Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If it's Sunday it must be Tintagel

On Sunday morning I woke up with a start. Where was I, what time was it, what was I supposed to be doing? Lace curtains and green carpet in the bathroom, Axminster on the floor, apricot floral wallpaper- oh that's right the comfortable, but very 1980s B&B outside the quaint fishing village of Mevagissey. After our day trip to St Martin's, we went on a whistlestop tour of Cornwall.

We spent a lovely few hours at (quaint fishing village no.1) Mevagissey, where the streets are only barely wide enough for a car to drive down.

We visited the lovely cathedral town of Truro and discovered my grandfather's home was now an op shop.

We visited ( quaint fishing village no. 2) harbourside Padstow, known jokingly as Padstein because celebrity chef Rick Stein has 5 shops and restaurants in town.

We tried to visit (quaint fishing village no.3) Port Isaac which is the location for the Doc Martin tv series. Unfortunately being a Sunday there was not an accessible car park to be found, so this is the best I could do:

So instead we headed off to Tintagel (not a quaint fishing village this time) home to a castle ruin which legend has it was home to King Arthur. On the cliff overlooking it was another wonderful old pile - Camelot Castle built in 1899 in the baronial style. We had a tour through some of the rooms and David and I promised ourselves we'd come back one day and stay.

Along the way we've eaten in little English pubs, had 'cream teas' and the Cornish native Saffron Cake (recipe to come when I return to Melbourne) and my Dad decided to have a Cornish Pasty every lunch time. There certainly was no shortage of places to buy them.Every town had several purveyors, all proclaiming theirs the best. In Padstow there were three shops in a row:

There were sweet pasties and vegetarian pasties, curry pasties and delicate cocktail size ones. But Dad proclaimed the traditional handmade, plate-sized pasties from St Martin's the best he tried (although of course not as good as the pasties my Mum makes from a recipe passed down to her from her Mum):

In the middle of a circle of shortcrust pastry, leaving a generous edge, layer stewing steak (cubed small), diced potatoes and onions. Season each layer generously with sakt and pepper. Wet the edges of the pastry and bring to the middle. Pinch edges together. Put a small slash in the pastry either side of the crimp and brush with egg and milk. Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes then lower to moderate/slow for another 10 minutes.

You can vary the ingredients by adding parsnip or swede.

We're not sure where Granny learnt to make pasties, possibly from my Cornish grandfather, but also possibly from her mother who was a pastry chef in Cape Town, and according to family legend baked the pastries for a banquet for the Duke of Windsor. (Now there's some family history to investigate!)

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Location:Alphington St,Exeter,United Kingdom

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