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Days out

Visit the real Poldark country

June 6, 2018 No Comments

The popular BBC1 show, Poldark, returns to our screens this Sunday, 10th June at 9pm.  The series showcases some of Cornwall’s most spectacular rugged landscapes, stunning beaches and historic buildings.

If it’s just too tempting and you feel the yearn to follow in Ross and Demelza’s footsteps, firstly call our friendly team to help you find the perfect base for your break, then read on for our handy list of beautiful filming locations and must-see attractions to visit during your holiday.

 

Botallack Mine – Wheal Owles, on the Tin Coast, near St Just

The abandoned buildings, owned by the National Trust, were the perfect location for the Poldark family mines. The ruined engines houses, part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage site, are set on the side on the cliff with breath-taking views.

Read more at the National Trust website/Botallack.

 

Charlestown Harbour, St Austell

Built in 1792 by Charles Rashleigh, Charlestown is still a working harbour for china clay exports. Now privately owned the port has been used in well over one hundred shows and films. It’s just like stepping back in time as you walk along the flagstones and explore the 1939 Tall Ship “Kajsamaoor”.

Read more at Charlestown Port

 

 

Wheal Coates, St Agnes Head

Wheal Coates Engine House is perched on the side of the cliff at St Agnes over looking Chapel Porth. This is Poldark country at its best with purple heather, yellow gorse and miles of ocean.

Visit Wheal Coates’ National Trust website

 

Bodmin Moor

A great place to stop on your way to Falmouth. Used as the location for Ross Poldark’s cottage, Nampara, and the dramatic horseback scenes.

Read all the Poldark filming locations at the BBC website.

 

 

 

Poldark Tin Mine, Wendron, Helston

Although the Poldark Mine has not featured in the current series it was seen by millions all over the world when it featured in in the original BBC drama in 1970s. The only complete tin mine open for underground guided tours for a real atmosphere of times gone by.

Opening times and prices are available on the Poldark Mine website.

 

Posted in: Days out, Romance

A windy day in St Ives

March 6, 2017 No Comments

A beautiful sunny day here in Cornwall – just a bit windy!  Nothing better than dressing up warm and getting yourself to the coastline to watch those powerful waves crash over the rocks.   Certainly blows the cobwebs away!

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Posted in: Days out

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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Helford River Wildwatch: June

May 27, 2016 No Comments

Helford River Wildwatch: June with Hetty Wildblood,

Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises (business supporters of Cornwall Wildlife Trust)

 

At long last summer really feels like it is on its way. The trees are in full bloom bright green ancient brightening up the banks of the Helford River and creeks. The wildlife is blooming too here’s what to look out for on the Helford River and Creeks in June:

Heron, Polwheveral Creek - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Herons:

The heron colony on Polwheveral Creek. Herons sit up in the tree tops of Merthwn Woods, just before Polpenwith Creek, scrawking at eachother as they fly between the branches. They can also been seen on the ancient oak tree lined banks of Frenchman’s Creek made infamous by Daphne du Marier’s novel of the same name.

Little Egret on the banks of Frenchman's Creek - Koru Kayaking

Egrets:

Little egrets, their bright white feathers so clean despite living on the creeks which become mud flats at low tide have been quite scarce earlier in the year, but with the wamer weather more can be sighted on the banks and in the trees along Port Navas and Frenchman’s Creek.

Cuttlefish and Mussels on the banks of the Helford River - Koru Kayaking

Cuttlefish:

A growing number of cuttlefish, glamped to the mylor slate that form the banks of the Helford River are proving very popular with the Herring Gulls.

 

Mussels:

As the tide ebbs the exposed mylor slate shows the hundreds of fat mussels that line the banks of the Helford River. Completely natural, they grow lovely blue / black clumps, safe for another year as old folklore states that can only be picked on Good Friday!

 

Duckings:

Always lovely sight to see the mallards followed by a long line of their little ducklings a regular sight in June on Frenchman’s Creek

Cormorant on buoy, Helford River - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Cormorants:

Their jet black oily wings can be seen stretching their wings and drying them out on the buoys in the river before they drive down again to catch if. Fun to watch these amaing birds who can swim to depths of () and for distances of upto (). A fun sight to see them dive under and watch where they pop up on a Helford River Cruise or Frenchman’s Creek Koru Kayak Adventure.

