Cornwall’s Top Celebrity Chef Run Restaurants

August 12th, 2018

With its golden beaches and sweeping cliffs, Cornwall is a visual delight for those who visit. At our luxury Cornish cottages you’ll experience the magnificence that the county has to offer, and with the unspoilt landscape providing the perfect backdrop for your holiday, it’s undeniable that you’ll need the food to match.

 

Celebrity chefs have been taking over our screens for  50 years but have become considerably more popular over the last decade. With many television chefs opening restaurants across the country, and with several in Cornwall, we thought that we would compile a guide of our top three in the area for you to try!

 

Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Padstow

On the north coast of Cornwall lies the fishing port of Padstow, home to Paul Ainsworth at No. 6.

 

How Did Paul Ainsworth Become a Chef?

Growing up in the hospitality industry, Paul Ainsworth studied hospitality at Southampton City College alongside training at The Star Hotel. It was through his education that Ainsworth was offered the chance to interview for a placement with Gary Rhodes.

 

This opened many doors and the next few years saw him work alongside Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wearing, allowing him to establish himself as a talented chef.

 

Opening Restaurants in Cornwall

Over the next couple of years, Ainsworth moved down to Padstow to work at No. 6; the restaurant he then went on to buy with his wife, Emma. Since then, he has opened a series of restaurants, and most recently a guesthouse, all in the Padstow area.

 

Celebrity Status

In 2011, Ainsworth appeared on the BBC2 series, The Great British Menu. Since competing, he has appeared as a regular guest on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, as well as featuring as a regular guest on BBC’s Yes Chef. Alongside this, he has firmly established himself as a celebrity chef by appearing on both MasterChef and Royal Recipes.

 

No. 6

Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 was awarded a Michelin Star in 2013. Since then, the restaurant has undergone a recent remodel but has remained a celebrated establishment. The delightful staff will make you feel right at home as you experience the epitome of fine dining.

 

Located in a gorgeous Georgian townhouse in the quaint fishing port town of Padstow, No. 6 makes use of the best locally sourced ingredients, preparing modern British food with some incredible Cornish produce!

 

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, Watergate Bay

EDIT: FIFTEEN HAS PERMANENTLY CLOSED AS OF DECEMBER 2019

Watergate Bay provides the impressive backdrop for the next stop on our list. One of the biggest celebrity chefs in the world, Jamie Oliver opened his Fifteen restaurants as a way of helping unemployed young adults break into the catering industry.

 

Recruiting Apprentices

Since the conception of the first Fifteen restaurant in London in 2002, Oliver opened another branch three miles outside of Newquay. The Watergate Bay site has since recruited over 200 apprentices, with 91% of the people who have completed the course still being in employment since leaving.

 

Italian Influence, Seasonal Ingredients

Main menu evening dishes take from an Italian influence, and ingredients used are selected based on the season. Not only that, but all the profits from the restaurant go to its registered charity, Cornwall Food Foundation. Due to their support, the apprenticeship scheme is able to keep running!

 

 

The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

Rick Stein opened The Seafood Restaurant in 1974 with his wife, Jill.

 

A Change of Plans

Originally planned to be a nightclub, the Stein’s found trouble with the clientele that they were attracting, so after a rethink, they reopened as a seafood restaurant. Using the freshest and finest seafood that Cornwall has to offer, The Seafood Restaurant opened a year later.

 

Simply Classic

It’s the simple dishes and the classic flavours that make the restaurant so popular. With a bar in the centre of the room to watch chefs assemble your platter, you’ll be sure to want to return to this firm favourite amongst the visitors of Padstow.

 

The international reputation that it has gained over the last 44 years means that The Seafood Restaurant is going nowhere any time soon. Having only one meat dish on the menu, it really would be foolish to order anything other than fish at this fine eatery.

 

Which of these celebrity chef-owned restaurants would you most like to visit? Let us know via our social media channels!

Image Credit: ricksteinrestaurants

Image Credit: fifteencornwall


What’s On: The Royal Cornwall Show

June 04th, 2018

The Royal Cornwall Show celebrates all that the coastal county has to offer. Starting on Thursday June 7th until Saturday June 9th, this year marks the 225th year the show has taken place. The agricultural show not only puts a wide range of animals on display but also promotes local businesses and industries, with plenty of food, flowers, entertainment and art on offer!  Here are just some of the things you can expect to see over the three-day show.

