THE FOODIE DIARY: DECEMBER
Fa la la la la, la la la laaaaaa.
THE festival for foodies. There will be over 100 artisan producers in the enormous Christmas Market marquee on the quayside, selling everything from coffee and curry to crafts and crêpes.
There is a stellar line up of chefs, with visiting chefs including Angela Hartnett, Mitch Tonks, Ashley Palmer-Watts and the Sanchez brothers, as well as lots of local talent – Rick and Jack Stein, Paul Ainsworth, Nathan Outlaw, Ben Prior and Neil Haydock amongst others. There will be over sixty demonstrations, food forums, talks and masterclasses in the Demo Theatre and Festival Kitchen.
Outside the marquee will be pop up food stalls, and don’t forget to visit Padstow’s shops and wide range of restaurants while you are in the town.
For visitor information please visit www.padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk.
See our Insiders’ Guide.
COLLABORATION IN THE SQUARE AT ROJANO’S
Following the Padstow Christmas Festival, Angela Hartnett and Paul Ainsworth are teaming up for what promises to be a very memorable meal.
The six course feast will be held at Rojano’s in the Square on Monday 8 December, kicking off with champagne and canapés and a chance to meet the chefs. The dream team of chefs consists of Angela Harnett, Paul Ainsworth, Paul Dodd (Rojano’s), John Walton (Number 6), Luke Holder (Lime Wood) and Neil Borthwick (Merchants Tavern), each course accompanied by a matching wine from Enotria Wines. We’ve seen the menu and it’s sure to be a fabulous evening.
WHEN: 6.30pm, Monday 8 December
WHERE: Rojano’s in the Square, Padstow
TICKETS*: £100 including champagne and canapés, six courses and matching wines and a goodie bag to take home.
* Tickets for the dinner sold out within hours of being announced, but there is a waiting list. Please phone Angela on 01841 532 093 to be added to the list.
Fifteen‘s focus in December is Cornish game, the freshest local fish and hearty seasonal veg. The à la carte menu includes mouth watering dishes such as pigeon breast wrapped in speck, artichokes and pomegranate and garganelli, ‘nduja, red onion, rocket and cream.
From 1-19 December, Monday to Friday, the three-course set lunch menu is just £21, and comes highly recommended. Choose from dishes such as pollock with crushed herby potatoes, cavolo nero and aioli, pheasant with lentils, purple sprouting broccoli and agro dolce or a risotto of borlotti bean and porcini with parmesan. Finish off with Bramley apple frangipane with clotted cream or panna cotta with spiced plums and shortbread.
During November and December residents local to The Scarlet Hotel can enjoy a beautiful three-course set lunch with a glass of Nyetimber sparkling wine for just £19.50 per person. I was lucky enough to enjoy one of these lunches last week – see my blog post about it – and see a sample menu.
To claim this offer please bring proof of a local postcode (TR, PL, EX & TQ) in the form of a bill or identification. Must be booked in advance and subject to availability. Offer available Monday to Saturday between Saturday 1 November and Monday 22 December.
Benoit Tarlant will be hosting The Scarlet Hotel’s Gourmet Wine Maker’s Dinner on 6 December. The champagne inspired menu has been created by Head Chef Tom Hunter, and matched with four different Tarlant champagnes, with the knowledgeable and charming Benoit to guide you through each course.
A two-night package from the 5-7 December starts from £340 per person based on two people sharing a Just Right room. Includes breakfast each morning, dinner in the Scarlet Restaurant and the wine makers’ dinner with wine flight.
Non residents can attend the 4 course Gourmet Wine Makers’ Dinner with wine flight for £95 per person.
WHEN: Saturday 6 December
WHERE: The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth
RESERVATIONS: To book phone 01637 861 800 or email [email protected]
We’ve scoured the county for the best of this year’s festive food. From Christmas puddings to chutneys, sausages to marshmallows, read our Festive Fare blog to find out more.
