I only got back from Cornwall last night but I already have the holiday blues. It was the exact kind of relaxation I had been waiting for since finishing my degree and it is one of my favourite places as I love being by the sea and all the cute towns we went to are my ideal kind of places. Yet normal life resumes and it is back to work tomorrow. We stayed in a cottage in the small village of Crantock, 10 minutes away from Newquay, but the village has its own beach which was lovely to wander down to. As we drove it was easy for us to get around. I hadn’t planned on writing about food on this blog but everywhere we ate had the perfect combination of location and good, local food. One of my favourite things to do on holiday is to find cute places to eat that are a little different to the places I usually go to at home. I much prefer baking to cooking, but I love the way food brings people together and we had some really nice evenings on holiday around the dinner table. I am also a vegetarian (but eat fish) and I always find food blogs from other veggies handy so I thought I would do the same.
The Hub, St Ives
We ate lunch here because it was right on the seafront and half the downstairs seating was undercover but with a view. We sat upstairs overlooking the harbour and luckily the weather held off. There were so many places to eat and drink alongside The Hub but this one looked nice and casual for a quick bite to eat.
What we ate: The menu consisted of mostly burgers and hot dogs and a couple of salads but the mac and cheese stood out to us all, I ate the regular and the boys chose one topped with pulled pork, and another topped with bacon and bleu cheese. They were a perfect sized portion for lunch, somewhere between a side and a main and they were beautifully creamy. The parmesan and breadcrumb topping was rich and really satisfying to crack into to find the pasta beneath.
The Stables, Fistral Beach
This was everything I would describe for my ideal dinner setting and menu for a casual evening with friends. The Stables is a chain in a few cities but the view here was unlike any other you could find. As you enter the restaurant and the whole facing wall is a window looking out onto the sea, I would recommend this as an option for dinner so you can watch the sunset. The seating is long benches from the front to the back of the restaurant. Although I don’t like cramped settings, I don’t actually mind sitting next to ‘strangers’ to eat as long as people are sensible and don’t sit right on top of your coat. As for food, The Stables is all about pizza, pies and cider. There are a couple of salads on the menu, but it’s pizza and pies all the way. There were a range of pizzas and as a veggie its always easy to add or take away toppings. They only offer one vegetarian option with the pies which I would say is the only area where there is room for improvement.
What we ate: We all went for pizza as it was too tempting and we intended to take what we couldn’t eat home. Oh my goodness these pizzas. I went for a Hawaiian and swapped the ham for avocado. The base was thin but not soggy, the tomato sauce was tangy and rich and the pineapple tasted super fresh. Unfortunately we didn’t have room for dessert but I wished I had because I definitely would have chosen either the toffee apple cheesecake or the brownie. We arrived around 8pm just as the sun was setting and stayed for a few hours as the atmosphere was so nice and we didn’t feel rushed to leave after we’d eaten.
Individual touches: Sometimes it’s the small things that restaurants do to make things unique or a bit easier and I loved this both as a guest and from the perspective of a waitress. To save the staff filling up tap waters and probably to save guests constantly asking for top ups, a load of glass bottles stood next to a large sink with two taps so you could simply get a jug of water for your table without having to find anyone to ask. I believe the menu at The Stables differs slightly depending on location as they use local ingredients and sell cider that is local to the area.
The Breaks, Tolcarne Beach Newquay
We had such a lovely evening here. The food was great and the location was beautiful. It was a little more expensive than what I usually spend on food but that is to be expected and I don’t really mind when you are having a good night out with friends. We had dinner here but it looked like it would be good for everything; for brunch and lunch or a quick coffee and there were also seats to sit round the bar. However the best tables are, of course, the ones lined along the window that overlook the beach – if you want one of these I would suggest booking and asking for one, and definitely book for any table on the weekend. We tried on a Saturday night and by 8pm they were fully booked for the rest of the night. They also had a booth with cushions in the corner for larger tables which looked really cosy.
What we ate: The menu was quite broad with a mix of seafood, veggie options and steaks and burgers. All of the starters were also fantastic if you like seafood, there was so much to choose from considering it was only a starters list and most of them could be made into larger portions to have as a main. For starters the boys had ribs and a mezze board with focaccia bread, goats cheese and olives, I went for king prawns in in a garlic and chilli butter and Ally ate calamari which was amazing – not the usual rings of calamari that you see everywhere and not at all chewy which usually puts me off ordering it and the batter was crispy.
For my main I went for vegetable kebabs, which were served with halloumi, coleslaw, salad and focaccia bread. I don’t often order something like this because I usually avoid ordering the kind of food my mum makes, as I just think I could eat this at home but I didn’t really fancy anything too heavy and it sounded like it had a bit of everything. The others went for steak which I really can’t comment on as I’ve never eaten one and this blog is supposed to be helping us veggies, a peri-peri chicken burger which was given ‘The Breaks’ twist by being served in a focaccia, and seafood linguine which I must admit gave me a bit of food envy. Had I been hungrier I would have absolutely gone for the Veggie Paella. I don’t usually have desserts out but we were all tempted so we went for The Breaks absolute mess, which included raspberries as well as strawberries and was just the right amount and wend very nicely with our fruity cocktails.
Individual touches: The decor. Everything in here was so pretty and the attention to detail was impressive. Each table had a candle and flowers and lets face it, fairy lights make everything look delightful. The service was also brilliant, our waitress was so friendly and welcoming.
Ice Cream from Pavilion Ice, Perranporth
All the flavours! This handmade ice-cream was so creamy and delicious and I always know somewhere is getting their flavours right when you can actually taste the salt in the salted caramel, which I went for along with a scoop of white chocolate and raspberry.
Cornish Pasties from The Cornish Bakehouse, Looe.
Obviously you can get Cornish pasties from absolutely everywhere in Cornwall and most streets are lined with two or three bakeries offering them. We went to this one in Looe, which is a chain in Cornwall but we went here because they had so many veggie alternatives to offer wheras the smaller bakeries just had the original steak or other meats. I went for mixed vegetable but they pretty much did any veggie and potato option you can think of and these were just what we needed while walking around on a rainy day.
Drinks at Tywarnhayle Inn, Perranporth
Cornwall is the home of Rattler cider, which is really light, crisp and refreshing – we actually went to Healey’s farm to see where it is made, so it was only right to drink this at every opportunity. The pub garden here was so cute – beach huts for seating says it all really. We spent a chilled couple of hours here before heading off to let the boys watch the football.
Drinks at The Watering Hole, Perranporth
The centre of the action in Perranporth seems to go on here and you can’t really go wrong with a bar that is right on the beach I suppose! They have a lot of outdoor seating right on the sand and inside is a typical kind of sports bar but with a really chilled beach ‘vibe’ (I hate that word but you know what I mean). Obviously the football was a disaster for England but Ally and I had a good enough night here downing gin and tonics while the boys shouted at the TV.
Thank you for reading this rather long blog – I hope you enjoyed it and have got some dining inspirations if you are in Cornwall! 🙂