The Seafood Restaurant

Cornwall, Travel

We visited Rick Stein’s ‘The Seafood Restaurant’ at the beginning of August, and it was absolutely divine. It was a spontaneous decision, and so we were a little worried that we were inappropriately dressed for dinner there – practically in hoodies and shorts having just come from surfing in Mawgan Porth. But, as we entered, we were greeted with open arms and shown our way to the bar area in the centre of the restaurant. The waitress who showed us to our bar stools was already armed with a generous portion of free marinated olives, which she laid down in front of us without question – a very nice touch that didn’t go unnoticed (we LOVE olives).

The bar is right in the middle of the restaurant where you can watch chefs assembling towering platters of oysters, and langoustines, arranging sushi and collecting shavings of Sorano ham and so on… No reservations are required for the bar and you can order anything from the a la carte menu.

We wanted to try some dishes that we perhaps hadn’t had anywhere before – it’s always good to try unusual foods in a restaurant you trust, I think.

We shared a plate of the below between us (the chef divided each dish into two plates for us, which I think have us more!):

A Choice of Carlingford or Local Porthilly Oysters at £2.40 each (the combination of oyster, lemon, shallot vinegar and Tabasco is heavenly!)

Special Salad of Lobster, Avocado, Green Beans and Foie Gras at £16.50 (the Foie Gras was breathtaking: seared yet soft, with the flavour of a succulent steak – an amazing combo)

Singapore Chilli Crab: Stir-fried whole crab with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander at £24.50. We did get our hands gloriously messy, and it was great fun using all of the implements! Our finger bowls of warm lemon water were replaced with a blink of an eye about three times! (great attentive service)

Vanilla Cheesecake with Cherry Compote and Morello Cherry Sorbet at £8.90, and Passionfruit Soufflé with White Chocolate Ice Cream at £8.90. These were both to die for, and completely melted in the mouth!

Rick Stein’s Spanish White 2011 Castilla y León (Spain)
“After a number of seafood delights while filming in Galicia & drinking cold Rueda from white china cups, I had to find a really well made one for us. It’s charmingly fresh & fragrant. Made with Verdejo grapes, it’s a wine to celebrate the new Spanish book & TV series.”
I have to say I found this wine a bit heavy, and it didn’t quite compliment the subtle flavours of our food – I’d definitely recommend asking for their advice, and give them a guide on price if you need to!



The train journey: London to Cornwall


As I am currently on the train from Truro in Cornwall to London Paddington, I thought I’d share a few pictures from the 4+ hour long journey.
It’s the only train journey I have been on that reaches right out to the edge of the sea at Teighnmouth and Dawlish. The cliffs are built of clay here which gives the water a reddish turn, and as you can see these pictures have been taken on a cloudy day!
I’ve been doing this journey for quite a while now and a view of something as well as a good book always helps to pass the time!





Hawker’s Cove

Cornwall, Travel

If you were given these images, I doubt you would instinctively think, ‘England’. Hawker’s Cove, is a beach that lies at the mouth of the River Camel, about two miles from Padstow. At low tide, a great expanse of sand is revealed. You can reach it by walking via Padstow Harbour, but there is more to explore if you park in the farmer’s field the other side at Lellizzick Farm and walk down to it.

Here is a view from the coastal path on the way down to the Cove:

The coastal path takes you through a forest of trees

When you reach the Cove on a sunny day, the sun catches the sand and it looks white and golden

You can spend the day watching the boats pass by, and have a picnic on the sand!

It could be the Med 🙂

The Crazy Bear


The Crazy Bear, Beaconsfield

You wouldn’t even know it was there. One sunny Sunday afternoon (quite a few weeks ago!) we were looking for a place to have a quiet drink. I did a double take as I looked into the window of a place that looked similar to Aladdin’s cave. It had several entrances but no sign, just three golden jagged stripes which I now know symbolises a bear’s claw mark. It seemed very mysterious.

I often assume these things are members only, but we gambled when we saw that they had a terrace area. We asked if we could have a drink there and they showed us through. You don’t have to be a member to eat or drink in this location. The cocktails are incredible, and although expensive, they are worth every penny.