On Wednesdays from 5 November to 17 December Rojano’s will have themed menus to choose from alongside the restaurant’s usual a la carte offering:
10 December “Lasagne di condividere” – lasagne to share, garlic dough balls, green salad and a bottle of red wine for two, £20.
17 December “Tuscan night, tapas style” – small tasters of the menu, priced at 3 dishes at £8, 5 dishes for £12, and 6 dishes for £14.
3-7 December “Rock ’n’ Padstow” – Porthilly mussels and fries for £10.
To celebrate the start of Padstow Christmas Festival, Porthilly mussels and fries will be available on the evening menu on Wednesday 3 December, and for the duration of the festival, both at lunch and dinner.
The restaurant also has two special deals available on take away orders for week day collection from 3 November to 19 December. Customers can order four pizzas (two 12” and two children’s size pizzas), fries and coleslaw for £25; or when ordering two pizzas, receive the second pizza for half price. Additional offers on specific dishes will be announced via Facebook each week.
For reservations and enquiries please call Rojano’s in the Square on 01841 532796.
Can you help provide Christmas dinner for a family in need? This fantastic project was set up by Truro Vineyard Church eleven years ago, and this Christmas they are expanding their scheme with more collection points across the county.
All you need to do is fill a box with enough food for Christmas dinner for a family of 4 to 6, with all the trimmings, treats like mince pies and biscuits, Christmas pudding and chocolates. A typical box will cost you around £30. No fresh food, alcohol or cigarettes please! Here’s the list of what you need to include in your box.
For more information contact Cornwall Christmas Box. Please let them know if you intend to provide a box, and drop off your donation at a collection point between 11 and 14 December. The Barefoot Media office is acting as a collection point between 9am and 3pm on Thursday 11 December.
NEW CHRISTMAS COURSES AT PHILLEIGH WAY COOKERY SCHOOL
Wednesday 3 December, 6.30-9pm | Festive food and wine pairing
Guest expert, Nigel Ede from Experience Wine, will join resident Philleigh Way chef George Pascoe in guiding students through the minefield of choosing the right wines to accompany festive dishes. George will demonstrate a range of exciting dishes to impress Christmas visitors whilst Nigel shares some interesting concepts in food and wine pairing.
£35pp including drinks and food tasting.
Saturday 6 December, 10am – 4pm | Christmas cookery course
This full day course kicks off with some European family favourites. George will teach students to bake Christmas classics such as German Stollen and Italian Panettone. He’ll also demonstrate a selection of party canapés, show you how to jazz up your traditional turkey, share tips and tricks on how to make the most of leftovers, plus a mixologist will be on hand to teach a couple of festive cocktails to impress party guests.
£125pp including Christmas lunch and drinks.
Wednesday 17 December, 10am – 2pm | Christmas wreath making day
Guest demonstrator and tutor, Louise Ord from Loulabel Floral Design, will show students how to design and create a Christmas wreath.
£40pp including all materials, homemade mulled wine and mince pies, as well as a Philleigh Way festive lunch.
For more details please visit Philleigh Way’s website or phone 01872 580893.
THE LAID BACK COFFEE CO. ON THE ROAD
The lovely Laid Back Coffee Co. will be serving boozy hot chocs, mulled wine and tasty festive treats alongside all their usuals at the following events:
5-9pm, 28 November, St Columb Major town centre for the switching on of the Christmas lights.
10am-5pm, 29 & 30 November, Newquay Festive Festival in Fore St car park.
4-7 December, Trevisker Garden Centre, near Padstow.
And there are three December dates for their regular brunch collaboration with Wild Bake:
Sunday 14 December – Mawgan Porth
Saturday 20 December– Padstow Farm Shop
Sunday 21 December– Roo’s Beach in Porth
NEWS FROM SAM’S
Sam’s are offering great set menus for Christmas parties this year. For the first time in 28 years, Sam’s in Fowey are taking bookings for parties in November and December, and you can book for Sam’s in the City and Sam’s on the Beach too.
