We have returned to Cornwall for the fourth time in two years to find it has coincided with a fantastic local event. Now Covid is on the demise Porthleven food festival returns better than ever I’m told. So we had to attend didn’t we, it would be rude not to with it just on our doorstep. On went the walking boots and after a 5 mile coastal stroll we arrived at the festival hungry & thirsty. Here are my favourite parts of the festival and my top choice of the local stalls.
Yes you have read this correctly, when we walked down the hill from the coast road into the harbour we were greeted by mermaids! apparently there was a ‘meet a mermaid session’. Hats off to them, it looked absolutely freezing!! They ‘swam’ all the way through the harbour to the boat slip road and then hung about in the water chatting to very excited children. We felt so cold just watching them we had to go and warm up with a cider!
Well I have to start with this one as you simply cannot visit Cornwall without eating at east one pasty and until yesterday I had not tried an Ann’s variety. I went for the steak and it didn’t disappoint! We were then in for a further treat as Ann herself was doing a Q&A session in the tent and after she had finished she was kind enough to sit and chat with us for about half an hour! What a lovely lady! I had a selfie with her (of course) for my dad as he has been raving about her pasties for years.
I can’t not give Philps a mention as I literally love their pasties and they have a shop here too right on the harbour. Get in early as they always run out. What I love about this company is that they deliver all over the country too. For my husbands birthday last year I ordered him a steak pastie hamper which was stunning. If I remember correctly it had 4 pasties, cream teas and a saffron cake in it and it was just as delicious after it had travelled the width of England.
I have to give these two happy souls a plug as not only were their drinks delicious they were great to have a chat to. One announced he probably hadn’t made any profit over the weekend as his wife was busing buying all the goodness as quickly as he was selling products! Should have got her a tiny bag I suggested! Anyway, back to their product – liqueur! In 6 different flavours! Which apparently you can either add to Prosecco or add to gin to basically make it a cocktail and definitely make you fall over lol. There was room in the bag so we bought an Elderflower bottle to take home and enjoy! Check out their site here.
With so many gin stalls to choose from we were spoilt for choice. And not wanting to seem to favour one over the other we tried them all! This probably added to the slight hangover I had this morning now I come to think about it! We ended up buying a little bottle from Trevethan Gins. My rule of the day was if it didn’t fit in the mini rucksack I was carrying we were not buying it! So a small one it had to be. We also got a mini gin flask from ‘Falmouth Black Rock’ – I’m guessing Mr C wants to spice up our walks a bit!
I won’t lie, over the course of the day I sampled a few pints of this delicious drink in a few different establishments. Shoals brewery was a cool place to hang out and relax with your drink of choice. The Harbour Arms had turned its outdoor seating areas into a live music venue and the band we saw were really goo. Ann’s Pasty van was doing a pint & a pasty ‘deal’ and had a lounge to sit and eat it in (where I met Ann).
Kerry Rickard Biltong
I think this company got us after a few of those free gins as we ended up purchasing a little pouch of this dried beef goodness. I’m not sure the sober version of us would have actually gone through with buying one but it is very tasty and we took it on our walk with us today for a mid-walk snack. We went for the garlic flavour and would have gone for the chill had they not run out. Genuinely tasty and I’m very pleased with a slightly squiffy purchase. Find out more about the company on their website.
Oh my, cheese is one of my favourite things to eat (apart from the blue stuff, I don’t eat mould if I can help it!) . I was very happy to find the Glastonbury Cheese stall who were offering tasters of everything they had to sell. The Twanger cheddar had my name all over it. However with our ‘only buy what fits in the bag’ rule I had to relent. Mr C had his eye all over the chilli flavour. As it was so unique and unlike anything I had had before I was more than happy to purchase one. Had I had a bigger bag I would have snuck in a Twanger and the goat….with the smoked only just being pipped at the post. I hope they deliver to Essex, I need some of that Twanger! Visit their website here.
This stall was run by a lovely smily lady who not only gave us rum to taste, but after entering a ‘guess the number of corks’ competition told me I had come closer than Mr C. So she was now my favourite person at the festival and then I got given a free bottle opener! Result! The rum was tasty but the bottles were far too big for my bag. No purchases from here but it was lovely to meet her. Find out more about Mainbrace at their website.
The Bimbling Barrel
Founded and run by another lovely young lady we did a little wine tasting. She gave us something I had never heard of, Orange wine. Not made from oranges as you may be led to believe by the name, but still from grapes. It looks like white wine but with more body like a red. Very tasty! Follow the Bimbling Barrel on Instagram.
Mr C headed straight for this stall as he has had Josh’s lovely chocolate before and wanted more. The company was established in 2019 but already has so many flavours to chose from there is something for everyone. Check out everything they have on offer at their website.
We finally arrived back at our cottage early evening, 12 miles completed, 25,000 steps and ever so slightly squiffy. Over all we had a fantastic time. This morning I enjoyed seeing all of our purchases (some drunken). I would recommend you take a look at all of the above companies. If you are looking for other things to do in an around Cornwall check out these blogs.
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