Events held in April always run the risk of being ruined by the wind and rain, but this years Porthleven Food Festival was blessed with near perfect weather. The festival hadn’t made my bucket list because I had visited four years ago, but watching from a distance it was growing into one of Cornwall’s must do events of the year with over 30,000 visitors making it worth another visit and therefore had made one of my Things to Do in April.
There have been a number of improvements since my last visit, including an extra tent for the food demos and this year a new literary element and extra stage showcasing local chefs. The town was busy, but not rammed and there was a great buzz around the Harbour. In fact I would say that the organisers have got the balance absolutely right and have somehow managed despite the growth over the past seven years, to retain a real community feel to the event.
With nearly 100 stalls showcasing foods from all over the world your hardest decision of the day will be what to have to eat! I had a Morocon Chicken Curry with coconut rice from Kaites Cornish Hot Pots (£6 per portion) – it was a lovely warming dish full of flavour. We also treated ourselves to some chocolate covered marshmallows from Chocolate Kisses (£1 each) – yum yum!
I was a little disappointed with the childrens area. I know that food festivals are generally targeted at adults without children but there seemed from the pre event marketing to be enough to keep my two engaged. Apart from the circus tent manned by Swamp Circus the only other activities were charged fairground rides, even at the “Free” craft session we were asked for a donation (but there didn’t seem to be much option not to donate the requested £1 which seemed a little steep for the mask making on offer). There were no children related food elements that we came across such as make your own pizza or potato printing. I don’t mind paying for things but I’m not a huge fan of fairgrounds and there was little else on offer.
This was my second visit to the festival with children in tow – next time I will leave them at home – therefore I can’t classify the event as Family Friendly – its not that you can’t take them its just they do feel a bit of an after thought and tucked out of the way. Saying that the organisers have developed a festival that is well worth a visit and you certainly don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy it.
Have you been before? Did you go? I would love to know what you thought?
As we were heading to the far west of the county over Easter to visit the Minack it seemed like a good opportunity to pay a visit the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. Since re-opening after a multi million pound development a couple of years ago it has won numerous awards and therefore I was curious to see what all the fuss was about (although for some reason it hadn’t made my bucket list).
In the late nineteenth century, the remote Porthcurno became internationally famous as the British termination of early submarine telegraph cable and the attraction is located a stones throw from the stunning beach. The museum showcases both the local history of the area and also how communications have developed over the past couple of centuries. It doesn’t sound the most exciting but it really deserves the awards it has received.
We had a lovely time. There were plenty of child focused activities for the kiddies. Their favourite was the morse code machines where they could send each other messages (or just make a lot of noise). They also enjoyed finding the knitted carrier pigeons although we didn’t manage to find them all despite a second good look around the museum.
The volunteers were wonderful and went out of their way to make the experience even more enjoyable. Being Cornish residents we qualified for the locals pass which was a little of extra paperwork when we arrived but gives us free entry for a year (Adult £8.50, Child £5). If you are going to tie a visit to the museum with a show at the Minack you can get 15% off your entry.
To be honest I wasn’t overly impressed with the cafe – despite being the Easter holidays there was wasn’t much choice and a little on the expensive side for what was on offer so we gave it a miss despite planning on having lunch there. However, with Porthcurno beach just a short distance away I would choose to have a picnic on the beach rather than inside anyway (unless it was raining and then the small cafe could be very busy).
It is somewhere were you can easily spend a couple of hours as a family with a wide variety of things to do for all ages. I think that we will try to make the most of our passes and visit again within the next year, it is a bit of a shame that it is over an hour from Falmouth as if it was closer then I am sure we would be regulars.
Most of us who were brought up in Cornwall probably enjoyed a night or two drinking cider on a beach with their friends. These days I prefer wine to cider but faced with the opportunity to try over 40 different varieties within staggering distance of home it seemed like a good opportunity to reminisce my youth. Between four of us we managed to try every single one of the 44 on offer (only halfs mind!) with the winner being Thatchers Red. My personal favourite was the mango, lime and ginger (not really a cider classic).