Try the pork and black pudding terrine, lemon poached halibut or 12 hour slow roasted leg of lamb. Finish off with delights such as vanilla and honeycomb cheesecake, boozy Eden mess, or a chocolate salted caramel soufflé. In fact, everything on the menus looks delicious.
They are also selling their own brand coffee, “cool beans”, alongside mugs and Sam’s branded beer.
For more information see their website.
Four fabulous foodie evenings – and if you stay at the hotel for two nights, the cost of your accommodation on the night of the dinner is included in the ticket price.
Thursday 27 November – An evening with Alan Murchison, Head Chef of the Michelin starred L’Ortolan restaurant in Berkshire, £85 per head inclusive of wines. Alan Murchison has been at the helm of the widely acclaimed L’Ortolan restaurant since 2004, and during this evening will take you on a fascinating journey through his own culinary experiences and the best of British cuisine.
Thursday 4 December – An evening with Nathan Outlaw, £90 per head including wines. Nathan Outlaw has become one of the UK’s most recognised and significant chefs with four Michelin stars to his name. During the evening you will enjoy Nathan’s own food served alongside a bespoke choice of wines.
Thursday 11 December – A celebration of Cornish fish with guest Rob Wing, from Wing of St Mawes, £65 per head inclusive of wines. Rob is the well-known local fish merchant ‘Wing of St Mawes’. He will be directing the evening through a menu designed around his favourite Cornish catches and talking about sustainable fishing methods and the merits of locally sourced produce.
Thursday 18 December – Christmas lunch masterclass with Mark Apsey, £80 per head including masterclass, wines and lunch. Head Chef Mark Apsey will spend the morning with up to 12 guests demonstrating the art of the perfect Christmas Lunch. From turkey basting to Christmas pudding Mark will explain all the inside tips of the trade.
For more details and reservations phone 01326 270 270 or email [email protected].
CHRISTMAS BANQUET AT LUSTY GLAZE
Under the leadership of new head chef, Nat Tallents, the food at Lusty Glaze is looking better than ever. This winter try out their gorgeous daytime menu, served from 12-6pm every day, just £12 for two courses or £15 for three, with main dishes including a chicken and chorizo cassoulet, and beetroot cured salmon with Asian greens and noodles. Finish off with cinnamon and raisin bread and butter pudding, or dark chocolate brownie with strawberry ice cream.
The Christmas banquet parties are designed for groups of 8 or more people, with no turkey in sight. You can choose individual dishes from the menu or a joint of beef to carve at the table, and I love the idea of the pudding sharing platter. Prices start at £25 per person for the banquet, or include a glass of prosecco and the dessert platter for £36pp.
Nancarrow’s Christmas feast should round off their first year of popular feasts in style. Expect something between Charles Dickens and The Night Before Christmas, with a huge Christmas tree and carols in the courtyard, great company and delicious food.
WHEN: Saturday 13 December
WHERE: Nancarrow Farm, Zelah, nr Truro
TICKETS: £35 per head. Buy tickets online.
CHRISTMAS AT HELIGAN
Christmas lunches will be served from 12 until 3pm in the Heligan Tearoom every day throughout December until Sunday 21st. The traditional Christmas lunches, with all the festive trimmings, cost £16.50 for 2 courses or £20 for 3 courses. Booking advisable.
From 5.30 to 7.30pm on 1, 8 and 15 December, Heligan are offering free entry to their magical lantern-lit northern gardens. During these Cornish Christmas Evenings you can enjoy music, shopping for gifts and food in both the Heligan Shop and Lobbs Farm Shop, and mulled wine and food from the Heligan Bakery in the Heligan Tearoom.
RIVERFORD’S CHRISTMAS BOXES
Riverford has come up with a range of Christmas dinner boxes that contain all you need for the big day. The boxes feature classic Christmas veg, a slow-grown organic turkey, Riverford mince pies, Christmas puddings, cheeses and much more. There are options with or without festive meat, plus Boxing Day and gift hampers too.
