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“This place has got it ”

The Ancient Mariner Bistro
Ranked #2 of 84 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 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
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Reviews (384)
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9 - 13 of 384 reviews

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
Reviewed 1 October 2017 via mobile

Fantastic meal with great service from the owners and staff.
The mussels were excellent - and we have eaten plenty before!
Chowder a revelation as a main course.
Chocolate mousse was a triumph.
Thanks for a super evening

Thank Philip O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2017

Tucked away in the narrow streets of Looe, this small restaurant is run by a man (chef) and wife team serving excellent food in cosy surroundings. The fish and seafood is fresh on the day from local fishermen and the meat dishes are specially selected by the chef, who also turns out to be a farmer! My wife and I always look for somewhere special to celebrate our joint birthday in September and this eatery ticks all the boxes. Relaxed dining in a friendly atmosphere, from an excellent menu, freshly cooked, well presented and delicious. Don't take my word for it, try it!

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Thank Chris F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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