A Taste of Cornwall
Well well well, this post has certainly been a long time coming! And unfortunately for no good reason! I was trying to make the photos look super impressive and arty but…I’m just not good at that kind of thing, so instead this is going to be a simple “food porn” post with lots of pictures for you to look at, bare and beautiful, with no editing at all.
I’ll intersperse some of the groups of pictures with my comments and anecdotes/reviews from the holiday. Enjoy!
Cornwall – perhaps my favourite place on the planet! (Though it could be improved greatly by only being 20mins from the centre of London, haha.)
Cornwall has so much to offer and as a result my family and I have been visiting the county for years. I’ve been on almost every beach, and round every national park, I’ve been to Flambards multiple times as well as the Dairy and Cider farms, Poldark mine and much much more! But…I still feel like there’s so much more to explore!
This year for me, unsurprisingly it was all about the food. Despite looking a little bit crazy, I took plenty of pictures of what I scoffed, so here is my holiday, in food. A taste of Cornwall.
Firstly, my family has a rather special little tradition which unsurprisingly involves food, but most excitingly for me, involves breakfast! Now I NEVER eat breakfast, and I mean never, except when I’ve been in a car for 7 hours and have just arrived in Cornwall…
Because my hometown is so far away from Cornwall, our plan of action is always to drive through the night. We leave home at roughly 1:30am, drive for 6-7 hours and arrive in the town of Perranporth sometime after 7:30am a little tired and very hungry.
Perranporth is always our first stopping point, and for one very good reason known as The Dolphin Cafe. Bright blue, and adorned with all sorts of dolphin paraphernalia, the Dolphin open super early so that holiday makers like ourselves can have the best fry up Cornwall has to offer, complete with stunning views of Perranporth beach.
It really is the best way to start a holiday.
This next batch of photos comes from a rather lovely pub which is perched right on the headland at West Pentire overlooking Crantock beach and out to sea. The pub is steeped in history, with plenty of smugglers stories to tell!
Crantock is by far our favourite part of Cornwall, and it has our favourite beach, so we were extremely excited to be staying just a cliff walk away, right next to the Bowgie Inn. We’ve eaten (and drunk) here many a time, so it seemed fitting we came here for our first nights dinner.
Here you can see the smoked seafood salad I enjoyed. It included mackerel, salmon trout and mussels fresh from the smokehouse at St Mawes alongside salad leaves, beetroot, and a homemade potato salad, coleslaw and vinaigrette!
One of the things I had hoped to do on holiday was go on some sort of foraging walk or even a mini course but unfortunately there was just too much to fit in! However, we did go for a lovely early morning walk along the headland of West Pentire round to Porth Joke (Polly Joke to the locals) where I saw a number of yummy edibles along the way, including blackberries, dandelions and mushrooms!
(Don’t panic, I know nothing about mushrooms and definitely didn’t try any, and I don’t recommend you do unless you are foraging with a professional!)
After feeling rather good about ourselves after our brisk morning walk, we ruined it by indulging in “Breakfast Cream Tea” – something which became all too much of a common occurrence!
I’ve mentioned Crantock a few times already in this post and I really can’t tell you just how much I love this place! My parents, and I, all hope to retire to the little village and I intend to have my ashes scattered there! (I don’t care that that’s a rather morbid thought for a 21yr old!!!) I really really love it here!
One of the things that has captured my imagination since a little girl is the little hut at the base of one of the cliffs.
Crantock beach is made up of two key components really: a large flat beach where the sea stretches out for miles and scoots across the sand at lightning speed when the tide comes in, and the tidal river that flows into it. This tidal river is a wonderful place to play and rock-pool when you’re little as it is shallow enough to play and paddle in, without the fear of the big scary Cornish waves. It’s along this river where you will also find a little hut.
Inside the hut, are lots of fun things, including buckets, spades, crabbing lines etc, but there are also live crabs and lobsters caught in that very same river which you can buy! A cafe further up the cliff also offers a lobster salad which you can order 2 hours in advance.
A trip to Crantock is not complete without going to visit the lobsters and crabs, and if I’m lucky Dad will treat us to one! Though sadly, this year was not one of those years. As we were only staying for a week it soon got dropped off of the things to do. But at least I got to go and visit them!
