A Padstow Christmas

We spent a magical Christmas in Padstow I cannot think of anywhere nicer to be during the festive season

The Padstow Christmas Lights are always fun, we all love Nessie it is Padstow’s answer to The Loch Ness Monster all lit up in Padstow Harbour! Rick Stein also loves the lights and talks about them on his TV dcoumentary about Padstow.

Nessie in Padstow Harbour

More Christmas lights in Padstow Harbour!

Padstow Christmas Lights

  The view overlooking The Camel Estuary over to Rock and Porthilly on a walk in Padstow up past Prideaux Place and the deer park and down through the fields towards Padstow Memorial,  a beautiful day!

Walking by The Camel Estuary in Padstow

Boxing Day lunch at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant at Watergate Bay, Newquay, a truly wonderful dining experience and the views are breathtaking!

Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant Watergate Bay

View from Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant in Watergate Bay

The food at Fifteen was amazing!

Gourmet food at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant in Watergate Bay

Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant Watergate Bay

Gourmet dining near Padstow

After all the scrummy gourmet food at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant at Watergate Bay we went for a walk on the beach at Watergate Bay and then back home to Padstow.

Hardy winter rowers on The Camel Estuary in Padstow. 

rowing on The Camel Estuary in Padstow

A walk around Padstow Harbour out of season is a joy, no crowds just blissful walking and observing Padstow at work.  Dredging of the estuary takes place all year round, my gradsons are obsessed with diggers and I quite like them too! The famous legend of the Padstow mermaid, immortalised by ballads and poems and writings by Sir John Betjeman, is a tale of the Padstow mermaid who created the Padstow Doom Bar, a treacherous sandbank where ships ran aground.  Read my previous blogs on The Doom Bar and the Padstow Mermaid to find out more!

Here are photos of Padstow at work!

Padstow Harbour

Dredging in Padstow Harbour

Dredging in Padstow Harbour

Dredging in Padstow Harbour

Dredging in Padstow Harbour

Hope you have enjoyed this little winter’s tale in Padstow, please look out for more of my blogs! Wishing you all a Happy New Year in cornish = Bledhen Nowyth Da! And if you would like to book Little Egret in Porthilly View for your holiday please click on the booking icon!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating out in Padstow

Padstow has so many restaurants and cafe’s to suit all tastes,  I have written on previous blogs about restaurants where we as a family have enjoyed a good dining experience.  My favourite little cafe is Cherry Trees which is right on Padstow Harbour, in my opinion they do the best latte in Padstow and I love their scrambled eggs on toast!

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Apart from delicious breakfasts and lunches Cherry Trees has an amazing mouthwatering selection of cakes! My family loves cakes and on a previous blog I wrote about a saffron cake which I bought from The Chough Bakery on Padstow Harbour, I tried to replicate this saffron cake at home but as Craig Revel Horwood would say it was a disaster darling! My sad attempt is pictured below I blame the recipe (of course) it was a James Martin recipe from Good Food magazine but only said half a teaspoon of yeast -no wonder it sunk in the middle! Don’t hang up your apron yet Mary Berry!

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Another favourite of ours is the little cafe above the harbour called Green’s cafe, we like to play a round of crazy golf which is next door to Green’s cafe and then have one of their delicous cakes and a cup of tea whilst enjoying panoramic views of Padstow and the Camel estuary, you can see all the boats coming in and out of Padstow Harbour!

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If anyone reading this has a foolproof recipe for Saffron cake I would love to hear from you! Perhaps we should have a who can bake the best saffron cake competition in Padstow?

 

 

 

Padstow shops

Rick Stein opened Stein’s Fisheries in 2012 in Padstow. We have  bought and enjoyed wonderful fresh sea bass from there. Stein’s Fisheries  has an amazing array of fresh fish, shellfish,prepared seafood dishes, lobsters, crabs, fishcakes, seafood salads and fish soups.

Lovely Lobster!

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Awesome Octopus!

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A walk around Padstow Harbour and town is a joy especially out of season sans crowds! I like pottering around the cobbled streets and looking at the quirky shops!

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The shell shop where I bought starfish to decorate the reception for my daughter’s Cornish wedding is right on the harbour!

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Whistelfish Galleries is situated on Padstow Harbour, all the pictures at my self catering accommodation, Little Egret in Padstow, which sleeps 8, came from Whistlefish Galleries, I waited until they had one of their offers for buy one get one half price!

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Walking around Padstow

Padstow is fantastic for walking all year round there is always something new to see and marvel at it is a little piece of paradise!

I love this digger parked on the edge of the Camel Estuary in Padstow right at the beginning of the Camel Trail, it was there for ages unattended, my grandson loved it and wanted to get up into the cab!

