What I had not expected about Cornwall was the really great food we had every time we ate out. This is put down to the 'Rick Stein effect' as he has single handedly taken over Padstow and other Cornish places have to compete food wise or lose out.
We ate here in Newquay, where there was a huge surfing competition going on, and here which according to someone writing in the Observer is one of the top five beach cafes in the world, and must have the loveliest view of any restaurant anywhere, and also at this great pub. But where we did NOT eat was in the Cornish food capital of Padstow. This was not what you would call a deliberate omission.
On this particular day we had been down to St Ives (where we had had an 'Award Winning Cornish pastie'. Interestingly, everywhere in St Ives that sold pasties only sells 'Award Winning' ones, but anyway, it was very nice.) But that had been quite early and by 7ish we were very much looking forward to a trip to Padstow and
fish and chips from Mr Stein's establishment. Now, on the way back from St Ives I had mentioned that we probably should get some petrol but I was checking the petrol warning sign (yes - more bloody aggro from my car's warning signs - or lack of them, see below), and the 'petrol low' warning sign had not come on. We go to the car in the hotel car park. I switch on the engine and the warning sign which wasn't on before has switched to Nuclear Warning Mode, and just to emphasis there was a 'problem' it refused to move. We are out of petrol, and we are also just to make the situation all the more amusing, miles from anywhere.
I rang a cab firm and told my story of woe which resulted in a Cockney Cab Driver (lived in Newquay for 30 years but still very definitely a Londoner) coming to collect us to take us to a petrol station and to bring us back again. STUPIDLY, I had left a petrol carrying thingy behind at home so had to buy one first. So - on arrival at the BP garage some six miles away - no prizes for guessing they had sold out of?? I nearly cried. We continue with Cockney Cabbie for several more miles before the next petrol garage where the petrol can and the petrol is purchased and back he takes us with the total of 21 bloody quid on the clock. In fact he took some slight pity on us and charged us less than that, but still - a unexpected and total pain in the arse expense.
EVENTUALLY we get to Padstow, but what we both need is a drink first. And then we go in search of Rick Steins chippy, spurning as we do (subsequent results served us right) other, undoubtedly perfectly good chip shops, as when in Padstow surely one must do a Rick Stein. And it is a surprisingly big place. And it was dark. And when we finally found the place at 10.20 we found (oh how we laughed) that it had shut at 9.00. We go back to the other chippies not owned by TV Personality Chefs - and they had all shut too. As had all of Padstow by this time. We had a curry in Newquay at midnight that night with all the piss heads - but hey! THAT was very nice too. :-)
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