Kestrel, Helford River & Creeks - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Kestrals:

An all year round treat, but they can bee see gracefully gliding over the Helford River and creeks. It is amazing watching nature in action from the water as Kestrals dive down attacking crow’s nests and the crows gather round this majestic bird to protect their young – a real David Attenborough moment!

Dolphin fins, Helford River, Helford River Cruises taken by our customer Peter Skeggs

Dolphins:

Speaking of David Attenborough moments we had a real treat at the end of April when our Helford River Cruise was joined by a pod of frolicking Risso Dolpins in the Helford River just in the bay between Helford and Trebah Gardens.

Happy Wildlife watching in June!

You can follow our wildlife sightings on our social media: facebook, twitter and Instagram

www.helfordrivercruises.co.uk – 1 ½ hour cruises along the Helford River and Creeks – bring your cameras and binoculars! From Budock Vean Hotel, TR11 5LG

www.korukayaking.co.uk – 2 hour Guided Kayak Adventures – Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventures from the Budock Vean Hotel, TR11 5LG. North Coast Kayak Adventures from Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes are also available.

Tregothnan Gardens – Open day 2016

May 19, 2016 No Comments

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Lord Falmouth opened his beautiful gardens at Tregothnan to the public a few weekends ago, proceeds raised went to “Cornwall Carer’s Service”.

 

The sun shone as we were allowed to enjoy the delights of this normally private estate.

 

We were treated to magnificent specimens of Camellias, Rhododenrons, Magnolias, Azaleas, grasslands with sweeping areas of bluebells and primroses.  We also enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea from Tregothnan’s very own tea plantation.

 

A wonderful day out.

Cornish Crabbing

April 4, 2016 No Comments

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Crabs are bizarre little creatures. Their hard shells and snippy pincers should instill a sense of fear in children, but instead they’re endlessly fascinating, funny little things. From their rock pool habitats to their sideways crab walk, they are the main event when rock pooling and the star of coastal exploration.

Crabbing is a truly British Seaside activity that keeps the children occupied and is surprisingly addictive for the adults. It’s the stuff of childhood nostalgia: fun, daring and occasionally hair raising.

It’s more fun in the sun, but crabs can be caught all day long and all year round. All you need is a bucket, a line, something to weight it and some bait: we have it on good authority that crabs are bacon fiends, so a try tying some to the end of your line.

There are loads of great crabbing spot around our Cornish Holiday Cottages. The most well known spot is down at the Pandora Inn, at the end of their pontoon. Sit down and have a pint while the children occupy themselves with the crustaceans.
Crabs like to hide and they tend to live in places where there is plenty of cover from rocks, seaweed or other structures. Favourite hideouts include around piers and harbour walls, and on beaches with larger rocks and stones. So if you are anywhere that meets these conditions grab your bucket and bacon and start crabbing.

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Cornish Holiday Cottages’ Top Crabbing Locations

1.    The Harbour! There are many quays in Falmouth with perfect spots for doing a bit of crabbing.

2.    The Pandora Inn at Mylor, enjoy delicious food on the pontoon and you can crab while you wait. Crabbing lines and bait are sold inside.

3.    Castle Beach, get your hands dirty at low tide and enjoy some rock pooling.

4.    Flushing Quay, enjoy the views of Falmouth from Flushing.

5.    Mylor Quay, the perfect spot for sitting and relaxing by the quay.

6.    Helford Passage, the rocky beach is the perfect spot for crab hunting.

The most important thing to consider when crabbing is the safety and happiness of the crabs themselves. These handy tips from the good people at gonecrabbing.co.uk have created a great guide to crabbing aimed at children and this handy dos and don’ts list:

Don’t …. put too many crabs in one bucket. Stick to 10 per pail
Do …. add rocks and seaweed to the bucket to help replicate the crab’s natural environment and reduce stress
Don’t …. keep them all day long – return them to sea
Do …. change the water every 10 minutes to avoid asphyxiation. Only keep the crabs in sea water.
Don’t …. store your bucket in the sun
Don’t …. use a line with a hook on. Either tie your bacon on or use an old pair of tights/bit of net to hold your bacon in.
Do …. hold your crab correctly – gently hold it either side of its shell or pick it up with one finger on top of the shell and one finger underneath – avoiding the claws though!
Do …. remove any crabs which are fighting – male crabs tend to be more aggressive than the ladies.
Do …. remember to take all your equipment and rubbish home with you.
Do … go crabbing. When done responsibly, crabbing is an excellent way to introduce children to the marine ecology.

