Cornwall July 2009

Every year Pat, Tony, Tess and Dawn get to St. Agnes in Cornwall and every other year Chester and I tag along, this year Jenny and Rob also joined in. The drive to Cornwall can be difficult sometimes but all 3 cars did pretty well this year. Pat, Tony and Tess went down a day earlier than the rest of us so when we decided to have a traditional 1st stop at Padstow and get the ferry across the estuary to Rock for breakfast at the Blue Tomato they travelled back up the coast to join us. 

The Blue Tomato is a fancy Cafe/Restaurant which does food all day long in a very relaxed Cornish Surfing kind of way. Dawn, Pat and Tony had Toast and Porridge, Jenny and I had Smoked Salmon with scrambled eggs with Rob and Tess opting for the full Cornish Breakfast. The price worked out with drinks o around £15 per head and it was well worth it! The view across to Padstow is amazing with lots of activity in the waters at The Blue Tomato is very popular.

The weather all week was very mixed so we were either walking in the sun along the beautiful Cornish Cliffs or on the beach playing boules(Rob is the current champion but I must add by only a single point from G….) or we were in some hostelry, not a bad way to spend a week.

Two spots in St Agnes that need a special mention for good value and atmosphere are the St Agnes Hotel and the Tap House also in St Agnes. The St Agnes hotel is referred to by us as The Stagness and is a pub with rooms, the pub is very traditional and as a good mixture of locals and regular tourists like us. The beer is always good and the wine list is very reasonable, the food is good standard home made fare, Rob and Tony both agreed the Stagness Aggie Burger was very good but I must say the fresh mackerel fillets I had were excellent.

The Tap House is more contemporary with wooden floors and a little decked area which makes people spill out on to the street. The Cornish Rattler(Cider) was a favourite drink with the fellas thanks to Rob’s suggestion but I must add that at 7.5%  it can be interesting………. The food we had this time was very good and tremendous value, particular mention has to got the mixed mezze platter with meats, seafood, olives, breads etc as well as the Singapore spicy noodles, nachos with everything(guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, re fried beans(many Cornish pubs do Nachos and I reckon they all do them better than most places elsewhere for some reason perhaps it’s a surfer staple?)). Seafood linguine, Lemon sole, rib-eye steaks and pizza were all very good and at approx £40 per head all in, great atmosphere we will be back again.

We had a good Chinese meal in St Agnes but the name of the restaurant escapes me, I’m sure one of the others will add to comments.img_1267_1

 

 

 

 

 

Finer dining was had by Pat, Tony, Tess, Dawn and I at Fifteen in Watergate Bay. We went along for lunch and started with  round of drinks that included a mojito for D which was good but I had a “GT” which was Fifteen’s own spin on a G&T, can’t remember the twist but it was excellent.

Food wise the girls and I shared the Fifteen antipasto plate for three which was very good and more than ample for 4. Tony had the monkfish wrapped in pancetta and although as usual the dish was very well presented Tony was disappointed and felt the monkfish my have been under cooked.

Mains were a mixed bag, Tess had Pollock and was happy, D and I think Pat had the Rib-eye steaks and were very impressed. However Tony and I had Lamb, both dishes were well overcooked, Tony sent his back and I tried to salvage mine but in the end also returned it to the kitchen. The Manager was very apologetic, agreed with our assessment and even offered to replace every main course dish so we could eat together but as the girls had already tucked in we declined his offer.

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As far a desserts are concerned we shared a plate of cheeses which was very good. As it was lunch we only had one bottle of wine and 4 separate glasses between us. With the 2 offending Lamb dishes taken off the menu the bill came to round £50 per head which is a minimum standard for this type of establishment and despite this experience we will go back as previously we have not had any issues.

Fifteen behind us our next gastronomic experience was to a restaurant called Odds which is near Cubert. The restaurant is aptly named because as you arrive in the car park the only visible building is what looks like a small wooden posh tourist information shop. However talk bout being pleasantly surprised, as one enters and walks down the curved stairway you enter a stunning Eco-friendly wood and glass large room with spectacular views across moonscape moorland and out to sea, it has to be seen to be appreciated!

Odds is owned and run by a local farmer with almost all the produce sourced from his family’s farms or locally. The service was very friendly and the wine list was interesting and good value. The menu is quite simple but there is something for everybody. The quality of the dishes that were served was exceptional and I had to try Lamb(the proprietor had been told of my earlier experience at Fifteen and said if it was not good he would have to kick his brothers backside as the lambs were reared on his farm just a few miles away) no need to worry though because the Lamb was perfect. Other dishes included scallops,beef bourguignon,seabass and lemon sole.However the best was yet to come as Rob’s Cheesecake was “as good as he’s ever had”, my Pannacotta was “as good as I’ve ever had” Jenny had a crepe filled with strawberries icecream and clotted cream. Dawn and Pat both had liqueur coffees, we’ll have to have a rematch next year!!

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 Finally the day of Dawn’s birthday. The day was a washout as it rained all day and despite driving to Helston(nothing special)  then on to Praa Sands(Tony visited it once in his youth…) all you can say is nice beach Tony! !!!we ended up at a favourite Globetroffers haunt in Porthtowan yes you guessed it the Blue Bar. A couple of rounds didn’t’ quite make the sun shine but it did make us feel better. Once showered and changed we walked to 500 yards from our cottages in driving rain to Schooners Cafe Restaurant in Trevaunance Cove. Wet but undimmed we started with a glass or two of Champagne overlooking this beautiful cove and were mesmerised by the stunning stormy sea smashing on the rocks. Schooners is a very relaxed beach establishment that has been around a few years serving fresh seafood from a blackboard menu as well some more traditional simple menu dishes. We spotted some people tucking into a superb platter of lobster and lots of other sea delicacies but as with their paella it had t ordered 24 hours in advance. We were warned that if any particular seafood was required it is best to order as it can run out, which is what had happened with the mussels.

Starters included peeled prawns served with a peculiar thyme sorbet which didn’t really work but Tony and I had the fresh sardines which were the best I’ve had in England and I have to say were almost as good as Portugal.

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Mains well what can I say, the best Bouillabaisse even better than the ones consumed in France by a country mile!! Seafood ragout with Pasta according to Jenny was magnificent.The steaks were pretty good aswell.

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Desserts were  fabulous too but we can’t remember what they were because of the copious amounts of champagne already consumed. A  walk back home, you guessed it in the rain, all extremely impressed and happy. This is a big recommend to the Globetroffers.

Lastly I have to mention a special little favourite of the Gobetroffers and two visits were made, THE Chapel Porth beach hut. Yes the Bacon and Mushroom sandwiches are the best, yes the onion soup in a paper cup is the best and yes the Hedgehog Ice Creams are magic particularly after the fabulous 3 mile hike over the stunning cliffs to get there.

Cheers

 

G D and T

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