For more information visit www.riverford.co.uk or phone Steve and Lynn Allen 01208 367434.
BILL’S CORNISH KITCHEN AND BILL’S PIZZA
The team behind the Blue Tomato in Rock are launching Bill’s Cornish Kitchen and Bill’s Pizza on 12 December, bringing affordable dining direct to your home.
If you live in Wadebridge you’ll be able to order pizzas and Thai food for home delivery, and even desserts – phone 01208 814885 or follow @billspizzas on Twitter.
Bill’s Cornish Kitchen will be making their fabulous cakes, scones, meringues and jams as well as preparing ready meals, all of which will be available wholesale to shops, restaurants, hotels and delis. Keep an eye on their Twitter page for more details.
INKIE’S SMOKEHOUSE BBQ
Inkie’s Smokehouse BBQ are getting quite a name for themselves with their beautiful beef brisket which is smoked “low and slow” for at least 18 hours. We’ve also sampled their delicious pulled pork, chicken and ribs, as well as homemade slaws and cornbread, and all come highly recommended. Try them for yourself at their regular pitches outside Topps Tiles in Bodmin, Wednesdays 5-9pm, and on Thursday evenings by the Morrisons roundabout in Liskeard.
They can also be found outside Mac’s BBQ on the Callywith Industrial Estate in Bodmin between 11am and 3pm on Wednesdays and will be in Looe for the arrival of the Coca-Cola truck on 15 December.
We love the pizzas that come out of Kernowforno‘s wood-fired oven. They have a beautiful thin crispy crust and are loaded with deliciously fresh toppings. My favourite is the middle eastern lamb ragout with feta, and the banana and chocolate pizza is our children’s choice.
You can find Kernowforno at events across Cornwall, including the Lostwithiel Dickensian Evening on Thursday 11 December where you can sample their special “Darles Chicken”, “Olive Twist” or “Grated Expectations” pizzas, and the Producer Fair at Crocadon Farm near St Mellion on Saturday 20 December.
We love the look of this special Christmas burger from Padstow’s Burgers and Fish. It’s a turkey burger with stuffing, cranberry sauce and parsnip chips and will cost you £13.95 during November and December.
They also have a great looking Christmas menu, available until the end of December, with two and three course options for £18 and £24 respectively.
For more details and a full menu visit www.burgersandfish.com.
The Social Dining Network is now free to join and offers some lovely sounding events this month. On 2 December they are holding a three course fine dining evening at Saffron in Truro, and at 1pm on Saturday 13 December there is a three course celebratory lunch at Hunkydory in Falmouth, both £25 pp.
Bedruthan Hotel are holding another of their popular courses on preserving, cordials and liqueurs from 10am to 4pm on 13 December. Priced at £55 per person, you will learn various techniques and tricks of the trade from expert preserve chef Adam Clark.
Cotehele’s Christmas Food Fair will be held in the historic Tudor house over the weekend of 22-23 November. £2 entrance, under 18’s free.
Philleigh Way’s December Supper Club will be held on 13 December. Priced at £14 per person the menu will feature Pork Scaramanga and guests will be seated on bales at rustic wooden tables in front of the cookery school.
Potluck Cornwall‘s last event of 2014 will be held on 13 December. Guests each bring a dish to share, which must include some element of red or green for this Christmas meal. For more details visit their website.
Congratulations to the finalists and winners of this year’s Trencherman’s Awards. Cornwall was well represented with finalists Ben’s Cornish Kitchen, Treglos Hotel, Talland Bay Hotel and Paul Ainsworth. Well done to St Moritz Hotel for winning the Dine & Stay Experience award.
The popular Leky’s Thai Banquet Christmas date is 6 December. £30 and BYO wine at Bre Pen Farm, near Mawgan Porth. To book see Facebook or phone 01637 860420.
Work is underway at a new £800k Italian restaurant and education centre on Par Beach by Park Leisure, who own nearby Par Sands Holiday Park.
Feel free to email us your food news, or add to the comments section below.