Saltwater – St Ives, Cornwall

Posted by Lou on Jun 29, 2009 in Places

saltwater-st-ives

Saltwater St Ives is a tiny restaurant that Duncan and I found when we stayed in Cornwall a few weeks back.

I was really looking forward to staying in St Ives but I must say I was a little let down. The beaches were lovely, we saw an amazing sunset (the first one I have ever seen), and the shops are great but we didn’t find many restaurants. After what felt like hours (OK it was half an hour) walking around St Ives trying to decide where to eat, Duncan got pooed on by a seagull.

That was the last straw. We needed food and we needed food fast!

Luckily, we happened to walk past Saltwater and it looked like a little piece of heaven. The menu sounded good so we dived in. After sorting himself out (getting rid of the bird poo) Duncan sat down and we checked out the menu in more detail. In a nutshell, I managed to eat lots more shellfish/seafood and Duncan ate lots more fish, but the food really was lovely and the surroundings were very clean and modern. The people who served us were just so polite and very keen to make sure we enjoyed our meal. This kind of service can so often be overlooked in nice restaurants. Anyway, the puddings were brilliant – we had the usual argument of who was going to have the treacle tart, which I lost. I had vanilla panacotta with homemade biscuits and roasted seasonal fruit. It was amazing, so I was happy to lose the treacle tart fight that time!

If you’re in St Ives and stuck for somewhere to eat, we can recommend Saltwater. It is a really small place with only a few tables but this just adds to the cosy atmosphere. We were quite lucky to just walk in off the street but on busier nights it would be better to give them a call to book. It’s located on Fish Street – which has got to be a good sign! Just try not to get pooed on ;)

seagull

 

I’m sorry – I’ve got an addiction – to olives

Posted by Dunc on Jun 23, 2009 in Food Shopping

pimento-olives

Sometimes in life, you go through phases where you can’t get enough of something. You know those guilty pleasures that you can’t get through the day without thinking of at least once.

I’ve had a fair few of these weird and wonderful food addictions over the years (jacket potatoes with cheese and battered fish butties from the chippy are two notable examples – not at the same time though!) but the latest thing that’s got a grip on me is olives!

Now this is quite strange because up until a couple of years ago, I couldn’t stand the salty little beggars! For some reason, at the moment I crave Pimento Stuffed Olives ALL THE TIME!

“WHAT!?” I hear you shout – Olives aren’t British!

I know, I know, and for this I am truly sorry. The source of my guilt is that this delicious delicacy that I can’t keep my grubby mits off, comes from Greece.

But wait…

So imagine my surprise when I did a little googling only to discover that due to climate change, we are now able to grow olives in this country. Now imagine my excitement (yes, very sad I know) that there are farmers who are actually growing them by the chuff-load.

Mark Diacono on Otter Farm in Devon, is taking advantage of Britain’s warming climate to grow more Mediterranean crops like olives, peaches, almonds, szechuan pepper, apricots and a vineyard. 5 years ago, he planted 120 olive trees on his 17-acre farm and hopes to be producing British home-grown Olive Oil within a year.

And it isn’t just me who is rather excited about this. As rumour has it, a top London department store, has offered to pre-buy the entire production run. Mark, however, has said that he would prefer to sell locally to keep the food miles down.

Brilliant stuff. One less pleasure to feel guilty about :)

To learn more, have a read of the article on Country File.


As well as planting and maintaining Otter Farm’s orchards, vineyards, forest garden and veg patch, Mark Diacono leads the Garden Team at River Cottage. He also runs the growing courses at River Cottage, gives talks and hosts events at RCHQ, and appears in the River Cottage TV series too. Busy bloke then!

 

More Cheese Vicar?

Posted by Becs on Jun 20, 2009 in Food Shopping, Places

arran cheese

Sorry but if this blog is turning into a homage to cheese however we all worship it and Britain has some of the world’s finest cheeses – really it does! Its rude not to share the news.

Again back at the infamous Lancashire Country Fair (next to the PotsnPies stall) was a very nice gentleman with a selection of cheeses that I could not walk past and ignore.

