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Food In Cornwall

Where to find a good coffee

November 25, 2017 No Comments

Have you heard the news? Three coffee’s a day are good for your health, that’s happy news for an office of coffee drinkers.

Here are a few of our favourite places for coffee near us:

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Espressini

Taking coffee loving to another level, choose from different beans and get a yummy cake to match.

Potager

Sit by the log burner in the greenhouse and sip on your delicious coffee. The perfect place to read the paper or catch up with friends.

Provedore

Delicious coffee in a lovely cosy café, try their latte bowl.

Wild Vibes

Based on the edge of Argal Reservoir, great coffee and views go hand in hand. This is also a great spot for a dog walk.

Cornish Maid

For a hearty Cornish welcome visit Sarah at the maid. Locally made cakes and coffee made with love.

And if you want to make some good coffee at home, why not buy some locally roasted Yallah coffee beans from just down the road.

Can You Have An All Cornish Beach BBQ?

September 12, 2017 No Comments

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Sumptuous burgers, sizzling sausages, freshly caught mackerel combined with homemade salads and sandy feet make for the perfect Cornish BBQ. Is it possible to have a delicious al fresco meal with family and friends that’s completely Cornish? Let’s just say, we were very keen to find out…..all in the name of research of course!

Cooking outdoors is a practice truly suited to Cornwall and it feels like the most natural thing in the world to be whipping up even the most basic of offerings in this environment. Surrounded by the freshest seafood, crops and livestock, Cornish residents and visitors have the best of all three at their fingertips. We’ve taken some time to find the best local suppliers to ensure a truly Cornish experience, one you can enjoy with loved ones and friends. Let’s face it, life doesn’t get much better than cooking to the sound of the waves rolling in, the spellbinding sight of a golden, fiery sun setting and the smoky smell of a crackling fire.

With supermarkets stocked with German beef burgers and sausages from Northumberland, where do you start if you want to experience true Cornish cuisine?  Here’s our helpful guide to dazzle your taste buds and expand your mind of what Cornwall has to offer.

For your meat, Falmouth butchers Myatts can satisfy all of your BBQ requirements, or Baileys Country Store stock an impressive selection of local free-range meats. The Cornish Food Box Company is known as the ‘Cornish’ supermarket, they work with more than 150 local farmers and producers so you can be guaranteed your food has truly been raised or grown locally and is of the highest quality. Their convenient BBQ Boxes (which can be delivered to your door if required) make outdoor dining easy and hassle free and are filled with the best of Cornish meat, salads and sauces. Now, where are those matches…

When in Cornwall, it would be a crime to not consider fish or seafood as part of your outdoor feast!  Fish and smoke go together fantastically well and smoking your own fish is not as complicated as you might think. Procure a whole trout or side of salmon and some oak chips and cook like the caveman you always knew you were. If you’re feeling fancy, slice a whole fish open and stuff with lemon, dill and pepper.

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If you want tasty, seasonal fish during the summer months, mackerel is abundant around the Falmouth coastline, sometimes literally jumping out of the water! This is one of the best and most popular Cornish seafood choices – sustainable, delicious, easy to cook and very good for you. Stocks are healthy and well monitored and catching mackerel is unbelievably easy. Children will enjoy hauling them from the sea with hand lines.We recommend Falmouth Fishing Trips from Custom House Quay for all the family or hire a Kayak from Falmouth Surf School on Maenporth beach for a more solitary experience. For other varieties of fish, check out our local friends Seaborne Fish., they have a shop in Penryn or will happily deliver to you. Their range of locally caught seafood is awesome – from seabass to scallops, you’ll find something just right to sizzle on the barbie.

It is common knowledge that barbecues are great for meat eaters, but charcoal or fire does wondrous things to vegetables too, if you get the technique right. What you want is that lovely charring along the bars – it looks amazing, and tastes even better. This summer we’ve discovered the joys of large flat mushrooms with a dash of balsamic and charred sweet long red peppers amazing. All your Cornish vegetables for salads and dips can be sourced from The Natural Store, Falmouth, who deliver too. Or it’s quite likely to see local growers selling their produce outside their houses within the village of Mawnan Smith, you can’t get more local than that!

