THE FOODIE DIARY: DECEMBER 2016
It’s time to eat, drink and be merry! Ho ho ho.
1 to 4 December sees Cornwall’s largest food festival taking place in Padstow, in the form of Padstow Christmas Festival. Dozens of chefs will be appearing on stage in the two theatre kitchens, and over one hundred food, drink, arts and craft stalls will be set up in the Festival Marquee.
For our pocket guide to who’s who on the demo stages, check out our A to Z of chefs. And don’t miss the carol-singing outside binTwo on the Friday evening, followed by a spectacular firework display over the harbour at 8.30pm.
For full details, including practical information and a demo timetable, visit padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk.
WIN TWO PLACES AT RICK STEIN’S COOKERY SCHOOL
Padstow Christmas Festival is running a competition to win two places at Rick Stein’s Cookery School in Padstow and there are just a few days left to enter.
The prize is for two people to attend the Shellfish Cookery course from 1pm to 4pm on Friday 2 December and the competition closes at noon on Wednesday 30 November.
To enter click here.
A gaggle of Cornwall’s best wine experts have taken the time to share their top tipples for Christmas Day.
CELEBRATIONS AT THE BEACH AT BUDE
The Beach at Bude is offering a festive three course set evening menu from 1 to 23 December. Dishes include beetroot and gin cured salmon, venison croquettes and ale braised beef brisket, with indulgent desserts and cheeses to top it all off.
The menu is priced at £24.50 for two courses and £28.50 for three courses. A private clubroom, which seats between 10 and 25 guests, is also available.
For New Year’s Eve celebrations, head chef Joe Simmonds has put together a fabulous five course tasting menu, and although remaining tickets are earmarked for guests of the hotel, The Beach is also offering a tempting winter break offer; between the 27 December and 2 January, dinner, bed and breakfast is £222 per night for two, with a minimum two night stay. Call 01288 389800 to make a reservation. Please note: the hotel, restaurant and bar will be closed from Christmas Eve until 27 December.
We’ve put together a collection of fantastic Cornish cocktails, with recipes kindly donated by some of our favourite bars and restaurants.
If you’re having a party, then check out the recipes here and make sure you’ve got all the ingredients to hand.
12 CHEFS, 12 NIGHTS: CHARITY DINNERS AT OLIVER’S
Watch this space for more details of the great menus coming together for the upcoming charity nights at Oliver’s in Falmouth.
Chef patron Ken Symons has put together a series of twelve special evenings, with twelve guest chefs, between 9 January and 27 March, with tasting menus priced at £50 per person, and £75 with wine flight. Proceeds will be shared between Hospitality Action and The Cove Macmillan Support Centre.
Visiting chefs are as follows:
Full menus will be available online soon. Contact Ken at Oliver’s on 01326 218138 to make a reservation.
WINE TASTING EVENING AT THE ROSEVINE
The evening will start with a tasting and a some essential education on the wonderful world of wine. Once guests have built up an appetite, they can tuck in to a two course supper, followed by an informal cheeseboard and maybe even a couple of games.
Places are limited and are £40 per person. Phone 01872 580 206 to book your place, and the hotel is offering special room rates for ticket holders.
NEW LUNCH MENU AT THE OLD QUAY HOUSE HOTEL
The new December lunch menu at The Old Quay House Hotel in Fowey sounds delicious and features dishes such as Jerusalem artichoke velouté with crisps and truffle oil, and smoked salmon with crispy capers and roast beetroot to start.
Mains include sea bream with mussel chowder and fennel, and rump steak with fondant potato, root vegetables and watercress; desserts include frangipane tart with pear sorbet, and chocolate delice with cranberries and chestnut.
The lunch menu is priced at £25 for 2 courses and £32 for 3 courses.
The hotel’s Burn’s Night dinner on 25 January will be more authentic than ever, the menu having been created by the hotel’s Scottish born head chef Richard Massey. For full details see here, £50 per person for the feast, with a few rooms still available should you wish to make a night of it.
The fantastic Cornwall Christmas Box scheme provides “Christmas dinner in a box” to Cornish families in need.
Get together with friends, family or colleagues to fill a box – we reckon you can get everything on the list for around £25 – and take to your nearest collection point, of which Barefoot HQ is one. The boxes will then be collected by the charity organisers, and distributed by social services.
For full details of what to include and a list of collection points across the county please visit cornwallchristmasbox.co.uk.
NB please make your donations by Wednesday 14 December.
CHRISTMAS TASTING MENU AT CHAPTER 1 RESTAURANT
The Christmas menu at Chapter 1 Restaurant looks gorgeous. It only eludes to the dishes but includes scallops/cucumber/peanut/burnt lime, venison tartare/smoked mayo/oak moss/sloe gin, and sea bream/kohlrabi/truffle/parmesan. With chef Tom Mackins’ culinary talent you can guarantee it will be delicious. £60 for six courses.