This is what we saw, a mixture of my photos and Crazy Bear’s…

Bar, Crazy Bear, Beaconsfield

The Crazy Bear Bar

Stair Case

The words that came into my head to describe this place were opulent, decadent, lavish and probably garish to some people, but it works – from an automatic monsoon waterfall to wash your hands in, in the mirrored patchwork bathroom, to a gold leafed stair case and diamond studded black leather sofas…

There is an outside pool area too, that is decorated with Moroccan alcoves at the side of it – an air of ‘Made In Chelsea’

Crazy Bloody Mary


The cocktails are incredible, see the menu here, and the customer service is highly commendable too. A night out here would most definitely be on the pricey side, and staying in the hotel rooms will take you back just a bit!! But just look at some of the rooms that Crazy Bear have created… They have other locations in Oxford, Fitzrovia in London and Covent Garden (members only)

Garden Suites, Oxford

Main House Suites, Beaconsfield

Main House Suites, Beaconsfield

Stable Block Suite, Beaconsfield

The Beaconsfield location has several restaurants too: Thai, English, Italian and there is a Japanese restaurant opening at some point this year

English Restaurant Beaconsfield

Weddings, meetings, massages, events… it’s worth exploring the website in wonder even if you don’t visit!

The Eden Project

Cornwall, Travel

There is so much to see and learn at The Eden Project, in Cornwall. I have been several times now, and it’s not just something to do on a rainy day. It’s a great place to go, especially when the sun is out, as it comes through the biomes. It’s amazing to be able to escape to a rainforest full of steamy jungles and waterfalls, when you’re only in the UK. The biomes take you to another place, on a journey – the smell of the Mediterranean, and the heat of the Rainforest hits you as soon as you walk in.

The messaging of regeneration and sustainable living is behind everything you see, including the architecture and sculptures, as well as the vegetation. It’s a great place for adults and kids to learn about nature, the variety of plants and where they come from in the world.

There is such an array of colours to see all in one place. On the paths, there are some great places to sit and take it all in too. This is one of my favourites, with the pink vine flowers overhanging above the white stone seat.

Descriptions and sayings can been seen on stones and wood amongst the flowers and plants, like the one below.

Look at the colours of all these flowers – not sure which is my favourite – wish I could look at all of them every day!

Pink Flower, The Eden Project

Pink Flowers, The Eden Project

Red Flowers, The Eden Project

Bright flower, The Eden Project

There are always events going on so click here to see what will be happening in May. These mini guides are helpful too.

Snowboarding at Sixt Fer à Cheval

France, Travel

Le Grand Massif, France

Less than a 2 hour flight, and then a drive across the border from Geneva airport to the the Samoëns area of the French Alps, this is a destination that’s perfect for a long weekend adventurous get-away. This March was the second time that I’ve been, and we stayed with our good friend and his family, who run a business out there called L’Oreade Chalets. We stayed here with them in Sixt Fer à Cheval, in the valley.

The snowboard/ski area is called Le Grand Massif. This is the second time we had been snowboarding, and I am now honestly hooked on it! I haven’t really skied much before, which may put me at an advantage or disadvantage, I’m not sure, but it is so liberating once you get the hand of it. The places that you can explore are incredible in this area, and one of our highlights was travelling down the 16km Cascades only 5 days after we started learning last year! It’s a good run to take your time on, because there is so much to see from the very top, all the way down. A real exploration, which I love.

I can be a bit of a tomboy at heart, which may have helped on this trip, as it does put quite a bit of strain on your body if you’re not prepared. But I didn’t mind having to stop quite regularly and be behind the boys, because I could just take in the view! I’d say that 5 days is about right though, to get stuck in and learn enough at the start. My legs gave up after then! Watching out for the advanced 5 year old French kids whizzing past you is something that can be a little intimidating too! Next year, we plan to go in January, when there is fresh snow and not many people about.


The Cornish Coast

Cornwall, Travel

There are some truly beautiful places to visit in England that often get overlooked I think, and every time I visit Cornwall, there is something beautiful to notice, no matter what the weather.

I took this picture on a recent visit, whilst walking on a trail over looking this beautiful beach. I sat on a wooden bench that was placed there in memory of someone, and read, “Sit a while, look out to sea, look and smile, remember me” which made me stop for a second and take in the view. 


I managed to take a few pictures of several flowers that I saw on the path (but don’t know their names really! Apart from the yellow one which is Gorse flower perhaps?)

Gorse Flower, looking through to Mawgan Porth

Pink flowers near Mawgan Porth beach in Cornwall

There are often people surfing down on the beach, as it is relatively quiet and easy to learn there as you can go in waist deep. The tide changes the look of it quite dramatically. I’ve been quite a few times now, and if anyone wants to have a go at surfing on a family holiday or with friends, I know who to speak to, to arrange it… 🙂

Cream flowers at the side of the path

Lots more to be said about this area…