THE FOODIE DIARY: FEBRUARY
Winter is on its way out and spring is nearly here. Hearty flavours keep us going through cold, grey days. Venison, goose, guinea fowl, shellfish and seabass are all in season. Purple sprouting broccoli and kale are plentiful. Finish your meal with some early forced rhubarb, beautiful blood oranges and jewel-like pomegranate seeds.
PASTA MAKING COURSE AT HAY STUDIO
The half day course will involve making pasta dough, preparing the pasta and filling, cooking and finally enjoying the fruits of your labour over lunch.
£30 per person, ingredients, tools and lunch provided. Bring your own bottle of wine. To book your place please click here.
COSY WINTER NIGHTS AT THE GURNARD’S HEAD
For a quick winter get away, try a Sunday Sleepover at The Gurnard’s Head near Zennor. For just £80 per person you can enjoy Sunday lunch, a bracing walk or peaceful afternoon by the roaring fire, dinner, a good night’s sleep and a lazy breakfast on Monday morning. Or their Winter Escape dinner, bed and breakfast deal, from £130 per night for two, seems too good to miss. These offers are also available at their sister pub The Old Coastguard in Mousehole and further afield at The Felin Fach Griffin in Wales.
A new regular ‘Ales and Games’ night at The Gurnard’s Head sees a weekly guest cask ale at £2.50 per pint. There are plenty of games to play, such as backgammon, darts, chess and Scrabble, while enjoying a small bite to eat, or something from the regular menu which places a strong emphasis on local produce.
Another recent development at both The Gurnard’s Head and The Old Coastguard is the transformation of their whiskey and rum collection into a carefully chosen selection from lesser known distilleries from very different regions. Perfect for a nightcap before retiring to one of their comfortable beds.
SAVE THE CHILDREN CHARITY LUNCHES AT THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Now running for over ten years, The Seafood Restaurant’s Save the Children charity lunches are as popular as ever, raising over £10,000 last year.
The three course lunch costs £18 with a £2.50 cover charge donated directly to Save the Chidren and runs from Wednesday 15 January to Sunday 9 February.
The sample menu includes a starter of fish and shellfish soup, herring fillets or prawn fritters and a main course of plaice fillet, fish pie or Madras fish curry. Desserts include chocolate tart with Seville orange sorbet, sticky toffee pudding and panna cotta with poached rhubarb.
To make a booking, call 01841 532 700 or book online.
HEARTY FARE AT THE SHIP INN, WADEBRIDGE
Rupert and Sarah Wilson’s The Ship Inn in Wadebridge has just introduced regular Tuesday and Thursday night specials.
Tuesday sees “Pie and Pint Night”, with a homemade pie and a pint of Harbour Brewing Co.‘s ale for £8.50. Each Thursday two people can enjoy a juicy steak with all the trimmings and a bottle of house wine for £25.
See the full menu.
FREE WINE AT LITTLE PLATES!
Rupert and Sarah Wilson’s other Wadebridge venue, Little Plates, has a fantastic winter offer at the moment: from Tuesday to Thursday, at lunch and dinner, buy any three plates of food and get a free glass of house wine. Their mouthwatering plates include padron peppers, salt cod fritters and lamb kofta. Contact Little Plates to make a reservation and view a sample menu.
HEALTHY TREATS IN THE SECRET GARDEN CAFE
New to Truro is the Secret Garden Café, a delight for those on a gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan diet, but also catering for carnivores and cake lovers. Food includes freshly made soups, quiche and pies, delicious quesadillas and veggie burgers, and the menu is cleverly labelled so you know how many of your five-a-day you’re getting. You can eat in or take away and owners Ben and Sasha welcome children (and dogs are allowed in the garden). This month they’re running several themed evening events:
Sat 1 February: Spanish/Tapas
Fri 14 February: a vegetarian French (the food of love) evening
Sat 1 March: Middle Eastern
THE HUNGRY BOOKWORM
Book clubs are becoming ever more popular, but here’s one with a twist: The Hungry Bookworm is a club for people who love to read, use and talk about cookery books. Their first meeting will be held on 13 February in the Courtyard Deli in Falmouth and there will be a chance to win a copy of Ottolenghi’s ‘Jerusalem’. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more details.
6.30 – 8.30pm, Thursday 13 February.
Tickets are priced at £5 each and include a glass of wine and some tapas-style nibbles. Please contact Courtyard Deli to book your tickets. Limited spaces available.
