Friday, November 15, 2019

MENU's UK Adventure 15. Chasing Rick Stein to Padstow; a visit to Port Isaac

Even though he had visited Cornwall several times, John had never visited Padstow, so Lynne wanted to show it to him
She has spent many happy days there, walking along the cliffs and then finding a good pub to have a good beer with mates.... 
and a pasty from the Rock Bakery on the other side of the estuary. The tide was out
Padstow is a very popular town and is well known for having several Rick Stein restaurants
We love his cooking programmes and his recipes have become standards in our home
Bold young kelp gulls are everywhere
Parking is along the front on the extreme right. So we walked into town trying to find the Rick Stein Fish and Chips restaurant
A long view of Rock, across the bay
We wandered around for ages, up hills and down many streets being misled (again) by our satnav. Eventually, we found Stein's Patisserie, selling all sorts of tempting things; we asked them how to find the restaurant we wanted. They were very helpful, but we were not pleased by the answer. Just our luck. It was back along the quayside, near where we had parked the car! Still, it meant we had seen quite a lot of Padstow
It’s in a huge old wooden warehouse building that has been modernised. The Seafood Bar & Fishmongers looked good, but we had set our sights on fish and chips
If only our local fish suppliers looked as fresh and good as this
Found it, further down in the same building. Lots of beers, wines and cider for sale as well as soft drinks and water
Prices above the 'bar'. We ordered one hake and one cod in batter with chips. And two local India Pale Ales, which came in the bottle! No glasses or cups. They apparently have gone green, so if you hate drinking beer out of a bottle, as we do, take your own glasses. John did manage to nick one last plastic cup from the counter (which, of course, being green ourselves, we recycled later). The fish is all cooked in beef dripping; our SA doctor and “fishatarians” might have a fit at that, but it was very good batter. We could see seats to the right of the kitchen, but we were not permitted to sit there. "No", we were told, "that is separate, you have to eat round the back of the building in the open air". We had obviously missed the fact that the take away and the sit down sections are separate, even though they share a kitchen. It would have cost us £1 extra each to sit down in comfort. And rules is rules..., even though we’d offered to pay the extra pound
Thank heavens it wasn’t raining. Around the back of the building, there are some picnic tables and we managed to find seats, eventually. We halved the fish, so each of us had a taste of each fish; it was superbly fresh and pearly, just as it should be and had great flavour. The crisp batter is a little greasy and we got nice and messy, eating with our fingers. The chips could be crisper; we did ask for them to be crisp, but they were not, and being packed beneath the steaming fish softens them more
The tide was coming in fast,
filling up the harbour. We decided to head up the coast to Port Isaac
(aka Portwenn, where Doc Martin and the movie Fisherman’s Friends have been filmed)
Lynne is a fan of Doc Martin, but that was not the purpose of our visit to this beautiful fishing village
A good friend of hers, Nick Farmer, had lived there with his mother for years. Nick, sadly, died last year
The view from the car park is superb; you can see a long way up the coast
and you see buildings that are familiar from TV shows
The wind was fresh and the gulls were having such fun catching the breeze off the cliffs
A Port Isaac scene many will recognise
You have to park quite a way out of town and then walk down the steep streets to the centre
A view of the town beach
Was this ever a chemist? We like the name "May Contain Nuts" on the bakery
Tiny narrow streets, we missed seeing the four laughing lasses
Stand back against the wall; cars passing in the narrow lane
A view from the beach. Nick had lived above the cliff to the right. We hope he had a happy life there
Even dogs like the Cornish ice cream, so rich and creamy
Lots of good long cliff walks in the area
There are many B&Bs in the area
Many make a pilgrimage to the Doc's house, the little one on the left. The big house on the right was a BnB in Fisherman's Friends. We had to head 'home' back to Mevagissey via Bodmin, having made our own pilgrimage to remember a good friend
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