Hot sauce goes well with meats and salads so take a look at Volcano sauces who sell their incredibly zingy homemade sauces from Avenue road. If you’re not keen on spicy food Halzephron Herb Farm chutneys and pickles are superb and made on a weekly basis so they’ll change depending on what’s in season.

Many people enjoy a cold lager with a barbie. Popping open a frosty can to go with your grilled goods seems like a no-brainer, but which beer or cider to choose? Healeys Cyder Farm is Cornwall’s longest standing cider producer. Their famous Rattler is available in pubs and restaurants throughout the country, and has recently expanded nationally in the supermarkets.  Award-winning Skinners Brewery is hands down the best producer of bottled beer in Cornwall. With their quirky names such as ‘Penny Come Quick’, ‘Cornish Knocker’ and Cornish folklore star ‘Betty Stoggs’ you’ll find a mouth-watering ale to complement your food.

When pairing wine with barbeques, you can’t really go wrong with a crisp, crowd-pleasing Sauvignon, or for some fizz, a sparkling Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut or a non-alcoholic Cornish Elderflower presse by Polgoon will always rise to the occasion.

Of course this will all need to be accompanied by some fresh sourdough bread from the award winning Stones Bakery on the High Street which has taken a prominent place in Falmouth’s foodie revolution. Lightly toast it on your BBQ, a little bit more effort, but well worth it!

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So with the food and drink sorted, if you are unsure of how to conduct the perfect Cornish BBQ and in need of some guidance, here are our top tips:

-Find the perfect beach BBQ destination. We highly recommend Grebe, Durgan or Maenporth beach for the best possible chance of extending the sunshine for as long as possible. These beaches will provide a backdrop and silhouette to absorb and reminisce over for years to come.

-Keep an eye on the weather. Make sure you check the forecast a couple of days ahead so you can plan where you go, what to take and what time to get the coals going. Remember that Cornwall can have four seasons in one day and even 4 seasons on three coasts!

-Prepare your ingredients and gear in advance. Think the meal through from start to finish and you will begin to think of things to pack that you may have forgotten in a rush. Think sauces, salads, buns and utensils.

-Set your BBQ up in an area with some shelter from the wind. The local beaches we have recommended above, have the most wonderful (and practical) stones and pebbles to prop up your barbie and provide some shelter.

-At the risk of teaching granny to suck eggs….let the coals turn grey with no flames before cooking. Trying to cook with a flame is a sure route to burnt outsides and raw insides. Better known as salmonella poisoning.

-Keep one eye on the skies…. Seagulls pose the ultimate threat to your chipolatas and have developed quite daring dive-bombing techniques to snaffle your snags !

-Other essentials would include: bin liners, paper towels, cool bag with ice packs and tin foil.

-Lastly, leave the beach as if you were never there. It’s so important that we stress this. There’s nothing worse than seeing litter in the beautiful Cornish coves and it can have a real detrimental effect on the wildlife and people’s enjoyment of these places. Did you know that sand absorbs heat so much so that if you cheekily buried your hot coals in the sand – in a few hours people would seriously burn their feet walking over the top?

 

Get fired up, it’s grilling time! So here you have it, a guide to the perfect Cornish Beach BBQ. Let us know how you got on and send us your snaps. Have you got any local suppliers to add or perhaps a recipe you think make a barbeque extra special?

 

 

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Posted in: Food In Cornwall

Afternoon Tea in Cornwall

August 18, 2017 No Comments

Afternoon tea is all the rage these days, birthdays, hen do’s or just your average Friday. There is nothing like a relaxing afternoon tea followed by a dip in an outdoor hot tub with a view…

We’re celebrating Afternoon Tea Week by researching the best options around.

Here are a few Cornish afternoon teas we think you should know about:

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The Scarlet – Adults only

A romantic hotel built into the hillside on the north coast of Cornwall. Why not stay for a massage or a dip in their outdoor hot tub on the cliffs?

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The Greenbank

Sit back and enjoy the view. Watch the bobbing boats and the ferries going to and fro up the river. What a variety to choose from, there is certainly something for everyone, here are their current options:

Greenbank Afternoon Tea, Children’s Afternoon Tea, Champagne Afternoon Tea, Chocoholics’ Afternoon Tea, Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea

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Dollys Tearoom

Located on Falmouth High Street, Dolly’s is well known for their selection of over 200 gins! Not only do they do a delicious afternoon tea, you can choose between tea or gin in your teapot.

