One of the things I am most looking forward to when we move to Cornwall is the food. One of our shared familial loves is food – eating it, cooking it, and also picking it. We have started to experiment with growing it but that hasn’t worked so well for us yet, but something is clearly working as this past weekend when we went past a field with courgettes growing in lines, recognisable only by their flowers, Pip identified them correctly, noting “Papa grows them”…

I don’t think it is the most cost effective way of buying soft fruit but we’ve been several times to pick strawberries this summer and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Once we have space we are definitely going to try growing them – the delight in watching the pair of them greedily eating strawberries (and raspberries at my Dad’s allotment) in the evening sunshine will stay with me for a long time.

So, on our first weekend “living” in Cornwall, we wanted to cook our first meal. We spent the morning having coffee and going to the beach, and then a particularly lovely hour of naptime drinking tea in the car in a beach carpark, just sitting and doing nothing. And then, on the way home, visiting one of our favourite farm shops/pick your own place in North Cornwall: Trevathan Farm, St Endellion.

We first discovered Trevathan on our honeymoon where we picked strawberries and gooseberries – we made the gooseberries into compote which we ate with mackerel that we bought fresh in Port Isaac, grilled on the beach and then ate with new potatoes and the gooseberries, washed down with a Mulderbosch 2003 barrel aged Chardonnay. I can still taste it now… We didn’t have any fish this time, but a simple joint of beef, paired with the tastiest young carrots I’ve had in a long time, and buttery cornish potatoes. Followed with the freshly picked strawberries and some cream, it was a simple but delicious meal, all grown within mere miles of our house.

Trevathan is one of the less commercial places that I’ve picked fruit this summer, particularly compared with another place we go often just north of us in London where the strawberries are all grown on raised beds, there are lots of helpful signs and so on. At Trevathan, it’s a little more… relaxed. The strawberry beds aren’t even that obvious but that also makes it feel more natural. There is plenty of space for the children to play,  there is a cafe/restaurant right by the play area, so you can have tea and watch them. They also grow pick your own gooseberries, raspberries, red gooseberries, blackcurrants and they should have sweetcorn later in the summer, as well as a host of other vegetables that you can buy at the farm shop.

Parking is free and you can easily buy enough from the farm shop to cook for an entire weekend, as well as doing all your holiday souvenir shopping too – they stock Tregothnan tea, lots of ceramics, jewellery, kitchen items, tea towels, napkins, etc, as well as larder items, local cheeses including yarg, Davidstowe cheddar and St Endellion brie, local beer and honey, jams and preserves made from their own fruit, and Cornish ice cream.

Trevathan Farm, St Endellion, near Port Isaac, Cornwall, PL29 3TT

I’ve been waiting to write this post so long that I actually almost cannot believe I’m finally about to hit publish… I’ve started it over and over again in my head, before shelving it because things weren’t quite in line. Well, we’ve gone far enough down the path that I can tell you all… we’re leaving London and moving to Cornwall!

I don’t think anyone who knows us in real life or here will find it any surprise that we did finally decide to move, although we’ve talked about it for so long that a casual observer could have been forgiven for thinking we might never actually get around to it. London will always be our first love, but Cornwall has held a special place in our hearts for a long long time. It was in a grotty surf lodge in Newquay that M first told me he loved me, 15 years ago, on a university surf trip and where on another beach just along the north coast he asked me to marry him 6 years later. We return every summer and even spent our honeymoon first in Port Isaac and then in a yurt. It seemed fitting, therefore, to celebrate picking up the keys to our new place this weekend with a walk along the coast path around Port Isaac at sunset.

I’m sure there are plenty of questions to answer, so if you have any, let me know in the comments and I’ll come back with an update to answer them. We still have our London flat for a bit longer, and have started to move a few things down to our place in Cornwall, before completing the move properly once Pip breaks up from school. In the meantime, here’s a few photos from last weekend…


I highly recommend this walk, by the way. It packs some serious punch with very little outlay in terms of organisation or money and is extremely rewarding in views. Park in the New Road, Port Isaac car park which is located at the top of the village on the B2367 heading towards Port Gaverne. It is just underneath Restaurant Nathan Outlaw. Take the second entrance to the car park which is slightly lower – parking is free after 6pm – and the coast path is just there. If you follow the coast path along (it is flat) it will take you round the edge of the village with some beautiful views, before joining the main village road just before the Old School House. You can then follow the road down into the village to the harbour, have a drink in the pub, or sit on the beach etc, before following the path back to the car. The view of the sunset from both the beach and the coast path is simply stunning.

Hot sunshine, dramatic thunder and lightening, rain – we had it all this past weekend. Desperate for some Cornish air and a bit of a respite from London smog and needing some time out, we booked a last minute glamping trip to make the most of the longer evenings and to try out a new part of Cornwall. We normally stay on the North Cornish Coast but wanted to explore somewhere different and meet up with both new friends and family who were also heading down for half term. We decided to stay near Falmouth and get to know the bit of Cornwall which is just North of Falmouth but South of Truro, which I have vague memories of from sailing holidays as a teenager.

The yurt we stayed at was at Mylor Bridge and came complete with a camp fire where we did some fire cooking as well as some marshmallow roasting – there was also a wood burner in the yurt itself so we were pretty toasty all weekend despite a dramatic thunderstorm and heavy rain bringing the settled weather of the week before to a crashing end. We slept in a double bed with Pip on an airbed and Buster in his travel cot and by morning we were all glad of the extra blankets that we brought with us. Aside from blankets, we also had to go and acquire more kindling and matches and we were pleased we’d brought a light on a hook which made the late night washing up a lot easier.