 

Animals

Of course, being an agricultural fair at heart, the Royal Cornwall Show will have thousands of animals on display, of all different breeds. Vying to be awarded best in show are a number of cows, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs. Horses will also be competing, with show jumping and the Inter-Hunt relay, putting each horse and rider to the test. If you’re more interested in the smaller end of the animal kingdom, then there are also plenty of birds, bunnies and even bees to be seen at the show as well!

 

For fans of man’s best friend, there will be a parade of hounds each day from Cornish hunts, as well as an insightful display from the Devon & Cornwall Police dogs.

 RAF

 

Entertainment

As well as all of the animal shows and stalls to visit, there will be a wide range of entertainment over the show days, from live music to fair rides. A variety of local bands and musical acts will be taking to the stage throughout the day, keeping you entertained as you explore the show. World-class stuntman, Kangaroo Kid, will be taking to the main ring to wow with his adrenaline-pumping quad bike show, while the RAF Falcons will show-off their skills in an impressive parachuting display.

 

For the kids, a scarecrow trail will be laid out around the showcase, with an assortment of friendly scarecrows waiting to be found. If you find them all, you could be in with a chance of winning a ticket to next year’s show! There is also a traditional Victorian-style fun fair in the grounds, with vintage carousels, swing boats, a helter-skelter and big wheel providing fun for all of the family.

 

Displays

With so much incredible natural beauty in Cornwall, it is of no surprise that the Royal Cornwall Show also features a delightful flower show, known as one of the best in the country. Exhibitors from around the UK will be turning up to show-off their vibrant blooms in the hopes of winning an award.

 

If you’re more into motors, the motor fair or steam fair may be more up your street! The motor fair sees an assortment of cars, vans and other vehicles on display, with many up for sale. Whether you’re just looking, or there to make a purchase, there are an astonishing number of makes and models on offer. Likewise, the steam fair will be exhibiting an impressive array of vintage engines; from tractors to traction engines! Learn all about the steam-powered history of the county through this interactive exhibit experience.

 

Cornish Pasties 

Food

One of the busiest areas of the show is the food pavilion, set up so that local businesses can showcase their very best produce. Sample some of the counties delicious delicacies from a variety of small businesses and bigger brands. It’s bound to be so yummy you’ll even want to take home a taste of Cornwall for your family to try at home!

 

Craft Stalls

Across the 95 acres showground, there will be over 1000 trade stands, offering up the best local produce on offer. As well as food stands, there will be over 80 craft stalls selling handmade goods from local artists. The craft section of the show will have its own tent so you can browse the stunning artistic works away from the bustle of the rest of the show. Products from all sorts of artistic disciplines will be on offer, including jewellery, pottery, paintings, furniture, porcelain and photography.

 

If you are interested in attending the Royal Cornwall, it is taking place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of June, and the gates open each day at 7am for ticket holders. Looking to see what Cornwall has to offer? Come and stay with us here at The Valley for an amazing Cornwall short break!

 

 

Image Credit: Edward WebbChris Goldberg


6 Best Picnic Spots Near Truro

May 24th, 2018

While Cornish pasties and fish & chips are a must when visiting Cornwall, it can sometimes be preferable to take your own homemade lunch out with you when enjoying the incredible sights Cornwall has to offer. Here are some of the best spots near our luxury Cornish cottages in Truro that are perfect for picnicking.

 

Kynance Cove

Often voted one of the best picnicking spots in the West Country, Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is clearly a top spot for enjoying a family picnic. It is easy to see why when you catch a glimpse of this area of outstanding natural beauty, as the cove features incredible stretches of white sand, with crystal clear waters lapping at the shore, all framed by a fascinating formation of rocks and cliffs. Sit on the top of the cliffs for stunning views out across the sea, or make your way down the steep steps to the beach to finish your picnic with a spot of paddling in the waves!

 

Gyllyngvase Beach

A fifteen-minute walk from Falmouth town centre, Gyllengvase is the perfect place for a beachside picnic after spending the morning exploring the town. If you forget to bring a picnic with you, then the beach is accompanied by Gylly Beach café, bar and restaurant, which is open all year round for tasty treats.

Gyllyngvase Beach is the biggest beach in Falmouth and is great for fans of water sports, so there will be plenty of activities to help burn off lunch!

