Cornwall is a glorious part of Britain - fabulous, beautiful coastline, charming little villages, real country pubs and some of the best scallops in the country.
At Lobbs farm, located at the Lost Gardens of Helligan, they breed all their own beef and lamb and sell pork from local Cornish farms in the farm shop. If you’re really into your food and not at all squeamish, you can watch the onsite butcher preparing the meat. Most of the vegetables also come from their farm too and you’ll find a great selection of breads and cheeses. There's also a visitors centre for the kids, with some information on the 850 acre farm. www.lobbsfarmshop.com
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Once you’ve stocked the larder, it’s probably time for a walk and…a spot more food. Sam’s on the Beach is located in Polkerris, a tiny cove at the bottom of a steep single track road and is every bit as charming as it sounds.
As you stroll down you could be mistaken for thinking it didn’t look up to much, but once you get close you’ll see the queues of people steadily getting inside. The restaurant is charming and traditional, with an old RNLI lifeboat in it. Food comes out of the wood fired oven and there’ll be plenty of baked, steamed, braised and fried fish being carried past to whet your appetite.
As you might imagine –fish is the order of the day and is fresh as you like; it’s coupled with delicious wood roasted vegetables and the wood has a subtle, smoky flavour. Mussels, surf clams, palourde clams, prawns and fish are where the money’s at – prepared simply and deliciously – eaten with the most fantastic of views of the rolling surf and charming beach. Sams on the Beach
If you’re an early riser, head out to Pengelly’s Fishmongers. The catch arrives in the early hours and is sold through a fish auction. You can catch your own lemon sole, dover sole, bass, squid, skate, pollack, cod, mackerel, monkfish, crabs, lobsters – the list goes on.
Next door to the auction house is Pengelly’s itself – a tiny fishmonger run by a lovely lady who buys her fish, walks next door, pops it on ice on the counter and sells it; she also keeps some fish to send to the Duchy smokehouses. www.smokedfishcornwall.co.uk
A lovely base for a relaxing stay is Natural Retreats, perfect from which to venture into the wilds of Cornwall in search of some top grub. They offer a fantastic private chef, Frank Gautherot ( www.franklydelicious.co.uk), who’ll come and whip up an incredible dinner for you in your kitchen on site. He uses as much local produce as possible and serves up dishes like scallops with corn puree, John Dory with spinach and mushrooms, fondant potato and cauliflower puree and for puds... a beautiful panna cotta with raspberry coulis and fresh fruits, intricately garnished with edible flowers. A Michelin experience without setting foot outside the house.
Natural Retreats www.naturalretreats.co.uk offers 7 nights in Cornwall from £720 for a three bedroom residence.
Photographer: (C) Thomas Bowles - www.thomasbowles.com