Everything else was pretty much provided including a flushing loo (and loo paper) and shower with hot water in a tiny hut tucked away behind the yurt, washing up stand and station with bowl, liquid and tea towels. My only minor gripe was that there wasn’t an obvious drain and I didn’t love the fact that it wasn’t an eco liquid and I felt a bit of guilt at tipping all the bubbles into the undergrowth.

It was really easy to get to from the A39 and we were able to pull the car up to the side of the yurt and we also had exclusive use of the pitch – you could if you wished bring extra people with tents, which we thought would be rather fun – and I *almost* preferred it during the heavy rain, no doubt because I wasn’t the one that had to light the fire! It was extremely cosy sitting in the bed by the fire drinking coffee and planning where we would go for lunch and then dinner, listening to the rain drumming on the canvas with Pip and Buster sitting munching their cereal. The only downside of the easily accessible location is that we could hear passing cars during the day, and the Fal River festival evening celebrations during the evening were carried on the wind across to our site. It was definitely more peaceful than London but wasn’t *quite* in the middle of nowhere either.

We didn’t spend much time in Mylor Bridge itself although we did notice there was a kids playground and also an excellent village shop which was open every day.

Potager Garden

This time of year is the perfect time of year for exploring Cornwall’s many gardens – we tend to think of Cornwall as beaches only but the inland bits are super beautiful too. We headed to Potager Garden for coffee and an early lunch – it felt rather undiscovered but perhaps that was just down to the weather – the heavy rain had stopped but it wasn’t exactly sunny. We were very happy though in jumpers to wonder around the gardens and even played a spot of badminton with the children and took it in turns to drink coffee whilst the other followed the children around ensuring no-one ate anything they shouldn’t.

Potager Garden, between Falmouth and Constantine for breakfast, lunch, tea and coffee. Parking free, entry free – takes card payments.

Polzeath and Surf Side

I think Polzeath and Surf Side are currently in running for my favourite beach/cafe/restaurant combo but the great thing about Cornwall is that there are so many new places to be discovered and I look forward to doing that over the summer holiday. Nonetheless, I’ve been dreaming of this place since we left last summer and the wait did not disappoint. I’d also been following the St Enedoc’s Asparagus on Instagram all winter and was pretty pleased to make it down the last weekend of the season.

We drove up to the north coast from Falmouth whilst Buster was having his post lunch nap – somehow it sounds more tiresome than it was – it was an easy hour’s drive and we were soon winding our way across the Atlantic highway and dropping down into Polzeath. Pip assured me she wasn’t bothered about surfing or swimming so we didn’t change either of them into wetsuits. Naturally she ended up soaking wet and eating supper in just a hooded towelling dress* (which I highly recommend by the way, perfect for salty children who don’t like towels much) but she wasn’t bothered and being on the beach, neither was Surfside.

I know it is strictly speaking not in South Cornwall but I wanted to include it as much as to illustrate how accessible all of Cornwall is from each other really…

I think booking is pretty essential these days as the restaurant has gone a notch above the usual sort of beach side cafe, but there are tables outside and the drinks and coffee is great too. Takes card payments.

Surfside, on the beach, Polzeath, Cornwall, PL27 6TB

Enys Gardens

This was a delightful find, recommended by an Instagram friend as a quiet place where we could meet up with the kids and have a coffee whilst our various offspring played together and ate cake. I had major building and rose envy – we managed to time our visit perfectly so that we were the first in the garden and we left just as the storms approached so we drove off in driving rain having spent the previous two hours outside chatting.

Enys Gardens, just off A39 north of Penryn (between Truro and Falmouth) open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2pm – 5pm. Sundays: from 11am-5pm. CASH only including entrance fee which was £5 per adult and £2 for over 5s.

 

The Working Boat pub – Green Bank Hotel, Falmouth

We had Sunday lunch here with Pip’s cousin and M’s brother and his wife who were staying in Falmouth en route to their half term holiday further south. The views across the river to Flushing were beautiful even in the rain – this is an area which I love because we used to sail our boat down here some summers and we spent a weekend a couple of years ago on board my parent’s boat exploring Carrick Roads – they had sailed down from Portsmouth and we drove down to Falmouth to meet the boat. The lunch was good not exceptional but great value. We tried to get a table at the Ferryboat Inn at Helford but they wouldn’t take a booking for all 7 of us…

Maenporth Beach, Falmouth

Despite the rain, the kids were desperate for the beach. Being fans of the adage that there is no such thing as bad weather only inadequate clothing we togged up in wellies and waterproofs and headed for the nearest proper sandy beach to Falmouth – we have previously tried Gyllyngvase beach which is nearer to the town but less tempting in my mind as it is much more sedate. Maenporth is a little further but to my mind well worth it.

We should have learnt our lesson from the day before – all 3 kids despite wearing wellies and waterproofs to start with were straight in the sea and soon soaking wet and stripped to their pants. Buster ended up falling flat on his face because his wellies were so full of water he couldn’t lift his feet and had to be removed to the car to be dressed in pyjamas (a slight packing miscommunication meant we were woefully lacking in clean clothes for him – by the end of the weekend I was washing out things and drying them over the wood burner and the definition of clean took on a new meaning of simply not being wringing wet).

We rounded off the weekend with baked potatoes baked in the campfire with Cornish butter and Davidstow cheddar and Cornish yarg and then sat around toasting marshmallows until the light ebbed and we headed to bed.

Highly recommended.