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Tresanton

A little bit of luxury, pop on the St Mawes Ferry and arrive in style to one of the most exclusive hotels in Cornwall. The Tresanton has breath taking views and its own beach. Perhaps the best part is the outdoor terrace with stunning views, baked in sunshine it’s the perfect place for afternoon tea.

Budock Vean

Budock Vean

Our lovely neighbours at the Budock Vean offer a lovely spread. Take a stroll through the gardens down to the Helford River, or why not take your swim stuff and have a dip in their pool/outdoor hot tub?

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Falmouth Restaurants with Good Accessibility

July 12, 2017 No Comments

Cornwall has some of the most diverse and interesting places to visit, many with facilities for visitors with accessibility needs. Most restaurants and pubs will provide access and facilities for less mobile visitors, but it is best to check specific requirements with the venue before your visit.

Here is our guide to eating out at restaurants in Falmouth with great accessibility. You’ll find Fish and seafood restaurants, fine dining, bistros and brasseries, Gastro pubs and café bars with photos, menus and all the essential information at your finger-tips. *

Prezzo – Located close to the seafront and local shops and bars and within easy reach of the rail station. Housed in the old post office, Prezzo is a large open plan restaurant seating up to two hundred guests and features a patio area for al fresco dining.

The Old Post Office The Moor Falmouth Cornwall
01326 314564

The Waymarker

The WayMarker – The current menus range from classic Brasserie style dinners, splendid light lunches & mouth-watering cakes whether gluten & dairy are your friends or not!

Constantine Falmouth
01326 341323 Pub / Bar that serves food

 

5 Degrees West – A Modern bar and grill located in the heart of Falmouth. There is a side entrance to the right of the building for wheelchair users
7 Grove Place Falmouth

Zizzi

Zizzi – Italian chain restaurant for pizza and calzone on wooden boards, plus traditional pastas. 1 Maritime House, Discovery Quay, Falmouth

Lemon Arms

Lemon Arms – Traditional village pub in Mylor Bridge, with car-park and a small garden, serving award winning St Austell Brewery ales and food.

Lemon Hill, Mylor Bridge, Falmouth

Pandora

Pandora Inn – In a spectacular setting on the edge of Restronguet Creek, their attention to detail in everything – from the food and service to the décor and furniture – has established the Pandora as an award-winning pub that aims to give you an enjoyable and memorable experience whenever you visit.

Pandora Inn, Restronguet Creek, Falmouth

 

*Our understanding is that these establishments are ‘accessible’ however we advise that you check with them directly and confirm both accessibility and facilities available.

 

 

 

 

Casa Juan

March 28, 2017 No Comments

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What a wonderful welcome we received from the recently opened Casa Juan Restaurant in the village square in Mawnan Smith.

The staff at our office were invited along for an evening where we sampled, amongst other things, Calamari, paella, Albondigas, tortilla and traditional Spanish almond tart.  All very tasty and flavoursome.

Casa Juan a family run traditional Spanish licensed restaurant specialising in tapas.  The authentic Spanish cuisine is prepared by Juan who comes from Tenerife.  The family are excellent hosts – happily describing the recipes and obviously keen for their guests to have a  fulfilling enjoyable meal.

They open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturday, perfect for a mid walk lunch as they are happy for dogs to join at lunch.

 

 

 

Posted in: Food In Cornwall

A Winter Picnic with Cornish Maid

February 9, 2017 No Comments

Whether it’s the weekend or you are on holiday, nothing beats that feeling of not having to get up at the crack of dawn! After a lazy morning, it’s time to head out the door for some much-needed time in the great outdoors…

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Falmouth is close to the beaches and the countryside and offers endless things for a family to do whatever the weather. Today it’s time to go walking in one of our favourite spots: the Helford river.

 

Just a short drive from Falmouth is Mawnan Smith: a quiet, friendly village, complete with all the amenities you might need. Nestled within the heart of the village is a lovely, friendly cafe called ‘Cornish Maid’. It’s the perfect spot to sit and relax with a hot brew and piece of cake while watching the village comings and goings. They also make ready-to-go picnic hampers, which suited us perfectly today. We love nothing more than a hearty picnic, especially one that’s been lovingly prepared for us. A picnic in winter you might say? As long as you’re wrapped up with appropriate weather gear, you can enjoy it whatever the weather. Somehow food always seems to taste better al fresco and after a long walk, feels very much deserved!

