THE FOODIE DIARY: FEBRUARY
There’s no avoiding Valentine’s Day this month, but we’ve also got plenty of non-lovey-dovey events and winter menus for you to enjoy.
Don’t forget Shrove Tuesday on 9 February. For those of you making your own pancakes, here are my two favourite recipes: Nigella’s fluffy American style pancakes are delicious with bacon and maple syrup, and Delia’s traditional pancakes are perfect with lemon and sugar.
Happy reading, and happy eating!
SET LUNCHES AT ST TUDY INN
The set lunch menu at St Tudy Inn is great value, and the food served is some of the prettiest around. My favourites are the rosemary focaccia crumbed monkfish tails, and the perfectly wobbly panna cotta.
Two courses are priced at £18, three courses £23, available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes until Easter. Phone 01208 850656 or book online.
Congratulations to Emily and her team on their recent success in the UK Top 50 Gastropub Awards, where St Tudy Inn was chosen as One to Watch, and in the Food Reader Awards, where Emily was a finalist in the best chef category.
Emily has some lovely recipes on her website, including panna cotta with passionfruit and shortbread stars (pictured above), a flourless chocolate pudding, and John Dory with lemon and thyme.
The menu is priced at £39.50 for five courses including a glass of rosé prosecco on arrival.
Dishes include roasted fillet of turbot with crispy oysters, cucumber and dill salad, roasted salsify and a cucumber and oyster emulsion, and fillet steak with confit onion pithivier, stuffed tomato, chunky chips and béarnaise sauce.
The Beach Bar has a happy hour with 2-4-1 on all beers, spirits and house wine between 4pm and 7pm, and includes cocktails on Friday and Saturday.
Phone 01288 389800 to book or visit www.thebeachatbude.co.uk.
WILD CORNWALL LUNCH AT FIFTEEN CORNWALL
The Wild Cornwall lunch menu will be available six days a week until Friday 12 February, with three courses priced at £24 per person.
The Italian-inspired dishes will be created using the very best Cornish ingredients, with a daily changing menu, which we can highly recommend.
For starters, expect to see dishes such as pappa al pomodoro – a classic heart-warming Tuscan tomato and bread soup. As a main course, potato gnocchi with romanesco alla barese; or fillet of hake, crushed herby potatoes, winter greens and aioli. And for pudding, pinolata della nonna or grandma’s pine nut and custard tart.
After half term a Spring lunch menu starts on 22 February and will run from Monday to Saturday until 18 March. This will be the last of their special lunch offers until autumn.
Book online or phone 01637 861000.
The new look Old Mill Bistro re-opened its doors on 28 January. Adrian Oliver’s menu is based on the best, local, seasonal produce.
It includes seared scallops with watercress and parsnip crisps, and smoked duck breast with salad leaves, caper berries and balsamic reduction as starters. Mains include grilled fillets of sea bass with new potatoes, celeriac and chive butter sauce, and chilli crab linguini. For dessert, I can’t see past the sticky toffee pudding.
Their Valentine’s package includes cream tea upon arrival, half an hour in the outdoor wood fired hot tub, a three course dinner in the bistro, and one night bed and breakfast. £170 per couple, and an extra night can be added for £50. Available 12, 13 and 14 February.
For reservations phone 01841 540388.
EVENTS AT THE NEW YARD RESTAURANT
The menu includes woodcock and pigeon terrine with pickled mushroom and beetroot compote, roast venison with a chocolate sauce, hazelnuts and sprouts, and a chilled chocolate fondant with salted caramel sauce. It is priced at £25 for three courses.
The restaurant is also holding a Valentine’s dinner on Saturday 13 February.
The delicious looking menu includes a glass of prosecco on arrival and sharing starters (oysters, baked camembert or mezze). Main courses include confit duck leg with buttered kale, dauphinoise potato, blood orange and pomegranate jus, and cod with crab crushed potatoes and lobster Veronique sauce. Followed by dessert, coffee and macarons, it’s priced at £35 per person.
Booking essential – phone 01326 221224 or book online.
WINE TASTERS WANTED AT CAMEL VALLEY
Camel Valley fans are invited to help the Lindos taste their 2015 wines.
These wines have not been bottled or blended yet, and at this stage the winemakers are looking to find the optimum blend, for which they need your help. Guests will have the opportunity to try various wines, fresh from the tanks and in return give an honest opinion.
Tank tastings are free and will be held from 15 to 19 February between 2pm and 5pm. All you need to do to take part is turn up at the vineyard shop. For location and more information see www.camelvalley.com.
