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…shop on industrial estates.

I only realised this fact relatively recently and now my theory is gathering momentum. There’s the Frugi warehouse in Helston’s Water-ma-Trout; previously blogged Baker Tom’s cafe in Pool; there’s Ruby Junes newly opened in Hayle; and Shivermetimbers reclamation yard near Crowlas. All heart-sinkingly desolate outside, but harbouring treasure within.

A recent addition to my industrial estate hot list is Celtic Sheepskin, Cornwall’s answer to the Ugg boot, based on Treloggan industrial estate in Newquay. This (mainly online) business specialises in highest-quality sheepskin boots made sustainably with British sheepskin sourced from the last remaining UK footwear tannery.

I’ve been resisting the Ugg boot vibe for some years. God knows we’re all slouchy enough in Cornwall without wearing slouchy boots day and night. Plus, when I’d tried them on I’d found the foot support lacking. But most importantly, I’ve observed that once people own a pair, they DON’T EVER TAKE THEM OFF.

But I couldn’t keep it up, so I’ve capitulated on the grounds that Celtic’s boots have decent heel reinforcement; it’s a great Cornish company; and – frankly – who wouldn’t want their feet to be permanently wrapped in wool and supple suede?

As if to make sure you really never take them off, Celtic has now designed a new boot that is water-resistant, called the Aqualamb, pictured below.

Boots from £120, www.celticandco.co.uk

celtic

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Thought I’d post the link to an article I’ve written for the Guardian about cheap eats along the north coast of Cornwall – it’s part of a bigger interactive online Guardian guide to Cornwall, with lots of top 10 lists, from family days out (written by p&c friend Hayley Spurway) to campsites and B&Bs.

List journalism has its critics but when it comes to easy reading, no one can resist a nicely focused top 10 – if only to gripe about all the better places/things YOU would have put in instead. My brief was lunch for £10, which turned out to be a tall order along the north coast of Cornwall – somewhere that relies on the tourist pound, the sea view and the cornered market.

Still, I think I found some gooduns – from the St Kew Harvest, a sourcing-savvy farmshop cafe, to Blas, everyone’s favourite gourmet burger, via Relish, probably Cornwall’s best coffee. I had to kiss a few frogs along the way – supermarket-style bread in expensive places, limp pasties, dusty falafel – but am resisting the temptation to name and shame ;)

Read my complete top 10 here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/mar/14/top-10-budget-restaurants-north-cornwall

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It’s a strange coincidence that I was going to write a post today about my very un-Newquay holiday near Newquay last week when into my inbox landed an email about a new video promoting a more positive image of the much-maligned seaside town. Fair enough – but ‘the British California’!? Come on, let’s not get carried away. Well, perhaps, but only through lack of other contenders.

Think of Newquay and we all think: surf, first, then projectile vomiting, stag dos and vile clubs. At night, it’s a war zone.

But the thing about NQY that no one can take away is that it Read the rest of this entry »

I interviewed Andy Appleton, head chef at Fifteen, some time ago for Food magazine – interesting guy, very keen to place the emphasis on Fifteen’s charitable status, which can often be lost in the Jamie factor and the general desirability of the place.

But one other, smaller thing also stuck in my mind from our chat: he was very excitable about Read the rest of this entry »

…If You’ve Got Long Hair.

People seemed to enjoy the video I posted the other month of Penzance in the 1960s, so here’s some more grainy black and white footage of Cornwall that’s come my way – this time with some fairly surreal narration.

Newquay has something of a vomit-spattered reputation at present (unless you go to posh bits like Watergate Bay or Scarlet territory like Mawgan Porth). But amid the tales of stag nights and lap dancing, I always seem to forget how big and impressive its cliffs and beaches are.

I was forced up to Porth the other day to write about a restaurant and took the short stroll out to Trevelgue Head. It’s a fantastic spot, despite the apartment complexes on the horizon and the presence of a couple of rottweilers growling next to me. Click on the image for the full, screen-filling effect.

Ben Skinner riding the Cribber off Newquay – up to 40ft – plus mini interview. Too cool.

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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