All Aboard Blue River Table
Charlotte and Jess are the charming proprietors of the delightful Blue River Table Restaurant, a floating restaurant housed in a traditional Cornish fishing boat offering a very unique and engaging dining experience.
We love the idea of the intimate dining experience offered onboard that is further enhanced by the fact that you cruise around the local waters of Cornwall and get an ever changing scenery and unparalleled views. The waterfront is one of the most attractive places to enjoy good food any time of the day. Sit back and listen to the gentle waves, and enjoy good conversation while sipping on a glass of wine in the relaxed surroundings.
The food is tailored specifically to your party and you can select from breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner cruises. What a decadent and delightful experience to have with family or friends, or to mark a special occasion. Come dine at one of the best intimate venues in Cornwall. We have to say it is better by boat.
We hope you enjoy our interview with Charlotte and Jess. You may have seen them recently on the TV programme "Devon and Cornwall', aired on Channel 4.
What are your backgrounds. Are you both from a culinary background?
C: "I grew up on and round sailing boats my whole life. Over the past 10 years, I have spent most of my summers working as cook and mate on traditional boats all round the UK. It has definitely given me a good foundation and passion for cooking and using local ingredients."
J: "I grew up boats from day one; both my parents are sailors so sailing is in the blood. I got into sailing and working on boats as crew and cook through my twenties interspersed with doing some sailing trips for fun. One of these trips ended in Australia where I lived for a while and worked in the marine industry. I got into cooking when I started doing a lot of sailing and was always interested in the local foods and loved going to the fresh food markets where ever we had sailed too."
The inspiration for your menus comes from your travels. What has been your favourite place to visit on your travels?
C: "It would have to be Madeira for me. The fresh markets are incredible! It’s an Atlantic island so has such amazing diversity. I could spend days just walking round the local markets."
J: "The favourite sailing trip was through the Pacific, it’s hard to pick a favourite place as there was so many beautiful Island and all so different but if I had to I would say the Marquesas."
What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
C: "We did a fish filleting course and got to fillet 8 different Cornish fish. As part of this we learnt that you could cook the liver of a Mackerel, fried up with butter it was very tasty.""
J: "When I lived in Australia, there was a lovely Brazilian culture nearby and one of their delicatessen was chicken hearts, so I tried a BBQ chicken heart which I can’t say I loved."
What is your favourite dish on your menu?
C: "Oh, that’s a hard one, obviously all of it. However, it might have to be the crab; it’s just so fresh & the flavour between the white meat and the brown is very complimentary."
J: "Well seems to change for me but at the moment one of our new recipes is with Cornish John Dory with samphire, white wine, capers, olives and some other spices and I think it’s just such a tasty fish!"
Do you test your recipes on your friends and family?
C: "Definitely, although my son Jake isn’t a big fish eater but I’m working on it."
J: "Yes, especially just before we first opened. A friend of ours runs a local café, and they let us use the space, we did some big banquet nights for friends. We take my Mum out a lot as she helped us with the rebuilding of the boat so we’re paying her back in food.""
What are your essential ingredients, the things you couldn’t live without?
C: "Garlic, salt, butter."
J: "Ummm, that’s hard as that could be a very long list but some of them would be bundles of fresh herbs, preserved lemons that we preserve so much better then shop brought, I love the middle eastern spices like Zatar and sumac and obviously the Cornish Sea food."
Have you any suppliers/ producers that stand out to you and why?
C: "A friend of ours has started a rum distillery just up the road from us & there is something quite special in serving it onboard knowing exactly how it’s made."
J: "Kehelland Trust, we get our fruit and vegetable from them and they are an amazing charity that provide a rural, horticultural setting for the support of young people and adults with learning and or physical disabilities."
What, in your opinion are some of the most underrated ingredients available in Cornwall?
C: "Maybe the cheeses, there are so many good ones & we are still discovering more."
J: " Cornish chillies, there are so many varieties and I love the Cornish sea salt and all the different flavour mixes you can get."
What is your ultimate food indulgence?
C: "Gambas al alijio, my favourite Spanish prawn dish with baby new potatos."
J: "I love breakfast as a meal, so for me the ultimate food indulgence would be a delicious breakfast spread, it’s all about the leisurely breakfast with a mix of dishes and lots of coffee."
What are your favourite restaurants in Cornwall?
C: "Two Falmouth based ones actually, I really like the Wheelhouse and Povidore. I loved the atmosphere in both."
J: "I’m more of a café person and one of my favourite local cafes is Potager Garden, really good food with an amazing outside and inside setting."
Whom would you like to cook for?
C: "Due the current situation I would love to cook for a big group of my friends and family."
J: "I would like to cook for the original owner of Tethra, who used to fish her out of Looe."
What’s your favourite thing about being a chef and owner of Blue River Table?
C: "Meeting all the different people we have onboard Tethra, hearing everyone chatting and laughing round the table & helping to create unforgettable memories."
J: "For me its combining my two passions - Cooking and boats and being able to be creative in how you put those two together. Also, if I could have a joint first it would be working on the Tethra, she’s just such a lovely space to work in, surrounded by water with no two days the same, I love the diversity."
How did you guys decide on the name Blue River Table?
J & C: "For so long we just couldn’t come up with a name, so we met a friend that is a writer to get some help and bounce some ideas off. She had a series of questions she wanted us to answer, like our favourite colour, favourite tree, three words to describe yourself and so on. We were a bit sceptical at first wondering how this would work but once we shared our separate answers words started to jump out and within 5 minutes we had the name Blue River Table."
How does the dining experience differ here than in a regular restaurant?
J & C: "The setting is pretty unique, as I said before Tetra is just such a lovely space, there something about wooden boats that has such a nice feel and she is so light. Then you’re on the water and not just moored against a dock, we cruise the beautiful Fal Estuary so the scenery is constantly changing. For the main course we tuck into one of the many beautiful creeks to anchor where you can soak up the surrounds as we pile the table with a feast of local produce and sharing platters all freshly prepared onboard."
Any tips for the home cook?
C: "Don’t be afraid to experiment & make mistakes."
J: "Use as much fresh ingredients as possible."
What is your favourite thing to do when not working?
C: "I enjoy sailing my boat both locally and further afield, discovering new places and having a beer with friends in the pub."
J: "I’ve got a sailing boat that I’m working on at the moment so I’m looking forward to getting out sailing on her. I’ve been into climbing over the last few years and there’s some great spots in Cornwall (as long as the weathers right). Teaching Pilates, definitely more of a hobby then a job. I also love cooking for friends and having friends cook for me."
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, we know you are both really busy. It has been lovely chatting with you both, and we wish you all the best.
What a unique and fabulous dining experience to have when staying here in Cornwall.
Blue River Table contact details:
Mylor Yacht Harbour, Mylor Churchtown, Falmouth TR11 5UF
Telephone: +44 1326 352011