THE FOODIE DIARY: JAN/FEB 2018
Happy new year!
The Foodie Diary is back with a bumper edition for January and February. Many restaurants, hotels, cafés and bars may be closed for their winter break, but fear not, there’s still plenty going on, and lots of fabulous food to be consumed.
Happy reading, and happy eating.
MOCKTAILS FOR DRY JANUARY
If you need a little something to get you through this dark, cold month, then try these mocktail recipes from The Longstore. There’s a zingy Virgin Mojito, a Virgin Mary, and a refreshing Elderflower Spritz.
For those who aren’t on a detox or doing “veganuary” then check out The Longstore’s great menu. Overlooking the harbour in Charlestown, the restaurant specialises in succulent steaks and super-fresh seafood. You can book a table online, or phone 01726 68598.
BURNS NIGHT AT THE OLD QUAY HOUSE HOTEL
The Old Quay House Hotel’s head chef, Richard Massey, is tapping into his Scottish roots with his seven course dinner in celebration of Burns Night on Thursday 25 January.
Not for the faint-hearted, each of the seven courses will be paired with a different whisky. Expect traditional Scottish food – haggis, neeps and tatties, kedgeree, stovies and cranachan – served in a modern, refined style.
The cost is £55 per person, including seven courses and whisky pairing. A special room rate is also available, from £99 per room, including breakfast. For reservations phone 01726 833302 or visit their website.
We (i.e. the team at Barefoot Media) have organised two Instagram and iPhone photography workshops at Nancarrow Farm on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 January.
Led by designer Matt Inwood, the course is designed for people working in the food and drink industry, as well as those with a passion for food and photography. To see photos taken on Matt’s previous workshops, follow #MattInwoodMasterclass.
The workshop teaches you how to get the most out of Instagram, and how to take, edit and publish brilliant photos using your phone. It includes regular refreshments and a delicious two course Nancarrow lunch with glass of wine, and is priced at £80+VAT.
There are only a handful of tickets left (at the time of writing). For more details or to book a place see:
Monday 29 Jan – instagramworkshop29jan2018.eventbrite.com
Tuesday 30 Jan – instagramworkshop30jan2018.eventbrite.com
WINE DINNERS AT THE BEACH AT BUDE
Dates for The Beach at Bude‘s next wine dinners are still to be confirmed, but expect superb food and wine, and a hugely enjoyable evening. Read about one of last year’s wine dinners which we attended here.
The restaurant has a special set lunch menu available every day of the week alongside their usual menu, with two courses for £12.50 or three for £15. Examples of the daily-changing dishes include glazed goats’ cheese with beetroot, pine nuts and watercress; bass, brill and mussels with new potatoes in a cider and wholegrain mustard broth; and pork tenderloin with potato terrine, apple and sage, with a delicious selection of desserts too.
To find out the day’s lunch menu or to book a table, phone 01288 389800.
CATCH OF THE DAY AT THE IDLE ROCKS
Congratulations to The Idle Rocks, recently named as ‘Best Restaurant’ by the Trencherman’s Guide, as well as ‘Best Chef’ and ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ by Cornwall Life.
The hotel restaurant currently has a winter lunch offer – enjoy the “Catch of the Day” with a glass of organic Cornish wine for £19.50 per person. Eating delicious food in the warm comfort of the hotel has to be one of the best ways to spend a few hours on a cold, wintry day. Read our review here.
The offer is available at lunchtimes, Monday to Saturday, throughout January, February and up until 22 March. Phone 01326 270270 to book, quoting “Catch of the Day”.
BRUNCH AT APPLETON’S
We’re eagerly awaiting the latest addition to Appleton’s at the Vineyard: Sunday brunch, starting on Sunday 28 January.
Guests can book a table from 11am, and then every half hour until the last sitting at 3pm, with tables only being booked out once, so it’s yours for the duration of the service.
The sample menu looks fantastic (I wouldn’t expect anything less from Andy and Lindsey) and here are just a few of the dishes that caught my eye:
- Prosciutto mac ‘n’ cheese bites
- Chargrilled Coombeshead sourdough, avocado, eggs and potato hash
- Roast banana buttermilk pancakes, mascarpone, maple syrup
- Smoked haddock and potato chowder, chipotle cornbread
- Steak and eggs, chimichurri butter and potato hash
Washed down with great coffee, juices, smoothies, and perhaps a Bloody Mary or glass of Prosecco, and armed with a pile of the Sunday papers, this sounds like an ideal way to while away a few hours.