 

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Restored in the 1990s after 70 years of being ‘lost’ to lack of maintenance, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is now one of the most popular gardens in the UK. Amongst the exotic plants and interesting sculptures,kyn there are plenty of picnic spots to choose from across the 200-acre estate.

 

St Mawes Beach

Drive around or take a ferry to St Mawes, where you will find a small, picturesque beach with fantastic views over the Fal River. Sit by the riverside with your homemade treats and enjoy the sights of the passing ferries, boats and kayaks travelling up and down the water.

 

Pendennis Point

Just past the impressive Pendennis Castle is the equally awe-inspiring Pendennis Point. Perfect for watching local wildlife, including an assortment of seabirds, seals, basking sharks and dolphins, Pendennis Point is a must-visit for nature lovers. There is a picnic area, so you can enjoy your lunch as you take in the almost 360 views over the Fal Estuary and Falmouth Bay.

 

Ten Acre Wood

Renowned for its delightful fields of bluebells scattered beneath the trees, the Ten Acre Wood in Polmorla is a gorgeous spot for a family picnic. While the woodland is a little way from Truro, it is certainly worth the drive to explore the ancient area and Polmorla River. After filling up on sandwiches and snacks under the holly and oak trees, kids can keep entertained at the various activity areas throughout the wood.

 

Do you have any good picnic spot recommendations in Cornwall? Let us know via our social media channels!


9 Iconic Cornish Foods

April 30th, 2018

Cornwall is undoubtedly one of the UK’s leading foodie destinations. Renowned for its thriving restaurant scene, with offerings from top chefs such as Rick Stein, you’ll find plenty of fantastic foodie spots around the coastal county. However, it isn’t all about the Michelin stars here, as there is an abundance of traditional delicacies created in Cornwall that rightfully hold their place as the most iconic of Cornwall’s food. The people of Cornwall are so proud of their food even that many of these delicious treats are geographically protected, meaning that no one else can make use of the reputable Cornish name! Here are some of our favourite dishes!

 

scone with jam and cream

Cornish Cream Tea

While the origin of the cream tea has long been battled over with neighbouring county Devon, the scone is still as popular as ever Cornwall. If you are enjoying a nice cream tea in the Duchy, then it is important to remember the ordering rules, for fear of being deported back over to Devon! The scone must first be spread with jam before it is topped with a big dollop of clotted cream. Do this the other way round in Cornwall and you will be shunned!

 

Cornish Yarg

Cornish Yarg

There are over 60 varieties of cheese produced in Cornwall, but none are quite as famous as the Cornish Yarg. The semi-hard cheese is made from cow’s milk and has an edible rind formed from nettle leaves. Not to worry about getting your tongue stung though, as they are frozen first to remove the sting. The texture of the cheese is often likened to Caerphilly. Cornish Yarg has long been enjoyed in the coastal county, with recipes dating back as far as the 13th century!

 

Stargazy Pie

Stargazy Pie

Originating from the fishing village of Mousehole in the 16th century, Stargazy Pie is one of Cornwall’s most famous, and strangest, dishes. Beneath its pastry crust is a combination of eggs, potatoes and pilchards. However, what makes this dish truly special is the fact that the pilchards’ heads poke out of the pie crust so that they are gazing at the stars!

 

Cornish Pasty

Cornish Pasty

Cornwall is ubiquitous with the pasty, and the humble snack has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years. A typical Cornish pasty consists of a pastry filled with diced beef, potato, onion and swede, with the crust crimped on one side. Only pasties produced in Cornwall can be recognised as Cornish pasties, thanks to its Protected Geographical Indication. Pasties are now so popular that they contribute a staggering 5% to the Cornish economy.

 

Pilchards

Pilchards

With over 400 miles of coastline in Cornwall, it is no surprise that the fishing industry was second only to mining in the 18th and 19th century. Many of the quaint coastal villages that we enjoy today, such as Polperro and Mevagissey, came to be due to pilchard fishing. As such, pilchards became somewhat of a Cornish food staple, making their way into many dishes, such as the famous stargazy pie. Also known as the ‘Cornish sardine’, these fish will be found at many food festivals and markets throughout Cornwall.

 

Saffron Buns

Saffron Buns

Similar to a teacake, the saffron bun is a popular Cornish teatime treat. This rich, spiced bun is flavoured with saffron, one of the most expensive spices in the world, giving it the distinctive yellow colouring. The bun also contains currants.

