Falmouth is bucking recent trends with the opening of a new business – a floating restaurant in Falmouth harbour.

Set to be open by mid-August, La Peniche is a vintage café and bistro with commanding views of the harbour.

The 38-metre long French barge will be berthed alongside the inside wall of North Quay which is part of the Custom House Quay complex. Diners will access the restaurant via a pontoon adjoining the Falmouth Haven marina.

Head chef, Luc Wallace, is new on the Cornish culinary scene but has plenty of experience cooking classical British and European fare. Wallace spent the last two years working at one of Oxford’s most celebrated eateries, The Magdalen Arms, and prior to that, The Kensington Arms owned by Josh Eggleton of Great British Menu fame.

The owners of the restaurant – Tony and Kate Elliott-Cannon – have been keen to realise their dream to bring a floating restaurant to Falmouth’s waterfront and worked closely with Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC), the statutory body responsible for managing Falmouth harbour, to find the best place to moor the vessel.

FHC chief executive, Mark Sansom, said: “We are delighted to welcome La Peniche to Falmouth harbour and support a new business, particularly in these difficult times. As well as boosting the vibrancy of North Quay, it will help in the recovery of Falmouth town centre by providing additional dining capacity and attracting visitors to the advantage of business generally.”

Town mayor, councillor Steve Eva, added: “Falmouth is the place to come and eat and we can now add a floating restaurant to that offer. With good dining and harbour views I am looking forward to visiting them. I am pleased that Tony and Kate have chosen to do this, and particularly at the present time, I am sure it will be a popular addition to our venues. Good luck to them.”

Before mooring in Falmouth, the 1938 Delta barge offered dining cruises along the waterways of Burgundy, France and spent its early years as a WW2 gunboat. The restaurant can seat up to 50 guests but will offer reduced capacity upon opening to enable social distancing.