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Kilden Mor – Padstow Food Guide

Every year, foodies from around the world flock to Cornwall in their droves, and for very good reason. From cream teas to pasties, from farm stores to celebrity fish restaurants, this county has it all. And if you’re staying at Kilden Mor, you’ll have plenty of options on your doorstep.

Cornish foodie traditions

Every county has them – foodie traditions that go back long into the local history. Many of them are just as popular today as ever, and can help you make some excellent memories for your own holiday scrapbooks.

With 422 miles (697 km) of coastline, it’s no surprise that Cornwall has plenty of fishy traditions, like stargazy pie, which dates back to 16th century Mousehole, and includes potato, egg and pilchards. There’s also the classic seafood stew, and hevva cake – though that one doesn’t actually contain any fish.

Another important tradition you won’t want to miss while you’re here is the Cornish pasty. Traditionally made for miners, with a thick crust they could hold in their sooty hands and then discard, the traditional filling is made up of beef, potatoes, swede and onion. These days though, there’s something to suit every palate, from chicken and sage to butternut and feta.

And if you’re after something sweet, make sure to have a cream tea. This might be as simple as scones with jam and cream, or you could go big and have sandwiches and other small cakes as well. As you’re in Cornwall, make sure you put your jam on the scone before the cream – do it the other way round and you’ll be following the Devonshire tradition instead.

Buying local ingredients in Cornwall

If you enjoy cooking and you’re staying in self catering accommodation such as Kilden Mor, there are plenty of ingredients that will give you a taste of local life. Buying from independent manufacturers and retailers is a great way to support the local economy, plus you’ll get the freshest, tastiest goodies.

We’ve already mentioned that the country’s coast means seafood is an important part of the Cornish diet and there are plenty of places in Padstow to buy your fish – not to mention lobster, oysters and crab. There are lots of different ways to eat crab but mashed in a sandwich is a real Cornish classic.

For a wider selection of produce, including locally grown veg, Cornish cheese (yarg, anyone?) and meats from nearby farms, make sure you visit one of our many farm shops. There you’ll also be able to pick up a few bottles to stock up your bar, whether you prefer Cornish wine, Cornish cider or even Cornish gin. On that note, if you’re looking for something to do, why not try a local wine tasting?

A final note on Cornish ingredients – if you’re looking to cook for yourself, but either need a skills boost or simply want another foodie activity to add to your list, check out some of the cookery schools in North Cornwall, including Rick Stein’s one in Padstow itself.

Great places to eat out in Padstow and North Cornwall

Of course, being on holiday, you might want to skip kitchen duties and instead avail yourself of the many great pubs, cafes and restaurants in the area.

It would be impossible to list them all but again, seafood restaurants are in plentiful supply, as are high end and luxury restaurants, and celebrity eateries from the likes of Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw. If you’re a Masterchef fan, you might want to head across to the east coast to Looe, about an hour from Padstow, where four place contestant Charlie Walters is head chef at the Sardine Factory.

If you’re not a fish or meat eater, don’t worry – there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options around too. For 100% non-meat menus, try Vega in Tintagel, which donates 50% of its profits to animal welfare charities, or the deluxe vegan taster menu at the Scarlet Hotel & Spa in Mawgan Porth – just make sure you book a table well in advance.

Hidden gems for foodies

And as if that weren’t absolutely plenty, there are dozens of that don’t always get as much of the limelight but are well worth visiting. We’re talking tiny cafes on private beaches, seafood spots only accessible by ferry, and even a converted vintage train carriage serving cakes, crepes, coffee and ice cream.

There are also a growing number of foodie pop ups in Cornwall, so ask around for what’s new when you get here. Some of these pop ups become so popular that they become permanent, such as Barnaby’s at Trevibban Mill Vineyard, which serves brunch, sharing plates, sustainable wines and cocktails.

Or if you don’t fancy going out, why not consider hiring a private chef like Hannah Dome, a former London restaurateur? She’ll come to wherever you’re staying, take over the kitchen, and prepare as many courses as you desire.

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