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Hot Chocolate Spots in Cornwall

February 17, 2016 No Comments

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It’s hot chocolate season. It’s a thing. Admittedly one we’ve probably just made up, but it’s a thing none the less. Actually, it’s far more likely that we’ve just read it somewhere, while thinking about (I wouldn’t call reading about hot chocolate research) what to put in this post.

Cornish Holiday Cottages believe that hot chocolate season perfectly defines those wintery days out with the dog, children or significant other (yes, in that order of preference) and that lust for warmth that is finally sated only by wrapping your fingers around a mug of hot, brown liquid. It doesn’t necessarily have to be hot chocolate. One of the establishments on the list specialises in coffee. And we mean specialises.

Either way, we love spending time on the coastal paths at this time of year, listening to the waves tear at the coast below and watching the dogs chasing each other up and down the beach. We’re even a little bit fond of the tip of your nose getting a cold and the mist formed by our breathing.

We’ll hold our hands up now: this list is in no way definitive. We would love to be able to devote our life to creating a success criteria and travelling round the county sampling hot chocolates. But alas… So here we have just a few of our favourite spots to enjoy a hot chocolate with lashes of cream and marshmallows. In some cases, they even go that extra mile and add some special extras. So picture yourself all rosey cheeked from a brisk Cornish day out, a steaming white mug in your hand, bringing the feeling back into your chilly fingers.

Poldhu Beach Cafe
I grew up exploring the Lizard coastline and my memories of Poldhu Beach Cafe were of a tiny shack selling chips in trays, Cornettos and distinctly average hot drinks. I don’t know when, but sometime between then and now, it has transformed into a fantastic beach-side establishment. Their hot chocolates come served with a generous helping of cream and crunchy, chocolatey bits. There are loads of different topping variations to choose from. (that’s them in the picture)

Gyllyngvase Beach Cafe
With its glass framed terrace, Gylly Beach Cafe is a great place to wrap up warm and people watch from. Not only is the hot chocolate amazing, but they have a plethora of teas and cakes too. Hot chocolate season is the best time to visit too, because it gets extremely busy in the summer months and you can be waiting for ages for your drinks.

Godrevy Beach Cafe
Over on the north coast, this wooden lodge sits in a National Trust car park. Godrevy and Gwithian Beach stretch for miles into the distance and it’s great for dune walking and rock pooling. The cafe has a good line in creamy, hot drinks and a raised balcony allowing you to peer over the dunes and onto the beach. The cafe is as green as they come too. All waste is recycled, including their biodegradable take away packaging.

The Blue Bar, Porthtowan
This is the ultimate surfer hangout. The coastal path above the cafe is also one of the best places to see the sun set. It’s the picturesque north coast at its best. One word of warning though – Porthtowan sand gets everywhere.

The Wateringhole, Perranporth
I think I’m right in saying The Wateringhole is the only Cornish bar that’s built right on the beach. And what a beach: it’s wide and expansive with giant islands of rock perched on the shore line, surrounded by water at high tide. The hot chocolates themselves come served in tall mugs with a mountain of cream, marshmallows and a biscuit straw so you can slurp down your tasty beverage without disturbing its peaks.

Swanpool Beach Cafe
I wasn’t going to mention Swanpool Beach Cafe, but I’ve just been reminded of the perfect reason to add it to the list. They’re luxury hot chocolates come with what I can only describe as a chocolate lollipop. Either that or a swizzle stick. For that extra chocolate hit dip it in, let it melt and… you get the idea.

Espressini
Now, were cheating here. Espressini isn’t on the beach. It’s on a hill in Falmouth. But it deserves to be on any list of hot beverages for their passion and dedication to coffee. Espressini founder Rupert and his staff can wax lyrical about different coffee blends for hours. It’s beautiful. On wet weather days when your looking for something to do, soaking up the atmosphere in Espressini is a fantastic option.

Kynance Cove

April 23, 2015 No Comments

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Kynance Cove is the stuff of childhood dreams: rocky, wild and raw. Golden sand is punctuated by rocky promontories and stacks that create corridors of surging and sloshing sea making for a unique swimming experience.