And if this all seems a bit much, then try the usual tasting menu, which is a very reasonable £40 for six courses. Pictured above are dishes we enjoyed at Chapter 1 in November, including the very beautiful “woodland floor” dessert, which Tom created on a large wooden board in the centre of the table.
Keep an eye on their Facebook page for up to date menus, and phone 01637 499263 to book a table.
binTwo’s last Flight Club of the year is a super duper champagne and seafood affair. With six Billecart-Salmon champagnes to taste, and a feast of oysters, lobster and crab, this is going to be an amazing evening.
7pm at the binTwo Hub at Hawksfield, Saturday 10 December.
£60 per person. Sold out – but add your name to the waiting list just in case.
THE SANCTUARY OPENS IN TRURO
The Sanctuary opened in Truro last week, offering decent coffee, wine and champagne by the glass, and good music. Children are welcome (there are even small chairs and a telly in the corner) and there will be regular film screenings. Plus there’s a gorgeous room at the back (called “The Library”) which is ideal for meetings by day and private parties by night.
David McWilliam is on hand to offer his expert advice on which wine you should choose, and you can buy wine by the bottle to drink in or take away.
Open 10am to 10pm daily, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Pop in and say hello: The Sanctuary, 18 New Bridge Street, Truro.
Buttermilk has added two new festive flavours to its award-winning confectionery range: Mince Pie Crumbly Fudge and Cranberry and Orange Smooth Fudge. The new flavours are inspired by classic tastes of Christmas, each crammed with Buttermillk’s favourite winter spices and fruits.
They join Irish Cream Crumbly Fudge, back by popular demand, having previously won gold Great Taste and bronze Taste of the West awards.
All three products come in a 100g sharing box (£2.50) and a Christmas gift box is also available: a delicious 18 piece selection of festive fudge flavours including brandy butter, chocolate orange, and ginger (£9.99).
The products are available at Buttermilk’s Padstow and Port Isaac shops and online from buttermilk.co.uk.
CAMEL VALLEY CROWNED SPARKLING ROSE WORLD CHAMPION 2016
Congratulations to Camel Valley Vineyard, which has won the title of Sparkling Rosé World Champion 2016 for its Brut Rosé Cuvée Raymond Blanc 2014. This wine was made to celebrate Raymond Blanc’s visit to the vineyard whilst filming “Raymond Blanc’s Christmas”.
Over thirty judges from across the globe judged the wines at the ninth International Challenge Euposia in Italy. Over the two days, the judges tasted 4,500 bottles of wine – it’s a tough job…
Available to buy online, priced at £34.95 per bottle.
The fabulous Loulabel will be hosting a wreath making workshop at the Gurnard’s Head on Monday 19 December.
The three hour workshop starts at 10am, with coffee, mince pies, mulled wine and a three course lunch all included in the price. £55 per person. Reserve your place by email.
SANTA TRAIL AT WAX AT WATERGATE
During the month of December WAX will be transformed into a “magical wonderland”.
The bottom floor of WAX will be converted into Santa’s beach house, offering children the opportunity to meet FC himself, as well as activities such as making cakes with Mrs Claus and writing a Christmas wish list with one of the elves. £8 per child, or £12 to include a meal.
Upstairs the restaurant will be serving festive fare, from mulled wine to sharing fondues, and there’ll be a pop-up Christmas shop.
The Santa Trail will be open on selected days from the 1 to 24 December, with booking recommended. Visit their Facebook page for more info, and to book phone 01637 860353.
BREW CORNWALL POP UP
Brew Cornwall is popping up at The Leats in Truro. The miniature café only seats 4 to 6 people but is the perfect pit stop whilst Christmas shopping.
The café serves soup and cakes, handmade chocolates, great coffee and turmeric lattes (coconut milk based with saffron, peppercorns, cinnamon, fresh ginger, turmeric and cardamon). Plus boozy hot chocolates and coffee on late night shopping evenings.
Proper Pancakes will also be on hand, serving their grilled cheese sandwiches and fluffy American pancakes.
CHRISTMAS WINE TASTING AT ST TUDY INN
Cornish winemaker Mark Hellyar is bringing a selection of wines from his vineyard at Chateau Civrac near Bordeaux, to the cosy St Tudy Inn in North Cornwall.
From 6 to 9pm on Sunday 4 December guests will be able to taste five wines, accompanied by Emily Scott’s canapés.
Tickets are priced at £35 per person, with £10 redeemable against any orders placed during the evening. To book, pop into the pub or phone 01208 850656.
POP-UPS WITH LEE SKEET
You may have seen the Lee Skeet‘s name popping up recently. The Devon-born chef has returned to the South West after several years in London and abroad, and is planning to open a restaurant in St Ives soon.
Meanwhile he is holding supper clubs around Cornwall, and details of his next three events are:
Sunday 4 December, The Old Mill Bistro, Little Petherick
Coinciding with the final day of the Padstow Christmas Festival, Lee will be cooking a mammoth eight course tasting menu, priced at £45, tickets available online.
