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Butts

Cornwall

So  we got invited to this wedding in Padstow,  Cornwall about a year ago by two of Mrs B’s colleagues who I vaguely know. Liam is one of the senior Directors, a real foodie and all round bon vivant who threw the most fantastic barbecue I’ve ever been to a few years  ago with a suckling pig and freshly caught trout still twitching from his bit of the river that runs at the back of the farmhouse where they live in Derbyshire.

Liam and his new bride Cheryl had rented an enormous farmhouse just outside Padstow to which we were invited to stay at, along with several of the other guests. Instead, we plumped for a hotel as I didn’t fancy three nights with a load of rampaging kids and open-ended small talk with people I barely knew.

So we drove down last Saturday, a journey that was meant to end in plenty of time to catch the Derby match on the telly at the hotel. Instead I watched horrified as the sat nav steadily recalibrated to reflect the endless jams on the M1 and M5 and a mis-judged attempt to nip through Bristol only to get caught up in the most horrendous gridlock partly caused by the heavy  police presence due to the visit of Millwall.
Instead we arrived 8 and a half hours later and just as the ref was blowing for full time.  Not a good start.

We headed out a couple of hours later bound for St Austell about 12 miles away only to take a turn for a place called Megavissey. I had an inkling that I recalled reading about a decent restaurant there and anyway it had an interesting name. As we walked round this tiny coastal inlet we popped our heads round the door of the only restaurant we could see only to be told they were booked up but we might try a place just round the corner.

This turned out to be the restaurant I remembered  - Alvorado – a Portuguese fish restaurant.

It turned into one of the best meals we’d had for ages. Lots of fresh fish served by a very friendly couple – Alvorado being the husband who did all the cooking,  Susan was front of house to the 10 or so tables.  I ordered the ‘slow-cooked tuna’ – more out of curiosity. I’ve only ever had tuna grilled for a few seconds each side so I was interested how it might turn out. When it arrived it was a huge tranche sitting in this deep red sauce. As I cut into the fish it slid down the knife so succulent and tender that the words ‘melt in the mouth’ don’t really cover it. The sauce was pungent and deep, an unctuous amalgam of tomatoes, peppers and garlic. Mrs B had a fish casserole which had a much thinner broth, derived from the finest fish stock with a staggering amount of hake, prawns, mussels and clams under which was an earthy base of cannellini beans, garlic and onions.

I asked Susan about the tuna and how, if it was slow-cooked, could it remain so juicy. So out came Alvorado from his kitchen to explain that the fish was cooked at the lowest heat possible – for 24 hours so that it ever so slowly steamed in the juices of the sauce. The depth to the sauce was created by adding a large amount of roasted garlic to the tomatoes and peppers and plenty of smoked paprika. The key was obviously the very long cooking time and meant that a normal domestic oven probably wouldn’t be ‘cool’ enough to authentically replicate.

It was a wonderful meal and I haven’t even described the plump scallops we had for a starter or the unbelievable almond cake we had to finish. Cost - £50 (plus £20 tip).

So Sunday we met up with people and just toured round the coast, Port Isaac being especially spectacular.

The wedding was 11.30am at a stately home just outside Padstow. All very grand and decidedly posh. Once the nuptials were over we all walked the 10 minutes to Rick Stein’s restaurant for the reception. It was curious mingling with all the tourists packing the narrow Padstow streets  behind a bride and groom and everyone was reaching for their cameras to capture the scene, now in the most glorious sunshine.

We’d all chosen the food we were to be served some time ago. I must say that Stein can get on my TV tits but his place is immaculately run (he is in Australia filming, apparently). The staff are fantastic – young, relaxed , informal and they had to be with all the kids running round.

The food, as you might expect, was great  - six massive prawns dusted with an aromatic Chinese five spice mix to start (below, top), Goan monkfish curry (below, bottom) that was deep, aromatic and very spicy as the main and a fine Cornish blue cheese with poached pear to finish.







There was the best best man’s speech I’ve ever heard and I had tears running down my face at his recounting of a stag night escapade.

The reception was over by about four so we then went back to the hotel and then it was the evening do at seven – a big marquee in the grounds of a house with a (terrible) covers band but a great laugh all the same and we were tucked up in bed for about 2ish. I saw a guy called Mike from Wigan for the first time in ages. We started chatting about 8ish about our mutual love of certain bands and when I looked at my watch is was already gone 10.

Next day Mrs B took the plane back from Newquay and I drove on to Basingstoke to start my new job -  a whirlwind of a week but 100% enjoyable all the same. Cornwall is a gorgeous place with a stunning coastline and parts of it are completely unspoilt. Basingstoke is another matter, however....
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

sounds a fantastic weekend and wedding and foodie trek into the relatively unknown. good luck in the new role our Adrian Butterworth is God
Seal

Nice weekend Butts. All the better those, when someone else is paying!