A JOURNEY THROUGH ITALY: LUNCHES AT FIFTEEN
Fifteen Cornwall are offering a special three course lunch for £21 on weekdays until 13 February. The Journey through Italy menu takes guests on a gastronomic tour of the regions of Italy, including Sicilian spices, meaty Tuscan ragus and Piedmont’s continental cuisine.
To make a reservation call 01637 861000 or book online.
HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT
If you like baking, eating and talking cake, then sign up for this month’s Cornish Clandestine Cake Club event. Part of a national organisation, the idea is to bake a cake to a specified theme, take it (and a friend) to the secret location, where the cakes are shared and enjoyed by everyone.
This month’s theme is “Rock ‘n’ Roll” and is being held at an undisclosed venue in Rock, which will be revealed to attendees a day or two beforehand. The venue is also offering some barista training for coffee fans – limited places. Open to everyone but those attending do need to book their place.
10.00 – 11.30am, Wednesday 26 February. For more details click here.
IT’S SUMMER SOMEWHERE, AT WATERGATE BAY
On Friday 7 February, Watergate Bay’s executive chef Neil Haydock is dreaming of being back in the Caribbean and will be hosting a beachside barbecue with bonfire, live music, steel drums and limbo dancing. Alongside the summery Tequila Sunrise and Pina Colada cocktails, Neil will be cooking fresh fish and barbecued jerk chicken with rice and peas and other Caribbean classics.
This event costs £25 per person, The Beach Hut’s doors open at 7pm, booking essential.
LUCAS HOLLWEG HOSTS SUPPER AT DOLLY’S IN FALMOUTH
If last autumn’s supper is anything to go by (a very memorable eight course extravaganza of deliciousness) guests are in for a treat on Saturday 1 March when food writer Lucas Hollweg returns to Dolly’s in Falmouth for another mouth-watering feast. Expect beautiful food, fine wine, great company and live music in this fabulous wine bar. The menu has not yet been confirmed, but Lucas has been heard to be muttering about cockles and foraging. For more information please contact Dolly on 01326 218400 or visit their website or Facebook page.
DIM SUM COURSES – NEW FOR FEBRUARY
Due to popular demand, Cornish Sushi‘s Phil Mitchell is launching Dim Sum making courses this month. Based in Wadebridge, Phil uses the freshest of ingredients and his classes are throughly enjoyable and informative.
For more information contact Phil on 07594 176198 or visit his website.
COFFEE CUPPING AT ESPRESSINI
Do you know good coffee when you taste it? On 1 March the excellent baristas at Falmouth’s Espressini coffee shop will be holding a coffee cupping and sampling session. Showcasing 20 of the very best beans from UK roasters, guests will experience interesting and contrasting flavours.
GRANITE ROCK BREWERY LAUNCHES WWI CENTENARY BEER
Penryn-based Granite Rock Brewery have launched a new beer to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
Individual photographs of local servicemen have been used in the set of four labels, each one depicting the name and rank of its subject, on a background of Penryn town centre as it looked in the early 1900s. The beer is available from the brewery and will be sold in support of various charities dedicated to helping the families and veterans of war.
For more information, contact the brewery on 01326 379251 or email [email protected].
IN OTHER NEWS….
Many Cornish restaurants close during January, so February welcomes back chefs from their annual breaks, rejuvenated and full of inspiration for their spring menus. The Driftwood Hotel reopens on Friday 7 February, when chef Chris Eden returns to his Michelin starred restaurant as a partner in the business. Number 6 in Padstow reopens on Wednesday 5 February, and Paul Ainsworth has exciting plans for 2014.
Watergate Bay Hotel’s dining room is undergoing extensive renovation due for completion in mid March. The revamped restaurant, with a contemporary French brasserie feel, will be relaxed with an open kitchen and charcoal oven. Executive chef Neil Haydock will be creating dishes such as steak tartare, duck and beet salad, grilled lobster and côte de boeuf.
In Newquay, April sees the opening of a new American-style barbecue smokehouse, The Bullpit at the old Level 3 club on Beach Road. Also coming to Newquay is a branch of The Stable‘s gourmet pizza and cider restaurants, which will be situated on the top floor of the Fistral beach complex.
Redas Katauskas, ex-Head Chef at Outlaw’s, is currently recruiting for his new restaurant, Burgers and Fish, opening in Padstow soon.
Nomadic Game will be selling wild seasonal game at St Columb Major Farmers’ Market on Saturday 8 February and at Bodmin Nursery on Saturday 15 February. They make a cracking venison burger.
PeaSouk in Falmouth are starting their supper clubs again in March, which are held on the first Saturday of each month. There’ll be a different food genre each month and March’s theme is Scandinavian.