The Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick beach near Portscatho

We had enjoyed watching the Caroline Quentin TV series on Cornwall and were fascinated by The Hidden Hut so we decided that we should try find it. Yes, it is well hidden and parking isn’t easy but boy is it worth the effort. At the end of a coastal path from the little village of Portscatho from one end or at the end of a long cul de sac from the even tinier village of Rosevine from the other is a beautiful little beach which is where you will find a picturesque wooden hut run by a couple of proper foodies. You sit at one of two long wooden communal tables with enormous benches or a few smaller steel tables. Almost everything on the chalk board menu, except the wonderful breads which are sourced locally, is home made.

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I had a smoked haddock chowder followed by a piece of orange and almond cake and D had spicy chicken and butternut squash tagine followed by mint chocolate chip ice cream. Luscombe juices and tea accompanied the food with the most wonderful view.

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You know we all talk about those gems on the med that are good value but serve the freshest simplest food and make a holiday, well here is as good as any in the UK.

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G&D

The Blue Tomato, Rock

When we first started to visit Cornwall over ten years ago, frankly, the accommodation and restaurants left a lot to be desired. The exception to this rule was either the couple of Michelin starred restaurants or the odd independent super beach cafe like The Blue Tomato at Rock. So it is that every year we take a couple of trips as it is still going and still superb. We do breakfast once and lunch once. This year for our breakfast visit we both had a fresh berry granola with yoghurt and honey which was fantastic.

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This was followed by the full Cornish for me and portobello mushrooms with walnut and blue cheese sauce on granary for D. Ranks as probably the best breakfast one can have but the view makes certain it is the best!

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Another day and the sun was shining across the estuary with views over to Padstow we couldn’t think of a better place to walk the dog and have lunch than Rock.
This time for lunch I had an unusual dish; crab rarebit with mixed salad, some would just go for crab and others just rarebit but I can honestly say that crab rarebit is the way forward! D had battered king prawns with a chilli dip and mixed salad, I pinched a couple and agreed they were perfect, crispy batter soft juicy hot prawns inside.
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And to finish with…..

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As always this place is hard to beat anyway BUT impossible to beat particularly if you have a dog…….check out the Doggie Menu!

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Don’t miss out you have to try it for great food, fantastic view, totally chilled.
G&D

Beach Hut Cafe, Watergate Bay.

We had arrived in Cornwall for a weeks holiday late on Friday night watching the sky become clearer and clearer showcasing a blood red moon, good omens for the week ahead?
We awoke on Sat morning to a gloriously sunny day and despite a chilly breeze we had a late breakfast in Padstow or should this place now be called PadStein? A foodie heaven nowadays with not only Rick Steins various establishments but highly acclaimed newcomers like Six now making the headlines. However for us a week on holiday in the UK means a week that is as much a holiday for The Lad (Chester our old dog) so we can only pick places that allow him to come too, Cornwall is great in this respect as I think it is probably the most dog friendly place in the UK.
So with the sun beaming we decided that a trip to Watergate Bay to watch the sunset was in order, unfortunately Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen does not take dogs but underneath it is a recommended Cafe Bar called The Beach Hut where the views are breathtaking. A huge beach, incoming tide with waves making the sea appear as if it is made of milk AND the sun setting slowly, pretty perfect. The informality of the place is deceptive as the bar is well stocked, service attentive and food pretty good. We were hungry so went for three courses, fish soup which comes with croutons on the side as well as grated cheese and a spicy mayo for me, grilled prawns with garlic mayo for D both were very tasty perfectly cooked. For mains I had mussels in Thai green sauce with D opting for the veggie option of Falafel burger. The mussels were fab but the burger didn’t quite work as a burger but the individual ingredients worked very well.

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We shared a marmalade sponge whilst the sun set the sea on fire. A cheeky cheap Rose went perfectly. For a basic lunch or dinner the specials fresh each day are displayed on the board.. we would definitely recommend this place and not only for the views.

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Which brings us on nicely to our second visit two days later, D had calamari to start and I went for a small nibble of anchovies these were followed by a Cornish bratwurst Po Boy plus pulled pork (not as big as you would think, just right) and a main of the grilled prawns for D. To finish D had a hot chocolate with the full marshmallow/jazzies extravaganza and I had a cognac. The sun put on a show again!

