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F is for Fabulous Food & Drink

Updated: Oct 1, 2019


When people think of Cornwall, Pasties and Cider are the first things they think of - but there are lots more local specialities to try whilst you're here - some a little less traditional than others.

Sweet Treats

Cream Teas

No visit is complete without a cream tea - but a truly traditional one is served on a type of sweet bread roll called a "split". Devonshire splits are traditionally cream first then jam (and smaller than a Cornish split), whereas Cornwall like their cream (Cornish & clotted!) on top. A Cornish alternative (not commonly found these days) is "thunder & lightning" - with treacle (or golden syrup) and clotted cream atop your split.

Saffron Cake

Cornish saffron is still grown in some areas, but just a few miles away, Stratton was the Cornish saffron capital, and Saffron cake or Saffron buns are still a common find in many local bakeries. Enjoy buttered with a nice cup of (Cornish) tea.

Cornish Fairings

The name "fairing" was used to describe edible souvenirs sold at fairs around the country for hundreds of years. These traditional ginger biscuits were sold just down the road in Launceston at the annual maid hiring fair, and it is thought to be this recipe which has been used ever since the 1800s.

Time for a Tipple?

Cider

Cider has been a West Country staple from at least the time of the Norman conquest (if not before), and you are spoilt for choice if Cider's your thing. Considered one of the best Cider farms in Cornwall, Healey's Cyder Farm near Newquay is a great visitor attraction as well as offering tours.

Ales

The boom in real ales is easy to see here in the West Country, with many long established breweries now practically household names. You'll be spoilt for choice in the local pubs, but make sure try the local ales (Holsworthy Ales) at our local pub The Molesworth Arms. Also don't miss North Cornwall's first micropub The Barrel at Bude. If you're a lager drinker - don't worry you won't miss out, the first Cornish lager Korev is widely available too.

Gin

There have been distilleries producing Gin in Devon since the middle ages, probably the most famous and oldest being Plymouth Gin, which is open for tours. With the recent resurgence in artisan gins, there are lots of small craft distillers popping up including Salcombe gin and the very first Cornish distillery near Newquay - Tarquins. If you're a gin lover then don't miss out on a visit to An Mor in Bude - either to sample a few from their extensive bar or better still enjoy a gin tasting or making experience as a special treat.

Rum

Yes, really Rum! Distilled from scratch just a few miles up the road, the Cornish Distilling Company produce 3 types of rum and are based at Norton Barton Artisan Food Village. Currently building an extension to the distillery, they will be opening for tours in 2019.

Wine

English wine has been rivalling the best for sometime now, and one of the top award winning UK vineyards can be found at Camel Valley (plenty of good ones to try in Devon too such as Sharpham and Pebblebed). You can easily find a bottle in the local supermarket these days but why not treat yourself and book a tour and tasting whilst you're here?

Tea

The site of one of the Southwest's best gardens, the Tregothnan estate has been producing home grown tea in Cornwall since 2005. It is not normally open to the public, but does have a charity open garden event each April. You'll find the tea widely served in tea rooms across the southwest (including local favourite Rectory Farm at Morwenstow)

Something Savoury?

Pasties

You can't come to Cornwall without trying a pasty (or Oggy) - the traditional Cornish pasty must have beef,swede, potato, salt and pepper. Anything else and its not Cornish. As usual there is much argument between Devon and Cornwall about who really invented it (recent evidence suggests Devon but don't tell the Cornish) although it is generally thought to have become the staple lunch for the Cornish tin miners back in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Cheese

Not just Cheddar! There are a huge number of speciality cheeses made in the west country. Just down the road from Bude, Whalesborough Cheese make a range of multi award winning cheeses from local milk - you can sample them at their cafe/bistro The Weir. The other side of the border, Curworthy cheese are based near Okehampton. The cheese shop in Holsworthy - Market Cheeses is a great place to find these local cheeses as well as may other west country specialities such as Yarg and Devon Blue - you'll find it in a little arcade just off the market square.

Something on the side? When you've stocked up on your cheese, you'll need something to go with it... Norton Barton artisan food village is also the site of the award winning Cornish Charcuterie and Popti Cornish bakehouse - so you can pick up a whole range of pate, crackers and cured meats to enjoy with your cheeses.

You'll find lots of local produce at the local farmers markets -Holsworthy Pannier Market is held in the town square every Wednesday, whilst Bude has an artisan food market every Saturday and a food and craft market on the wharf on Fridays (April - October). The food section in the local Mole Valley Farmers is also another good place to pick up some local treats. Further afield - stop off at the Great Cornish Food Store at Truro - for a huge range of the very best Cornish produce.

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