Porthtowan Minehouses

March 14, 2016 No Comments

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You might find it hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner. Despite the mild chill that’s still in the air, we’ve already been taking advantage of the bright sunny days that are being sent our way. Last weekend, when the grey clouds lifted we took ourselves to Porthtowan, a small town nestled within some of the most stunning coastline that our fine county has to offer.

The remains of the mining industry dot the landscape as you drive towards Porthtowan. Like scars on the landscape, chimneys stand like bare trees on the hillsides. It’s an area steeped in mining heritage.

 

Porthtowan itself fighting against the tumbling dunes that continually blow through the town. As we got closer to the car park we found half the road and pavement completely covered with sand. It’s all part of its charm.

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On the beach families and dog walkers stretched their legs and splashed around in the sand.
But our mission wasn’t to stroll on the beach. We we’re heading East, up the steep assent from the beach and onto the coastal path.

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As we came to the brow of the next headland and stood high above Chapel Porth beach, the reason for our visit made itself known above.
The remains of Wheal Coates, or more accurately Towanroath engine house, will be familiar as the image that graces a thousand postcards, but nothing beats the real thing.
Wheal Coates mine was opened in 1802 and miners worked in its tunnels up to 1889. Towanroath Engine House was built in 1872 to drain the seeping sea water from the 600 feet deep mine shaft.
What if this was the view from your work window?
In reality, the 138 men of the mine were working in tough conditions. The fragile mineshafts extended far beyond the shore line. As storms raged, miners could hear huge boulders being dragged across the seabed which was only feet above their heads.

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Next, we took a short scramble up the hill to two more engine houses: the Stamps and Whim engine houses. They were used to hoist and crush tin ore from the shaft below. As you walk around this site the remains of an old boiler pond can be seen. There’s also a calciner, where the ore was roasted at hight temperatures to drive out impurities – in this case arsenic.
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As we turned around to head back to Porthtowan we caught sight of the ocean spray rising over the coastline (and met a friendly dog bounding towards us.
On our return we tumbled into Porthtowan’s famous Blue Bar for a much needed refreshment. Roll on the rest of spring!

 

Five things to do in Cornwall this Easter

February 26, 2016 No Comments

Mingo-Boscowen Fields-Falmouth

Cornwall is a hive of activity at Easter time. Here are our top five things to do over the Easter holiday.
Walk the coastal paths with the dog
In the changeable weather of early spring taking Mole and Mingo for a long walk along the coastal path is a pure pleasure and is a favourite blustery adventure of everyone at Cornish Holiday Cottages. Crashing waves, salty spray and sleepy fishing villages all await exploration. You could pick any section of the Cornish coast and find something unique along the way. The path between Swanpool and Maenporth is a convenient starting point if you’re staying in our Cornish holiday accommodation. There are dog friendly beaches at either end (in the winter), dog friendly cafes and depending on the tide, a lot of rock pools and crevasses to sniff at.

 

Sunday Lunch at the Star and Garter, Falmouth
There’s nothing like a good Sunday roast, especially at Easter. In their own words, at the Star and Garter ‘Sunday lunch is sacrosanct.’ And with chefs that have all worked at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen they are producing one of the finest Sunday lunches in town. With an elevated view of the river Fal and sailing boats bobbing up and down in their moorings, you are treated to a quintessentially Cornish view with your succulent meat, monster Yorkshire pudding and seasonal veg.

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The Great Eden Egg Hunt
25 Mar 2016 to 10 Apr 2016

It’s not just your standard egg hunt down at Eden. It’s a regular eggstravaganza. There’s an eggstreme egg and spoon obstacle course, egg rolling, egg hooking, egg cracking and egg hunting. If you like eggs, then there’s something for all ages. If you don’t like eggs? Then they’ll be telling tales of chocolate in the biomes to appease you.

