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The Wheelhouse

August 21, 2015 No Comments

photo 1

Right in the middle of Falmouth’s town centre there is an alleyway that leads through an archway and down to the water. The alley has a name – Upton Slip – and at the end of the slip, staring up at you with piercing eyes is a ship’s figurehead. Amy of the Amazon she’s called and she stands six feet tall. Next to this giant figurehead there’s a terracotta coloured building with a bright blue doorway. Within lies Falmouth’s worst kept secret: The Wheelhouse.

When The Wheelhouse first opened, word of mouth spread like juicy gossip or a perfectly executed social media campaign and within weeks of opening they were fully booked up to a month ahead. They weren’t even trying – in fact they were doing their best to remain hidden. Fat chance. It’s even in The Guardian’s top ten budget eats in Cornwall.

Eating at The Wheelhouse is like eating in someone’s farmhouse kitchen – there are large wooden tables supplemented with old sewing tables and whatever else they could get their hands on. There are candles stuffed into wine bottles and a pile of mismatched plates piled in the middle of the table. The staff are friendly, as if they are welcoming you into their home, but none of this feels forced or contrived. If there’s two of you, or fifteen the treatment is the same.

The menu is skeletal – or should I say a shell of a menu – and is perfect for it. Unless you hate seafood that is. But balls to you, if you don’t. I think I can list the whole menu from memory, so here goes: crab – brown, spider or velvet; shell on prawns with garlic, ginger and chili; mussels in a white wine sauce; mussels in a red Thai sauce, oysters and scallops. Then there are the sides: salad and chips. Done, that’s the lot. It’s all on a blackboard above the counter. The crab are numbered and this number is replaced every time one is ordered, 9, then 8, then 7… The scallops are especially good. They come served in shells and with a sweet and tangy sauce that I’ve not been able to replicate.

It’s a place for sharing and getting your hands dirty. It’s a place for tearing, cracking and snapping and brushing elbows with each other. In other words, it’s an eating experience as opposed to just another restaurant. The atmosphere is special and I’ve never heard anyone complain about the place – unless they are complaining that it doesn’t open enough.

As far Cornish Holiday Cottages are concerned, The Wheelhouse is pretty much a holiday must. So, when you’re planning your next trip to Cornwall, put a trip to The Wheelhouse right at the top of your wish list and book it right after booking with us.

 

 

 

Shellfish Pig Feast Night

June 29, 2015 No Comments

shellfish pig feast

We’re wishing a huge happy first birthday to one of our favourite small local businesses this week: The Shellfish Pig. To celebrate their first year of success street food entrepreneurs, Nick and Nikki, threw their loyal customers (and a few new ones) a feast night against the backdrop of Enys House and its beautiful, secluded gardens.

Nick and Nikki, who started the Shellfish Pig after tasting the inspirational street food that can be found all around the world, have been serving their own mixture of sustainable and locally sourced products in lots of beautiful locations around this part of Cornwall. Everything from smoked Cornish mackerel, pan seared ginger scallops and spicy crab tacos to a whole host of pork – tenderloin, shoulder, chorizo, pulled – all from the Primrose Herd has been on the menu.

After walking through the grounds, Cornwall Holiday Cottages spied The Shellfish Pig van and were greeted with crab bruschetta and a glass of Cava – cheers! The van was parked up in a meadow and laced with bunting. The sun shone gently through the trees and sheep could be quietly heard baaing in the background: that is until the twee sounds of a boy/girl acoustic duo began to serenade us all.

We lay our picnic blanket on the floor, sipped our drinks and relaxed – we could get used to this type of alfresco dining experience. The mood was more that of a country fete than the pallid patio of a restaurant. We were also reminded of how romantic a setting Enys is. We can imagine it becoming an amazing summer wedding venue.

The evening’s main course was served in the form of a ‘feast box’ filled with pork ribs, pulled pork slider, sausage wrapped in candied bacon and a breezy selection of sides. I think candied bacon has become a Cornish Holiday Cottages favourite and one we’ll trying to make at home as soon as we’ve found a recipe. The box was topped off with some delicious homemade pork crackling. The icing on the cake was the addition of a few extra pork ribs at the end of the night – mmm.

There was a real birthday cake too. A creamy, chocolatey gateaux courtesy of Sophisticakes and in the shape of The Shellfish Pig van itself.

shellfish pig feast cake

Overall, a rather pleasant way to spend a summer’s evening. So happy birthday Shellfish Pig. We hope there are many more feast nights to come…we’d love a seafood feast box next time.

If we’ve got your taste buds tingling for The Shellfish Pig, or fancying a trip to Enys Gardens, then there’s the perfect event is coming up for you to combine the two. The Food Jam at Enys  is taking place on the 11th and 12th July with a whole host tasty food treats.

Failing that, theshellfishpig.co.uk has a handy map outlining their daily whereabouts. Unless they are a festival or special event, they can usually be found on Cliff Road near Gyllyngvase Beach.

Overall, a rather pleasant way to spend a summer’s evening. So happy birthday Shellfish Pig. We hope there are many more feast nights to come…we’d love a seafood feast next time.

 

Photos courtesy of The Shellfish Pig.

 

 

 

Trigging on the Helford River

March 28, 2014 No Comments

cockles-helford river

Trigging is the collection of shellfish by hand.

The Helford River has small cockle beds at Bar Beach, Treath and Gillan. On Good Friday each year families flock to the shores of the river to collect shellfish, namely cockles and periwinkles. This tradition, dating from pre-Christian times, is known as trigging. If the tide is favourably low and the weather good, a few hundred people can be seen taking part. You will need your wellies, a shovel, a bucket and a sense of adventure! Please be sure to leave any undersized cockles (smaller than a 20p piece) and only take as many as you need for your own consumption.

If you fancy having a go at trigging yourself, or just fancy a visit to the tranquil haven that is the Helford River, then please have a look at our gorgeous Cornish Holiday Cottages.