Fifteen Cornwall is holding two special events over Valentine’s weekend:
Cupid’s Carnivores’ Night – Friday 12 February
This meal begins with a glass of prosecco and a sharing board of authentic Italian antipasti. For main course it’s a juicy Cornish steak, Fifteen style, and the evening will finish with a selection of sweet treats.
The menu is priced at £55 per head. Vegetarian option available.
Valentine’s Dinner – Sunday 14 February
This special six course tasting menu includes Cornish rock oysters in the “Seaside to Share” starter, agnolotti of short rib with a lobster ragu, a choice of three main courses and a dark chocolate, salt caramel and blood orange torte. The menu is priced at £75 each, with a specially curated wine package for an extra £60 per person.
To book for either event phone 01637 861000.
NEWS FROM PHILLEIGH WAY
Philleigh Way Cookery School has joined forces with Cornish seafood expert, Annie Sibert of My Fish Kitchen, for their fish and shellfish cookery courses. The next fish course takes place on 19 March, and shellfish on 25 June.
The school also has a new taster session – a Filled Pasta course – from 10am to 12 noon on 17 February. Priced at £60 per person, you’ll learn how to make your own fresh pasta and get hands on making your own ravioli and tortellini.
The Valentine’s Night supper club promises to be a fantastic evening, with the tasting menu being cooked in front of you in the Cookery School. The large table seats 14 people, and the meal starts at 7pm. £40 per person, including a glass of fizz on arrival.
Finally, book now for the new cheese making course in conjunction with specialist tutor, Susan Collier of Colliers Cornish Cheese. With demos and practical sessions, students will make both soft and hard cheeses and ricotta. 10am to 4pm, 27 April, £135 per person.
FISH TAPAS FRIDAY AT THE BEACH HUT
Watergate Bay’s next Fish Supper Friday will be held at The Beach Hut at 7pm on Friday 26 February.
The menu features a selection of tapas from around the world, including fishcakes, braised cuttlefish, goujons with tartare sauce, squid with Asian pesto (pictured above – see Neil Haydock’s recipe), paprika spiced mussels and chorizo, and fish pakoras.
£25 per person including dessert. Book online.
THE OLD QUAY HOUSE HOTEL
If you stay for two nights before 11 February (special rates, from £145 bed and breakfast in a classic double room) you can enjoy dinner in the restaurant at half price.
For more information or to make a reservation, phone 01726 833302 or email [email protected].
NEWS FROM LUSTY GLAZE
Last month we enjoyed a meal at the Lusty Glaze Secret Supper club, a monthly event where head chaf Nat Tallents cooks dinner in front of twelve guests. The menu is a surprise – we had a seven course Indian-themed banquet, which was delicious. The February Secret Supper club will be held on 25 January, tickets are £45 per person and available to buy online.
New at Lusty Glaze is their winter afternoon tea (pictured), served from 3 to 6pm every day (but must be pre-booked). This includes a glass of prosecco or hot drink, scones, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits, and is £15 per person.
I can recommend the steak and wine Thursdays which continue until the end of March, with rump or tuna steak (or vegetarian option) with all the trimmings, plus a bottle of wine, for £30 for two people, served from 12 noon until close.
The seven course Valentine’s tasting menu looks rather tasty, and is available on 12, 13 and 14 February. I particularly like the sound of some of the dishes: a pea risotto with mint, feta and parmesan crisps, mushroom arancini with pea purée and celeriac slaw, scallops with parmesan and truffle, and a sharing dessert of coffee, honeycomb, cheesecake, chocolate, popcorn and hazelnuts.
For full details of all events and menus please visit www.lustyglaze.co.uk.
The date for their February feast is Friday 12 February, with the promise of a hearty supper. **NB this event has sold out.**
Sign up to receive Nancarrow’s emails if you want to be the first to hear about their next events.
Phone 01208 813845 to reserve a place and help support families in their hour of darkness.
EVENTS AT OLIVER’S IN FALMOUTH
The wonderful Oliver’s in Falmouth is holding a charity dinner in aid of Cancer Research on 1 February. Six courses and wine flight £55 per person. Phone 01326 218138 to book.
I attended a Social Dining Network event at Oliver’s last year, and the food was fabulous. You can read my blog about it here.
The Social Dining Network returns to the restaurant on Friday 5 February, with another fantastic looking tasting menu.
