Dolly’s is an off the main drag experience just above the excellent Falmouth bookseller in Church Street. You will find, if you bother to enter the unassuming doorway and climb a few short steps a glorious Georgian dining room with slightly fraying the edges cornicing, old school chairs, scrubbed tables and vintage crockery. There is enough head height for a giraffe the room is so tall and airy. You might if you’re lucky on a Friday or Saturday evening find Hannah playing gently on the piano in the corner. Other nights Hannah can be found waiting on tables, which I’m told she does equally well. Dolly’s is a cornucopia of mismatched everything, a sort of teashop that also wants to be a tapas bar in the evenings, which incidentally it is and does better than many authentic ones that have tried to be nothing else.
We first tried out Dolly’s for a cup of tea and a slice of cake a few days earlier and were impressed by the laid back feel of the place. The cakes are home made. I particularly enjoyed an Earl Grey and Lime Scone with Clotted Cream and Jam. There is a wonderful old retainer of a dog that roams around the room in slow motion looking for scraps to eat. You are under strict instructions not to indulge, as the dog is getting larger and larger. No surprise really I think I would get larger and larger if I was there all day.
So we came back a few evenings later to try out the Tapas side of the business. While not really strictly authentic Tapas it was very good indeed. The menu is short always a good sign but not simple by any means. We tried in no particular order some superb Albondigas in a thick tomato sauce. These meatballs had a subtle kick that even my children didn’t notice but made them quite special. There was a Warm Crab with a Lemon Crumble supplied with a Hot Baguette. This was gooey, crunchy, and really yummy. An empty plate was achieved in a matter of moments.
Dolly popped over to make sure everything was as we wished. Yes she really is called Dolly and told me a tale about how she was once soft on a gentleman called Mr. Bird and had they united in matrimony then, well, you can work out what her new name would have been for yourself.
The tea lights were lit in a china cup and saucer and the light flickered across the room in a lazy shimmy.
And talking of united in matrimony a whole Baked Camembert stuffed with fresh herbs from Dolly’s garden was indeed a match made in heaven. Bubbling away still too hot to eat while we could only look and smell, when what we all wanted to do was to tuck in. It was gorgeous with little pockets of different herbs making themselves known bite by bite it felt like a journey through our very own aromatic tabletop garden. Another must mention was a plate of Roasted Figs with Parma Ham and Blue Cheese on Rye Bread. This was acidic with the sweet figs coming through and a great texture of strong bread and strongly recommended.
There were other dishes, seven in total, which seemed about right for the four of us. Also the wine selection was rather interesting I had a bottle of one of their wines of the month a Brazilian Tempranillo, which added an air of international intrigue to the whole proceedings.
This meal including soft drinks as well as the wine came in at £67. It was great food at a reasonable price and a splendid bunting adorned setting with charming staff. I urge you to climb the stairs next to the Falmouth bookseller and when you are at the top why not quote Jerry Herman’s famous musical and say ‘Hello Dolly’.
21 Church Street
Tel: 01326 218 400