Love the fact that you took photos of your meal  
Pond Life

That is a fantastic report Butts. Thank you for posting. Imagine having a bit of river out the back of your house you can whip fish out of!!!
Butts

This was the band - 'Four Tons Of Funk'  


bearing

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/n...inger_jailed_for_supplying_drugs/
Pond Life

Him? On drugs? Never!
Butts

Good spot Bearing. That wasn't him on Monday, though. The singer looked about 66, not 26.
Pond Life

Meant to say that it is good to have you back Butts.
bearing

Pond Life wrote:
Meant to say that it is good to have you back Butts.


Yeah, Mick was frankly crap
Butts

I was looking at that on my new phone but I still haven't got the hang of it and ended up with a headache. Someone needs to step in for him for a while now.
Late Doors

Loved reading that Butts. Cornwall is indeed beautiful. Can only second PLs comment re river in back garden, stuff of dreams.
I did some Tuna in our slow cooker which has come to be one our best kitchen buddies just like the way you had it. Amazing, even though I say so myself   . Also hats off to the humble Hake a most underrated fish.
bearing

Hake rules....

I love Hake
Plastic Man

Four Tons Of Funk: An official band photo.



And apparently featuring our very own Mr Lebowski on the right.

Seeing as they are based in Cornwall, how many banjo players do they feature?
Butts

No banjos. God they were dire, loud and dire. so dire they were good.
smiling badger

Went to Port Isacc that Butts mentioned in his write up over the week end.
Lovely little fishing village which is now famous for some TV series with Martin Clunes in it.
Mobbed out with people taking pictures of ' his' cottage. WTF?
Decided to leave the hordes taking pictures and followed the footpath along the cliffs. Superb views of the whole village and well away from the tourists and their cameras.
A shame that these beautiful places rely on tourists to bring in the money through out the summer months. Bet this place is just as gorgeous during the winter also.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

going there for a week from next saturday - staying at Marazion nr Mount St Michael

Can't wait!
sheeps

Sir Bulldog Craggwood wrote:
going there for a week from next saturday - staying at Marazion nr Mount St Michael

Can't wait!


Break a leg.
smiling badger

Sir Bulldog Craggwood wrote:
going there for a week from next saturday - staying at Marazion nr Mount St Michael

Can't wait!


Well then......

What was it like?
smiling badger

No, no , dont worry about it.
Was just being polite, dont give a toss really.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

sorry missed this

I was there to perform in a production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (a Tom Stoppard pastiche of Shakespeare's Hamlet)

I was there as part of Ilkley Playhouse's production at the Minack Theatre which is an open air theatre carved into the cliff at Porthcurno (which along with Sennen and Lands End are just about the southerly and westerly parts of the UK)

So we performed there each night (and two matinees) from 28th of Aug till 2nd of Sept.

We were lucky in that the weather was very good with sunny warm afternoons and very little rain and wind.

The sunshine always draws the punters out for a full day.

The Minack seats 800 punters and most of the performance were sold out or mainly sold out. We seemed to get better audience responses (laughter, applause) as the week went on.

In between the performances the 25 strong touring company (15 actors) entertained ourselves with walks (to Lands End - frighteningly precarious cliff paths), trips to the uniquely beautiful St Ives, beach BBQs at Sennen Cove and Porthcurno, afternoon cream teas and heavy drinking sessions in the evening at Porthcurno's only pub (and indeed the only pub within 15m still serving after 11) The Cable Station.

The Cable Station is thus called because Porthcurno used to be a very important place where the telephone and telegram lines disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean and ran all the way to America. There are museums and artifacts and buildings still there testifying to its historic importance.

A memorable week and I even got some sunburn on my face  
smiling badger

About feckin time!

Sounds as though you had a great time of it in Cornwall.
I think that i've seen the Minack Theatre on one of those epsodes of 'Coast'. Looks a lovely setting and in the middle of summer even nicer!
Didnt realise that this place 'Reg' has actors aswell as authors.
What ever next?
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

we (Ilkley Playhouse) are going there again next week (Minack Theatre at Porthcurno) to perform Wuthering Heights for five nights. I play the tenant of Thrushcross Grange (Mr Lockwood) who gets the story told to him by the housekeeper Nelly

can't fecking wait
Grind

Thrushcross. I bet she is.
wotsfortea

Grind wrote:
Thrushcross. I bet she is.

