I have lived in Cornwall for almost seven months and have so much to explore. Despite visiting this stunning county countless times since I was a baby there is still so much to see – I have now made a list and am working through it slowly but surely. My list seems to be growing too, especially when I stumble across bloggers based in Cornwall giving me new ideas. St Nectan’s Glen is one of those places. I had never heard about this little gem until I read Kernow Surfgirl’s blog, which is amazing incidentally. St Nectan’s Glen is about an hour’s drive away from my home in Truro and we decided to head out there last weekend. For once the weather was kind to us and the sun decided to come out (the rain has been relentless over the past few months) which felt awesome. We parked at the little car park and walked the mile up to the waterfalls. It was a stomp that I would highly recommend, just make sure you take your wellies. St Nectan’s Glen really is breathtaking, it was incredibly tranquil and you felt a real sense of escapism from the world.
Above the waterfalls is a beautiful cafe that only opened last year. Big windows, a comfy sofa by a wood burner and g/f carrot cake. What an amazing way to end a Sunday.
Friday night we hopped on the train to Falmouth for an impromptu dinner and date night. It had been a long week and a spot of wine and some comfort food was called for. We looked at our options and decided on the Chain Locker, largely because the boy fancied a burger and it had gf and gfo plastered all over the menu – fine by me! Chain Locker is situated on the quayside and had it not already been dark it would have been a great view. In the summer you can eat on the balcony – mussels and chips al fresco when the sun ventures out – sounds good to me. The Chain Locker is part of the St Austell Brewery and has recently undergone a refurb and it looks great. You have a bar downstairs and a restaurant above. At the very top, there is accommodation.
There was loads on the menu that I could have and it was tough to make a decision. I wanted to opt for the classic burger but unfortunately there was a mistake on the menu and the burger contained breadcrumbs. Darn it. I went instead for the Cajun Burger which turned out to be a good choice. The portions were huge and I struggled to devour all of my chips – generally never a problem for me so that tells you how big the portion sizes were. Thick cut chips, perfectly seasoned chicken with a nice dollop of coleslaw on the side. The burger came with a g/f bun which was a nice touch as you often don’t get this. It was bustling in the restaurant so it seems that this place is a popular option.
I am thinking it could be a good shout to re-visit for lunch one day, keen to see what the g/f option is for a ploughman’s.
Let’s hope the sun shines a little more over the summer than it did last year in Cornwall and with any luck we can bag ourselves a sweet sunny spot on the balcony.
A couple of days ago we headed west to Mousehole to see the infamous harbour lights and also to watch the Cornish tale of The Mousehole Cat at Solomon Brown Hall. The production was brilliant and it was a fab way to kickstart the Christmas holidays – it is running until the end of December so you still have time to book. We hung around after the performance to watch the turning on of the harbour lights. If you are ever down this way over the festive period I highly recommend it; I would also recommend a quick drink in the Ship inn afterwards. it is Christmas after all 🙂
On the way back to Truro we decided to stop for Fish and Chips in Penzance. I did some googling beforehand in a vain attempt to see if anywhere did gluten free. I was surprised to see that I was in luck – Fraser’s Fish and Chips offer gluten free batter (and separate fryers), were Coeliac UK certified and there was parking right outside. It was the perfect end to the day – you cannot beat good old fashioned fish and chips with plenty of tartare sauce.
This was really good batter – crispy, light and really tasty – Happy Fish Friday!
Last weekend I made the three-hour drive home to Wales. As much as I love living in Cornwall there’s nothing like going home; it’s nice to hear the accent, catch up with family and maybe if I am lucky, squeeze in a little shopping time in Cardiff. The capital of Wales is a brilliant place to spend some of your hard earned dosh. It is choc-o-block full of independent retailers as well as your typical high street brands. We headed in early on a Saturday morning in a vain attempt to beat some of the crowds, bagged ourselves a parking spot at St David’s and were in the Lego shop by just after 9am. Boom. It was lovely seeing the city just before Christmas and having a mooch.
