Cornwall has come a long way from the humble pasty (even though people still flock here for the delicious traditional delicacy) and continues to garner a foodie status the world over.
From celebrity chefs and Michelin starred restaurants to events, interactive experiences and unique dining venues – not to mention – some of the freshest foodstuffs available (think Newlyn crab, Porthilly oysters, Falmouth Bay fish, and the farm-to-fork production of everything from cattle to seasonal greens), Cornwall is home to a heavenly host of unique foodie happenings.
Take a look at our list of some of the best farm shops and independent food shops in Cornwall here.
A fabulous all-you-can-eat stay starts here...
Whether you’re a budding chef or simply love the art of cooking, there’s an array of professionals on hand to help you hone your culinary skills.
Enjoy an interactive experience and discover new dishes by signing up to a class or two at Philleigh Way, which can be found on the super scenic Roseland Peninsula. With everything from ‘Beginner’s Bake Off’ to a Cornish seaweed course, ‘The Art of Chocolate’, Street Food, Family Pizza Day, Christmas Cooking, Tapas, Italian Cookery, Pasty Making and even a Yoga & Cookery Day Retreat and wood-fired feast nights all in the mouth-watering mix, visitors will delight in the eclectic programme of courses and events to (literally) sink your teeth into.
Depending on where you’re based, there’s also Rick Stein’s Cookery School in Padstow, Truro School Cookery, and Paul Ainsworth’s new venture in Padstow, Mahé – a cookery school and chef’s table rolled into one.
A superlative way to both discover food and explore Cornwall is with a foraging session, which will take you to some seriously beautiful wild corners of the county as you handpick an array of ingredients to then combine into the freshest and most delicious meal.
West Cornwall’s Fat Hen is a prime example. ‘A culinary exploration of our edible landscape and a communion between people, food and nature’, owner Caroline runs a range of courses from her Gourmet Wild Food Weekend to Forage, Cook and Feast Day, Seaweed Foraging & Cookery Day, Forage and Feast Days, Foraging Walk and Wild Canapés, and Children’s Foraging Club. You can even book a private lunch or dinner party at the Fat Hen barn and kitchen.
Another forager extraordinaire is Rachel Lambert. From Wild Singing Walks to Wild Food Foraging Courses, Seaweed Foraging and an ever-changing schedule of other seasonal events at a variety of locations, tuck into homemade tasters made with wild ingredients, enjoy a leisurely guided walk, recipes, and fountain of wild food knowledge as you lap up the all-out sensory experience.
Wherever you’re staying in Cornwall, there will be a feast night to be had nearby. Nancarrow Farm is a particularly special option, where guests can roam the working family farm to the soundtrack of local folk musicians before dining in the beautifully atmospheric barns, where a seasonal tipple joins freshly harvested and cooked food for an enticing evening out. Or for something more intimate, their Farm Dinners are just the delectable ticket, featuring a four-course communal supper in The Old Mill packed with seasonal produce that you can devour in front of a roaring woodburner.
Meanwhile, with Wild Tipi, guests gather around the fire-pit in secret locations across Cornwall before dining on local and seasonal dishes prepared by a guest chef. Then there’s Knightor Winery’s homegrown wines paired with local produce for a flavoursome feasting experience; and Canteen Cornwall’s in-house and remote dining options, along with work-in-progress, Canteen at the Orchard events at Newquay Orchard.
If you’re too tired, relaxed or lacklustre to leave your holiday cottage after a busy day out (or doing nothing), then a private chef experience makes for a memorable and wonderfully indulgent way to sample some local flavours. The likes of Cornwall Chef, Kerra’s Catering, Miss Tea, Beetham Food, The Little Gem Catering Co., White Radish Events and The Good Food Catering Co. will all ensure a feast of the highest calibre in the comfort of your holiday home.
From shacks within stone hurling distance to the beach to cafes perched on cliff-tops and hidden glasshouses, Cornwall is chock with unique dining venues.
Located on the coast path near Portscatho, The Hidden Hut presents a slice of clean outdoor living aside a moreish menu and green ethos to boot. Serving seasonal, freshly made food from their beach kitchen alongside stunning views, enjoy lunch or – on selected summer evenings – open-air feast nights for an unforgettable eating experience.
For culture fused with middle-eastern flavours, Carne Brea Castle is a unique choice. Dating back to 1790, immerse yourself in a sense of history within the ambient restaurant, where you’ll be treated to a fabulously exotic feast with spectacularly rugged views.
Nestled between Falmouth and Constantine, Potager Garden’s vegetarian menu merges fresh-from-the-garden produce with culinary innovation for fantastically tasty food served in a stunning converted greenhouse, which comes complete with hammocks, boules, badminton and events such as exhibitions, Makers Markets, workshops and group gatherings.
Take yourself on a culinary mini adventure by visiting any of the array of food festivals and special events on offer throughout the year in Cornwall. With every food and drink imaginable all available to try and buy at one spellbinding location, not-to-be-missed events include Porthleven Food Festival, World Pasty Championships, St Ives Food and Drink Festival, The Falmouth Oyster Festival, Truro Food Festival, Rock Oyster Festival and Taste of Scilly.
Whatever the season your sojourn, you can stock up on fresh goodies to eat or take home at a Farmers Market close by, with many hosting weekly events for much of the year. Top picks include Sennen, St Ives, Bude, Pendeen, Helston and Truro. Fill your boots (and reusable carrier bags) with anything from the odd piece of art and craft to meats, handmade farmstead cheeses, free-range poultry, eggs, fruit, vegetables and locally made fayre such as chocolate, bread and cakes.
Not only will you be shopping to help sustain local businesses, but you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and tucking into the freshest, most flavoursome foods available while discovering new towns and villages across the Duchy.
Want to experience these for yourself? Book a stay at one of our holiday cottages in Cornwall >