LIVING THE GOURMET LIFE IN CORNWALL
PUBLISHED: 17:45 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:29 30 August 2017
Feasts, food with a view, farm shops and the best pizza you will ever taste - Cornwall has it all
Listening to acoustic guitar in the warm evening sun, the smell of wood fired tomatoes in the air, I could’ve been somewhere in the med. My actual destination? The Kitchen at The Park in Mawgan Porth.
New head chef James Wood has been in a kitchen of sorts since the age of three, when his grandmother first taught him how to cook. Since then he’s studied at university, completed a placement at Jamie’s Italian and worked at a gastropub in Bristol. But the lifestyle – he surfs - and local produce on offer lured the 25-year-old to Cornwall: “One of the main attractions of moving to Cornwall and taking this position at The Park was knowing that I’d be able to use fantastic suppliers on my doorstep.”
First on the menu at The Kitchen? A range of feast nights. The one I attended happened to fall on a gloriously warm sunny evening and so took place outside on long tables decorated with jars of wildflowers. It was pretty cosy, but the communal style encouraged chatting and sharing among foodie neighbours.
First up we helped ourselves to an aperitif and crostini – the sautéed mushrooms with chilli, garlic and parsley was particularly good. The main course was brought out in a series of sharing platters and consisted of porchetta with fennel roasted potatoes and salsa verde, Sicilian aubergine stew and several Italian inspired salads. I had the vegetarian option of mushroom and tomato ravioli. The platters worked well with guests helping themselves and staff topping up as we went. Desert was little individual pots of limoncello and white chocolate tiramisu. It was all, in a word, delicious.
For anyone wanting to try out the facilities and the food, there is a Swim and Dine offer available for non-residents. To book a table and find out details of the next event visit the website .
When the lovely people at St Mawes Hotel invited me to meet star pizza chef pizza chef, Massimiliano Stamerra to test his skills - and perhaps pick up a few tips on how to improve my own pizza-making skills, it is fair to say I jumped across the Fal to accept. The beautiful hotel on the harbour has brought Massimiliano in to provide a delicious piza menu to supplement ther already ample charms.
Accompanied by my ten-year-old - already a pizza officienado - we arrived on a hot hazy summer afternoon to be greeting by an even warmer smile from the star of the evening who quickly got down to the business of pizza throwing which earned him the title of Italian Acrobatic Champion - among others.
Native to Gallipoli, in south east Italy Massimiliano is chef and owner of famed pizzeria restaurant Capri New Style. He was in Cornwall to create a Cornish take on the world’s favourite food, sourcing local and fresh high quality Cornish ingredients.
It is clear from chatting to him - by way of an interpreter - that he considers pizza one of our healthiest food; his dough is very special created with less yeast and salt than recipes typically contain and left to prove for longer. The end result is a crispy light air-filled base that can be eaten without the delicious toppings on offer.
I’m a bit of a purist so I went for a maghareta - a favourite of Massimiliano - to let the tomato sauce, cheese and crispy fresh base sing - with a little fresh rocket added after cooking. For pudding the base was turned into something very special: topped with chocolate, fresh peaches, raspberries and dusted with icing sugar. In the word’s on my ten-year-old: It was lush’.
Smuggling, boatbreaking and the best in local produce
The historic Bodmin Moor inn that inspiredthe eponymous bestselling literary classic has unveiled its latest attraction - a farm shop.
was bought by Allen Jackson for more than £2 million in 2014 - and the new farm shop opened in July is the latest in a number of planned improvements for the 18th century in which have cost more than £1 million to date.
Built in 1750 as a coaching inn for travellers journeying between Launceston and Bodmin, it is said that smugglers also used the inn to hide their contraband. It is estimated half the brandy and a quarter of all tea once smuggled into the UK was landed along the Cornish and Devon coasts. Despite popular belief that the inn got its name from a considerable trade in smuggled rum, this new shop will only be stocking local produce!
The shop was inspired by local demand as the nearest supermarkets are over 11 miles away in Bodmin, Launceston and Liskeard,’ explains Alan. So we decided to breathe further life into this historic location and obtained planning permission in December 2015.’
More than 90 per cent of the stock is locally produced - and the shop itself has been built with locally sourced materials: the walls are built with local stone and the low wooden beams and timber clad surfaces were crafted only a few miles away.
Tea and textiles
IF there’s one thing that I love about a good coffee shop, it is their interior -in fact I’ve even been known to buy something from a cafe wall before now.
So it is with a skip in my step that I headed to the new showroom in Truro where I could sait myself on their delicious range of premium wallpapers, fabrics and paints from its extensive design library, I can head into The Eatery, the stylish new café, which shares its home with Camellia’s showroom on Fairmantle Street. Featuring an eat-in or take-away menu which focuses on nutrition, fresh ingredients along with gluten-free eating options, it is the perfect way to relax and consider how to improve your home with their extensive range of iconic brands including Cole and Sons, Farrow & Ball, GP & J Baker, Zoffany and the more unknown like Mark Alexander and Threads. Paint for the Little Greene Paint Company can even be mixed on the spot whilst customers have a coffee and wait.