After a winter break, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Friday 26 January. For menus, opening hours, or to book a table, visit appletonsatthevineyard.com.
****Since writing this Foodie Diary, we’ve sampled brunch at Appleton’s. Read our review here.
Newquay-based oyster aficionado Katy Davidson (a.k.a. The Oyster Lady) is currently planning the first ever London Oyster Week. Participating venues across London will be offering special oyster dishes on their menus and hosting oyster-related events.
To launch her Crowdfunder campaign for London Oyster Week, Katy is hosting a film night at The Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay on Thursday 1 February.
Vanishing Sail is an award-winning documentary about boat-building and sailing in the Caribbean. Katy says, ‘I chose this film instead of an obvious oyster documentary because I love the shared principles, characters and characteristics that are found between the community in this film and those who navigate towards oyster culture, both deeply immersed in life near the sea and for this to come together in my home town of Newquay where life is pretty salty too, what could be better?!’
There’ll be oysters for sale on the night, and previews of the Crowfunder rewards. Book tickets online, £8.50pp.
Nancarrow Farm’s winter feasts will be held on 3 February (almost sold out at the time of writing this) and 10 March (tickets not on sale yet) with dinner, bed and breakfast options available for the March event. Tickets all available online.
Plans are also being put together for an exciting-sounding Spring Gathering over the weekend of 12 to 14 April. There will be two feasts taking place on the evenings of 13 and 14 April and during the day on each of these days there will also be family events – ticketed separately. They will feature live music, lots of activities for children, storytelling, and street food.
Sign up to receive emails to be the first to know details and to find out when tickets go on sale.
CORNISH FISH FEST AT SAM’S
Sam’s is running a promotion between now and 22 March in an attempt to educate people about sustainable Cornish fish. As a member of the Cornwall Good Seafood guide, the restaurant wants to raise awareness of our amazing Cornish produce, and have created some brilliant fishy menus.
At Sam’s in the City (in Truro), try the “Sharer Seafood Bonanza”, £100 for four people, and includes a feast of seafood (mussels, prawns, sardines, calamari), bouillabaisse (packed with mussels, squid, crevettes, red mullet, white fish and scallops, with rouille and croutons), Singapore crab claws, salad, fries and garlic bread. Add a bottle of wine for £10, or a lobster for an extra £30.
Also available on the Cornish Fish Fest menu are dishes such as: roasted black sea bream with brown shrimp butter, fritto misto super salad (with tempura fried cod, mullet, gurnard, tiger prawns, calamari and mussels), and a Dover sole meunière.
Keep an eye on Sam’s Facebook page where they will be running a competition to win a meal for four people.
TRURO SCHOOL‘S NEW COOKERY SCHOOL
In addition to providing food technology as a co-curricular activity throughout the year groups, students in the lower sixth will be able to enrol on the Leiths Introductory Certificate in Food and Wine, a professionally recognised qualification.
SET MENU AT PORT GAVERNE HOTEL
The award-winning Port Gaverne Hotel’s winter set lunch menu is highly recommended. Available from 12 to 2pm, and 6 to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, two courses are £14, three courses £19.
We recently enjoyed a delicious meal there, pictured above, including: beef fillet carpaccio with rocket, bresaola, green beans and truffle oil; pan-fried pollock with spiced crab butter, tenderstem broccoli and crushed potatoes; sausages with braised Puy lentils, kale and roast balsamic shallots; poached quince and frangipane tart with muscovado ice cream; and a dark chocolate pot with honeycomb, blackberries and lime.
Read our review here.
For reservations, phone 01208 880244 or book online.
The next The Market Cornwall will be held from 9am to 1pm on Saturday 3 February in the Crantock village hall.
Stalls include Tide Flowers, The Shellfish Pig, Cornish Chillies, Rebel Root, Padstow Kitchen Garden, Kern and Posh Pasties (see below).