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A walk through Padstow up past the War Memorial and beyond towards Stepper Point and Hawker’s Cove is an amazing scenic feast, look back over Padstow and Rock and the stunning Camel Estuary, these beautiful wild flowers were such a pretty sight!

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 Boats, boats everywhere in Padstow and Rock!

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This is the fabulous view of boats on the Camel Estuary from my 4 star Gold holiday rental accommodation, Little Egret!

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Mad fools going nowhere on paddleboards! Again viewed from Little Egret balcony!

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Porthilly View road sign now in Cornish! I wonder what Little Egret is in Cornish?

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Padstow Christmas Festival 2014

Don’t miss the 7th Padstow Christmas Festival 2014 from 4th -7th December with over 110 local producers selling their wares in the Christmas Market, plus Santa on his horse drawn Victorian bus, a spectacular firework display, live music, carol concerts and a lantern parade. Join the fun Santa run in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care, and this year there will be Santa’s on bikes ariving from the Camel Trail! 

Over 40 top chefs, including Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, Nathan Outlaw, Angela Hartnett and Michael Caines will be giving free demonstrations of their mouthwatering dishes, check timings and all other information about the Festival www.padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk

The Padstow Christmas Lights are a joy twinkling around the harbour, come along and bring the family and have lots of fun!

Rick Stein’s baked lemon cheesecake

Rick Stein’s Baked Lemon Cheesecake

Rick Stein’s cheesecake recipe for July is on his website www.rickstein.com I haven’t made this yet but can’t wait to do so! My own recipe for a delicious, foolproof cheesecake will be on my next Padstow blog in August.

As I previously wrote on my blogs we have eaten at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and the café in Padstow, and enjoyed the food, ambience and service and would definitely recommend them both. Also we have bought delicious jars of jam and chutney from Rick Stein’s deli in Padstow, my favourite jar of jam is the blackcurrant one, spread the jam on a slice of delicious wholemeal bread from The Chough Bakery (on Padstow harbour) and savour every mouthful!

Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant Padstow

When guests arrive to stay at Little Egret in Padstow www.crwholidays.co.uk they find a welcome basket of goodies which now includes some Rick Stein biscuits!

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Rick Stein will be signing copies of his latest cookery book Rick Stein’s India on Thursday 7th August 11-12noon and Thursday 14th August 11-12noon at Stein’s Deli, South Quay, Padstow. I saw the TV programme when he was in India and I am definitely going along to get a signed copy!

Happy summer!

Birds on the Camel Estuary Padstow

Birds on the Camel Estuary Padstow

The Camel Estuary Padstow

The Camel Estuary in Padstow is a bird watcher’s paradise, all you need is a good pair of binoculars, a packed lunch and plenty of patience!

Birds on the Camel Estuary Padstow

You can walk or cycle along the Camel Trail and in addition to marvelling at the beauty of the estuary and surrounding countryside, look out for little egrets, buzzards, peregrine falcons, mallards, gulls, redshanks, cormorants, sandpipers, grey herons, golden plover, pied wagtails and many, many other species of bird.  

There is a hide situated on the Camel Trail near Wadebrdge, bikes can be hired from two shops at the beginning of the trail.

The Camel Trail Padstow

In my last blog in June I posted a photo of two birds in flight on the Camel Estuary in Padstow, and I thought they were kittiwakes but apparently they were herring gulls! But the other photo of a bird on my Padstow blog was definitely a cormorant .. I think! Clearly I have a lot to learn about birds, however I do know what a Little Egret looks like and hopefully soon I will be able to post a photo of one on my blog so keep looking!

Padstow Christmas Festival

The 2014 Padstow Christmas Festival is 4-7th December. There will be cookery demonstrations from top chefs such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth.  A great family outing with food stalls, santa’s grotto and fireworks!

It all takes place around Padstow Harbour.  Little Egret is booked over the Festival all self catering accommodation in Padstow is in high demand so book early for next year!

Padstow Christmas Festival 

 

 

The Doom Bar Padstow

The Doom Bar Padstow, The Mermaid of Padstow.

The Doom Bar in Padstow is a sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary which has wrecked hundreds of ships since the records began in the early 19th century.

War Memorial Walk Padstow

One of our walks in July took us up past the War Memorial in Padstow and down the path beyond, taking in glorious views of the Camel Estuary over to Rock and Polzeath with the Doom Bar out in the distance. I had heard of the Doom Bar and wondered about the origins of the name, most Padstow locals associate the name Doom Bar with Sharp’s Brewery, their flagship ale is called Doom Bar!

The photo shows a view of the Camel Estuary from the south towards the Doom Bar.