Christmas shopping completed and my tummy is now hungry. There are stacks of places to eat but one I had not spotted before was a place called Barburrito. I looked at the menu outside and was very happy to see plenty of GF symbols. Bingo – we had found our lunch stop. I went for a naked Burrito bowl – brown rice topped with lettuce, chicken and chorizo, jalapenos, cheese and sour cream. The picture, I am afraid, really does not do it justice. It was just what I was after – tasty, filling (not stupidly so though) and a little spicy. I felt very virtuous too for opting for brown rather than white rice.
On googling Barburrito I can see they have been around since 2005 and at the moment, with the exception of London and Cardiff, most of the branches seem to be up north and in Scotland – good news for those in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. With any luck, the chain may spread further South but it’s doubtful it will make it is as far as Truro 😉
Until I return I am going to have a go at concocting my own burrito bowls.
The day we travelled back to Cornwall we woke up to this, lovely way to end the weekend 🙂
I have almost explored very coffee establishment in Truro and believe me there are a lot! One I hadn’t stepped into until very recently was Lily’s. I met a friend in there that I had not seen in ten years and while sipping a lovely hot chocolate and enjoying my surroundings I wondered why I had never popped in before. On this particular occasion I didn’t eat but a little later on in the day hopped online to see if I could peruse their menu. I could and was so pleased to see they had gluten free options. The following Friday I had a few bits to do around the town and decided to treat myself to lunch for one. I had pesto and red pepper gluten free quiche teamed with crisps and salad. It was a nice change from my usual lunch and I would most certainly eat there again. They also did sandwiches using g/f bread, jacket potatoes and sweet treats. I had a green juice on the side as I desperately needed to get some goodness in me!
I know this is going to be one of my favourite spots now, it has such a lovely cosy vibe.
They also offer space upstairs where you can hotdesk as well as meeting space.
Pay Lily’s a visit, you won’t be disappointed.
A few weeks ago we went a bit bonkers and drove from Cornwall all the way to Edinburgh for three nights to visit my brother and family. It was cheaper than flying and who doesn’t love a road trip armed with Percy Pigs. As we had the car we were able to go a little further afield so on the day before we headed back we drove the short distance from South Queensferry where we based to Culross (pronounced Cooross). Culross is a gorgeous historic little village on the shores of the Firth of Forth in Fife and came highly recommended by my brother. This place really is beautiful and after a mooch, we sought out tea and cake. We found a lovely little place The Biscuit Cafe which just happened to serve gluten free cake – yay. To be perfectly honest I can’t remember what the cake was but it was really good that I can assure you of. Below the cafe is a little pottery shop which is worth a visit on your way out.
I thought I would add some photos of Culroos too, if you find yourself this way do pay this town (and cafe) a visit.
I used to love puff pastry. A sheet of buttery flaky goodness on top of steak pie with lashings of gravy and mashed potato. Puff pastry was, rather cruelly, taken from me in 2008 when my tummy decided to no longer play nicely. Over time gluten free ready to roll pastry slowly started to emerge on to the market and there are some fab brands out there including Genius and Silly Yak that now produce it. Initially, you could only get shortcrust pasty as, let’s face it, puff pastry is hard to recreate sans gluten. Eventually, gluten free pastry hit the shelves! I must confess I have not yet tried the puff pastry by Genius and Silly Yak (amazing name incidentally) but was drawn to the jus-rol puff pastry I spotted in the chiller aisle in Tesco a few weeks back.
I luckily have a fella who loves to experiment in the kitchen so we grabbed a pack and decided one cold Saturday night to make a steak and ale pie served with mash and veg. After a little google, we decided on a Hairy Bikers recipe. The boy got busy in the kitchen while I supervised with a glass of wine in hand – too many cooks and all that.
