Life is tough eh? Another week, another holiday. La ti dah. Well when the parents travel across the world to see you, you can hardly send them off exploring Cornwall on their own, can you?
After our jaunt around Scotland, the parents drove around around Norfolk and Suffolk for a week whilst Y and I showed our faces in the office. We all met up again in Truro, Cornwall. Y and I picked up a hire car in Exeter and, having some time on our hands, we went to check out St Mawes on the south Cornwall coast.
A friend had recommended several food spots, and we enjoyed a lovely stroll through the village, yummy lunch at the Rising Sun (scallops & chorizo, and fish & chips, below), coffee at Chandlers, and a little bit of history at St Mawes castle.
Y & I had a light dinner and drinks in Truro before collecting mum and dad from the station. We found the Old Grammar School - a really great place, with a buzz, friendly service and good tapas (squid with aioli, chipolatas, olives, below). We would have loved to have stayed later but duty called ...
We spent the night at Chycara House, a lovely guest house about 15 minutes drive outside of Truro. We were able to relax in the cosy sitting room at night and enjoyed a good breakfast in the morning.
We returned to Truro at the end of our trip to drop the parents back at the station. There are some cute little shops in this village - nice delis, gorgeous cathedral and interesting Royal Cornwall Museum. My fave (because finding decent coffee is always a top priority) is this fab coffee place (both pics above), 108 Coffee House - very tasty & well made coffee.
The next morning, under shining sun (hurray!) we visited St Michael's Mount and some Roman ruins (as you do) before arriving at Gurnard's Head. Y and I had eaten lunch at this gorgeous pub a few years ago. It's perfectly situated on the coast surrounded by green fields and cows. We couldn't wait to go back. Fortuitously Gurnard's Head has a "Sunday Sleepover" offer - Sunday lunch (3 courses), Sunday dinner (oof, another 3 courses), a charming room for the night (ideal for sleeping off the inevitable food coma), and yes, you guessed it, breakfast. Lunch was delicious - in an effort at restraint we shared 3 entrees between 4 (screams "restraint" yes?). Entrees were amazing soda bread with ham terrine, grilled mackerel and figs & goats cheese salad. Earlier talk of "pacing ourselves" and " saving ourselves for dinner" was forgotten and it took no great convincing to agree that it in fact made more sense to eat up at lunch as we'd have the afternoon to "work it off".
Excellent main courses of slow cooked pork, pan fried pollack, and barley, asparagus and roast artichoke (my dish, below - Jerusalem artichoke = wow) were therefore followed by fab chocolate & raisin brownie (with Cornwall clotted cream of course) and apple strudel. Thank goodness there was an amazing coastal walk within stumbling distance, so that we could at least justify turning up for dinner.
Dinner was as expected - delicious. And a short morning walk meant I could obviously indulge in more of the home made soda bread (toasted this time) at breaky. We loved everything about our stay - the staff and attention to detail, both in our rooms, the pub and with the food, made our stay very special.
We finally tore ourselves away from Gurnard's Head to visit a National Trust home, Trerice, before heading to St Agnes. We had coffee (oh ok, also yummy yoghurt flapjack) on the little beach at Schooner's, and later pasties from St Agnes Bakery up in the village. We stayed at Driftwood Spars - I wouldn't recommend the accommodation (a bit tired and shabby, not fabulous value) but the atmosphere in the tiny pub (heaving with locals and their dogs) was great and the food excellent (chilli crab linguine hit the spot and treacle tart was divine). I wouldn't say St Agnes is a must visit village, although the walk along the heads either side of the beach was very pretty - presumably it gets an injection of life come summer.
Cornwall is a truly gorgeous area of England. Whilst the highlight of our trip was certainly our sleepover at Gurnard's Head, very little disappointed during our 5 days and, as ever, the local people were a delight.