The Ergohacks Verdict
Please note that The Lost Gardens of Heligan admission is required to access The Steward’s House Cafè.
The Steward’s House Cafè is situated just North of the East Lawn at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. An admission fee has to be paid to access it, however Heligan Kitchen serves similar food at the entrance to Gardens and entry is free. We chose the Steward House Cafè for lunch on a wet day in late July. It was full to capacity when we arrived, each table and chair had an occupant and visitors were standing near the entrance, sipping hot drinks from compostable mugs.
Inside we were met by typical cafè fare – sandwiches, pasties, cakes, soup of the day (freshly made on-site), childrens lunch boxes and the usual selections of hot and cold drinks. The quality was exceptional and we selected sandwiches and a Cornish pasty on the theory that if no tables opened up, we could eat anywhere in the gardens. Service was impeccable, coffee was hot and good and a garden table was waiting invitingly when we exited. The chairs were soaking wet, but we didn’t mind. Sitting down, we were joined by a dozen birds flocking around the tables.
A couple sitting at the table next to us recommended Cass share a few of her breadcrumbs. She was delighted when tiny birds landed almost on her hand to eat it. The lack of space and popularity of the cafè created a social atmosphere and even I, who usually prefer quieter places, found it welcoming. People were sharing tables and watching the birds. Even the children were subdued. We had a memorable lunch in a great location and would definitely recommend stopping in at The Stewards House Cafè when visiting The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Very reasonable for locally sourced, fresh ingredients. We spent less than £20 on a light lunch. See Menu below for prices.
The Stewards House Cafe is part of the Heligan Estate. The Heligan estate was originally bought by the Tremaynes in the 16th century. It was abandoned after World War I and rediscovered in 1990. It’s been excavated and restored over the last 27 years. The gardens are now leased by a company owned by their restorers, who continue to cultivate them and operate them as a visitor attraction.
The Stewards House Cafe has a take-away system in place. Select your food, put it on a tray, order hot food at the first counter and drinks at the next, then finally pay at the end. There are indoor tables as well as outdoor tables in the surrounding garden.
Specification & Menu
Season: Open year round, except Christmas Day
Location: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan, St.Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6EN
Table Reservations: No
Opening: 09:30 am
Closing: 5 pm (April – Sept), 4 pm (Oct – March).
Timed restrictions: Lunch served 12 – 2:30 pm.
Map: PDF map of Heligan marking the Stewards House cafè can be found here.
Public transport: Bus stop inside the car park – timetable here. Nearest Railway station in St Austell, 5 miles and links with bus service. Also directly linked to National Cycle Network Route Number 3, providing a safe, virtually traffic-free link to Mevagissey, Pentewan and St Austell. By foot – 1.5 miles from the South West Coast Path. Newquay airport is 20 miles. Arrived by Megavissey Ferry from Fowey (30 minute walk from Mega or take a bus).
Parking: Plenty of free on-site parking
“The 200 acre estate, which once served the Tremayne family, now provides us with a wide variety of fresh produce and home-reared meat to create hearty seasonal dishes for our visitors to enjoy. Whilst most people talk in ‘food miles’, here at Heligan we pride ourselves in ‘food yards’. It’s a minimal 157 food yards from soil to plate; it doesn’t get much fresher!
Although we don’t grow enough produce to supply our Kitchen with all its daily requirements, we supplement our bounty with other quality locally sourced items. With 23 of our 25 suppliers being from Cornwall and the rest being from the South West, we are really proud of the regional provenance and flavours we create.” *
Gluten free and Vegan options are available. Low carb options for both breakfast and lunch and children’s pick and mix lunchboxes available.
The Stewards House Cafe is wheelchair accessible with ramped access and disabled toilet facilities are nearby.
Dogs are welcome, but not inside the cafè.
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on a light lunch for three during July 2017. This article was first published on 3 August 2017.