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Ms Humdrum recommends ... eating in and around Padstow

Normally, I like to review local products and businesses but after reading a few blog posts reviewing favoured activities in Padstow, i thought I'd draw on my years of experience holidaying there and recommend a few of our favourite things. I'd group them as: eating, doing and beaching. Obviously doing and beaching are similar, but I want to add more detail to the beaches. Eating can be done at the same time as beaching, so there's another overlap. If only I could Venn diagram my blogs...


Ice cream It occurred to me the other day while looking at the memories app on Facebook that we are creatures of habit. We have a ticklist of things we like to do in Padstow (speedboats, Greens cafe, cockles, The Ship Inn, Embers, surf wear shopping, walking out to the Monument etc). Here is another one - eating ice cream, usually from Harbour Ice near the front. Clotted cream toppings used to cost 20p in the 80s - now it's £1 extra! But worth it. Always yummy, cash only though. We do like Kelly's ice creams too - very Cornish.

Green's cafe (here on Facebook) is easily the best eatery for views from Rock, Padstow Harbour and sand banks, and up to the Camel Estuary. We've been fans for a few years although their recent enlargement seems to have taken away its uniqueness. It's still good, but the ploughmans was missing this year and breakfast should have been served on hot plates. The views make it worthwhile though and staff are always pleasant, not even reprimanding a customer for bringing in her own pasty (not me I hasten to add!). 
One of the views from Greens Cafe, Padstow
The Ship Inn - I don't want to dwell on this as I have written extensively on Trip Advisor, but we won't be keeping this pub on our list of go-to venues. It used to be an expensive, but totally worth it, upmarket pub. But it seems to have lost its sparkle, empty tables say it all when you used to have to queue. Sad. One other night, we ate at the Harlyn pub. I have many memories of visiting here in the 70s and 80s, but none since until the other week. After a cold-ish day on the beach, we just wanted something wintry. Their carvery hit the spot - at £10 it did exactly what we wanted it to. I'd rather come here again any day than The Ship.

The Ivy House, near St Merryn, (here on Facebook) is a restaurant we have driven past umpteen times and at last, Mr Humdrum persuaded us to visit. We were not disappointed. It's a quirky place with delicious food and attentive staff. Master Humdrum, at 12, and who was complimented on his restaurant manners, enjoyed his hake, Mr H his duck and my steak was very tasty. With three courses and two bottles, it wasn't cheap but well worth it. Millers Taxis got us there and back safely.

Embers (here on Facebook) is a wood-fired pizza place on one of the back streets in Padstow which we have frequented three years running. You do need to book to ensure you're not squashed in at the back. It's a tiny-but-doesn't-feel-like-it restaurant with good tunes and great food at not bad prices. We amended our order to add cheesy dough balls after seeing them on our neighbouring table. The pizzas were all yummy with, I think, some local produce, and local ice cream is served for pudding (which we didn't have room for!). This is definitely on our go-to list for next time!

Chough pasty eaten on an
isolated beach accessible only by kayak!
Barnecut pasty, with distinctive
chequered paper bag
Pasties. I could write a million articles on pasties. On holiday, I have one every day for lunch. What could be easier on the beach? I'm torn on our Mother Ivey's holidays. The campsite has a Chough Bakery outlet (here on Facebook) but we're staunchly Barney's fans. Barnecutts (here on Facebook) -v- Chough. Mr H is a Chougher, Master B did turn to Chough on holiday but soon returned to Barney's, of whom I'm a fan. However, you have to drive into St Merryn to pick up a Barney, so of course when we're staying on the beach at Mother Ivey's, we Chough it. When we visit other beaches, we do a Barney drive past. I spent two whole weeks researching each pasty to compare. Here are my findings: Barney's can be up to 10/10 if the meat is properly distributed and the pastry not too pappy. But it is sometimes disappointingly only 6/10 and that is enough to almost ruin your beach day. The Chough is reliably about 7 or 8/10. The pastry is shortcrust, whereas Barney's is flaky. The Chough is said to have a magic spoonful of clotted cream, and does taste most peppery. Sometimes the potato distribution is better in a Chough; one day, we likenened the Barney's pasty to a pasty filled with mashed potato. So, to conclude, you can always rely on a Chough to be good enough, but a Barney may be the best pasty you've ever had. (Disclaimer: no vegetarian options tried, only steak.)

The Camel Trail Tea Gardens (here on Facebook), is situated between Wadebridge and Bodmin, and a round trip from Padstow racks up 20.5 miles. How to replenish? A cream tea of course. A couple of years ago, I did try the Camel version of a prosecco, but stuck to tea this time. The gardens get extremely full (of people and wasps too this year!) but a long chill out makes for an easier journey back. Watch out for other families' whining children, they are worse than the wasps. Messrs Humdrum had their own bikes this year, but I rented a hybrid from Trail Bike Hire, and I'll review our Camel Trail in another blog post. The bacon roll is also fabulous from the tea rooms. Of course the best fun is watching people put their jam and cream on the wrong way around...

A Kelly's ice on the door-side of Harlyn Bay
Rose's Ice Cream hot choc
Ices! On Treyarnon Bay, we love to visit Rose's Ice Cream van on the Porthcothan side of the bay. We like Rose's for hot chocolate, and Kelly's for normal ice creams. There's room for both.

Lastly for this post, I thoroughly recommend the Trevone Beach Cafe, at, well, Trevone. Being one of our favourite beaches, we decided to do a sundowner there this year with pizza on the beach. You can sit inside, or on their terrace overlooking the beach, but we had prime seats (we moved up against the wall at high tide) so what could have been better than that? (Well, watching our neighbours' bbq get washed over the tide was quite good actually!) Master H had a small meaty one, whilst Mr H and I scoffed a larger chicken, pesto and veg one. It was deliciously crispy and not too oily with the pesto. I would like to add that we frequent the Trevone Beach Store very often; hiring wetsuits, buying robies and hoodies etc. The owner Graham has also taken over looking after the toilets there, which is why we don't keep the door open to save 20p!

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