 

Trereife Easter Food and Craft Fair

25 Mar 2016 to 28 Mar 2016

Trereife House’s Easter Food and Craft Fair is now entering its fourth year. The spectacular grounds of Queen Anne Manor House will be home to cookery and craft demonstrations for the adults and an eggs-treamly popular Easter egg hunt for the children. You can go on tours of the house itself, watch demonstrations from local chefs, sample a delectable selection of locally produced food and drink, and browse exquisite arts and crafts. There will also be magic shows, funky food workshops and storytellers.

 
The Truro Festival
2 Apr 2016 to 9 Apr 2016

The city’s annual cultural festival features music, art, exhibitions, theatre, dance, comedy, film, literature and photography.

There will also be an abundance of art and interactive exhibits at the 2016 festival. Daily workshops featuring local illustrators, comic book illustrators, manga artists, screen print-makers and puppeteers will be on offer for children and adults in the festival hub on Lemon Quay. Street art is also a big favourite and the city’s streets will be filled with creative flair once again.

Events will be on in lots of different venues throughout the city. Go to www.enjoytruro.co.uk for further information.

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Easter activities at Glendurgan and Trebah Gardens

Springtime is a unique time for Cornwall’s gardens. Daffodils, magnolias and tulips create a canvas of colour and each of these gardens has something special for the children over the Easter period. Glendurgan has a Cadbury’s sponsored egg hunt, while Trebah have Bunnie Bungalows Drop in Workshop. We’re not sure what it is yet, but we do like a surprise.

 

Springtime Guided Walks

February 22, 2016 No Comments

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Springtime holidays in Cornwall are an opportunity to explore the county during a period of growth and rebirth. It also brings the Falmouth Spring Festival, which runs from the 10th to the 28th of March. One of the best thing about the festival is the abundance of guided walks on offer through out the festivities.
Seashore Foraging – Thursday 10th March only
Starting at Gyllyngvase Beach and taking in 2 miles of coastline with some rock-pool scrambling, this tour will teach you how to identify edible plants and forage safely and legally. There will also be some prepared wild nibbles to start you off.

The session starts at 10.45am and lasts for an hour and a half. It costs £35 for adults and £25 concessions. For information call Rachel on 01736 361454 or email rachel@wildwalks-southwest.co.uk
Through Falmouth Town – 10th, 16th, 22nd March
This one and a half hour walk through the centre of Falmouth is led by renowned guide, Paul Simmons, who runs walkitcornwall. This tour will lead you through 350 years of Falmouth in an informative and entertaining manner, taking in the odd ghost and cannibal tale along the way.

The walk begins at the Maritime Museum at 5pm. Call 07714084644 or email info@walkitcornwall.co.uk
Poldark’s Falmouth – 11th, 19th, 25th, 26th March
This tour is bound to be popular so booking is advised. Winston Graham’s Poldark novels dealt with smuggling, shipwrecks, riots and the packet ships of Falmouth. The walk links these themes to specific sites in Falmouth.

The walk begins at the Maritime Museum at 5pm. Call 07714084644 or email info@walkitcornwall.co.uk
Explore Mawnan’s Coast – 12th, 19th March
Take in the Helford river, woodlands, hidden valleys, historic trackways and the SW Coastal Path with Explore in Cornwall’s Steve Crummay. There’s a wealth of history and wildlife to explore in this 3.5 mile walk.

Starting at Mawnan Church car park, the walk begins at 10am and takes approximately 4.5 hours. Tickets cost £5 or £2.50 for concessions. Contact 01736 740234 or email info@exploreincornwall.co.uk

Helford and Gillan Creek – 13th, 19th March
Across the river from Cornish Holiday Cottages, Gillan Creek sits in a relatively unexplored part of the Helford Estuary. On this walk you’ll be taking in ancient western oak woodland looking for a wide range of wildlife in stunning coastal and estuarine habitats. There will be otters and wintering bird life to look out for in the river, creeks and coast.

