Mel is a real gem and certainly has the gift of the gab! She made us feel so comfortable and we got talking for ages about animal rescues and Mel’s passion to help animals in need is admirable. Tips collected from the restaurant are donated to 3 animal charities that Mel supports. Once everyone else in the restaurant had finished and left, Mark (Mel’s husband and the chef!) came out and we ended up chatting for a good hour. If Mark hadn’t told us that they’d only been running the restaurant for about a year and a half and Mark wasn’t professionally trained as a chef, I never would have guessed. Both Mel and Mark are brilliant at what they do and make a great pair. They certainly make clever decisions about how they run the restaurant.
Can’t wait to come back next year. Wish these guys years of success here as they’re good people who produce good food and good service!

Thank arobynw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2017

This is a lovely little restaurant in the heart of Looe. Only a small number of tables so booking advised. Arrived a little early and no issue with giving us a table a little early. Service friendly and efficient. We had starters and mains. Menu and specials are focused around seafood. I note from other reviews that there is not a massive wine list. Possibly our only constructive criticism might be that for those really into their wine the small list might be an issue however we found something we liked (NZ Sauvignon blanc) so we were happy. We had a seafood chowder and scallops followed by a chicken dish and john dory washed down with a bottle of wine. They even asked how long would we like to wait between courses which is a little unusual but a nice touch. All dishes were faultless. Total was about £70. Next time we are in looe (yearly usually) we will definitely return.

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Thank GandPORA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2017

A delightful small restaurant run by a brilliant chef and wife team. Only a small number of tables but booking times are staggered so each diner can have individual service. You have the table for as long as you like and pace of cooking and serving is up to you. The food is locally and ethically sourced to ensure great quality and conscience free dining. The Chef Mark is an ex farmer amongst other careers so knows how to look after animals. Cosidering he said he had no formal cooking qualifications his feeling and skill at matching flavours and textures is first class. Definately worth visiting if you can get a table.

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Thank Jon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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