Friday 9 December, Philleigh Way Cookery School
Guests at this intimate supper club in the farmhouse kitchen will get the chance to watch the preparation and cooking of their five course menu. Tickets are available online, priced at £40 each.
Saturday 17 December, Surf House, St Ives
Lee’s final supper club of 2016 will be a return to Surf House in St Ives for his second collaboration with Tassy Swallow. Guests will sit around one large communal table and sample a tasting menu featuring seasonal local produce with a festive feel in the beautiful building on the island. £40, click here to buy tickets.
BLEND YOUR OWN WINE AT SCARLET WINES
Guests will be able to create their own Malbec wine, combining juice from different parcels of grapes to make their own unique blend.
The concept is designed to demonstrate how experienced winemakers achieve harmony in a wine by blending juice from different vineyards (or areas within vineyards); the parcels may also have been fermented or aged in different ways, and therefore will have very diverse characteristics.
By way of reward, amateur winemakers will enjoy a perfectly-cooked steak courtesy of the Scarlet Wines kitchen, to go with their wine. £30 per person.
Scarlet Wines’ Christmas Shopping Weekend takes place on 17 and 18 December.
Visitors can enjoy samples of traditional Italian panettone, mulled wine, special offers on cases (5% off six bottles or 10% off twelve or more), Christmas hampers – and help and advice on buying wine and spirits from the knowledgeable team.
NEWS FROM PHILLEIGH WAY
Philleigh Way Cookery School is running a series of Christmas courses this year, including Christmas cookery, Christmas baking, Christmas cake decorating and wreath making.
Guest tutor Christine Hawker will teach students the stages of decorating their own Christmas cake including mastering a range of different icing and decorative techniques whilst resident Philleigh Way chef will give students tips and tricks to jazz up this year’s Christmas dinner on the Christmas cookery course. There will also be a mixologist on hand to teach students a few seasonal cocktails to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
The Christmas baking course will cover some seasonal favourites with a Philleigh Way twist, including Stollen muffins, a Yule log and filo mince pies.
For full details of all the courses, including prices and dates, visit philleighway.co.uk.
CHRISTMAS MENU AT BURGERS & FISH
Popular Padstow restaurant Burgers & Fish has launched its new Christmas menu.
The menu is on offer until 23 December, with two courses priced at £20 and three courses for £25, and is available alongside the regular menu which features firm favourites including gourmet burgers and locally caught grilled fish.
COMPLIMENTARY COURSE AT LUNCHTIME AT FIFTEEN CORNWALL
To celebrate Fifteen Cornwall’s tenth birthday, customers will receive a complimentary third or fourth course from the full lunch menu this autumn, which is priced at £26 for two courses (with a complimentary third course) and £32 for three courses (with a complimentary fourth).
You can expect to see dishes such as: saltimbocca of rabbit with artichokes, mint and pecorino; pigeon with porcini and speck; bucatini with venison meatballs; poached brill with punterelle and anchovy; baked figs with zabaione and cobnuts; and vanilla arancini with poached plums.
Quote AWTHANKYOU2016 when booking, offer available Monday to Saturday lunchtimes until 17 December.
NEWSFLASH: We’ve discovered the BEST doughnuts – available from the German stall (laden with gingerbread hearts) behind the sausage windmill (yes, this is an actual thing) outside the Hall for Cornwall on Lemon Quay. £2 for four doughnuts. Most definitely worth a visit.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan’s Christmas Fair takes place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December. Free to Heligan Annual Members, £1 Local Pass holders and £2 for everyone else – including garden entry.
Roots Culture Market takes place from 12 noon to 6pm on Sunday 4 December at Mount Pleasant Eco Park in Porthtowan, with over 25 stalls, good music and the legendary Roots Reggae Roast (100% vegetarian) served in the café until 4pm.
Fowey Hall Hotel and Polurrian Bay Hotel are offering last minute deals, available until 23 December. A two night stay is priced from £299 for two adults, including full English breakfast and two course dinner each evening.
Enjoy a Sunday roast in the Sea Side restaurant at the St Moritz Hotel, and have a free swim. Two courses £16.95, three courses £20. Under 12’s can have ‘half portion, half price’. Booking essential: 01208 862242.
Nancarrow Farm’s Christmas feasts have already sold out, but there are a few Dinner Bed & Breakfast tickets still available. For more info and tickets click here.
Woodfired Canteen is popping up at Enys Gardens for a festive wood-fired feast, from 7pm on Friday 2 December. £30 per person, tickets available online.
Haywood Farm’s Christmas Hoedown takes place on Sunday 18 December.
Truro’s Victorian Christmas Market will be held from to December on Lemon Quay.
Carluccio’s has submitted plans for its first Cornish restaurant, to open on Boscawen Street in Truro.
The Star and Garter in Falmouth is offering a free bottle of wine when you order two or more main courses between 6pm and 6.45pm Tuesday to Friday.
Fowey Christmas Market runs from 9 to 11 December.
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Please send your January news to reach us by 20 December.