Tag Archives: Cornwall

Dude food in North Cornwall’s BudeAugust 28, 2018

Mention North Cornwall to a foodie and most will picture Port Isaac (featured in my previous blog post), or Padstow, once nicknamed Padstein for its abundance of Rick Stein eateries but now perhaps more famous for Paul Ainsworth’s sublime No6. Towns further north, such as Bude, rarely get a mention.

But ignore Bude and you’ll deprive your tastebuds. It might lack the celebrity chefs and the picturesque cobbled streets of the Two P’s, but over the past few years workaday Bude has been quietly upping its game to become a mini foodie hub.

Leading the revolution is Temple at Bude, a relaxed bar-cafe-restaurant-shop that’s been open for under a year but is already drawing a youthful and eco-savvy clientele with its arty vibe, international food and hip cocktails. With its glass front, contemporary furniture and bright cushions, it’s a beautifully designed space in which to linger. If the Middle Eastern flavours remind you of Ottolenghi, it’s no coincidence as chef Craig Tregonning used to head up Ottolenghi Islington (and was one of the team Scully brought with him to cook a Feast with a Chef in Bristol a couple of years ago). It’s a far cry from the mediocre seaside fish and chips sourced from nowhere particular that you so often find in Britain’s coastal towns. Temple breaks the mould in other ways too; a boutique at the back it sells sustainable, quality clothing (hence the ‘Edibles and Threadables’ slogan daubed on its exterior walls), a spin-off of the fact that one of the two couples running Temple used to work for big fashion houses.

The all-day foodie fun starts at breakfast when you can try Craig’s zesty mushrooms with dukkah (pictured), or his signature toastie made from sourdough made at nearby Coombeshead Farm, home-fermented kimchi and mature Cheddar (pictured) – sounds strange but it works, the acidic kimchi the perfect partner to the rich fatty cheese. Breakfast, by the way, lasts pretty much all day, so stoke up your appetite with a spot of surfing first if you want. For elevenses and tea there are home-made cakes, which you can wash down with a beetroot or turmeric latte, or a proper cup of tea that’s brewed in a teapot and served with organic milk from nearby Roadford Valley farm. For lunch there are small dishes, all as good on the eye as on the stomach, and all using proper locally produced ingredients, most of them organic. On the day I visited they included hot-smoked Chalk Stream trout with organic leaves, horseradish and buckwheat; and Hake with roasted garlic aioli, chard and brassica flowers (both pictured).

In the evening, Temple morphs into a laid-back restaurant, which gives you a good excuse to try the cocktails (many using home-grown herbs, like coriander, and sweetened with stuff like dates instead of sugar which is a lovely touch). I kicked off with Lavosh (thin, Middle Eastern cracker bread) with a cucumber, basil and avocado dip (again, an unusual but spot-on combo), then for starter tried the Braised cuttlefish stew (£9), before tucking into a Roast organic pork belly main (£15) which was meltingly tender with crackling just the right side of denture-breaking. Producing food of this quality at these prices is no mean feat so Temple’s owners and chefs deserve high praise. Go! Now!

Happily, Bude’s foodie offering does not end at Temple. A few hundred yards on, overlooking the town’s spectacular Summerleaze beach, The Beach at Bude is a boutique hotel that provides creative cooking of a more classic kind. The chap behind it all is Joe Simmonds, who trained under Sam Moody at the Michelin-starred Bath Priory. Also not to be missed is the North Coast Wine Company, a wine bar-cum-winestore in the heart of town, run by the dynamic Oliver Tullett. Not only does it stock over 600 different wines and spirits, and loads of ales and ciders from Cornish producers (including Haywood Farm Cider from nearby St Maybn), but Oliver can offer you a choice of 13 different gins (including The Wrecking Coast from nearby Tintagel), cocktails (try the Breaking Bad), or a freshly ground coffee from Sabins Artisan Roasters based less than four miles away. I told you the town was cool. If you’re a foodie dude, head to Bude!

I visited Bude while researching a feature about the food of the North Cornwall coast for the August issue of Olive. You can it on the home page.

Toasted Coombeshead sourdough filled with mature cheddar and home-fermented kimchi, at Temple at Bude. Images copyright Clare Hargreaves

Lavosh, cucumber, basil and avocado dip, and one of Temple’s herb cocktails

Zesty mushrooms with dukkah

Hot-smoked Chalk Stream trout, organic leaves, horseradish and buckwheat; Hake with roasted garlic aioli, chard and brassica flowers, at Temple at Bude

The bar at Temple at Bude


Granite cliffs, north of Bude

Sea to plate eating at Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port IsaacAugust 16, 2018

Many chefs boast about serving fresh, local produce, but eat at Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, in Port Isaac, and you can spy the day boat, the Mary D, that caught your lunch bobbing on the sea just a few yards from your table. Few restaurants in the UK can be as close to the action as this wonky little slate-clad gem, once two fisherman’s cottages, bang on the harbour front.

Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen is the little sister to Nathan Outlaw’s posher eponymous restaurant at the top of the village, and I visited while researching a feature on the food of the North Cornwall coast for Olive magazine. Its slimline card menu sets the scene for what to expect: “You shall have a fishy on a little dishy… ” and goes on to describe the offering as “small, original and delicious seafood plates, cooked to order and served when ready.”

It works. Like the building they’re served in the plates are indeed small (forget any hope of sharing, you won’t want to share even the tiniest morsel, believe me) and they are indeed original and delicious. Equally laudable is the fact that the fish is bought from local fishermen who use low impact fishing methods from boats at are certified by the responsible fishing scheme. I kicked off with Cured brill, that was paired with aromatic basil and pistachio and accompanied by an anchovy mayonnaise (£11). Sounds odd, but was a marriage made in fishy heaven – all thanks to the skills of Huddersfield-born chef Tim Barnes, who started as a pot-wash at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw then worked his way up.

But while the food, like that at the restaurant up top, is Michelin-starred, it’s also simple, letting the ingredients sing for themselves. (My third fish dish, for instance, was simply a grilled mackerel.)  And the intimacy of the place means that formality goes out of the window and you’re chatting with the neighbours you’re rubbing elbows with before you’ve even started nibbling. Service likewise is slick and professional yet genuinely friendly and relaxed at the same time.

I finished with the Chocolate, Espresso & Lime Baked Alaska (£7.50), scoffed too fast to photograph and the end to a perfect lunch. Thumbs up Nathan – this is just how a restaurant should be!

You can read my feature about the food of the North Cornwall coast in the August issue of Olive .

Cured brill with pistachio, basil and anchovy mayonnaise, at Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac. Copyright Clare Hargreaves

Grey mullet with saffron cream and Cornish mussels at Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac

Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac

Mackerel at Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac

Port Isaac, Cornwall

Cornwall meets Italy on the North Cornwall coastAugust 8, 2018

It’s not often a pre-prandial nibble that sticks in your mind after eating in a top-notch restaurant. Forget salty peanuts, olives or fiddly canapés which tantalise more than they satisfy. The anchovies wrapped with deep-fried sage that Andy Appleton feeds you as you arrive at his Appleton’s restaurant, are in another league; moreishly salty, crunchy, and deeply satisfying, I could happily dine just on these.

I visited while researching a feature on the food of the North Cornwall coast for Olive magazine, published in its August issue this week. Andy, as any foodie knows, used to head the kitchen at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and before that worked at Fifteen London. In March 2016 he and his partner Lyndsey bravely decided to launch their own venture.

The setting is idyllic – a light, contemporary building bang in the middle of a working vineyard and winery, Trevibban Mill, with views across a wooded valley. Touristy Padstow might be just a few miles away, but this place is so tucked away you’d never guess it. The narrow lanes leading there have grass growing in the middle – in my book, always a good sign of getting away from it all.

Andy’s cooking is uncluttered, and ingredient-led, and his creative ideas are guided by   years of training and travelling, mainly in Italy. It’s simple yet intriguing at the same time. The main ingredients are Cornish and they naturally change with the seasons, so when I visited there was Padstow crab with confit tomatoes and bee pollen granola (wow!) for starter, and for main, Wild garlic agnolotti filled with fermented leek. Herbs, vegetables, honey and lamb are sourced from the vineyard, so we’re talking not just food miles but food yards. Andy also draws on the region’s fantastic seafood, so not surprisingly the Rose harissa fish stew and the Squid ink linguine (home-made of course) with Cornish scallops have both become menu staples.

To this glorious Cornish produce Andy adds a few carefully chosen specialist Italian ingredients, such as fregola, which bulks out the fish stew; ricotta, used to fill hand-made pasta; and ‘Nduja which is used in a pangrattato to sprinkle over the squid ink linguine. As at Fifteen, Cornwall and Italy meet on the plate – and it works. This is Italian-style rustic cooking that’s modern, utterly delicious and exactly the kind of food I want to eat.

The Italian-Cornish fusion continues when it comes to the drinks. As with the food, Andy sources the “best of the west”, while also listing some of his and Lyndsey’s personal Italian favourites. For Cornish beverages, they’ve not had to venture further than the vineyard outside; they stock all of Trevibban Mill’s excellent ciders (still and sparkling) and wines (including its very drinkable sparkling rose brut which makes a superb aperitif).

For relaxed breakfast-to-dinner eating at digestible prices, this is one of North Cornwall’s top addresses. Even if you visit just for those anchovy and sage crispy bits, go. Make sure you leave room in your boot to stock up on Trevibban Mill wines and ciders, and if you’re there on a Wednesday or Sunday in high season you can join a tour of the vineyard too.

Anchovy and sage crispy bits at Appleton’s. Copyright Clare Hargreaves

Wild garlic agnolotti filled with fermented leek & ricotta. Copyright Clare Hargreaves

Squid ink linguine with Cornish scallops & Nduja pangrattato. Copyright Clare Hargreaves

Appleton’s Bar & Restaurant

Rose harissa fish stew with fregola. Copyright Clare Hargreaves