You can get some cream and a pessary for that.
Dock

Had a week down in a cottage at Goonhavern (leave it) a mile outside Perranporth. Had a few days out at Lands End, St. Ives, St. Just, and Truro. I remember long car journeys down to Newquay when I was a kid but cos’ we have the wee one now we thought we would break it up and stopped halfway at a Bristol Premier Inn there and back. A great way to break the journey. I loved that last bit of the M5 and then on to the A30. A very chilled route on a Sunday morning. What impressed me was that none of the pubs and restaurants in Cornwall that we visited were out to fleece you which you would expect in such a touristy spot e.g. we went to a great pub called The Lifeboat Inn which looks out on to the clear blue waters of St. Ives and I thought this is going to cost but it wasn’t bad VFM at all and a great menu. We did the park and ride coastal train into St. Ives (£8 family return ticket) and it was a great day. I took Mrs. D to see Newquay. The beach and the views are still great but Newquay itself seems to have developed a bit of an identity crisis, not knowing if it wants to cater for stag do’s and boozers or families. One new edition to the place which is similar to everybloodywhereelse is pound shops everywhere. It’s a bit tacky if I’m honest. Apart from Newquay we loved Cornwall. Had a few pints of local pop as well. My favourite was Cornish Knocker by Skinners Brewery. If we go back it'll be to Carbis Bay just outside St. Ives. Beautiful place.
smiling badger

Yep, St Ives is lovely and the one time that i went to Newquay thought it was shite. Lovely beaches but the town wasnt so great. I love Cornwall and Devon and could quite happily live there.
bearing

Newquay was great when I was a kid, my sister lives in Devon near Plymouth, some great beaches around those parts.
smiling badger

Where abouts near Plymouth? I once went out with a girl that lived near there. And you are right, lovely beaches there.
Grind

smiling badger wrote:
Where abouts near Plymouth? I once went out with a girl that lived near there. And you are right, lovely beaches there.


She was a bit of a looker then?
smiling badger

Goes without saying.
Grind

smiling badger wrote:
Goes without saying.


They are also highly skilled in the art of clotting cream.
Dock

Grind wrote:
smiling badger wrote:
Goes without saying.


They are also highly skilled in the art of clotting cream.


See. There it is again. Filthing up a nice thread. It's not on. I'll send a strong letter me. Just see if I don't.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

My trip in later July early August was marred a bit by the rainy overcast weather but I still had a great time. Dock points out some great names - my favourite was a village called Pollgigga which is where Family Guy's Quagmire might have Cornish relatives.

We stayed near the beautiful Sennen Cove beach and i had some memorable days out to Newquay (visit Vicki's Newquay Kitchen for all your culinary needs) and Rick Steinville or Padstow as the locals call it where we took the ferry across the bay to Rock and had a great lunch and sunbathe

On the way back I drove through the stone circle of Avebury and went to look at Stonehenge (from a distance!)

England is great  
Heyho

I was in Bude the other week (and she didn't complain boom boom)

Had a very nice giant Cornish Pasty.

Liked how the canal goes right down to the sea.
Dock

Good call Dawg! The place names are brill. There was a Porth Joke near us and a Ventongimps. Apparently a lot of the Cornish language was influenced by visiting Gaelic church men and emissaries from Wales and Ireland. So said Edward Dare the knowledgeable guide who showed me and a few others around Truro Cathedral.*

*Free and interesting tour. Donations welcomed at the end.
Grind

Dock wrote:
Good call Dawg! The place names are brill. There was a Porth Joke near us and a Ventongimps. Apparently a lot of the Cornish language was influenced by visiting Gaelic church men and emissaries from Wales and Ireland. So said Edward Dare the knowledgeable guide who showed me and a few others around Truro Cathedral.*

*Free and interesting tour. Donations welcomed at the end.


More clotted cream?
Grind

More Guide 'n' Ride than Rub 'n' Tug.
bearing

smiling badger wrote:
Where abouts near Plymouth? I once went out with a girl that lived near there. And you are right, lovely beaches there.


Ivybridge
Grind

I shagged a girl from Saltash. Does that count for owt?
Dock

bearing wrote:
smiling badger wrote:
Where abouts near Plymouth? I once went out with a girl that lived near there. And you are right, lovely beaches there.


Ivybridge


I know her. Or is that Ivy Tilsley?

*wonders*
bearing

Dock wrote:
bearing wrote:
smiling badger wrote:
Where abouts near Plymouth? I once went out with a girl that lived near there. And you are right, lovely beaches there.


Ivybridge


I know her. Or is that Ivy Tilsley?

*wonders*


You're thinking of Tilsley
Dock

bearing wrote:
Dock wrote:
bearing wrote:
smiling badger wrote:
Where abouts near Plymouth? I once went out with a girl that lived near there. And you are right, lovely beaches there.


Ivybridge


I know her. Or is that Ivy Tilsley?

*wonders*


You're thinking of Tilsley


I most certainly am. Phhhhwor!


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