Cornwall on Newstalk March 6th 2019 The Hard Shoulder
Are you looking for somewhere to go to for a lovely weekend, not too far from home? Cornwall has kept its olde world charm and quaint architecture and blended it into everyday life. With little traffic and no high rise buildings or major shopping stores, explore a beautiful part of the English countryside feeling you have travelled back in time.
We flew to Cornwall through Newquay Airport with Aer Lingus – operated by Stobart Air and hired a car from Hertz at the airport. In summer time the roads purportedly get busy but we found the countryside a breeze to drive around in spring.http://www.hertz.ie
Aer Lingus Regional fly year-round from Dublin to Cornwall Airport Newquay, daily in summer, and operate a seasonal service from Cork to Cornwall Airport Newquay starting in May, and that is twice a week (on Weds and Sats). I found fares from €29.99 each way online Book at aerlingus.com
We stayed at the Cornwall Hotel, Spa and Estate in St Austell, an exquisite 4* hotel close to sandy beaches and all attractions north Cornwall has to offer. The hotel has a swimming pool, spa, fitness centre with a nice bar and great food served in the restaurant and lovely staff ready to accommodate visitors. The Breakfasts will fill you for the day. http://www.thecornwall.comIt’s also very close to Charlestown, a charming harbour town which is home to two tall ships that act as set during the filming of Poldark based on the novels of Winston Graham. If that isn’t swashbuckling enough for you, then be prepared to be whisked away to the time of pirates at the Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor, as written about in Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name.
Enjoy some time at Fowey, pronounced Foy like joy, and where Du Maurier lived at Menabilly. Unfortunately it is privately owned and impossible to even go down the drive to see it. The gate lodge was occupied by a twitching curtain and a big sign on the gate saying ‘beware of the bull’. It certainly deterred us from venturing further but i did wonder if Mrs Davers might have been hiding behind the curtain! This grand house was the inspiration for Manderlay etched into literary fame by the opening lines from the book and Hitchcock movie, Rebecca.
The town of Fowey is lovely to wander around and it play host to a literary festival each year in May.
We stopped by in Kittows for one of their famous Cornish pasties. This family of fifth generation butchers who will deliver their speciality pasties country wide. ‘Situated next to the church in the centre of Fowey you will find our shop stocked with a wide range of local produce. We have a meat counter, extensive cheese range, fresh fruit and veg, fresh bread, pasties, cooked meat and jams. We have a fantastic range of home baked pies, quiches and cakes all made on our farm by Jane.’
It’s impossible to leave Padstow on the north western side of Cornwall without bumping into one of Rick Stein’s establishments. He houses cafes and coffee and art shops that are filled with his wife Jane’s lovely pottery and his own delicacies. We stopped by at his cookery school on the harbour front next to the fishing vessels that bring ingredients straight to the table of his restaurants. A full day course on Asian street food costs £198 but is a once in a lifetime experience. Demonstrations start from £35 for more information see
Here head chef Nick Evans tried to teach us the delicacies of cooking Asian street food. He did manage to educate us in the finer details of removing the poop shoot of a prawn and I can safely say that I can now cook garlic so that it is nice and crunchy but not over cooked. I also can make a pancake without using eggs but that recipe involved some of my own creative embellishing that Rick would be appalled by. Thankfully Nick had more patience with me. We were joined by a group of ten others and the entire day was a delight from start to finish as demonstrations were clear and we didn’t have to prepare our own ingredients – we also got away without having to wash up!https://www.rickstein.com/school/
If you’re a fan of Doc Martin then you will have to travel to Port Isaac to see where it is filmed but it is little wonder that so many books and stories are filmed in this part of the world where the coast line is laced with interesting little ports and coves.
- The Scarlet hotel is an eco hotel for adults only with stunning cliff and sea views. This hotel offers outdoor hot tubs and spa, relaxation lounges, swimming pool and areas where you can switch off and simply unwind on your journey to relax and recharge your batteries. Beautiful artefacts decorate the building and with a balcony veranda open to the sea it is perfect spot to enjoy some afternoon tea. Website link is below: https://www.scarlethotel.co.uk
- The lead in rate for the Scarlet is £240 on a bed and breakfast basis, with two sharing a Just Right room.
Afternoon tea is priced at £25 per person, and £37 with champagne. I have included a link HERE to further details which includes a sample menu
The Eden Project is a must for all visitors to Cornwall. It is nestled in a huge crater left behind after the land was a derelict clay pit and now houses in biomes the largest rainforest’s in captivity, amazing plants, exhibitions, zip wire, and restaurants. There is something here for all ages and the aim is to connect with everyone and work towards a better future. This time of year ice skating is provided in on of the purpose built arenas and year round there are concerts and exhibitions. The sensory art exhibition is housed in some of the biomes and hugely interactive and great with kids.
This educational centre really will entertain a family for a full day and require return visits. https://www.edenproject.com/
Admission: Adults £25 if bought in advance on website, children £12.60 (5 AND OVER, UNDER 5 ARE FREE)
Jamie Oliver’s fifteen on Watergate Bay offers a stunning view of the bay and the waves crashing in as you eat some amazing food at a respectable price and maybe a cocktail or two to indulge as you admire the beautiful setting next to your fellow diners. Based on the model of Jamie’s first restaurant in London where he took 15 young people and transformed their lives by teaching them to work in a commercial kitchen. They use on the local ingredients and the menus are all seasonal.The tasting menu will set you back £68 but you will relish the flavour of the 40 day aged beef for a long time to come. Cocktails also carry the local flavours and are especially delicious. Of course being set in the kite surfers paradise means that it attracts the trendiest crowd of course!
Head Chef Adam Banks works closely with trusted local suppliers whose passion and dedication to growing and rearing high quality produce is celebrated in the innovative dishes he creates. Since his arrival in May 2017, Adam’s considered approach to cooking and nose to tail ethos has been inspiring our chefs to make the most of this produce, whilst encouraging them to extend the seasons by fermenting, pickling, preserving and clever use of every edible part of our beautiful ingredients.https://www.fifteencornwall.co.uk/
Importantly all the profits from the restaurant go to the Cornwall Food Foundation.
For all the information you need see www.visitcornwall.com