Friday 10 July 2009

South West Adventure - Help Wanted

Photo from kandyjaxx from Flickr via Creative Commons

Cowie and I are getting very excited about our summer holidays. We are keeping it local this year and praying for sunshine! We are going on a road trip starting in Somerset and exploring Cornwall, Devon and West Dorset staying in BnBs and putting our tent up to cut the costs.

I've made a little map to plot our intended route. The plan is to drive down to St. Ives and then make our way around to Falmouth, Fowey, Salcombe and then back to Cowie's parents' house via River Cottage.

We've got a few places lined up for good food and interesting adventures, such as the Porthminster Cafe and the Gurnard's Head in St. Ives and Sunday lunch at River Cottage HQ. But what we'd love is any advice you've got, particularly concerning Falmouth, Fowey and Salcombe. We'd hate to miss out on a treat somewhere. Do you know any amazing restaurants, cafes, camp sites, fishmongers, tea shops, walks, golf courses etc. that will turn our holiday into a memorable adventure?

Also, we're really keen to cook some fun stuff on our BBQ whilst we're camping. In the past we've got carried away and tucked into lobster, skate knobs and oriental steamed sea bream followed by a "muffin orange".

Orange muffin

So if you've got any exciting ideas for camp site gastronomy let us know as well! Lizzie has already suggested: "How about fish in a biscuit tin with wood chippings? Or burying meat in hay and setting fire to the hay?"

We'd love your help. Thank you.


canelvr said...

you seem to be bypassing the coast on the southeast side of devon! you'll miss out on the fishy smells of brixham and teignmouth mussels, to name just a couple. what about crabbing off the quayside in dartmouth or taking a catch-yr-own boat trip from torquay and bagging some mackerel?

Chris Smith said...

Salcombe Tips

In Salcombe a visit to the Winking Prawn is worth the trip. It's in North Sands close to the mouth of the ria. (

Whilst not the Porthminster Beach in culinary ambition the food is good enough and the setting is fun.

You can buy good crab as well as lobster and dive caught scallops from Charlie Yeoward's Boatyard on Island Street ( Don't use the fishmonger in town. If you want good fish to cook/bbq then go to Catch of the Day in Fore Street, Kingsbridge. They also stock samphire - though we are close to the end of it this year.

Salcombe's only butcher is OK though - Mr Coleman buys local and butchers well. Lidgates in Kingsbridge is also good.

Looking at your map it seems you might venture through Totnes on your way. As you drive towards Totnes from the M5/A38 you will pass Riverford Farm Shop where you will be able to stock up on many local goodies (

Whilst in the South Hams do not forget to sample Beenleigh Blue cheese. This is quite special. ( - available from Riverford and from the Deli in Kinngsbridge.

Bon Voyage!

PS follow more Salcombe food adventures @ One Summer's Food (...when we get there - we're still in town right now)

curiouseater said...

Hello, although I have not been, people rave about Nathan Outlaw- egullet and Andy Hayler. He also seemed liked a pretty solid guy when he was on Great British menu. I am jealous of your trip, you will have lots of good eating I am sure!

TC said...

I highly recommend Catch 55 in Salcombe (on Fore Street). We had a great meal there last year.

I would also agree with the above about Riverford. We get our veg box from there (delivered in London), and it is definitely on our list of places to visit.

Andrew said...

Its been a couple of years since I was last there but in fowy there is a rather good deli; a couple of doors down (run by the deli owners sun) was a nice little seafood place that gave a stunning seafood platter. I think the fish etc are caught by another son that day. I do hope it is still there as it was superb. We went out of season (Feb) and were the only people there.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Highly recommend the Seafood Restaurant in the village of Yealmpton, nearish to Plymouth. Lovely place, great staff, fabulous fish and seafood, cooked to perfection + as fresh as you like.

Browners said...

@canelvr - We are very flexible. If you think we should go to Brixham and Teighnmouth then why not! Cowie spent most of her family holidays growing up crabbing in Dartmouth and Dittisham so I think we might well pop in there too. A boat trip from Torquay could work too. Thanks so much.