OH! I nearly forgot to add! If you ever visit the Nequay/Crantock area of Cornwall, it is COMPULSORY that you visit the brilliantly named “A salt and battery” fish and chip shop in Cubert (just a short drive up the road) and eat it on Crantock beach watching the tide come in. I highly recommend the breaded place and mushy peas.
Now back to the review side of this post! Jon and I were fortunate enough to get an evening to ourselves one day in the week after a rather unfortunate incident involving my Dad letting his battery run flat, so we decided to go to one of the most talked about restaurants in the area – The Smuggler’s Den Inn. It most certainly isn’t your average pub grub, and I’m glad we didn’t dismiss it early on in our quest for a romantic date.
Jon had the Mushroom soup which was perfect – the perfect texture, perfectly mushroomy, and not too filling. He followed this with a vegetarian gallete made with Cornish cheese. This was a little too rich for him and the portion size was quite large (which I know people don’t usually complain about…but it came with a large bowl of rosemary potatoes…unnecessary but delicious). Other than that was delicious! I thought it was a really vibrant dish (of course I stole a mouthful or two) and didn’t find it too rich at all, but I guess everyone has different tastes.
I on the other hand had a lovely hog’s pudding salad with home-made croutons. My only complaint was that the mustard dressing had been “pre-drizzled” so I couldn’t control the quantities. My main course was pork belly with chantenay carrots, green beans, butter and herb potatoes and gravy. I loved every mouthful! The portion was perfect for me, and although we didn’t have pudding as planned I left feeling satisfied. The pork itself was cooked to perfection and I would go back to the restaurant again just to have a piece of that pork belly. I haven’t had pork belly like it before and certainly haven’t had anything like it since!
This is another MUST SEE item on my taste of Cornwall list.
Mid-week we visited the fishing village of Looe. Now for me, a holiday isn’t a holiday if I haven’t been on a boat – it doesn’t matter whether I’m abroad or in this country – I must have a day trip on a boat! Even better if it involves fishing! The plan was to go on a mackerel fishing trip and catch our dinner, a real “back to nature” trip, although it didn’t quite go like that…
After a fiasco a few years earlier when Jon and my sister made us miss our boat trip, the first thing we did when we got to Looe was to put our name down on a boat, and not just any boat, a boat named after me. At a quarter past 2 we arrived, ready to be the first on board at half past. We waited and waited but the boat never came…we walked up and down the harbour wall wondering what to do, when we saw the chalk board, fallen over on the floor that said the boat was to leave FROM THE BEACH. My how we ran! You should’ve seen my poor Dad! I sprinted ahead and he jogged behind as best he could. Fortunately there was still space and we hopped on.
After about 20minutes of fishing we had our first catch! However the fish had somehow managed to get caught on both my dad and my rod! As we tried to untangle the fish unfortunately got away.
20minutes later and I thought I’d got another catch. As I reeled it in a sneaky seagull came down and snatched it from me!
We waited and we waited. Everyone else seemed to be catching. Including a 6 year old little girl who could barely hold the child sized rod.
Eventually Dad caught a second fish AND landed it. YAY! Our first fish for the BBQ! Unfortunately that was the last of what we caught. But there were plenty of other people who caught some mackerel. One guy even caught a bass! At the end of the trip there was enough for one each so we didn’t go empty handed.
Still, if we were going to feed five of us, we’d have to stop off at the fish mongers!
There are a million other things I’m sure I could say about my holiday in Cornwall and all the delicious things I ate, but I want to leave you with three final thoughts.
1. Fresh cockles – if you can get them on the Cornish coast then do! They make the perfect light lunch with a few splashes of vinegar and a crack of black pepper.
2. Apple juice – now I’m no stranger to good old Cornish scrumpy. I’ve certainly had my fair share on my visits to Healy’s Cider Farm, home of Rattler! BUT, does everything always have to be about alcohol? There are plenty of orchards that offer delicious apple juice, so give some a try!
3. Saffron loaf – hands up if you’ve never eaten a Cornish pasty? I thought as much! But who’s tried Saffron Loaf? The lesser well known traditional Cornish fare. I’m yet to get to grips with the perfect authentic recipe, in the meantime, if you’re in the Cornwall region I recommend you give some a go!
And that concludes my taste of Conrwall! Enjoy.