THE FOODIE DIARY: JANUARY
Happy new year! It’s time to wrap up warm and hit the coastpath for a blast of fresh air, then enjoy hearty food in front of a roaring fire.
N.B. Many chefs take a well-earned break in January so make sure you phone ahead before venturing out to your favourite restaurant.
Here’s our round-up of food-related happenings in Cornwall this month:
EMILY SCOTT MOVES TO ST TUDY INN
Award winning chef Emily Scott (of The Harbour Kitchen and previously at The Harbour in Port Isaac) has taken over the reins at St Tudy Inn. Emily has brought her flair for interior design to the village pub and created a beautiful and comfortable atmosphere in which to enjoy her delicious food.
On the menu you’ll find dishes such as monkfish with creamy saffron, rosemary and rocket, an open top burger with sunblush tomatoes, red chilli and thyme on sourdough, and game pie (pictured). Sunday roasts are a bit special, e.g. slow roasted lamb with cumin, paprika and thyme served with roasted roots, flower sprouts, glazed carrots and peas. Emily’s cakes are legendary (lemon and rosemary cake, flourless chocolate cake, treacle tart, Bakewell tart, I could go on…).
If you’re not hungry simply pop in for a pint (although you may be tempted by the smartest bar snacks in town) and read the paper in front of the open fire.
For reservations phone 01208 850 656. See opening times.
Fifteen Cornwall‘s £21 lunches are back! Between 6 January and 13 February, Tuesday to Saturday (yes, Saturdays are now included too), you can enjoy three courses of Italian inspired dishes, using the best seasonal Cornish ingredients for just £21. We’ve tried it and can vouch for every course being absolutely delicious.
The sample menu includes crispy fillet of pollock with borlotti beans, purple sprouting broccoli in speck and salmoriglio, and potato gnocchi with romanesco alla barese. Pinolata della nonna (Grandma’s pine nut and custard tart) sounds wonderful.
Book online or phone 01637 861000 to reserve a table.
THE BEACH HUT BRUNCH
The perfect way to kick start your Sunday – the brand new Beach Hut Sunday brunch, served from 10am to 4pm.
We recently enjoyed a long lazy brunch, watching the waves whilst tucking in to delicious food. Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs went down well, as did the malted pancakes with lemon and blueberries. I had a (very virtuous) bowl of muesli with yogurt and berries and the children loved their bacon butties. All was washed down with gallons of coffee and we resisted the Bloody Marys.
More is added to the menu during the day, such as roast chicken, moules frites or fried fish burritos.
To reserve your table, book online or call 01637 860877. N.B. The Beach Hut will be closed from Monday 26 January to Friday 6 February. Opening again on Saturday 7 February.
Bill’s Pizza is proving popular with residents in the Wadebridge area. The extensive menu is available for local delivery and includes made-to-order stone baked pizzas, traditional Thai curries, salads and delicious desserts.
There is a great selection of meaty, spicy and fishy pizzas. The Goan spinach pizza caught my eye (korma spiced spinach, ricotta, sweet mango chutney and mozzarella with raita sauce), as did the wild mushroom pizza (pan-fried wild mushrooms, gorgonzola, black truffle oil, mozzarella and crushed walnuts). And I’m not sure I could place an order without ending up with a caprese salad (buffalo mozzarella, basil, tomato, sunblush tomato), dough balls with aioli and a supply of sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce, Belgian chocolate tart and clotted cream.
Also popping up are daily specials – I liked the look of last Sunday’s creamy wild mushroom, spinach and mozzarella spaghetti with black truffle oil and parmesan for just £5.50. Yum.
COSY UP AT LUSTY GLAZE
From 8 January the Lusty Glaze Beach Restaurant will open from Wednesdays to Sundays for lunch and dinner (see the rather tempting winter menu) with free live music from 7.30pm each Friday night next to the fire. January’s line up of the wonderfully named Woodburner Sessions is as follows:
9 January – Gaz Brookfield
16 January – Kiera Osment
23 January – Peter Crawford
30 January – Tom Dale Music
If you are celebrating your birthday at Lusty Glaze this January or February, the restaurant is offering a free bottle of wine or Prosecco with your meal. Booking essential.
Each Sunday a different lunch menu will be on offer from 12 noon… until it’s all gone. Each week the menu will be posted on Facebook, and this is the menu for 11 January, which features dishes such as a pan seared tuna steak or beetroot cured salmon and seafood tagliatelle as well as more traditional roasts and steaks. The desserts look delicious too – anyone for salted caramel bread and butter pudding? Main course £11.95, two courses £15.95 and three courses £19.95.