Priced at £32.25 per person, with optional wine flight for £30, the dinner includes dishes such as smoked pheasant with goat’s cheese mousse, pecans and salt baked beetroot, bass with brandade and squash, ox cheek with carrots, sprouting broccoli and garlic mash, and salt baked pineapple with mulled cider sorbet.
INKIE’S RESIDENCY AT BREAD AND ROSES
They are serving their usual pit-smoked BBQ food, including 18 hour maple smoked pork, 22 hour cherry smoked beef brisket and smoked Cornish hen, along with southern specials such as Louisiana Gumbo and shrimp and grits.
Sticky cherry St Louis cut hickory smoked ribs will be on offer on a pre-order basis, and there will be a vegetarian option available too.
The tour will kick off at the Fal Oyster Gathering over the Easter weekend. For full details of the project please visit their Crowdfunder page. All rewards will be issued between 14 February and 24 March, and can be redeemed during 2016.
- For £5 you can enjoy a bottle of Fal Oyster Stout and 3 Fal oysters at any Pop Up Gathering.
- A £10 pledge will get you a flute of brut and a Fal oyster at any Pop Up Gathering.
- £50 will get you a bottle of Camel Valley and a dozen Fal oysters at any Pop Up Gathering, or they can be delivered to your home.
- A £200 pledge will get a stallholder a pitch at the Easter Fal Oyster Gathering.
- For £1,000 your company can be the main sponsor of a Pop Up Gathering.
NEWS FROM POLGOON VINEYARD
Polgoon Vineyard is offering 20% off their still and sparkling rosé. Enter the code DRINKPINK online, or pop into their shop.
The vineyard is also collaborating with Raw Chocolate Pie – watch this space for what sounds like a match made in heaven.
Prawn on the Lawn’s Valentine’s menu looks pretty special. The five course fishy feast is available on 13 February and is £50 per person, including a glass of fizz.
The meal kicks off with half a dozen oysters, followed by seared tuna with chilli, spring onion, coriander, soy and mirin, then beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish crème fraîche and a fennel salad. The star of the show is a whole lobster served with coriander butter, tomato and tarragon salad and crushed spiced potatoes, and a salted caramel pot with raspberries and crème fraîche rounds it off nicely.
To make a reservation visit prawnonthelawn.com or phone 01841 532223.
NEWS FROM RICK STEIN
Rick Stein will be at Stein’s Deli between 11am and 12 noon on 19 February for a book signing. Bring your copy of one of his books for him to sign (or buy one from the shop), plus there’ll be tasters in store.
Save the date: 18-20 March sees Stein’s annual Beer and Mussel Festival return to The Cornish Arms in St Merryn. Expect great food, beer and entertainment. More details in next month’s diary.
New for February are the Fistral Sessions at Rick Stein Fistral, Newquay. Starting on Friday 5 February, and then on the first Friday of each month until April, live music kicks off at 7pm. The restaurant’s fish and chip takeaway and curry kitchen will be open all evening.
It’s the last two weeks of charity lunches at The Seafood Restaurant, raising money for Children’s Hospice South West. The delicious three course menu is priced at £19 (plus a £2.50 donation to CHSW) and is a really great way to experience this Padstow institution.
If you’re stuck for ideas at half term, grab your bikes and cycle the Camel Trail to Padstow, where Stein’s Fish and Chips are offering a family takeaway deal – £24.95 for two portions of cod and chips and two portions of children’s cod bites and chips.
NEWS FROM SAM’S
Sam’s ‘New You’ menu caught my eye. It features super-healthy dishes such as grilled soy and ginger salmon with pak choi, spring onion and chilli noodles in a clear Asian broth, and low fat jerk chicken coconut curry with a citrus quinoa and rocket salad.
If you make a booking at any of Sam’s restaurants before 31 January, to be enjoyed by 12 February, you will receive 15% off your bill. NB not available on Saturday nights, and you will need to show your confirmation email when making payment.
Sam’s in the City is offering free children’s meals between 4 and 6pm. Two children can eat free from the children’s menu when two adults eat from main menu.
NEW MENU AT THE IDLE ROCKS
Head chef Guy Owen’s new menu at The Idle Rocks features some beautiful looking dishes which I’ve pinched from his Instagram account.
Think hogget, salt baked turnip, ricotta, kale and squash. Lemon sole, charred aubergine purée, coriander, kirashi, furikake and squid ink. Or mackerel rillettes, cucumber salsa, dill, pickles, celery, beetroot and brioche.