Subsequent markets will be held on the first Saturday of every month. Keep an eye on their Instagram page for updates.
James Strawbridge of Posh Pasties is launching a new range of gourmet pies at The Market in Crantock on Saturday 3 February.
Particular favourites are the truffled mushroom and brie, and lamb, pea & mint. With three new vegetarian pies, the company is supporting the growing appetite for less meat, but still providing warming winter comfort food.
There are also several new pasties being introduced this year, such as Mexican Chilli Beef, Coronation Chicken and Triple Cheese & Chive. For more information, visit poshpasty.co.
Sohn Kitchen is a Korean pop up restaurant in Falmouth, with a regular pitch from 12 to 3pm and 5 to 9pm on Sundays at Stones Bakery. Try their Biang Biang hand-pulled noodles, with all food made from scratch using top-quality local ingredients, and packed with authentic Korean (and other Asian) flavours.
From 6 to 9pm on 1 February Sohn will be at the Natural Store Café in Falmouth for a temple food pop-up. All bookings should be made by email to [email protected].
Fans of Sky drama Delicious will be pleased to know that Penrose Hotel is actually Pentillie Castle, in South East Cornwall.
On Saturdays 20 January, 24 February, and 7 April, Pentillie Castle will be holding a Delicious dinner inspired by the Italian dishes Gina (Dawn French) cooks throughout the series.
The evenings begin at 7.15pm when welcome drinks will be served, with dinner at 8pm on Italian family style shared tables. £42.50 per person, matching Italian wines available to buy.
To make a weekend of it, you can also stay at Pentillie. For reservations phone 01579 350044 or see pentillie.co.uk.
Renowned seafood chef Ben Tunnicliffe and wine expert Jon Keast are joining forces for a special fish supper at Scarlet Wines near St Ives.
On Friday 23 February, Ben Tunnicliffe will cook a four-course feast, while owner of Scarlet Wines, Jon Keast, will carefully pair each dish with the perfect wine from his hand-picked portfolio of over 300 wines.
The four-course meal is £40 per person, including matching wines; spaces are limited and can be booked by calling Scarlet Wines on 01736 753696.
NOMADIC TEA COMPANY
Nomadic Kitchen‘s potted meats have been extremely well received over the festive period, and from the end of January their stocks of potted pigeon, pork, rabbit and venison will be fully replenished.
At Christmas, Nomadic Kitchen launched the Nomadic Tea Company, with a range of green teas, classic teas and hand blended herbal infusions. The team is currently out and about in Cornwall, showcasing the range to delis and farm shops, and you can also find them at their regular pitch at Padstow Food Fair.
NEWS FROM PHILLEIGH WAY
Philleigh Way has a wide variety of new courses launching in 2018 and first up this month is their new Simply Fish course on 27 January. The course offers a step by step beginners guide to fish buying, sustainability, seasonality, filleting (round and flat fish) and some very simple cooking techniques including frying and grilling.
This introductory course will then be complemented with a new Fish Dishes course on 17 February where you’ll learn how to prepare, create and present delicious fish dishes.
On Saturday 3 February is the new Cooking for Beginners course which is aimed at novices and covers core skills to provide a solid foundation for cookery. During the day you’ll learn a wide range of basic fundamentals, including bread baking, fish filleting and sauce making.
There is also a range of new children’s cookery courses, which begin in half term, on 13 February, with a Children’s Valentine’s Baking course, during which the children will bake their own heart shaped cookies and create some handmade moulded chocolates.
For full details of all courses visit philleighway.co.uk.
If you are planning to grow your own veg and need help starting a kitchen garden, or want some advice on improving your homegrown produce, then sign up for a gardening course at Padstow Kitchen Garden.
For full details of the course content, see website. £65 per person.
Dates for 2018 have just been announced – 25 June, 23 July and 20 August – so snap up your place quickly by phoning Ross on 07974 697191 or emailing [email protected].
Other exciting news from Padstow Kitchen Garden is that Craftworks Kitchen is returning to Trerethern Farm in the late spring, serving up fantastic food, often featuring Ross’s delicious produce.
The ever popular charity lunches return to Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant from 11.30am to 4pm, 22 January to 9 February.