This is the finished product
This was a good pie with brilliant pastry. It was easy to work with, puffed up as much as gluten free pastry will be able and tasted lush. Enough said. I am now keen to make a pizza using the pastry – buttery loveliness topped with cheese, pepperoni, all kinds of cheese and jalapenos – perfect.
Let’s be honest, one of the best things about living in Cornwall is being near the sea. Fact. The funny thing is, since moving here almost three months ago I have spent less time at the beach than I had envisaged. I suppose it’s one of those things – knowing you can go anytime you end up getting complacent and somewhat lazy. I am now making a concerted effort to head to the coast whenever I can, whatever the weather. The beach is just as beautiful in Autumn and Winter and it feels so nice to wrap up warm, pop my favourite beanie on and let the wind blow away any stress of the day. Without wanting to sound corny, Mother Nature is a beautiful thing.
On a whim, we headed west to Sennen a few weeks ago. I had had my eye on one of the snuggly hoodies from Sennen Surf Co. so it was a good excuse to hop in the car and get some beach time.
By the time we arrived it was pretty much lunchtime so we wandered over to Ben Tunnicliffe, a restaurant perched right on the beach giving awesome views.
We chanced it in the hope that they would have gluten free offerings. The did. GF items were clearly labelled on the menu making it easy for me to pick out what I fancied. Since moving I haven’t eaten masses of seafood so decided on the scallops. I teamed that with the most amazing chips I have ever tasted.
They were so good and we topped it off with some g/f cake of which there were three choices. I loved the interior of the restaurant, it was cosy with a relaxed and fun vibe. You can’t help but relax here.
For some unknown reason, the above is the only food photo I managed to take – fail. However, I did take some other snaps of Sennen Cove to show how beautiful this little place is.
I have always had a soft spot for Sennen Cove, this is where one of my cousins grew up and I was always insanely jealous that he got to grow up within a stone’s throw of the beach. I also spent my 30th birthday at this same restaurant although this was a fair few years ago now, back when it was called The Beach.
I would definitely look these guys up if you are in the vicinity. Oh, and I got my hoodie too 🙂
I am officially in love. I have tasted the most insane doughnut since becoming gluten free almost ten years ago. This doughnut is courtesy of the Cornish company Pura Pressed. The company produce products that are made of 100% natural ingredients and are suitable for those wishing to avoid dairy, gluten and animal products. They have just set up a little cafe below where I work in Truro which means I am tempted to pop in on a very regular basis. They also stock their goodies in a few retailers throughout Cornwall – all of which are listed on their website, as well as offering online delivery. Just check out this doughnut:
This, my friends, is a jaffa orange doughnut. It feels like such an indulgent sweet treat, the fact that you know it is made with natural ingredients rather than packed with refined sugars and preservatives makes it an even nicer sweet treat. Knowing that it is lovingly handmade in Cornwall is an added bonus – I have met the guy behind Pura Pressed and it is clear that he is passionate about the ingredients he puts into his products whilst always ensuring they are ridiculously tasty!
I am not ashamed to say I am getting a little addicted to these beauties 🙂
The weeks seem to have flown by since I moved to the Duchy. It transpires that it rains a fair bit in Cornwall but the sunny beach days more than make up for a bit of wetness. A new favourite spot is Gylly Beach Cafe in Falmouth, perched right on the beach and with plenty of outdoor seating it is the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and completely relax. They serve from morning to evening with plenty of sweet offerings in between. We headed there for breakfast a couple of weeks back and managed to bag a sweet seat overlooking the beach. On a sunny weekend morning it fills up fast so best to get there early – the seagulls will always ensure an early start. There is gluten free bread available which I find makes all the difference when it comes to choosing a breakfast option as you can then have eggs, smoked salmon etc. I went for a full breakfast as I was pretty peckish. I am pleased I did. The beach view and smoothie I opted to have with my breakfast were spot on accompaniments and made for a perfect start to the day.
If you find yourself Falmouth way I highly recommend Gylly Cafe. They generally always have a gluten free cake too so you’ll luck out whatever time of day you arrive.