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A short hop down the road by car, we park at Bosveal, ‘The National Trust’ car park.

We tog up: hats, scarves, gloves, baby slings and raincoats (always prepare for every weather eventuality in Cornwall!). Daddy has the picnic, I have the baby and the eldest little nipper has disappeared off into the woods to search for bears!

 

Off we stomp – through the woods, past the cows, down a well-trodden path until we reach our favourite destination: Grebe beach!  We timed it just right – low tide – so there was plenty of space to run around, throw stones, build a sand-castle and find a good spot to set up camp for the afternoon. The ten minute walk is perfect for little legs.

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After our beach fun it was time to re-fuel and tuck into our picnic: a delicious hamper full of tasty and satisfying treats! The family hamper, for 2 adults and 2 children, more than filled us up with its delicious selection of fresh vegetarian sandwiches, tasty homemade cakes and Cornish biscuits. It took away the hassle of having to pack a picnic and the kids loved the surprise of not knowing what was in the hamper!

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After our filling picnic, it was time to sit back and relax while the kids occupied themselves. It is such a wonderful place to just stop and totally immerse ourselves in nature; the rugged tree-lined coastline running parallel to fields of cows, the gentle lapping of water, seaweed-covered rock pools and hundreds of pretty shells and pebbles along the shoreline to keep the kids occupied. “Treasure Mummy!’”, my four-year-old excitedly exclaims, when he discovers some glistening sea glass by his feet.

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We had a lovely afternoon spent in a beautiful place. That’s the beauty of Cornwall – no matter what time of year, if you go exploring, you can always find a peaceful spot to escape to. Each season brings its own, unique sights, smells and sounds. During the summer the stunning beaches would have you believe you’re in the mediterranean. Come the quieter winter months, the rugged beauty of steel-grey seas and deserted wind-swept beaches never fail to impress!

 

 

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Falmouth’s Romantic Hot Spots

January 26, 2017 No Comments

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Looking forward to Valentines Day we decided to put together our favourite places for a candle-lit meal for two in Falmouth. We are quite lucky as there are some wonderful choices!

Provedore

Located on a residential Falmouth street, Provedore is like being in a small spanish tapas bar. Cosy and candle-lit by night, sharing food is the perfect way to get to know somebody better.

The Greenbank Hotel

The restaurant at the Greenbank overlooks the harbour and with the twinkling lights on the boats it makes for a very romantic setting. This year they are offering a special Valentines menu both on the 14th and the Saturday before. (photo above)

Oliver’s

If you can get a table, Oliver’s is possibly the best food in town (always either first or second on Trip Advisor). Just good seasonal produce cooked with care, the husband and wife team will ensure you have a meal to remember.

The Cove

Just a short drive towards Mawnan Smith at Maenporth Beach sits The Cove with stunning sea views; a wonderful location for a romantic walk followed by some great food.

Gylly Beach Cafe

Ignoring the many awards under its belt, this cafe/restaurant is right on the beach, what could be a more romantic setting? Coupled with the delicious food you are on to a winner. (Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – even better!)

Nay’s Yoga: Yoga and Catering In Your Holiday Cottage

May 3, 2016 No Comments

It’s been a long time since my head’s been this close to my toes. It feels good that they are getting reacquainted. There are many things that I’m doing today that I haven’t done for a long time: standing on one leg with the other stretched out behind me and my arms pushed out in front is one. I’m supposed to be as straight as a ruler, but I feel as wonky and wobbly as a meter long marshmallow. And bizarrely…it’s great.

 

We would like to introduce to you the services of Naomi, of Nay’s Yoga. In short, Naomi is a friendly Cornish yoga instructor. Having trained in Patnem, India, Nay has been busy creating a range of different yoga experiences: some are more traditional yoga classes, others offer something more in tune with Cornwall, such as SUP yoga – yoga on a stand-up paddle board, or beach yoga! But most excitingly, Nay offers personalised in-house yoga experiences.