Three courses are priced at £21.50, with a £2.50 cover charge donated to Children’s Hospice South West.
The sample menu includes starters of fish soup with rouille and Parmesan (pictured) and battered mackerel with mayo, chilli sauce and lime. Main courses include nasi goreng with mackerel, and grilled fillets of plaice with lees, mint and Beaujolais. Finish your meal with steamed treacle pudding or, my favourite, a Seville orange tart.
To reserve a table phone 01841 532700 or click here.
CORNISH PASTY WEEK
The first ever Cornish Pasty Week will be celebrated throughout Cornwall and across the country from 25 February, culminating in the World Pasty Championships on Saturday 3 March at the Eden Project.
During Cornish Pasty Week, the Cornish Pasty Association (the membership organisation behind Cornish Pasty Week), will be working with Cornish pasty-makers across Cornwall, and with those who sell Cornish pasties across the UK and beyond, to highlight the importance of the pasty industry to the Cornish economy and the importance of PGI status.
The organisers will be working with local community groups and schools to spread the essential skills involved, with crimping and pasty-making sessions, and will also be doing a “pasty-drop” in London, before attending a reception at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by George Eustice MP.
CHATEAUBRIAND AT TALLAND BAY HOTEL
The Terrace Restaurant at Talland Bay Hotel was named the Best Restaurant in the South West in the Taste of the West Awards 2017.
Throughout February, head chef Nick Hawke will be serving Chateaubriand from Philip Warren Butchers. This superb steak is served with beef dripping chips, trio of onions, girolles, seasonal greens and a béarnaise sauce, and costs £65 for two. My mouth is watering at the thought.
On 14 February the special 8-course Valentine’s wine tasting supper includes the Chateaubriand and is £65 per person.
During February, dinner, bed and breakfast is priced at £169 for two people, and £209 on Valentine’s Day. For more details see tallandbayhotel.co.uk.
Ben and Sam Quinn and their team have heaps going on at Canteen Cornwall, their base at the Wheal Kitty Workshops near St Agnes.
Canteen is open on weekdays from 8.30am to 5pm for breakfast, coffee, cakes and lunch. Each day they serve one meat and one vegetarian option for lunch, priced at £5. Look out for regular themes such as Taco Tuesday and Bacon Friday.
On occasional Sundays, Canteen opens for brunch. On 21 January the New York inspired brunch with free flowing coffee and tea is £10pp. On Sunday 18 Feb the brunch theme is mezze. Booking essential.
There are various “Cook Together, Eat Together” events planned. This is a cookery class with a twist, with live fire cooking techniques, and a three course menu where small groups of participants prep all the elements of the menu for an evening service. They can then eat at the tables in the evening, or stay in the kitchen to be chef for the night.
On 20 January the menu features vegetables, fruits and nuts, and on 24 February the theme is peasant Italian eating. Both workshops run from 10am to 3pm and are £60pp. On both evenings Canteen’s doors are opened to the public for a flash feed, where guests BYO drinks and pay what they think it’s worth. Booking essential.
Finally, Friday 16 February sees Gilmore’s chef Gareth take over the kitchen for an Asian supper.
To reserve a place on a workshop or a seat at a table for any of the events phone 07432 641941 or email [email protected].
NEW ORIGIN CAFE OPENING IN PENRYN
Origin Coffee is set to open their new café on Commercial Road, Penryn before the Easter bank holiday weekend.
As well as their full coffee offering, they will be working closely with Jenn Wickings from Eat My Food, who will be producing an inspiring menu for brunch, lunch and the occasional supper.
JANUARY SPECIAL AT HUBBOX
When I saw Hubbox‘s January offer on their Instagram feed I just had to go and check out.
Their January special is a mug of smoked haddock and corn chowder, served with a classic grilled cheese sandwich for dunking, for just £5.95! It was absolutely delicious, a bargain, and highly recommended.
Served 11.30am to 5pm, vegetarian option available.
WAX at Watergate Bay is hosting the 2018 Cornwall Cocktail Championships on 22 January.
From 7pm watch Cornwall’s best mixologists in the live finals, with plenty of cocktails to try, prizes to be won, and DJs and entertainment for the after party.
