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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Cornish Adventure part 1

It seems like an age since I posted, and I apologise for the radio silence, but I've been off galavanting around the country. More specifically, down to Carbis Bay in Cornwall. I've gorged myself on fresh seafood and Cornish gin, and caught up with a lovely friend who moved down to St Ives a while back.

I have mentioned a few times in past posts my love for Cornwall, and I try to get down there at least once a year. Everyone has places that they visit that they immediately feel comfortable in, I have 2, Cornwall is one of them.

Normally Newquay is home for a few days over the summer. But this year we fancied a change. We stayed at the adorable Green Apple B&B, a stone's throw away from the beach. It's a quirky, vintage find, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
Vintage breakfast room

The view from our breakfast table
One of the benefits of knowing a local is that you can pick their brains for the best places to visit. After taking a leisurely stroll from Carbis Bay, along the beautiful coastal road, into St Ives, Sunday lunchtime found us all meeting at The Sloop, one of Cornwall's oldest inns. It resides on St Ives' wharf and has been serving thirsty customers since the 14th Century. It's a traditional 'fisherman's' pub, with low ceilings, wobbly floors (you don't need to drink to feel off-balance!), and tankards behind the bar. It's charming, and incredibly popular. We were lucky with the weather, glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze, so we sat on the wharf and caught up, making friends, both human and four-legged along the way.
Beautiful Carbis Bay beach
The fresh sea air down there is wonderful, but it does build an appetite. A suggestion was made that we visit The Beach Cafe Bar. It's a neat little spot on the wharf, tucked away in a nook. I knew I'd like it when I saw their huge Tarquin's Gin display! Another reason I love Cornwall so much is that it has produced one of my favourite gins, so any bar that serves it is fine by me!


We took a look at the menu and eyed up their Smidgen boards. A Cornish tapas, you could choose to try 1, 3 or 5 of the delicious dishes they offer. With 3 of us dining we opted to order two 5 smidgen boards, and one 3 smidgen board, with a selection of West Country cheeses, sourdough, parfait, cod goujons, garlic salami and (my favourite) seared scallops with pea relish. It was so good in fact, I had no opportunity to get a snap of the food before it was devoured! So here's the website to make up for it - http://www.beachcafe.bar/food/.

Another gem of a find was the Firehouse Grill. After lunch, cocktails were on order so we headed here. A cool, modern haven from the bustling street outside, the food smells delicious as you enter. Having consumed our body weight in smidgens though, it was definitely just a drink or 2 on the cards. Seating ourselves at the bar, we had a read through the drinks menu. A mojito on one side, a Spicy Storm on the other, I was definitely in the gin zone and asked for something to be put together for me. Our cocktail maker is a friend of our friends down their, and he seriously knows his stuff. Opting to make me what I was told would be the best G&T of my life, he poured my drink over cucumber and rosemary, and I have to admit, he was right. After that came a Singapore Sling, my favourite cocktail. It's a fantastic stop. The atmosphere is great, the staff knowledgeable and friendly, the products on offer well thought out and definitely tasty. If you're in that area do visit. You can find out more at http://www.firehousestives.co.uk/, and check out their Instagram account to see how lovely their stuff looks - https://instagram.com/firehouse_bar_n_grill/.

St Ives is a great place to just wander around, absorbing everything around you. There is a wealth of galleries displaying local art, artisan delis serving only the freshest produce and places selling odds and ends, goodies that you wouldn't imagine finding. It was bursting with life, even at this late stage in the year. We had a great afternoon strolling about, picking up treats (and dare I say it, a couple of Christmas presents too).

We stopped off at the Rum & Crab Shack for a dark & stormy (the cocktails in Cornwall take some beating!), then headed off back towards Carbis Bay for a while before venturing out for dinner.

We found ourselves getting colder as the sun set behind us on our walk back to Carbis Bay, so sought refuge in the Cornish Arms, cozying up by their roaring fire.
One place that's always a must visit on our travels down south is The Hub. We first discovered their food at their Truro branch on the recommendation of a local who we'd pressed for the best burger in town. She directed us the The Hub Box, a converted container on Lemon Quay. We knew it would be worthwhile when we saw the queue! Gourmet burgers, hotdogs, craft beer, it offers real comfort food, fast-food style, but with so much more style. The St Ives branch is on the harbour, and you can look out at the waves while enjoying your meal. Definitely throw out the healthy eating for one night if you find yourself outside one of their restaurants. Details found at http://www.hub-stives.co.uk/.

We then took ourselves back off home, well fed and watered (or ginned in my case!). It was a perfect end to our first day.

Check out my blog Instagram for more photos (link on the home page), and keep an eye out for the next Cornwall installment!





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