For reservations call 01637 872444 and for more information visit www.lustyglaze.co.uk.
A CULINARY EVENING WITH DAVID SHARLAND
David Sharland’s experience includes impressive roles as Executive Chef at the Oxo Tower and Head Chef at The Savoy as well as Executive Chef at The Seafood Restaurant and, most recently, Operations Director for Rick Stein.
David is leading a culinary evening entitled “Bringing the Restaurant Home” at Hewitt’s Bar and Kitchen in Wadebridge on 26 and 27 January. Kicking off with Prosecco and canapés, David will guide you through three courses of tuition and tasting, with each course being prepared at the table.
£60 per person. Booking essential. Pop in to Hewitt’s to book your place.
NEWS FROM FIREBRAND BAR
Launceston’s Firebrand Bar are offering free meals to children during January (one free child’s meal per adult meal purchased from the adult menu or specials board). The kids’ menu looks great, including mac ‘n’ cheese, burgers and fish taco with guacamole, sour cream and sweet potato fries.
Takeaways are also now available from Firebrand (see the mouthwatering menu) from 5-10pm Tuesday to Saturday. Phone 01566 770722 to place your order.
On Saturday 10 January Firebrand will be holding another of their popular pulled pork pop-up events. They will be at Launceston Market in the Square from 10am to 3pm.
If you’re interested in trying craft beers then join Firebrand Brewing Co’s head brewer Joe Thomson for a tour of eight beers, from Hefeweizen to American and English IPAs. Event kicks off at 7pm on Thursday 29 January. £10 per person, booking essential. 5% off any food purchased on the night and take away your favourite beers at a discounted price. For more details see their Facebook page.
We can highly recommend Eddie’s food and have been keeping an eye on the specials board – how about deep fried oysters (pictured) with crispy bacon and a bourbon aioli, or whole seabass with baby potatoes and salsify slaw, or crab linguine with chilli and tomatoes, or pork chop with celeriac and kale….
Save the Children charity lunches return to Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant from Tuesday 13 January to Sunday 8 February.
Three courses cost just £18, with a £2.50 cover charge which is donated directly to Save the Children. Over £12,000 was raised at the lunches last year.
The sample menu includes prawn fritters with tomato chutney and kachumber, followed by salmon rechardo with a mild potato curry, carrots and cumin purée or grilled hake on spring onion mash and soy butter sauce. Stuart Pate’s puddings include a Seville orange steamed pudding with lemon yogurt sorbet, and a dark chocolate mousse with roasted pear and a pear and ginger sorbet.
For reservations phone 01841 532 700.
LITTLE BAKEHOUSE OPENS IN LAUNCESTON
Award winning Cornish sourdough bread bakery, Little Bakehouse, opened its first shop in Launceston on 6 January. They sell a wide selection of gorgeous artisan bread (such as cheese and garlic, five-seeded, olive and thyme, bordelaise, granary, spelt and honey, rye, focaccia and fig and caraway), homemade soup and quiche, artisan coffee, Tregothnan teas and locally made cakes.
I love the idea of their “all day toast” which you can try with locally produced jams, honey and chutneys.
Visit them at Little Bakehouse, 26 Church Street, Launceston, PL15 8AR and keep up to date with their news on Facebook.
FARMERS’ MARKET MENU AT MULLION COVE HOTEL
Under the guidance of Head Chef Fiona Were, Mullion Cove Hotel has recently been awarded two AA rosettes. Reopening on 16 January, with a refurbished restaurant, don’t miss the locals’ Farmers’ Market menu.
Priced at just £18 for three courses, the regularly changing menu has included starters such as arancini with watercress pesto, game terrine (above right), and pigeon breast with plums, brioche and candied walnuts. Main courses include slow roast pork belly and venison burger, and desserts include sticky toffee pudding and crème brûlée (above left). The portions are generous, the food is beautifully presented and everything we tried was delicious. Read about our visit to Mullion Cove here.
COCKTAILS AND OYSTERS AT WADEBRIDGE WINES
Katy Davidson (Mangez Moi Oysters) is teaming up with Wadebridge Wines for a cocktail and oyster evening. Katy will be featuring her famous “Shipwrecked Mary” cocktail (pictured), a unique sea inspired Bloody Mary, amongst others. 4 to 7 pm, Saturday 24 January.