Probably one of the most painted and photographed points in Cornwall, due to the juxtaposition of brilliant white sand, turquoise ocean and dark red and green serpentine rock, a brief walk along the coastal path in either direction will open out completely different vistas and there are some great picnic spots overlooking the cove down below. A combination of the mild maritime climate and complex and unique geology has produced an area with a distinctive character, well known for its rare and unusual flora and where the famous call of the Cornish chough is never far away.

Down on the beach, there is a labyrinthine quality to the cove that children love – they can feel like they are explorers on a deserted island, whilst being still being within calling distance of mum and dad.

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If you can, try to make sure you are at the beach at low tide. This is when caves and paths round to other beaches are readily accessible. If you’re early you can even be the first to press your feet into the fresh, unblemished sand as the tide rolls back. You can even venture round the corner to a bank of sand that connects to a small island. On many occasion us locals at Cornish Holiday Cottages have sat and watched many an tourist get themselves sadly stranded whilst sunbathing – we do get the odd sense of schadenfreude from time to time.

Kynance Cove is managed by the National Trust and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They’ve done some fantastic work in keeping the beach accessible, despite coastal erosion from winter storms. On the cliff tops you will see a host of coastal flowers, from relatively common species through to some of the rarest wild such as Wild Asparagus, Hairy Greenweed, Fringed Rupturewort or even Land Quillwort. This is what makes the Lizard one of the top locations to spot wildlife in Britain.

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If all that exploring gives you an appetite then fear not, Kynance Cove is served by an attentive beach side café. On the menu you will find fresh Kynance crab sandwiches, baguettes and salads. Kynance burgers, fresh ham, bacon, Cornish brie, Cornish Pasties and much more. Their homemade scones are delicious.

Please note: Dogs are welcome on this beach except between Easter Sunday and 30 September (07:00am – 07:00pm) when a seasonal dog ban is in place.

Breakfast in Falmouth

October 24, 2014 No Comments

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Which would you rather, wake up and cook for an hour in the kitchen, quickly eat your breakfast and then do all the washing up, or stroll to a relaxing café, read a magazine and drink some delicious fresh coffee with your pastry…. I know which I would prefer!

While eating out for breakfast is perhaps a luxury, it is a must while enjoying your holiday. Falmouth has so many options we’ve decided to tell you some of our favourites..

For the view – Gylly Beach Café

It’s hard to come to Falmouth and not visit Gyllynvase beach, the café is open all day but breakfast on the beach is a real treat! From a full English to delicious pancakes with maple syrup and the option of sitting inside or out. You can also bring your four legged friend, perfect location for your morning walk.

For the coffee – Espressini

Recently in the Independent’s “Top 50 independent coffee shops in the UK”, Espressini have just opened their new kitchen and it’s already a hit with the locals. Serving hot food, pastries (from down the road at Stones Bakery) and locally roasted coffee (Olfactory) all you need to do is put your feet up.

For the full English – Pier Cafe

Set on the Prince of Wales Pier watch all the boats in the harbour go by while enjoying your traditional full English!

On the go – Picnic Cornwall

Take your breakfast to the harbour and watch the boats, Picnic can recommend all the best picnic spots and will prepare your breakfast from local ingredients. Try the homemade granola with local yoghurt!

 

A walk on the north Coast

August 13, 2014 No Comments

Around a 30 minute drive from Falmouth the north coast has many places for a walk but one of our favourites here in the office has to be around from Chapel Porth to St Agnes.

WP_20140810_001 There are a couple of options for parking, if you are a national trust member you can park at Chapel Porth beach for free, non members can park for £5. There is a lovely cafe selling lunch and extravagant ice-creams called ‘hedgehogs’ (vanilla ice-cream coated in clotted cream and rolled in toasted hazelnuts – yum!)

The other option is a free car park up on the cliff near the old engine houses, just off Beacon Drive. The walk along the coast is beautiful with views towards Newquay and the long Chapel Porth beach below. There is history along the way too with old engine houses reminding us of the old mining industry in the area. I (Becca) have even been lucky enough to see a shark in the waters below!

Chapel Porth beach is a long sandy expanse at low tide with lots of coves and rock pools, perfect for any young explorers.

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