@Chris Smith - thanks for your tips! Great ideas here. We're huge fans of Riverford Farm. We went there a while ago and loved it to bits. Great field kitchen.

Love your blogs by the way. They've just found their way into my google reader. Thanks so much.

@cuiouseater - Nathan Outlaw looks awesome. We're going to call them up immediately!

@TC - Can you tell me more about Catch 55? I'm intrigued. Thanks!

@Andrew - your seafood platter in Fowey sounds great. If it's still there we will seek it out.

@aforkfulofspaghetti - Wow. That looks great. Thanks for the idea.

TC said...

Just realised it was two years ago we went, time flies!

I just went and dug through my purse, and found the card for Catch (I knew i kept all those ancient ones for a reason). It is at 55 Fore Street, Salcombe.

They don't seem to have a website, but it was fish and seafood, really simply but well cooked and fresh. Bit pricier than the pub but not bank breaking by any means.

TC said...

Had another thought too. The Ship in Noss Mayo( is right on the estuary, so is a really pretty place to sit, and they do both bar meals and some smarter more restauranty stuff. There is also a great cliff-top walk that starts from there, so you can build up an appetite first!

Browners said...

@TC - Thanks! This is a great help. We've got a great trip developing here. Nice.

canelvr said...

If you're seriously considering Torquay, The Elephant is worth a look, or its big sister Orestone Manor on the way to Teignmouth.

Definitely looking forward to reading about your adventures in the SW!

Browners said...

@canelvr - Thanks for the tips. We'll tell you all about it.

eatmynels said...

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Fowey!

Browners said...

@eatmynels - Nathan Outlaw is getting a lot of love. Thanks!

winnitmi said...

The Helford River near Falmouth is well worth a stop over. Gear Farm (on the Lizard not the one in North Cornwall) has a lovely little farm shop with homemade wood pizza oven and great pasties. they also have a campsite overlooking the river. you can get little ferry across from helford village to helford passage for lunch/dinner at Ferry Boat has just been taken over by Wright Brothers who run an ostyer stall in Brough Market and who also now run the Porth Navas Oyster Farm ( If you fancy it, you can hire a boat from the beach and potter up river to Frenchmans Creek.

Browners said...

@winnitimi - Gear Farm looks great. Thanks so much for the suggestion. And the added bonus of oysters, albeit not in season, is great too.

Gear Farm in North Cornwall looks very slick too.

Anonymous said... is good if you feel like a burger for a change in St Ives.
Matthew Stevens is a good fishmonger there.
is cheaper than the Porthmoer one and has a nice atmosphere and some tables overlooking the sea. You need to book for dinner as it get v busy

Falmouth has good fishmongers in the main shopping street. in St Keverne is an excellent restaurant which served us tqwelve scallops each as starter -we thought it was between us at first. Lots of fish off the dayboats and scallops had come in that day.
Ice creams at Roskillys nearby great as well.
Blackpool Sands is lovely beach off near Dartmouth and its becah cafe is supposed to be good and is open at night in the summer.

Amazing pub for fish and chips and fresh fish is the Start Bay Inn at Torcross

Landlord dives for scallops and my friend says they were the best she has ever had. Seats outside in summer
For walks anywhere along the coast path, favourites are to walk from East Portlemouth to Gara Rock inland and back along coast path( you can get ferry from Salcombe)
from St Ives to Zennor, and anywhere around Porthcurno Beach, Minack Theatre is worth a visit.

Kate R

Browners said...

@Kate R - Wow. This is amazing advice. Thanks so much. I love the idea of landlord diver caught scallops!

Hannah said...

For a splash-out treat meal, book a table at the Trewithen in Lostwithiel (near Fowey) It is very fine food, locally sourced, and although you will want to pay by credit card we're not talking London prices.

If you can't run to that (or get a reservation!) there is a great fish and chip shop in Lostwithiel - you can sit and eat at the picnic tables by the river.

We usually go to one or the other (depending on how flush we're feeling) whenever we go and stay with the in-laws! Enjoy your trip.


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