Friday, March 30, 2012

Cornwall Adventure Part 3 - Newquay

Rounding out the Cornwall adventure blog with the town we stayed in.


Here is the famous Island House.

Check out the colourful history of the house, Towan Beach and island.

Views of the beach from the Barrowfields area.

Newquay is definitely a favourite with surfers.

Here is a pasty inside and out.

"A genuine Cornish pasty has a distinctive 'D' shape and is crimped on one side, never on top. The texture of the filling for the pasty is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato and onion and a light peppery seasoning."

Their popularity spread by Cornish miners. I was told that it is a myth that one pasty contains both lunch and dessert, in the same pie.

Cornish pasties have a protected status and a true one must be made in Cornwall.

Walk in the park....It was!

Up the Gannel river, a tidal river, miners deposited waste and it is not navigable as it once was.

"Gannel estuary is another area of Newquay that is believed to be haunted. The legendary Gannel Crake often cries out to weary travellers. Its eerie and haunting sound, has been likened to the cry of a tortured human soul or the death cry of an animal as it becomes victim to fate."

All over Cornwall there are smugglers coves and pits.

The fencing starts out looking like the first picture, always in that same pattern. Then, plants cover the fencing. The fencing lines the roads all over Cornwall. To the eye the fencing looks like a soft landing to a car avoiding a bump with another car.....Surprise! Not the soft landing they thought. OUCH!

The Cornish Rattler on tap is probably the best cyder I have tasted yet. Miss it already! I knew I missed it with the first cyder I had outside Cornwall.

The Cornish do cream teas the right way in my humble opinion. Scone with jam, then cream, not the other way around like other areas do. The cream must be Cornish though....Yes, it has protected status this way.

Finishing up with a few views around Newquay. The shown pub Towen Blystra is named after the original, Cornish name for Newquay. It means "blown sand" in the Cornish language.


"The true Cornish way to eat a pasty is to hold it in the hand, and begin to bite it from the opposite end to the initial, so that should any of it
be uneaten it may be consumed later by its rightful owner. And woe betide anyone who take's another person's "corner"!"
-Cornish Recipes Ancient and Modern 23rd edition with supplement by the Cornwall Federation of Women's Institutes
(the way that pasties were originally eaten)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cornwall Adventure Part 2 - Port Isaac

Dreams do come true! Here is proof! I visited Port Isaac the place of Doc Martin. It is called Port Wenn in the best ever television series.

It all started with a spin-off from the movie Saving Grace. Martin Clunes playing the doctor in both series. Doctor Martin Ellingham in the telly series, the towns people calling him Doc Martin much to his dismay. Doc Martin is a cantankerous, hemophobic doctor/surgeon. His hemophobia sending him back to Port Wenn of his youth, he had been a top surgeon in London. His fate is to be a GP now, much to his irritation! Even though he is afraid of blood, he always delivers proper healthcare and comes through in an emergency. LOVE IT!

Plenty of fishing happens here.

Wandering the close knit streets....

A few miles out of town is Auntie Joan's house and farm in the show:

The police station in the show and also the oldest building in Port Isaac. One of the officers was a narcoleptic, agoraphobic....HA HA! LOVE IT!

Grouchy Doc Martin hates dogs around him.

I found this an ironic sign in town. In real life, Martin Clunes loves dogs. LOVE IT!

Miss Glasson's schoolhouse in the show.

Old pictures showing Port Isaac's lifeboats coming through the streets, with the whole town coming out to help. You could see rope marks on the building walls from this procedure.


Bringing in the day's catch....

Fern Cottage is Doc Martin's Surgery in the show.

This is the building that plays the Chemist in the show.

As in the show, cars have fun navigating the tight streets in Port Isaac. We saw several cases of this. LOVE IT!

This is Bert's restaurant in the show:

This is a few miles away from Port Isaac and called Port Quinn. It is the tower in the last episode of Doc Martin, watch the show to see what I mean. I had to take the picture frm the tour van, sorry it isn't better, but means a great deal to me.

