A Cornish Weekend Escape

The first things that comes to mind when I think of the Cornwall Coast are its attractive beaches, highly reputable seafood, enchanting villages and breathtaking scenery. 


After many years of ‘talking about it’ I decided to tag along with four other fabulous ladies for a relaxing road trip to the deep South. I must admit, I haven’t done a road trip in many years and with the UK offering stunning country landscapes I thought it was about time I started to experience what this beautiful part of the world has to offer and without the stress of airline travel. After my Australia trip I was quite happy not seeing the back of an airport. 


As it was Easter weekend we did however have to deal with unsightly holiday maker traffic. Special thanks to all of those who reminded me about this almost five thousand times – I got the point. After picking up our people mover at Budget over at Heathrow airport, we embarked on our 5 or so hour drive along the M4 towards Bristol, only encountering minor bouts of stand still traffic but nothing to get your knickers in a twist over. Along the way we made a pitt stop aka lunch at a charming English pub called the Kings Arms in a pocket sized town of Tedburn Saint Mary’s. Feeling rather thirsty and hungry from doing nothing, we ordered a bottle of wine and I had the fishcakes of the day. For me, this trip was all about getting my hands on as much of the seafood as possible, thus meaning a visit to at least one of Rick Stein’s famous eateries.  




Arriving in Newquay early evening and after settling in to our home for the next few days, I had old mate Rickie on the brain and was keen to take a short drive over to Padstow to find out why this celebrity chef was so popular with the locals and the rest of the world alike. The drive to Padstow is beyond stunning. On the way, we were lucky enough to capture the most magical sunset with views of the attractive coastline one side and rolling green landscapes the other. It was at this point when I realised how much I missed being near the glistening water and sounds of the ocean…..



Padstow is a fishing village; a seafood odyssey, situated on the North coast of Cornwall. Steins Fish & Chips is right on the Port and when we arrived I had to get my skates on before we were too late to make it through the door. Thankfully the run from the car pack paid off and the waitress allowed us to come in right on the dot of 8pm. Bear in mind that this is when it was about to close but when you are an avid foodie like myself, refusal or the word no is not an option. The menu is non-glamourous but when it comes to fish and chips it doesn’t have to be this way. I choose the grilled Mackarel and chips. Outstanding as expected – simple flavours yet unbelievable fresh and satisfying. One happy camper 🙂



The next morning, the plan was to head down to St Ives and Penzance which is located at lower west part of Cornwall. St Ives was full of art galleries, cafes, antique shops and one particular bakery called the Penganna which claims it has the best Cornish pasties going. Of course, this madam had to try one of these bad boys for herself. Not because I just ‘had’ too but it would be considered slightly obscene if I wasn’t willing to partake in eating such a renowned delicacy. The size of the pasty is bloody huge and even for someone like me who has a largely above-normal appetite, struggled to finish it all off. Although very comforting to cup in your hands when it is freezing cold might I add. 






Over to Penzance and still feeling silly full it was decided that a long stroll along the water and through the cobbled streeted town, was much needed. This village in particular is known for its vintage flare with cake and clothing shops galore. One local tells us that we can find the finest cornish ‘cream’ ice cream not that far from the centre of town so without thinking about how full our bellies were still feeling, we continued on to Jelbert’s, hoping to squeeze in at least one small scope of what is described as ‘the best’ around town. 



Late afternoon we made our way back to Newquay but one particular sign caught all of our attention along the way so after hurtling the breaks on we took a sharp right turn into a place called the Cornish Cider farm. I mean how could you not, especially when it involves tasting. Hello.  



Once we arrived back in Newquay the mission was to find a decent restaurant (which seemed quite a challenge at the time) followed be a sophisticated evening of wine and cheese back at our humble abode. After driving around the windy streets we stumbled across a magnificent hotel over looking the harbour which happened to have a restaurant attached to it called the Harbour Fish & Grill. Sadly there were no available tables for us which I was not surprised about however the staff were kind enough to accommodate us in the lounge bar next door, which I thought was equally as nice, if not better! With our own terrace and glorious views of the boats and beyond, the only thing missing was a fresh bowl of creamy white wine Mussels drizzled in garlic. Ten guesses as to what I ordered! 




The following day being Easter Sunday was all about smashing as many chocolate eggs as possible. Only kidding, we actually had to make our way back to the South East but before this, I had to call in to the beautiful town of Totnes to catch up with a school friend. If you haven’t been to Devon before, you wouldn’t have had the chance to experience the beauty of the willowing lanes and their epic cream tea. Since the girls hadn’t yet experienced any of this yet, now was the golden opportunity to do so, at a magical nursery tucked far far away from the rest of what seemed like, civilisation. The Hill House garden and tea rooms was picturesque and almost like being in a fairy tale. I cannot tell you how stunning it really was and pleasantly quiet. Absolute bliss!






As we got closer to London, the realisation that they mini getaway was slowly drawing to a close and I was starting to think about food once again. We stopped off at the Retreat restaurant and wine bar, a rustic and cosy place located in Ilminister and only a few minutes off the A303. A much needed glass of red followed by a Sunday beef roast and all trimmings was undoubtably the greatest way of ending a wonderful girly weekend. 




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