Halsetown is a village just one mile west of St Ives in Cornwall. It was an industrial village planned by the solicitor and politician James Halse MP, built in the 1830s. There was a tin mine nearby and also a ropeworks. The 80 or so granite cottages accommodated the workers. In 1876 the population of Halsetown is recorded as 1,810 people, whilst today a mere 154 names appear on the electoral register. In 1831 the Halsetown Inn was built, it was to become very popular with local miners. The Inn probably doesn’t look so different now than it did back then!
In 2012, the women behind Blas Burgerworks together with Aussie chef Ange Baxter created the all new Halsetown Inn. Their aim is to create a truly original take on pub classics. As with Blas, emphasis is placed on provenance and sustainability. They understand vegan requirements, and with some warning, are happy to accommodate. I phoned ahead and arranged my vegan meal with them. Coincidentally it was Mother’s Day so we were lucky to get in at short notice. On arriving they checked ‘the vegan’ was present and I was quickly talked through what they were cooking for me. They made me a vegetable fritter and some of the veggies (carrots and parsnips) were cooked separately for me (I’m guessing the regular ones were cooked in butter), they also made veggie gravy. Our food arrived and everyone was very happy. A nice addition was little roasted beetroots. I’ve never had them in a roast dinner before. The roast potatoes – the acid test of a good roast dinner – were very nice. All in all, it was a success! For dessert they made banana fritters, pineapple salsa and a pale green sorbet (not quite sure what the flavour was but it was very refreshing). The fritters were cooked very well – crispy! We had a nice bottle of house red and an espresso. The bill for six of us was just over £20 a head (dinners are £12 and dessert £6). It’s a nice friendly pub, with a relaxed atmosphere. The staff are very helpful and although they are clearly very busy during the lunchtime period, they are friendly and happy to help. I’ll be back.