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G&D.

Casa Mia Chapel Allerton

As neighbourhoods go Chapel Allerton in Leeds is turning into one of those cosmopolitan enclaves of relaxed family leisure gathering that makes you feel good. Just recently we had two impromptu pop ins to Casa Mia followed by Easter Sunday Lunch with “the kids”. Six of of us sat in a place full of families enjoying a chilled out afternoon it was quite heart warming.
Antipasto, ribs, black pasta, pizza…

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Lots of vino followed by desserts from the fantastic display in the chiller meant we were in there nattering away for hours. Just before we called it a day we were treated with an alcoholic ice cream delight with Grappa/Limencello on the house.

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A true neighbourhood needs these types of anchors surrounded by lots of independents and Chapel Allerton is amongst the best in Leeds. Casa Mia is good value, great food and attentive service…
G&D.

The Loaf – Crich, Derbyshire

the-loaf

There are not many places where you get welcomed as a friend, eat delicious food, but also get to take home baking equipment and bread making advice.

After my last post about Jeera in Crich, I promised to review The Loaf on our next visit to pizza night. It was only half way through eating my Capricciosa that I remembered this, so apologies for the rather rushed phone photos. Not much gets between me and my food.

Other than special events like Storytelling nights or Children in Need, The Loaf only opens as a pizza restaurant on Wednesday’s, but it’s a real midweek bonus if you remember to book one of the two sittings. The pizzas are baked in the ovens that are used to bake gorgeous bread for the cafe, and various other outlets, during the day. They have a perfect thin, slightly chewy crust and a traditional selection of toppings. The dessert options are delicious too, tonight we shared the lemon cheesecake and apple frangipane tart. There is no alcohol licence so you need to take your own wine if you fancy a glass, but Ed especially likes their coffee and always finishes the evening with an Americano.

To go along with their bread baking classes various baking accoutrements are now on sale. So tonight I have come home with a traditional cane proving basket, a grignette (a blade for slashing the dough) and a reclaimed oven stone for baking on. I also got a some invaluable advice on how to use it all.

So, Pizza Night is well worth a visit…and I promise that my next post will be a little farther afield than ‘right on my doorstep’.

David St Cafe Breakfast Quest

D, Luke and I decided to continue the Best Breakfast in Leeds Quest on behalf of Phil by dropping in for Brekki at the David St Cafe last Saturday. Unfortunately we forgot to take our camera so no pics, sorry. The style of the Cafe was modern, airy, glass and wood. All meals and sandwiches are on the blackboards, newspapers are supplied. The blackboard is mostly traditional variations. Luke and I opted for the  “Giant Breakfast” at £5 and D had the “Breakfast” at £4.5o the difference being an extra egg and sausage. Tea/Coffee and 3 slices of toast are included with the tomatoes(tinned), beans, bacon, sausage, fried egg and fried bread. Value and service was super but the quality as you would expect at that price was certainly not Harvey Nicks but the Cafe was full of hard working hungry types.  

G&D

Cafe Atlanta, Pudsey 16-09-09

Whilst waiting to pick Chester up from the doggy parlour(bath time) and my visit to the dentist….we had an hour to spare so we ventured into Pudsey looking for somewhere to have a quick sandwich.

Cafe Atlanta was packed but we managed to squeeze in on a corner table. After viewing the menu of baked potatoes with various filling, sandwich fillings on different breads and a specials board, G decided on a hotdog with onions and homemade chips and I opted for the Chicken fajita wrap served with salad,tortillas, salsa and sour cream all very reasonably priced. Drinks were promptly brought to the table by a friendly, smiling lady who was rushed off her feet but did not seem to mind. We sat and read the papers until our food arrived . The dishes were well presented and tasted great, just what we needed.

Once we had finished, our plates were removed and we sat and watched the world go by noticing that the staff were busy cleaning tables and sweeping up after the rush of lunchtime(on leaving we noticed an award in the window for cleanliness) and we reflected on a most unexpected pleasant lunch..If you are in Pudsey, worth a visit…(at the moment also open Sun morning 10am- 1pm)

D.