We recently attended an amazing dinner at The Idle Rocks, with guest chefs Mitch Tonks and Mat Prowse from The Seahorse in Dartmouth, which you can read about here. There is another collaborative dinner coming up on 12 March, this time with Fifteen Cornwall. The rather special five course meal is priced at £75 per person, with optional wine flight for £35, and all profits from the dinner will be going to the Fifteen Cornwall Apprentice Programme.
For more information visit idlerocks.com.
Daniel will be cooking sourdough pizzas and Nicky will be making pancakes. All are available to eat in or takeaway, and they’ll be open from 6 to 9pm.
BETTER BREWING COURSE AT RELISH FOOD AND DRINK
Join Hugo Hercod, sometime UK Barista champion and self-confessed coffee geek, for a coffee-fuelled morning at Relish in Wadebridge.
Participants will learn all about coffee in a three hour hands on course, full details online.
Price includes breakfast – fresh croissants and pain au chocolate while you learn – and as much coffee as you probably want to drink in one morning, as well as a 250g bag of beans to take home and 10% discount on coffee equipment.
£60 per person, 9am to 12 noon, Sunday 28 February.
At 7.30pm on Sunday 7 February, thousands of quizzers will simultaneously answer the first in a series of questions in the World’s Biggest Quiz.
Organised by Pubaid, the aim of the evening is to raise money for local causes and charities, and at the same time trying to break the Guinness World Record for the largest multi-venue quiz.
Participating Cornish pubs include Collins Arms in Redruth, The Star Inn in St Day, Coppice Inn at Lanner, The Portreath Arms, The Royal Oak at Perranwell Station, Red River Inn at Gwithian, The City Inn in Truro, Bolingey Inn, The Roseland Inn at Philleigh, The Kings Arms in Marazion, The Kings Head in Lane, The Mounts Bay Inn in Churchtown, Firebrand Bar in Launceston, The White Horse Inn in Liskeard, Brendon Arms in Bude, The Polgooth Inn and Par Inn.
SWIM AND LUNCH AT THE ROSEVINE
The Rosevine is a family friendly hotel and restaurant near Porthcurnick Beach on the Roseland. From 12 February they’ll be open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Try their popular swim and lunch offer – guests can have a free swim in the indoor pool before lunch – which is available every day.
On Sundays they serve traditional Sunday lunches and afternoon teas. If you’re a local resident then you can join the locals’ loyalty scheme and enjoy three courses for £19.50 at a special dinner on Saturday 27 February.
For more details visit www.rosevine.co.uk or phone 01872 580206.
EVENTS AT COSTISLOST
Costislost in Washaway, near Wadebridge, is holding a pop-up dinner at 8pm on Friday 26 February.
The meal will consist of local organic and foraged ingredients, and the feast will be served on the handsome long kitchen table. £30 per person. Vegetarian options available. BYO drinks – no corkage charge.
For bookings, please phone 01208 840031 or email [email protected].
The Globe in Fowey has a fantastic looking eight course tasting menu running through the whole of February, including Valentine’s weekend.
The menu includes mackerel with beetroot, apple and horseradish; hand-rolled pasta with sprouting broccoli, kale, Helford blue and toasted pistachio; braised shin of beef with smoked butter mash; and a cheesecake with chocolate crumble and salted caramel.
The menu is priced at £35 per person. For reservations phone 01726 337076 or email [email protected].
The Scarlet‘s lunch menu looks good value, with three courses for £23.50, or two courses for £19.50, available Monday to Saturday.
Starters include a partridge and chicken terrine with remoulade and game chips, and a fish and shellfish stew with rouille and croutons. For mains try glazed ox cheek with horseradish potatoes, chanterelles and a white port sauce, or twice baked hake with hand cut chips and tartare sauce. The blackberry parfait with granola, mascarpone and honey sounds divine.
For reservations visit www.scarlethotel.co.uk or phone 01637 861800.
FEAST NIGHT AT SCARLET WINES
The Scarlet Wines Feast Nights return on 6 February; this time concentrating on the flavours of Spain, with some of Jon Keast’s interesting and sometimes unusual wines.
Guests will be served a selection of Spanish dishes and wines which naturally enhance each other.
Tickets are £28 per person and early booking is recommended. Visit www.scarlet-wines.co.uk for more details.
Street Food Fest returns to Truro Piazza from 3 to 11pm on both 26 and 27 February.
There will be a pop up street food night market, licensed bar and live music.
BECOME A WINE BUFF
Gordon Lawrence, formerly sommelier at Fifteen Cornwall, is running a WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits which will suit those who have little or no previous knowledge of the broad range of wines and spirits.