For those wishing to have supper in the Vault Restaurant beforehand, book a table by phoning 01637 850272.
RNLI FISH SUPPPER
Enjoy a fish supper, pudding and a drink for £19.95, and £5 will be donated to the RNLI for each meal sold. Please contact the restaurants directly to book a table.
Borgia Bull is a catering company run by Cornish Pirates’ Rupert Cooper. Rupert specialises in private dining but also holds regular pop-up events for up to twelve diners in his home.
His next event is on 19 January (sold out) and is priced at £40pp for five courses and two wines. Dishes include Thai fish patties with Asian salad and tempura shellfish, and a pear and apple tarte tatin with clotted cream and salted caramel.
TREWITHEN DAIRY COMPETITION
To enter, visit Trewithen’s website before 1 March and enter your name and email address, and you could win three nights dinner, bed and breakfast at Hell Bay Hotel on Bryher, as well as two return flights to Scilly on Skybus.
Once again on St Piran’s Day (5 March) pubs across Cornwall will be taking part in a collective ‘shout’ for the Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF). Local choir groups, barbershop quartets, folk groups and bands will come together across the Duchy at 9pm to sing their hearts out to the Cornish anthem ‘Trelawny’. If you’re a pub or singing group which would like to take part, or just want to come along and have a great time singing, see here for details.
Chefs Dez Turland, Dominic Chapman, Guy Owen and Jamie Coleman are cooking up a fantastic feast in aid of Macmillan Cornwall. The event will take place at the Griffin Inn in Newquay on Saturday 17 February, £40pp, tickets available online.
Enjoy lunch for just £5 from 13 to 27 January at The Gurnard’s Head, and from 19 to 27 January at The Old Coastguard. You’ll need a voucher (request one here) and one voucher can be used for each two guests – the first pays full price for their lunch, the second pays just £5 for their food.
**** Since writing this Foodie Diary, we enjoyed lunch at The Gurnard’s Head. Read our review here.
St Tudy Inn is offering a set lunch menu on Mondays from 12pm to 2.30pm throughout January and February. Two courses are priced at £15 and three courses are £18. To book a table phone 01208 850656 or visit sttudyinn.com.
Cornish Sushi is back! The Wadebridge-based classes will be running until April, with 2 hour lessons for £30pp, and you get to take home everything you make. Group discounts available, up to 6 people at a time. Get in touch via Facebook or Twitter. Read about the sushi class we attended here.
Wood and Green Café in Wadebridge has relocated to the building next to Bridge Bike Hire at the entrance to the Camel Trail. Recommended for good cakes, brunch and lunch. Dog-friendly too so the perfect pit-stop after a walk along the trail.
Stay warm this January and enjoy a swim when you book for dinner at Una Kitchen. Available Wednesday to Saturday with dinner from 6.30pm.
Fifteen Cornwall is currently undergoing a refurb and reopens on 23 January with a new look and larger bar area. Enjoy the new Chef’s Choice menu available for £19, Monday to Saturday lunchtimes, from 24 January to 9 February.
Truro’s Great Cornish Food Festival is taking a break for 2018 while the organisers review the event.
Temple in Bude welcomes Craig Tregonning (ex Ottolenghi) to run their first monthly residency from 25 to 27 January. £35pp for the full menu of small plates, plus a cocktail. Book now via templecornwall.com.
Ben Young is now MD at The Alverton in Truro, as well as The Greenbank in Falmouth, where he’s been general manager for four years.
Book now for The Gurnard’s Head’s “Wasted Wine Supper” on Friday 23 March. £60pp. For more details get in touch via email.
The Wild Wine Club has announced dates for three events this year. Book early, these are always popular!
24 March // Wine meets Architecture // Kudhva nr Tintagel
1-3 June // Great Estate Festival // Galician Feasts
7 July // Wines of the Western Cape // Mawgan Porth
Penrose Kitchen re-launches on 2 February under the ownership of Sam Richman and chef Ben Harmer, formerly of Le Gavroche and The Savoy. They will open with a special set three course lunch menu for £18 for the month of February.
Amélie’s in Porthleven’s weekly pizza nights are back. On Wednsesdays it’s BOGOF on their delicious wood-fired pizzas. Phone 01326 653653 to book.
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