 

Hevva cakes

Hevva Cake

Also known as heavy cake, the hevva cake is also associated with the pilchard fishing times. To help the fishermen locate shoals of fish, a person, known as a huer, would stand atop a cliff and shout ‘Hevva!’ to alert the boats as to where the pilchard shoals were. Once the fish had been caught, hevva cakes would be baked, using lard, butter, flour, sugar, milk and raisins, to celebrate the catch. Traditionally, the cakes would sport a criss-cross pattern on the top, to represent the fishermen’s nets.

 

cornish fairings

Cornish Fairings

Considered to be the traditional biscuit of Cornwall, the Cornish Fairing is similar to a ginger nut, although they are a little more buttery. These biscuits get their name from having been sold at fairs around the country, particularly during the Victorian era.

 

crab

Newlyn Crab

While crabs can be caught in many spots around the Cornish coast, it is the ones found at Newlyn, near Penzance, which are undeniably the best. Setting the standards for crab meat, the Newlyn crabs contain both brown and white meat, coming from the claws. The white meat is exceptional in sandwiches, while the richer brown meat is used in stocks and soups.

Which of these delicious dishes have you tried? Be sure to give some a try during your stay at our luxury Cornish cottages!

 


Cream Teas: Devon vs Cornwall

April 13th, 2018

While a cream tea is enjoyed by many up and down the country, no one loves a scone more those in the South West; namely the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Cream teas are an issue of much contention in these counties, with arguments rising over which is the real home to this afternoon treat, and whether or not jam or cream should touch the scone first.

 

What is the difference between a Cornish and Devon cream tea?

The only real difference between the two counties take on a cream tea is the order in which the jam and cream are placed onto the scone. In Cornwall, the jam is smoothed on first, before being topped with a heaping spoonful of cream. Devon, on the other hand, puts the cream on first like butter, before adding a dollop of jam to the top.

While this may seem like a fairly uncomplicated issue, the ordering of the scone toppings is treated very seriously in the South West. In 2018, the National Trust had to issue an apology following an advert run in the Cornish property Lanhydrock House, which depicted a scone with jam on top! Cornish locals branded this marketing error as ‘disgusting’, ‘shocking’ and ‘unacceptable’, with some even threatening to cancel their National Trust membership!

Cream teas from the South West, however, are similar in one respect that differs them from those served in other parts of the country. This comes in the form of the use of clotted cream, a yellowish cream with a harder crust on the top. Clotted cream originates from the South West, with other areas of the UK simply using whipped double cream instead.

 

What are the main arguments for both ways?

For Cornish Cream Teas:

– It is easier to spread the jam on first and then add cream.
– The jam doesn’t slide off the cream.
– You can taste the cream better.
– You usually put cream on the top of other desserts, e.g. pie, fruit, cake.

For Devon Cream Teas:

– The cream is like butter for the scone.
– The jam will lie flatter on the cream, making it a bit easier to eat.
– You are at less of a risk of getting cream on your nose.

Scone with jam and cream

Recipe for Cornish Scones:

Ingredients:

500g plain flour

100g caster sugar

100g butter, diced

250ml milk

3 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

Egg wash (made with 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp milk)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.

2. Sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl.

3. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips.

4. Slowly add in the milk, mixing well, until it sticks together like dough.

5. Lightly flour a clean surface and gently knead the dough until it is smooth and soft.

6. Roll the dough out until it is around 2.5cm thick, and cut into 5cm circles with a cutter or cup.

7. Place them on the baking tray and brush the tops of each with the egg wash.

8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

9. Serve with jam on first, then the cream; the proper Cornish way!

Which way do you think is the right way to serve a scone? Let us know in the comments or via our social media channels! If you’d like to try a proper Cornish scone in Cornwall, come and enjoy a luxury family holidays in Cornwallfor the best experience!


World of Food at Knightor Feast Nights

February 06th, 2018

Experience the World Through Food at Knightor Feast Nights – About half an hour away from the centre of Truro sits the Knightor Winery, a vineyard set in the heart of St. Austell. While wine is clearly a central theme to this venue, food is certainly considered to be equally important. As such, the winery is known for its feast nights; a themed evening of fun and food, all washed down with a lovely glass of their own red or white! We take a look at what is on the menu for the next few events!