Folk music isn’t really my thing but it is easy listening and it doesn’t impact on the enjoyment of the cider! And after a sampling a few of the drinks on offer most music starts to sound good anyway.
This event has traditionally been free but in 2016 they are introducing an entry fee – it’s a good day/night out so probably worth it if you haven’t been before.
I seem to be eating out quite a lot at the moment – it must be the amazing weather so it’s another foodie post. I’m not quite sure how the Potager Gardens didn’t get onto my original bucket list because after visiting it should have been. I’m so glad I have found this little gem only about 15 minutes from Falmouth and I will certainly be making lots of return visits.
The cafe is located in a converted greenhouse and serves a selection of mouth watering offerings. There were only four choices on the menu but they all looked delicious – I chose the roasted squash risotto (£9). It was divine!
There are hammocks to lounge on, table games and newspapers to enjoy and the gardens to explore, it really is more than just somewhere to eat, it’s somewhere you can easily wind away a few hours, its soooooooooo relaxing.
It’s extremely family friendly for the kids there are chickens, a massive bug hotel and cake. A good stop off on the way to or from the Gweek Seal Sanctuary.
The gardens are a venue for the Open Studios events in May so I think that would be a good excuse to return, not that I need one!
Ok so living in Falmouth with two young children of course I have been to Gylly Cafe – it is the home turf for the towns Yummy Mummy’s (which naturally I fit into ha ha ha). However, in recent times I have tended to avoid it. The cafe ia a victim of its own success. The times when you really want to go are sunny weekends or school holidays and the trouble is, that is when everyone else wants to go as well. The queues can be horrendous and the last time I went my friend ordered a bacon roll and a coffee at the same time and she had finished the coffee before the food arrived (that’s after waiting over 15 minutes to be place an order – no table service).
However, with this latest spell of amazingly sunny spring weather and finding the whole family at home by 3.30 on a school day we took the opportunity to walk across to Gyllyngvase beach and treated ourselves to a Deluxe Hot Chocolate (you know the ones with the cream and marshmallows – yum yum). Going at a non-peak time we could sit outside and enjoy the view and sunshine behind the glass screens thankfully protecting us from the cold eastly winds
Gylly cafe has become a must do location on the Falmouth foodie front. It is located on the arguably the towns best beach and it is lovely, but just choose your time so the experience isn’t spoiled by crowds and having to wait.
My original bucket list entry was to start the day with breakfast at Fifteen Cornwall (as I knew they did breakfast and that would be in my budget) but after seeing an advert for their three course Spring Lunch we decided to take advantage of the offer and a lovely day to tick a visit to the Watergate Bay restaurant off the list.
The food was divine – all three courses were amazing especially the rhubarb panna cotta. As we were a party of three we were sat on the slightly raised level rather than right by the window but going out of season meant it wasn’t busy and therefore our view wasn’t spoilt.
I would totally recommend a visit. Make sure that you go there in the daylight, the vista is stunning and it seems a shame to go in the evening when it is dark. I definitely want to go back – maybe next time it will be for breakfast.
A tip make sure that you put enough time on the car park – it is privately managed and the fines are hefty!
Food, markets, Christmas what isn’t there to love about that combination! I managed to get to the festival early and was lucky to get a seat to watch the amazing local boy Nathan Outlaw open the 8th Padstow Christmas Festival alongside the lovely Daphne Skinnard from BBC Cornwall (I would love her job she just seems to get invited to all the fun things). It was busy and the weather was rubbish but there was a lovely atmosphere and I would totally recommend a visit (but perhaps don’t do your shopping – the prices seemed more expensive than other markets selling the same products). Oh another thing – they empty the Chefs Theatre after every demonstration and you need a ticket to get in – just make sure you plan who you want to see before you get there.