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Imagine starting the day with a rejuvenating and energising session of Vinyasa Flow within the comfort of your holiday cottage, before jumping into a productive day of sightseeing, beaching or exploring. Then, upon your return imagine having your own personal chef preparing a three course meal of high quality produce, sourced locally by someone in the know (and with connections to the Cornish fish industry).

 

You see, not only is she a yoga instructor, but a chef as well. She’ll prepare a menu to compliment your yoga sessions and your holiday. Apparently her cakes are ‘epic’ and judging from her instagram page, she can whip up a delicious and healthy brunch.

 

Nay learned to cook aboard super yachts in the Caribbean. ‘I enjoy cooking social meals with lots of dishes: informal, family style meals,’ she says. ‘Meals are important for chatting to each other: food reflects the culture you’re in.’

 

Every part of the in-house sessions are tailor made. ‘Sessions are based on ability. They can be as slow paced as you’d like,’ says Nay. ‘There’s lots of communication. We can work towards whatever your family wants to achieve. If you’ve got a particular goal in mind that’s great, and you can get the whole family involved or it can be just the mums.’

 

If you’ve not been to a yoga session before, Cornish Holiday Cottages can highly recommend it. My session with Naomi, which starts with gentle breathing exercises and a series of moves called a Sun Salutation, quickly becomes quite a workout for my un-supple limbs. There are forward folds and times when our legs were tumbling behind our ears. I even keel over a couple of times. I’ve joined a class that had been running for over a year though. A personalised session, this is not.

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I ask about paddle boarding sessions. Having spent half our session on dry land rocking as if I was at sea, I can’t imagine being able to do that on a paddle board, actually at sea: ‘You can’t take it too seriously. Even die hard yogis find it hard on a surface that moves. But it’s great being away from the coast. It’s peaceful, tranquil.’

 

When I meet Naomi before our yoga session it quickly becomes clear why she loves her in-house work. She’s easy going and we quickly slip into conversation about yoga, Cornwall, India and our love of food among other things. As a first timer, she put me completely at ease.

 

‘Yoga is all about calmness and focus. If you can achieve a healthy balance of exercise and eating well whilst on holiday, you’ll be more likely to continue that holiday feel when returning home,’ Naomi says. And it gets me thinking: isn’t that the aim of going on holiday, to feel calm and relaxed?

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Cottages near award winning pubs

March 9, 2016 No Comments

We go on holiday to relax, to saunter, to wander and to lounge. And there’s nothing like a good pub to saunter into, relax and lounge around in.

A good pub is a great place to soak up some atmosphere, get in touch with local culture (or local beer) and watch the world go by. We all have our favourite pubs here at Cornish Holiday Cottages; my personal favourite is The Front in Falmouth. It’s a vibrant local pub down on the waterfront an ever revolving selection of beers and ciders.

But we’re not here to talk about our favourites. There are award winning pubs within a stone’s throw – or a tipsy totter – of our holiday homes. These are the sort of pubs that our guests seek out before they ever cross the Cornish border. They are pubs that have history, individuality and excellent food. They have roaring fires in the corner, friendly staff and a fine selection of local ales, spirits and wines to choose from.

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Down on the banks of Restronguet Creek sits the Pandora Inn. Stepping into the 13th Century thatched building is like stepping back in time. Low beamed ceilings, crooked flagstone floors and warming fires create a cosy atmosphere inside;  whilst outside, a long pontoon stretches over the water for languid summer drinking.

That’s without mentioning their fantastic grub. Steamed mussels, fish and chips and doorstop sandwiches are the order of the day.

Nominated for Tourism Pub of the Year at last year’s Visit England Awards – it came third – as well as winning gold at the Cornish Tourism Awards, The Pandora is a short walk from our two holiday homes, Acorn Cottage and Willow Cottage, in the centre of Mylor Bridge. Both holiday homes boast wood burners for cosy nights in, beautiful modern furnishings and sun trap gardens.

Down on the Helford river there’s not one, but two award winning pubs within walking distance of our Cornish Holiday Cottages.