The Doom Bar Padstow

Legend has it that the Doom Bar was created by the Mermaid of Padstow as a dying curse after she was shot by a man who many say was a sailor. In 1906 Enys Tregarthen wrote that a local Padstow man, Tristram Bird, was hunting seals at Hawkers Cove and there he saw a beautiful young woman sitting on a rock brushing her hair. He was so entranced by her beauty that he offered to marry her but when she refused he shot her, only realising afterwards that she was a mermaid. As the mermaid died she cursed the harbour with a bar of doom from Hawker’s Cove to Trebetherick Bay.

A terrible gale blew up that night and when it subsided, there was the sandbar covered with wrecks of ships and bodies of drowned men.

There are many different spins on the legend, The ballad The Mermaid of Padstow tells of a local man called Tom Yeo who shot the mermaid mistaking her for a seal. John Betjeman wrote his version of the myth in 1969 that the mermaid met a local man and fell in love with him, when she could no longer bear living without him she tried to lure him beneath the waves, but he escaped by shooting her. In her rage the mermaid threw a handful of sand towards Padstow around which the sandbank grew.

The Mermaid of Padstow legend is doubtless a myth but…there are those who said that they heard a wailing cry on the Doom Bar after a bad storm and loss of life.

Now the estuary is regularly dredged.

The Doom Bar Ballad is too long to include here but I love this Victorian poem by Alice Gillington, about a girl who gave her sailor lover an engraved ring with the words “can love forget” before he set sail. Four years later she found the ring on the Doom Bar in a scallop. The lover had tossed the ring on the Doom Bar on the night he left. Padstow poetry at its best! If you want to see more poetry about Padstow and the Camel Estuary look at my June Padstow blog for the poem Seaside Golf by Sir John Betjeman.

O d’you hear the seas complainin’, and complainin’ whilst it’s rainin’?

Did you hear it mourn in the dimorts, when the surf woke up and sighed?

The choughs screamed on the sand

And the foam flew over land,

And the seas rolled dark on the Doom-Bar at rising of the tide.

 

I gave my lad a token, when he left me nigh heart –broken,

To mind him of old Padstow town, where loving souls abide;

‘Twas a ring with the words set

All round, “Can love forget?”

And I watched his vessel toss on the Bar with the outward-turning tide.

 

D’you hear the seas complainin,’ and complainin,’ while it’s rainin’?”     

And his vessel has never crossed the Bar from the purple seas outside;

And down the shell-pink sands,

Where we once went, holding hands,

Alone I watch the Doom-Bar and the rising of the tide.

 

One day – ‘twas four years after – the harbour girls, with laughter

So soft and wild as seagulls when they’re playing seek and hide,

Coaxed me out – for the tides were lower

Than had ever been known before;

And we ran across the Doom- Bar, all white and shining wide.

 

I saw a something shinin’ where the long, wet weeds were twinin’

Around a rosy scallop; and a gold ring lay inside;

And around its rim were set

The words “Can love forget?”

And there upon the Doom Bar I knelt and sobbed and cried.

 

I took my ring and smoothed it where the sand and shells had grooved it;

But O! St. Petrock bells will never ring me home a bride!

For the night my lad was leavin’

Me all tearful and grievin’

He had tossed my keepsake out on the Bar to the rise and fall of the tide!

 

Do you hear the seas complainin,’ and complainin’ while it’s rainin?’

Did you hear them call in the dimorts, when the surf woke up and sighed?

Maybe it’s a token

I shall go no more heart-broken –

And I shall cross the Doom –Bar at the turning of the tide.

e Doom Bar Padstow, The Mermaid of Padstow.

The Doom Bar in Padstow is a sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary which has wrecked hundreds of ships since the records began in the early 19th century.

One of our walks in July took us up past the War Memorial in Padstow and down the path beyond, taking in glorious views of the Camel Estuary over to Rock and Polzeath with the Doom Bar out in the distance. I had heard of the Doom Bar and wondered about the origins of the name, most Padstow locals associate the name Doom Bar with Sharp’s Brewery, their flagship ale is called Doom Bar!

The photo shows a view of the Camel Estuary from the south towards the Doom Bar.

Legend has it that the Doom Bar was created by the Mermaid of Padstow as a dying curse after she was shot by a man who many say was a sailor. In 1906 Enys Tregarthen wrote that a local Padstow man, Tristram Bird, was hunting seals at Hawkers Cove and there he saw a beautiful young woman sitting on a rock brushing her hair. He was so entranced by her beauty that he offered to marry her but when she refused he shot her, only realising afterwards that she was a mermaid. As the mermaid died she cursed the harbour with a bar of doom from Hawker’s Cove to Trebetherick Bay.

A terrible gale blew up that night and when it subsided, there was the sandbar covered with wrecks of ships and bodies of drowned men.