Arran’s cheeses are made by the Island Cheese Company on the Isle of Arran. They produce wax sealed flavoured cheddars such as Chilli Cheddar, Hebridean Herb and Hamilton’s choice which is flecked with chives. Or try the Balmoral which is laced with claret and which I bought intending it to be for my Dad but then ate it myself in secret – a true cheeseoholic. Or just have it naked without any flavours.

Anyway the Island Cheese Company sell at Wholesale, Farmers markets or (most convenient for us 21st century kids) you can buy online along with other Arran goodies such as oatcakes, smoked salmon and relishes. All I can say is their cheese is divine and delicious, my drug of choice and I relish the chance to scoff some more! Ha now that really is cheesy……

 

Have You Tried a Finkle Pie?

Posted by Becs on Jun 20, 2009 in Food Shopping

Do you even know what one is?

Well I’ll tell ya its potato, bacon and onion encased in a crunchy, buttery pastry that’s what!

I stumbled upon these little gems whilst at the Lancashire Country Show – a phenomenal treat of Country wares and games such as Ferret racing and grass cutting competitions. It was, of course, brilliant in a quirky old-fashioned-good-clean fun-manner and in between the local festivities I picked up a few of Britain’s best edible treats including the awesome Finkle Pie.

Pots and Pies are committed to producing quality pies made from carefully selected, locally sourced ingredients. Using old fashioned skills they convert traditional recipe fillings such as Pigeon and Pea & Wild Boar and Chestnut into delicious hand raised pies.

Try the minted lamb or the beef and ale with some mash and gravy on the side – yum yum I say!

Sadly Pots n Pies don’t have a website (which makes me love them even more!) however they can be contacted on 07515 652 611 or info@potsnpies.co.uk

 

St Ives Beef from Trevalgan Farm, Cornwall

Posted by Dunc on Jun 12, 2009 in Food Shopping, Places
st-ives-beef

So, it turns out that the Farm that we were camping at (Trevalgan Holiday Park) rear their own free range beef…

We didn’t actually realise this till the very last day, so we weren’t able to sample the home made beef burgers or steaks on offer. Flippin Typical! Luckily though, Trevalgan supply their St Ives Beef nationwide so I have placed an order and will keep you updated about how nice it is and whether it is as tasty as the Aberdeen Angus Beef from Cedar Barn in North Yorkshire Aufblasbare Zelte.

A little about St Ives Beef…

St. Ives Beef comes from Trevalgan Farm which lies on the cliffs just outside St. Ives in an area of outstanding natural beauty. All the free range, traditionally reared cattle are born and raised within 4 miles of St. Ives. During their life at Trevalgan they are allowed to roam freely and graze naturally on grass and home grown forage crops. The lovely people at Trevalgan don’t believe in routine vaccinations or in the force feeding of concentrates to promote speedy growth so their bullocks are allowed to grow at their own pace. To quote them “It’s no wonder the cattle from here produce some of the finest beef we’ve tasted and you don’t just have to take our word for it!”

I certainly won’t just be taking your word for it…bring on that beefy box so I can have a taste :)

What a load of bullocks…

As Trevalgan Farm is so close to the cliffs and coastal path, they have their own little nature trail which takes in loads of beautiful views and even an ancient burial ground. Lou and I set off across the fields following the signs and that’s how we found out about the St Ives Beef. Infact we came face to face with it… st-ives-cows Lou’s a bit scared of cows so after ‘the stand off’, we made a hasty retreat over the fence and continued on our little adventure towards the sea and cliffs. As you can see from the photos below, the scenery is absolutely stunning and the weather was fantastic! trevalgan-signtrevalgan-cliffs Uh Oh… Did I mention Lou’s a bit scared of cows? Well you can imagine the look on her face when we walked over the top of the hill to be faced with this little lot. Oh Parp! Luckily there were a few fellow walkers on the cliffs that day so with a bit of trepidation, we made our way through the baying mob! more-cowseven-more-cows

If happy, healthy cows are your thing…

then I can definitely say that this lot are having a loads of fun scampering around the cliffside hills and field’s (don’t worry – they are fenced in so there’s no chance of them making a beeline for the beach and coming a cropper on the cliffs!). They seem really happy even if they do look a bit grumpy up close. Checkout the St Ives Beef website for more details about wildstar gold the farms and also to place an order for a box of beef containing a variety of cuts. Mooooo!

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