The dates are 20 and 27 February and 5 and 12 March, 9.30am to 5pm each day, and will be held in the Fifteen Cornwall restaurant. For more details visit www.bintwo.com.
£300 per person. To book a place email Claire at Fifteen.
Several restaurants will be reopening this month after closing their doors in January for a well earned break:
- Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow reopens on 9 Feb.
- Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 – 12 Feb.
- Rojano’s, Padstow – 3 Feb.
- The Driftwood – 5 Feb.
- Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac – 12 Feb.
- Porthminster Beach Café, St Ives – 13 Feb
Top marks to those who’ve kept on going through January!
Tim’s Place in Wadebridge is holding a special “From Field to Coast Evening” on 27 February. Three delicious courses are priced at £20 per person. For menu and more info see here.
Check out The Hidden Kitchen’s February supper club calendar, packed with events at this popular venue in St Ives. 12-14 Feb, three courses £35 pp. 15-21 Feb, two courses £25 pp. They also have availability for private chef, dinner & outside catering events.
Cast Café in Helston are holding a Shine for ShelterBox candlelit supper on 26 February. £15 per person, with a talk from ShelterBox’s operations coordinator. For more details visit their Facebook page.
A new Wine and Food Pairing supper club will be held at St Kew’s Red Lion Inn on 18 February. The food and wine tastings include a starter, 3 mains, cheese and dessert, each with a matching wine. £25 per person.
The Tiny Thai is taking up residence at POP in Wadebridge. Thai street food will be available to take away from 5pm five nights a week, with “eat in” nights on Fridays.
The Driftwood Spars in St Agnes hosts a pie and a pint night every Thursday, with a delicious homemade pie and a pint of Driftwood ale, lager or a soft drink for £10. Also, every Saturday is steak night, with two rump steaks for £20. We had a great Sunday lunch there recently – highly recommended.
The Harbour Fish and Grill’s Valentine’s menu is £24.95 per person for three lovely courses, and is being served on both 13 and 14 February.
Tom and Hollie Frankin Pryce have taken on the lease of The Coldstreamer Inn in Gulval, near Penzance. Head chef Tom has a good reputation for his modern British cooking (he was head chef at Porthminster Beach Café for several years) and the couple hope that the pub will become one of West Cornwall’s top dining destinations this year.
Look out for Emily Scott’s collaboration with Padstow Brewing Co., coming soon…
St Petroc’s Bistro in Padstow raised an incredible £4,500 for WaterAid from their November charity lunches, nearly doubling their 2014 total.
There are a limited number of tables left for Valentine’s weekend at The Idle Rocks, with a sumptuous secret five course tasting menu priced at £100 per person, including a glass of sparkling wine and canapés, and matching wine flight. Available on 13 and 14 February.
Truro’s Secret Garden Café‘s Valentine’s evening will be held on Saturday 13 February. The vegetarian menu looks delicious. Phone 07949 293399 to book.
Six months after opening in St Austell, Bystro at the Bank is set to expand to Redruth. Bystro at the Lamb and Flag is due to open on 10 March.
I’m looking forward to seeing the photos from the latte art smackdown, taking place at 7pm on 26 February at 108 Coffee House in Truro. £5 entry fee, knockout competition, winner takes all. Spectators welcome, with music, beer and pizza available. Email [email protected] to enter.
Congratulations to all the winners of the Food Reader Awards, including Cornwall’s Paul Ainsworth, Watergate Bay Hotel, Strong Adolfo’s, The Star and Garter in Falmouth, Tin and Thyme, Stein’s Padstow Seafood School, Fifteen Cornwall and Padstow Farm Shop.
Potluck Cornwall is hosting a two course meal at The Square in Porthleven on 23 February.
The Thomas Daniell is currently running Monday Wine Society evenings (until 29 February) when you can bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner, for a £4 corkage charge. We had a really good lunch there recently – read about it here.
The Open Oven Pizza Company at Cornwall Services has a weekly special pizza for only £5. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for current offers. At the time of writing, the special was a really tasty sounding buffalo mozzarella, crumbled Cornish sausage and red onion pizza.
The Cornish Pizza Co. in St Agnes is offering any two pizzas and a bottle of house wine for £19.95 on 13 February.
Naoko’s Kitchen is holding a sushi evening from 6.30 to 8pm at Penair School on 11 February. £15 per person.
Rustic Cakes Cornwall is popping up at Blackwater Village Hall on 6 February.