The feast nights tend to be either based around a theme, celebrating one particular locally sourced ingredient or produced in collaboration with a local foodie wonder. The winery also has its own herb and vegetable gardens, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find more locally grown produce than that!

Typically, the evening kicks off with drinks and nibbles at 6.30pm in the stunning outdoor area, before moving to the converted barn for the feast at 7.30pm. The price of each night varies dependent on the theme of the night or the ingredients used, but are usually between £15 and £30 per person.

Kick-starting this year’s edible adventure is the delicious Scandi Steak Feast on Friday the 9th February at £20 per person. The perfect menu for a winter time feast, this Scandinavian themed evening is sure to warm you up. The following week, on the 16th February, there will be a Ghanaian Home Style Cookout on the table, for £25 per person. This flavourful feast will see traditional dishes served up in a relaxed evening. If meat isn’t on your menu, then veggie options are available if requested in advance! Upcoming themes throughout March are set to include a rustic French bistro themed evening, a Korean BBQ and a four-course traditional Portuguese feast! Not to worry if you’re not in the area on these dates, as they often repeat such themes throughout the year to ensure you don’t miss out!

The feast nights are served up on most Friday’s throughout the year, with themes announced, and tickets and menu descriptions available a month or so in advance. If you are on a luxury Falmouth holiday when a feast night is scheduled to take place, then it is certainly worth adding to your holiday itinerary.

Find all the details for the upcoming events here!


Experience The World Through Food At Knightor Feast Nights

February 02nd, 2018

About half an hour away from the centre of Truro sits the Knightor Winery, a vineyard set in the heart of St. Austell. While wine is clearly a central theme to this venue, food is certainly considered to be equally important. As such, the winery is known for its feast nights; a themed evening of fun and food, all washed down with a lovely glass of their own red or white! We take a look at what is on the menu for the next few events!

The feast nights tend to be either based around a theme, celebrating one particular locally sourced ingredient or produced in collaboration with a local foodie wonder. The winery also has its own herb and vegetable gardens, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find more locally grown produce than that!

Typically, the evening kicks off with drinks and nibbles at 6.30pm in the stunning outdoor area, before moving to the converted barn for the feast at 7.30pm. The price of each night varies dependant on the theme of the night or the ingredients used, but are usually between £15 and £30 per person.

Kick-starting this year’s edible adventure is the delicious Scandi Steak Feast on Friday the 9th February at £20 per person. The perfect menu for a winter time feast, this Scandinavian themed evening is sure to warm you up. The following week, on the 16th February, there will be a Ghanaian Home Style Cookout on the table, for £25 per person. This flavourful feast will see traditional dishes served up in a relaxed evening. If meat isn’t on your menu, then veggie options are available if requested in advance! Upcoming themes throughout March are set to include a rustic French bistro themed evening, a Korean BBQ and a four-course traditional Portuguese feast! Not to worry if you’re not in the area on these dates, as they often repeat such themes throughout the year to ensure you don’t miss out!

The feast nights are served up on most Friday’s throughout the year, with themes announced, and tickets and menu descriptions available a month or so in advance. If you are on a luxury Falmouth holiday when a feast night is scheduled to take place, then it is certainly worth adding to your holiday itinerary.

Find all the details for the upcoming events here!


The History of the Cornish Pasty

July 21st, 2017

When going on holiday to Cornwall, you’ll probably find a Cornish pasty between your hands at one point or another. What you might not realise, however, is that the origins of the pasty go back at least eight centuries! Here we give you a brief rundown of what has made the pasty Cornwall’s most treasured food.

 

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Top Off Summer with a Ticket to Falmouth Week 2017

June 28th, 2017

Falmouth Week, set to begin on Friday 4th August 2017, is a week not to miss this summer. One of the most anticipated events in Cornwall, Falmouth Week brings a host of events that bring the sleepy seaside town to life with energy, fun and a sense of community. If you’re planning on heading to Falmouth this summer, there truly is no better time to visit, and we have some fantastic child-friendly cottages where you can stay.

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Why Cornwall is magical in the winter

December 29th, 2016

Many people in the UK will leave their staycations for the summer, when the weather is, on occasion, warmer and brighter; however, these people tend to miss out on the magical side of Cornwall that can only be experienced during the winter months. With these great reasons, there will be no reason not to book your breaks in Cornwall during the winter:

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