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Eating out in St Ives –The Digey Food Room

Conor Fletcher

Should you be out and about in St Ives during the hours of nine and five and fancy a bite to eat after a morning parsing through the shops along Fore Street why not pay a visit to the Digey Food Room, a quaint little café and luxury food store in the midst of St Ives’ bustling streets.

Just minutes away from the Sail Lofts luxury apartments and a quick deviation off of Fore Street you have a street named The Digey. The meaning of the name is unclear but it is speculated it derived from the name Dye Chy, meaning dye house, in reference to the dyeing of sails for local boats. But back on point, the Digey Food Room is a wonderful little café just far enough from the streets that you don’t get the busy traffic of people through the town but close enough to stop by for a quick drink, a slice of cake or more.

Every so often however the Digey opens its doors for a late night special, a set-menu delight for those in the know. A few weeks back myself and the rest of the Sail Lofts team went along for a one-off Italian night, and having never been there before I literally had no idea what to expect. That evening however I left immensely satisfied both the quality of food and the way the Digey, along with it’s style and atmosphere felt so perfectly nestled in St Ives.

With a set menu of course there's always the trepidation that what you choose isn’t going to be something you’re going to like. Graciously the Digey offered myself and another gluten free colleague suitable pasta so I ordered the Spaghetti Fruitti di Mare. Having never had shellfish before, in particular mussels and clams, I had the overbearing caution as to what it would be like with countless shellfish horror stories of course playing on repeat in the back of my mind. For starters however I was very excited as I ordered gluten free Ortiz Tuna & Tomato Bruschetta, which when it came out looked so delicious that I forgot to take a photo (sincere apologies for this, but take it as a sign of the quality of food on offer). The interior of the Digey is incredibly unique; first and foremost it is a café and deli, the tables are laid out aside the window overlooking the side streets, but it’s the interior that gives the Digey it’s character. It looks and feels homely, at least to me, and it fits ever so well with St Ives. Coupling this alongside the luxurious ingredients on offer there's no better place to enjoy a meal out with an essence of Cornwall.

So on to the main event with which, despite my hesitancy, I was pleasantly surprised with. Overjoyed that the pasta would be gluten free first heeded some of my worry but when the meal was set before me I overcame my initial fears and simply tried it. The fruits of the sea did not disappoint and certainly lived up to the name, the dish was complemented with tomatoes and basil that brought a nice sweet flair to the seafood dish.

Finally was the dessert, again exceeding my expectations as a gluten free diner as the team at the Digey provided a Tarte Au Citron, something I hadn’t had since my wane off wheat has taken place. It was a perfect conclusion to my meal, deliciously creamy with the sharp and refreshing burst of lemon. Served in a glass ramekin with a quenelle of vanilla ice cream the dish was an excellent way to end the evening.

Although it must be said, experiences like this are down to a bit of luck and chance; (The Digey doesn’t always offer an evening menu as most of the time they open between nine and five) still, there is no place I would recommend more if you’re looking for both an authentic meal and one that will surprise you. Despite living my entire life in this county there has and will always be restaurants that take me by surprise, ones that go unnoticed that offer a slice of something special. If you’re looking for a way to spend your days or evenings out whilst staying in the Sail Lofts luxury apartments in St Ives, look no further than the Digey Food Room, believe me you won’t be disappointed.