Starting at Helford Car park, the walk begins at 10am and takes approximately 4.5 hours. Tickets cost £5 or £2.50 for concessions. Contact 01736 740234 or email info@exploreincornwall.co.uk
Free Nordic Walking Trial – 18th March
Nordic Walking is a full body, vigorous walking experience using poles. You build up rhythm linking the swing of your arms to smooth pelvic motions and stride length. If that sounds like your idea of fun, then there’s a free try out at Trelissick Gardens with an INWA Instructor.

Starts at 11am. Contact Kate Jackson on 07540 478919 or email walkkernow@gmail.com
Campus Critters Walk – 19th March
Explore the biodiversity of Penryn Campus under the guidance of experts on bird, mammel, insect and plant identification. If the spring weather permits the guides will also attempt some live animal captures as well.

This free walk starts at the reception of Penryn Campus at 7.30am. They’ll even provide you with a warm beverage. Contact Caitlin Kight on 01326 255166 or email c.r.kight@exeter.ac.uk
Ghost Walk Of Falmouth – 27th March
Led by author and ghost expert Ian Addicoat, this spooky walk takes in Falmouth locations that are steeped in ghostly tales. Addicoat has appeared on GMTV and Mot Haunted, so it’s a good opportunity to hear through provoking stories from an entertaining guide.

This evening walk starts at 8.30pm and leaves from the Maritime Museum. It costs £6 for adults and

Restaurant Review – Rick Stein’s, Porthleven

February 19, 2016 No Comments

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It’s the tail end of Hurricane Imogen when we venture down to Porthleven to celebrate a family wedding anniversary. And what’s a better way to celebrate such an occasion than heading down Rick Stein Porthleven? The latest addition to his Cornish Empire.

 

As we drive over the brow of the hill, undulating mountains of water blow in from the – a key reminder of the power of the ocean. Porthleven is the perfect place to sit and watch the elements battle it out. Maybe that’s why it features so heavily in the national newspapers at this time of year.

 
Rick Stein’s is set in the old white walled China Clay Building on the edge of the harbour and it’s a fantastic spot for a restaurant. As we approach, the outside is bathed in a bright blue light which looks a little out of place with the old stone harbour and more in keeping with an 80s cocktail bar. Entering the building, the first thing you see is the open kitchen, great if you’re the sort that likes to take a sneak peek at your food being prepared.

 
Having hung our coats up we enter the bar area, which is decked out with wooden barrels, quirky vintage light fittings and a smidgen more blue lighting. There’s also a painting of a naked surfer on the wall. It’s more than a little out of place.

 
The menu looks great. We know what to expect from Rick Stein by now: a mixture of British and Spanish dishes with the occasional safely Asian dish thrown in.

Sardines with an oat crumb

 

To start with there are Mounts Bay grilled sardines with an oat crumb which have a salty succulence paired with a mellowing oat crumb. I go for the classic fish soup with lashings of parmesan and a generous helping of crisp croutons. But the winner in the first course stakes goes to the fried calamari. Unlike the battered and bread crumbed varieties that are all the rage, these are served naked and on a bed of salad that’s very South East Asian in flavour: sweet, spicy and nutty all at the same time.

Fish and Chips

 

Into the main course, I opt for the boring; fish and chips. I know, I know, but there’s just something about a batter that’s truly crisp, the cod steaming away inside, with beef dripping chips and generous helpings of mushy peas and homemade tartar sauce. Sometimes it’s nice to keep it simple. Two of us have the Indonesian seafood curry. One telling us it’s quite spicy, the other that it’s a tad mild. It must be just right then. We also have the Gnocchi con Granseola, a Venetian dish pairing the gnocchi with spider crab and an Eastern Europe spiced sauce. I try and sample everything from everyone’s plate, all in the name of research, but not everyone is willing to part with their food.

Chocolate pavé

 

The dessert menu calls shortly after and there’s are some interesting selections to make. I go for a popcorn panna cotta with caramel shards. It’s texture is creamy, but even without the crunchy texture you associate with popcorn, the buttery flavour shines through. We also opt for the chocolate pavé, salted caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce. It’s a rich, gooey treat that goes down well with everyone.

 

As we leave, we’re once again bathed in the techno glow of the blue lighting. A reminder or the odd décor. But don’t let that put you off. The food has that unmistakable Stein’s quality to it – from the fish and chips through to the gnocchi – and gets the Cornish Holiday Cottages seal of approval.

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