There are many different spins on the legend, The ballad The Mermaid of Padstow tells of a local man called Tom Yeo who shot the mermaid mistaking her for a seal. John Betjeman wrote his version of the myth in 1969 that the mermaid met a local man and fell in love with him, when she could no longer bear living without him she tried to lure him beneath the waves, but he escaped by shooting her. In her rage the mermaid threw a handful of sand towards Padstow around which the sandbank grew.

The Mermaid of Padstow legend is doubtless a myth but…there are those who said that they heard a wailing cry on the Doom Bar after a bad storm and loss of life.

Now the estuary is regularly dredged.

The Doom Bar Ballad is too long to include here but I love this Victorian poem by Alice Gillington, about a girl who gave her sailor lover an engraved ring with the words “can love forget” before he set sail. Four years later she found the ring on the Doom Bar in a scallop. The lover had tossed the ring on the Doom Bar on the night he left. Padstow poetry at its best! If you want to see more poetry about Padstow and the Camel Estuary look at my June Padstow blog for the poem Seaside Golf by Sir John Betjeman.

O d’you hear the seas complainin’, and complainin’ whilst it’s rainin’?

Did you hear it mourn in the dimorts, when the surf woke up and sighed?

The choughs screamed on the sand

And the foam flew over land,

And the seas rolled dark on the Doom-Bar at rising of the tide.

 

I gave my lad a token, when he left me nigh heart –broken,

To mind him of old Padstow town, where loving souls abide;

‘Twas a ring with the words set

All round, “Can love forget?”

And I watched his vessel toss on the Bar with the outward-turning tide.

 

D’you hear the seas complainin,’ and complainin,’ while it’s rainin’?”     

And his vessel has never crossed the Bar from the purple seas outside;

And down the shell-pink sands,

Where we once went, holding hands,

Alone I watch the Doom-Bar and the rising of the tide.

 

One day – ‘twas four years after – the harbour girls, with laughter

So soft and wild as seagulls when they’re playing seek and hide,

Coaxed me out – for the tides were lower

Than had ever been known before;

And we ran across the Doom- Bar, all white and shining wide.

 

I saw a something shinin’ where the long, wet weeds were twinin’

Around a rosy scallop; and a gold ring lay inside;

And around its rim were set

The words “Can love forget?”

And there upon the Doom Bar I knelt and sobbed and cried.

 

I took my ring and smoothed it where the sand and shells had grooved it;

But O! St. Petrock bells will never ring me home a bride!

For the night my lad was leavin’

Me all tearful and grievin’

He had tossed my keepsake out on the Bar to the rise and fall of the tide!

 

Do you hear the seas complainin,’ and complainin’ while it’s rainin?’

Did you hear them call in the dimorts, when the surf woke up and sighed?

Maybe it’s a token

I shall go no more heart-broken –

And I shall cross the Doom –Bar at the turning of the tide.

Teatime in Padstow

Teatime in Padstow in July

We have had some glorious sunny days in Padstow in July and we have been out and about enjoying the sunshine and beautiful views on walks through Padstow and beyond.

We walked up to Prideaux Place and there were loads of deer in the park opposite the house so we managed to get some good photos, and one of the statue looking out to the estuary.

deer at Prideaux Place

 statue at Prideaux Place

With a houseful of hungry adults and children I decided to make a traditional Cornish cream tea with homemade scones but alas my scones turned out rock hard and not at all nice, they reminded me of my mum’s rock cakes when I was a child, something to sneak to the dog or keep until you could go and feed the poor unsuspecting ducks!

Off I went to Chough Bakery in Padstow they make delicious scones as well as lovely bread, they supplied all the bread for my daughter’s wedding! Whilst in the shop I saw a saffron cake which apparently is a Cornish bread/ cake made with currants and of course saffron, so I bought one to try. The saffron cake was very nice but could have done with a few more currants for my taste, so I am now on a mission to find a really good recipe for saffron cake. My daughter’s Cornish mother in law apparently has a good one which was passed down by her family, so I’m hoping that this is going to wing its way to me and then look out for my next Padstow blog and hopefully you will see my homemade attempt at a saffron cake!

Saffron cake

Chough Bakery in Padstow

Does Rick Stein have a recipe for saffron cake maybe on his blog? I will have to look or maybe Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth or Jamie Oliver who all have restaurants in Cornwall might have a saffron cake recipe?

I have had numerous recommendations to try the tiny Rest a While Tea Garden in Hawker’s Cove, apparently the homemade cakes, the sea views and the service are excellent, it sounds like my sort of place. Trip advisor www.tripadvisor.co.uk ranks it very highly and the reviews are outstanding, I must go! I will put it on my Padstow blog for August with some photos of the food and the views!!