Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Escape To The Country...

Ciaran and I spent the week before last in Padstow, Cornwall!

In case you haven't heard of it before, Padstow is a pretty little fishing village in North Cornwall, made popular by the well known chef Rick Stein!

My Grandmother (on my Mum's side) was born in Padstow and my Mum and I spent all our holidays here. Although I know it like the back of my hand I still absolutely love visiting - some things change and some things stay the same. I like checking in on my favourite beaches and views one in a while to see how they're hanging and I'm pleased to say they're looking good!

Let's take a little peek at what we got up to...

We had a good mix of proper Cornish weather - some lovely sunny, warm days with big  heavy clouds passing over head and some days where it was grey and misty and rained non-stop.

We made the most of the good weather at the start of the week and went for a big walk!

We started off in Padstow and set out over the headland along the coastal path!

We had been walking for an hour or so when we reached a little terrace of houses, perched high on the cliff tops, surrounded by fields. I was so pleased to see a sign for the Rest A While Tea Garden. We grabbed ourselves a picnic bench and I ordered a cream tea through the open sash window! You're never more than half a mile away from a cream tea in Cornwall.

Tradition dictates that those who hail from Cornwall must put the jam on the scone first and the cream on second whereas people from Devon go for cream first jam second.

Luckily I was born in Hammersmith so I just followed my heart and my heart said cream first jam second and double helpings of both!

Soon it was time to head on our way!

This part of the path was so steep! The grass just dropped away and the sea was crashing against the rocks below! It was windy too!

I got really good at making picnic sandwiches on this trip! This bad boy is saucisson (scored from our recent trip to the South of France), fig, rocket and marinated red peppers in a sourdough baguette!

One thing you have to do in Padstow is definitely go on a speedboat ride! It's so exhilarating skipping over the water like a stone with the salty spray in your hair! As a child this was my favourite part of the whole holiday! I used to literally go every single day.

Although one word of warning, best to go prepared to get wet!

We ate a pasty each pretty much every day which was amazing. Did you know, the Cornish pasty was the lunch of choice for Cornishmen back in the day because after a long day down in the tin mines, they needed something hot to eat but didn't have a way of washing their hands! The idea is to hold the crust of the pasty and eat the filling. Of course thankfully we now have hand washing facilities aplenty so can eat the crust too - wouldn't it be a shame to let it go to waste! If you're in Padstow I would recommend The Chough Bakery - they're the absolute best and even have a recipe on their website in case you fancy putting your crimping skills to the test at home!

We spent lots of happy days on  my favourite beach - Booby's Bay! That pointy bit of metal sticking up out of the sand is the last scrap of a shipwreck! The S/S Carl of Hamberg came a cropper here in 1917. I remember seeing the ribs of the ship when I was younger - apparently if you visit at low tide after a storm they can still sometimes be seen!

That's Parson's Hut - a wreckers cottage. The man who lived there hundreds of years ago would light lots of lanterns and place them out on the rocks to make the beach look like a harbour and lure ships to their fate. Isn't that exciting! My Mum spent her holidays there as a child - my Grandad collected water from a fresh spring on the beach and fished off the rocks into the sea. Some years they would be the only people on the beach, imagine that!

Got to love a windy Cornish beach!

This grand old house is Pridoux Place - an Elizabethan manor house inhabited by 14 generations of the Pridoux family!

We didn't go inside (partly because it costs more money and partly because you can't take photos...) but went for a lovely walk around the grounds instead!

This is the old dairy - isn't it wonderful?

The London Inn is good for a few ales after a long day on the beach!

Pretty Padstow harbour!

Rick Stein's fish and chips are the bomb. We ate there twice in the space of the week! Get a couple of grilled scallops on the side and at least one pot of curry sauce each (they make it themselves and it's like...an actual curry sauce!). We also treated ourselves to a couple of other wonderful meals at Margot's Bistro (perfect for a cosy, relaxed dinner with your nearest and dearest - expect wonderfully fresh seafood cooked in a comforting, homely way) and Paul Ainsworth at number 6 (perfect for a super fancy special occasion - like Ciaran's Birthday for example! ;)

I love poking about in rock pools - I really wanted to find a crab to show Ciaran but it wasn't to be this year. We caught some little fish (we used to call them Gobies when we were little but I think that's maybe made up - a google search for that word yields a website about water bottles?)

So long beautiful, moody, wonderful Cornwall. See you in my dreams!


  1. This looks amazing! My parents love it there and after seeing your photos I will be sure to take a visit!!

    SquibbVicious.com x

    1. Thank you! You should definitely go! Best to go in the Summertime though - it can get a little bleak in the Winter when everywhere seems to shut up shop! :) x


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