Meet The Fish Supplier

Q&A with Julia Fox, Stevensons.

Given the location of our restaurants, it’s no surprise that fish is something of a specialty. The Tolcarne Inn is a stone’s throw from Newlyn’s famous port and fish market, where freshly landed hauls are bought and sold by the tonne every day. Ben Tunnicliffe Sennen Cove looks out over the Atlantic in the far western reaches of the UK; here guests dine on buckets of mussels, plates of oysters and our legendary fish and chips, as they soak up the sea air.

Behind the scenes, our relationships with local fish suppliers is crucial. Talking to our contacts at market every day helps to ensure that the quality and diversity of our seafood is second to none. At The Tolcarne, this daily conversation means an ever-changing blackboard of dishes, as our menu follows the ebb and flow of seasonal abundance. At Sennen, a core menu of family-favourites is supplemented by Ben’s Market Selection – a specials board designed for seafood lovers.

The majority of our seafood comes from Stevensons of Newlyn, who we have worked with since 2012. With the largest privately owned fleet in Britain, the team have full control over the entire process, from catching the fish, washing, icing and storage, and finally delivery to our back door!

Find out a bit more about where our fish comes from in this Q&A with Julia Fox, Commercial Manager at Stevensons.

Where does the majority of the fish we buy come from?

The vast majority of your fish through Newlyn market, of which our beam trawlers land 50% of the total quantity sold. We concentrate our efforts on prime fish in Area 7, beyond the 12 mile limit, and up to 130 miles away. At any one time our boats can have as many as 25 to 30 different species aboard (including Megrim, Monkfish, Dover Sole and Lemon Sole) ready to be landed and taken to Newlyn market.

Day boats bring about 15% of the volume landed to Newlyn market, and the remaining fish is landed from net boats and other trawlers.

Roughly how much fish do you sell every day?

On average, 15-20 tonnes of fish is sold per day at Newlyn market.

How long would it typically take from landing to being delivered to our kitchens?

The fish is delivered to Ben’s restaurants on the same day that it is sold at market.

How do you select fish for Ben’s restaurants?

We speak to Ben and his team on a daily basis, giving us a good working relationship and a strong understanding of what they require from us as their supplier. We buy specific fish species at Newlyn market for Ben, based on size, species, quality and seasonality. We know what he will like and always strive to go the extra mile for him. We have developed a thorough understanding of Ben’s fish specifications and customer needs by working closely with him and his team.

What measures do you take to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks?

Our beam trawlers use larger mesh sizes in excess of the legal minimum. This is to allow the release of any unwanted catch, and to ensure that smaller fish are not caught (so that they can grow and

breed). We adhere to strict quota limitations, and actively participate with research by CEFAS scientists.

To find out more about Stevensons, visit