The dismal weather that marked the end of August and start of September made my thoughts turn to the stark contrast with this year’s summer holiday weather in England’s south-west. Here is the third part of that journey.
As I recall I’d left the story just after J and I completed a baking hot walk from Port Isaac (of Doc Martin fame) to Port Quin . We had walked so it was time to do what we do best…eat!
There is only one place to go to eat when you stay near Padstow, Rick Steins The Seafood Restaurant. Would it be as good as it was hyped up to be? It was time to find out. We hadn’t booked but I knew from the website that we could sit at the bar and eat without a reservation. That told me to get there early to make sure we would be fed, so at opening time we were brushing aside enquiring waiters as we swept past reception through to the restaurant to claim our seats at the big circular bar situated in the middle of the room. Once they caught up with us the staff furnished us with our place mats glasses and cutlery as if we were sitting at a normal restaurant table. Sitting on tall stools at the bar may not be the most comfortable place to eat but it is probably the most entertaining. The trials and tribulations of restaurant life were laid bare as staff vigorously debated which table should have had what dish/drink/bill etc. We closely scrutinised every dish coming out the kitchen as it made its stately progression past our perch. Lobsters, crabs and langoustines met their grisly end at tables full of ravenous diners.
I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed the set tasting menu. I discovered that if you toast fennel seeds prior to their use they impart an incredible taste to a fish dish. I thought the set menu was good value as the portions were decent sized with a full sized starter and puddy included. The service was excellent with no drop in standards for the poor peasants sitting at the bar. All in all a good nosh-up!
Our strategy of eating only breakfast and dinner, no lunch, appeared to be working. We’d visited Jamie Oliver’s 15 and Rick Stein’s “The Seafood Restaurant” on consecutive nights and were still able to lever ourselves in and out the “Tank” without the need of artificial support. In fact we were surprisingly raring to go on our second section of the South West Coastal Path around the double bumped headland called Rumps Point. In prospect was the double ascent of “Buttock 1” and “Buttock 2”. There was the chance of seeing puffins on The Mouls, a small island just off Rumps Point, and basking sharks in the surrounding water. To save future disappointment I’ll mention now that we saw sod all by way of puffins or basking sharks, but we were far from disappointed with our walk.
Yesterday’s hard plod in the heat was forgotten as we set off from the NT car park in an old quarry near Pentire farm athough today’s temperature was a degree or so less than that of the day before. Minutes after leaving the car we reached the coastal path and the first of the day’s wonderful cliff views.
Compared with yesterdays steep ups and downs this walk was much gentler but with enough changes of mood to make it a classic. Plummeting cliffs, creepy crawlies, stunning views and a poignant reminder of a the toll of WW1 all combined to make this short stroll one to be remembered.
These photos and others can be seen at a bigger size on Flickr…