NEWS FROM THE GURNARD’S HEAD
Between 17 and 30 January, when two guests dine from any lunch menu at The Gurnard’s Head, one pays only £5 when the other pays full price. The offer runs Monday to Saturday only, excludes Sundays, and is not transferable to supper. Guests have been receiving vouchers with their bills since the beginning of January and will continue to do so until the promotion is over. This offer is also available at The Old Coastguard in Mousehole.
The pub’s weekly Games and Ale Night continues every Wednesday from 6pm, where different ales are showcased with classic bar snacks. There are a variety of games including darts, backgammon, pucket and scrabble.
Don’t miss the special “Cocktails and Dreams” night, from 7pm on 23 January. Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown (a.k.a. The Gurnard’s Head’s Chris and Dom) will be showcasing their new house spirits: Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin and Chase Vodka in a variety of cocktails. There will be 80s canapés and fashion, music and mullets. For dinner reservations please phone 01736 796928.
Here’s their recipe for the brilliantly named “Mankini” cocktail:
- Pour a large measure of Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin infused with mango and black pepper.
- Add a little mango sugar syrup and stir in a shaker with lots of ice.
- Pour into a martini glass with a coating of sugared lime zest on the rim.
- Garnish with a twist of lemon for a truly tropical, citrus take on a Martini.
AVAL DOR – CORNISH VODKA
Aval Dor (Cornish for potato) vodka is produced from King Edward potatoes grown by Steve Dustow and his family on the 200 acre Colwith Farm near Par.
Unusually for vodka, it is distilled in a 200 litre copper still, with half a tonne of potatoes making around 100 bottles. 4,000 tonnes of potatoes are grown on the farm each year, so there’s plenty of room for expansion.
According to experts it is “deliciously sweet and creamy” and “bursting with flavour and aroma”. Producer Steve says it is best enjoyed chilled over cracked ice with a slice of lime and treated as a digestif rather than a mixer.
Currently available from Ellis Wharton Wines and priced at £39.98 (inc VAT) for a 70cl bottle.
Ross Geach, of Padstow Kitchen Garden, is running a course to teach you how to create your own kitchen garden. The course is restricted to 12 people so book now to avoid disappointment. The next course will be held on 28 June and 19 July. Phone 07974 697191 or visit website for more information.
After fourteen years in Cornwall, Blue Plate‘s Nick Barclay is off to America on his next adventure. Taking over the helm at Blue Plate are Simon Evans and Samantha Bradley, who will reopen the popular restaurant in Downderry on 16 January. Nick has been a major part of the Cornish food scene over recent years and will be missed. Good luck to Nick and family, and to Simon and Samantha!
Award winning café and deli Relish Food and Drink is now open 7 days a week. If you haven’t yet visited then make a beeline for some of the best coffee around, big breakfasts, light lunches and an extremely well stocked deli. A must for food-lovers.
Enjoy a family Sunday Lunch at Fowey Hall this winter and let the kids run wild in the garden with outdoor zip wire, tyre swings, willow den and trampoline. 2 courses £16.50 or 3 courses £19.50 per person. Call 01726 833 866 or email [email protected] to book.
Congratulations to Nicky Grant who won a silver award in the International Chocolate Awards. Her ginger and fennel fresh Cornish cream cut ganache chocolate was awarded the prize in the mixed ganaches and truffles category. For more on Nicky’s award winning chocolates visit www.nickygrant.com.
The Cornish Arms’ kitchen is being refurbished so there’ll be no food is Rick Stein’s pub between 5 January until 7 February. Sunday roasts are being relocated to St Petroc’s Bistro, where you can enjoy 1 course for £14, 2 courses for £18 or 3 courses for £22. See the sample menu.
We’re looking forward to hearing more from the team at Porthminster Café in St Ives. Word on the street is that they are taking over Ocean Grill on Wharf Road in St Ives, opening early this year.
Wadebridge’s Cornish Sushi are offering a “come and try” sushi experience. Free to attend, you’ll be able to roll some sushi yourself and sample fresh Cornish sushi. 6.30-9pm, Wednesday 21 January. See Facebook for more details.
The Old Mill House at Little Petherick have recently opened up a bistro, where they will be serving traditional Scottish dishes (with a Cornish twist) for a Burns Night Supper on Saturday 24 January. To book phone 01841 540388.
The Ship Inn in Wadebridge are holding their regular wine club event at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27 January. Phone 01208 813845 to book your place.
Join the flappers and floozies for hot jazz and cool cocktails at Dolly’s Great Gatsby Extravaganza at 8pm on Saturday 24 January. Tickets £5, phone 01326 218400 to book.
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