Our Polwheveral holiday homes, including Trenant, Gwel-an-Dowr, Little Trenant and Melyn Goth, and the famous Calamansac properties are both just down the hill from the Trengilly Wartha, a family run traditional country pub with a silver award from The Taste of the West. The bar staff are incredibly friendly and you are bound to bump into some loquacious locals. The Trengilly boasts one of the largest whisky menus in the counties and a food menu full of locally caught seafood and meat from nearby farms.IMG_8129-47

 

For those of you eyeing up our Durgan holiday cottages or the panoramic views of our expansive Helford Point home, the Ferryboat Inn is a holiday gem. Dating back to the 16th century the Ferryboat sits on the banks of the Helford river and is a mere stretch of the toe away from a sheltered beach, so you can have a drink while the children play. It’s the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon. There’s a fine selection of local beers and a comfy sofa placed right in front of their fireplace to warm your cockles in front of on chillier days. Their menu offers a selection of seafood dishes and there’s an ever changing specials board to look out for.

The View From The Star and Garter

Finally, for those reading our blog posts on a regular basis you will have noticed us mention the Star and Garter in Falmouth a lot over the last few weeks. So it’s a pub that will need no introduction to our Cornish Holiday Cottage guests. An enticing view of Falmouth Harbour, creative food and a relaxed, stylish bar are ready to greet anyone staying  in our Packet Quays apartments and houses. There’s the Crow’s Nest with its unparelleled living room views, the newly refurbished Harbour View with its beautiful attic bedroom or Cross Trees with its 39ft balcony and lavish L shaped sofa. That’s without mentioning Janes Court and its slipway, or Cormorants. Basically, if you want to be close to the fine pubs of Falmouth, there’s no shortage of options.

 

 

 

Star and Garter, Falmouth

March 2, 2016 No Comments

Last week we recommended Falmouth’s ‘The Star and Garter’ as the perfect place for Easter lunch. There’s a reason for that: it’s our new favourite foodie haunt.

Opening in August of last year, we were a little dubious at first – The old Star and Garter used to host a pretty mean jazz night and was pretty legendary in its own right – but were won over as soon as we sat down to a lunch of seafood linguine one autumn afternoon. The décor hits the right balance between vintage and modern, but its stand out features are the windows that stretch across the back wall offering an unparalleled view of the river.

The Star and Garter

The Star and Garter has a rich history, having been open since 1892, so new landlords, Elliot and Becca Thompson, have taken on a thick slice of Falmouth’s culture. In fact, if they hadn’t stepped in, it would likely have become a block of flats.

Being a trained chef, Elliot could well have stepped into the kitchen himself, but their kitchen is bursting with talent, manned as it is with three chefs from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. They have a lot of toys to play with too. An open-plan kitchen contains a ceramic bbq, pickling area and butchery room. So you know that there’s a lot of love and fun going into the food.

Seafood Linguine

There’s ideology to go with the expertise. ‘We have a strong ethic about our food, respect the animals and produce we use. We waste nothing – properly subscribing to the ‘nose to tail’ philosophy,’ Elliot has told Cornwall Living magazine. They do all their own butchery, make their own sausage meat and are always smoking or brining things.

The View From The Star and GarterCornish Holiday Cottage’s first experience of their home butchery was when we shared a platter of venison with friends one evening. Huge, roughly hewn chunks of venison melted in our mouths, accompanied with roasted fennel and a rich jus. Our window seat looked out over the Falmouth estuary and the lights of Flushing twinkled across the water. The atmosphere was buzzing.

You do have to be warned though: the menu is never going to be what you expect. Everyday there’s something different going on and they’re not afraid to experiment. Wood pigeon may be on the menu one night, a rabbit ragu at lunch time, so you definitely need to go in with an open mind. They make their own pork pies, scotch eggs and things do run out – so get there for an early sitting in the evenings.

Sunday Roast

We last visited the Star and Garter for Sunday lunch and luckily we had booked. People that turned up on the day were all sadly turned away. What set The Star and Garter’s roast apart was the seriously seasonal veg and the detailed preparation behind each joint of meat. The beef was a succulent medium rare with a delicate smokiness, whilst the pork was slow roasted to the point where it was more shredded than sliced. Chard cabbage, roasted beetroot, crisp high rise Yorkshire puddings and Beef fat roast potatoes offered a crispiness on a par with anything we’ve ever managed to cook ourselves.

The only complaint we’d have about the Star and Garter is that we wanted, no needed, more.

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