It is said that the show had it's last episode ever, and that was the original intention. Our tour guide rumours that the show will continue for another series.....We shall see.

-Dr. Martin Ellingham: [Recurring, exasperated phrase] "It's not my dog."

-Dr. Martin Ellingham: "Bert, it's been a long day. Take two aspirin and insult me in the morning."

-Joan Norton: "Look, Marty, you do realise that the villagers are dusting off their pitchforks, don't you? "
Dr. Martin Ellingham: "Yes. Exactly how many generations ago did the inbreeding start with these people? "

-Patient: "And you reckon these will work, do you?"
Dr. Martin Ellingham: "No - I just prescribe them for fun."

- Dr. Martin Ellingham: "All right, Caroline, I'm going to give you an injection.
Danny Steel: [gets down on one knee, hands clasped together] "I'm saying a prayer for you, Caroline."
Dr. Martin Ellingham: [eyeing Danny] "Just a little prick."


Monday, March 26, 2012

Cornwall Adventure Part 1 - Penzance

Our Kernow, or as it is better known Cornwall adventure starts at the ancient market town of Penzance. In the Cornish language Penzance is known as Pen Sans, meaning "Holy Headland."

We loved going around and looking at the boats in the harbour, what clever names the boats have!

We would like very much to return and hop a ferry to the Isles of Scilly, at some point in the future. The snorkeling is supposed to be grand there.

The closest thing to Pirates of Penzance we came to, is trinkets at the shops.

I didn't have time, or facilities to cook on my adventure. We did however sample plenty of Cornish culinary treasures.

Cornish cream and fresh fish!

The fresh fish is self evident.

The cream is made by indirectly heating full-fat milk from cows using steam, or a water bath. They leave it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms 'clots,' hence the name clotted cream. Cornish clotted cream has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) by European Union directive. The milk has to be produced in Cornwall and have a minimum of 55% fat content. The cream is used in creamed teas (more on those later, another blog), ice cream, fudge, etc. It is glorious!

Another food is Cornish Pasties (....more on those in a later blog, you can see bakeries flogging them everywhere though.

Another food item we saw about in Cornwall was Saffron bread and buns. It became popular in Cornwall, as Phoenician sailors bartered with the saffron to gain Cornish mined tin. When I get a few moments and the ingredients, I will whip up a batch and tell you all about it.

More pasties with a range of fillings....

An important figure in Penzance was Sir Humphrey Davy! His statue is well centred in Penzance, here is why:

"Davy was a British chemist best known for his experiments in electro-chemistry and his invention of a miner's safety lamp."

Read more:

Here you will also see the Cornish, St. Piran's (patron saint of tin mining) flag. The black and white/silver is to show the importance of mining in Cornwall. The black is ore burning and the white is the molten tin flowing from it.

You can see St. Michael's Mount from Penzance across Mounts Bay. The day we were there it was a bit foggy, but not too bad. You can see St Michael's Mount in the background from Penzance harbour.

As we drove away from Penzance and closer to Marazion, gateway to St. Michael's Mount.... came more into view.

St Michael's Mount is said Karrek Loes y'n Koes in Cornish meaning "grey rock in the woods." St. Michael's is a tidal island, it hosts a fortified house/castle, sub-tropical plants and is connected to Marazion by a man-made causeway. The crown of Cornwall!

There is a legend about how St. Michael's Mount:

Both the Giant's Cormoran, who built and dwelt in the Mount, and a neighbouring giant named Trecrobben, were cobblers at need, but they only had one hammer between them. When one wanted it he would bawl "Borrer thammer," and the thing would hurtle through the air from the opposite hill. One day, Cormoran was calling for it, his unsuspecting and rather short-sighted spouse came to the doorway to announce dinner, and she it was who received the hammer! Terrible was the Giant's grief as he rolled her body into the sea, for she was the last of the Giantesses, and - the pasties she baked were proper beauties!

Next stop on the Cornwall adventure will highlight Port Issac.


"It was fantastic to work in Cornwall partly because my family live there so I was able to do lots of visiting and eat lots of cake. They live all over Cornwall and all over Devon."

-Dawn French