Wednesday 31 July 2013

The Hedgehog, Chapel Porth Beach Cafe, Cornwall

This is The Hedgehog.  Take a moment to admire its beauty (and to brace yourself for the deliciousness I am about to describe)...

Take an ice-cream cone, absolutely pack it with with Cornish ice-cream, smother it in an incredibly thick layer of golden Cornish clotted cream, and then roll it in honey-roasted hazelnuts until it bristles with gorgeousness.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is The Hedgehog!

There are various places in Cornwall which sell similar ice-creams, but the original comes from a tiny little beach cafe tucked away from the road at the base of a very craggy coastline. This is the sort of place that you need to be told about by a friendly local, or, as I did, unearth some reviews on an obscure holiday website.

After a day of sightseeing, by the time we reached Chapel Porth the small car park--run by the National Trust, free parking for members--was full, so Dave double-parked while I queued and watched eagerly for my first glimpse of The Hedgehog. Several ice-creams were handed out of the window before I saw it in all its glory...

...the blackcurrant ripple looked delicious, really vibrant and fresh...chocolate smiley faces with hundreds and thousands for hair...classic 99's...The Foxy, rolled in flapjack crumbs instead of hazelnuts (for a limited time only according to their sign)...

I think it may have been love at first sight.  It was huge and looked utterly amazing.  I haven't felt so excited about an ice-cream cone since I was about ten!

Dave and I loved our Hedgehogs and exclaimed with delight over the hint of salt in the honey-roasted hazelnuts and the incredibly thick layer of clotted cream, Lucas (6) wasn't quite so sure about his Foxy.  After much consideration, he says that "clotted cream is for scones, not ice-cream." He ended up passing it forward in the car so that we could eat the clotted cream for him! In hindsight, I should have bought him a smiley face.
{image source: Little Orchard Village}

The cafe isn't all about ice-cream, though. They offer a wide range of hot and cold drinks as well as light meals.  I've seen people raving about absolutely everything on their menu and if we'd been able to park, I'd have ordered a prawn croque.  (Prawns cooked in clotted cream, over garlic baguette? Amazing!)

Definitely a place to come back to!  If you'd like to make a full day of it and enjoy the beach (which looked lovely from the brief glimpse I got), then I'd advise getting there early to nab your space in the car park!  And be prepared to queue for your Hedgehog.  I promise that it will be worth the wait!

Have you tried a Hedgehog?  Did you love it?

Chapel Porth Beach Cafe
Chapel Porth beach
Near St Agnes

Tel.: 01872552487


Saturday 27 July 2013

Summer holiday

We're off on our holidays!  A week of peace and (relative) quiet in Cornwall is exactly what I need to recharge my batteries.  

The chickens and geese have just been put to bed with one final loud honk! and we'll follow soon, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to collecting eggs in the morning...

Monday 22 July 2013

Gromit hunting

I don't know about you, but in the South West of England we have been sweltering for two weeks.  I've almost forgotten what green grass looks like and I'm beginning to worry about my little apple tree in the garden.  On Saturday the temperature dropped a little so we decided to do some more Gromit hunting around Bristol.

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, there is an art trail of Gromit--of Wallace and Gromit fame--sculptures scattered around Bristol which is intended to raise funds for Bristol Children's Hospital.  The whole enterprise is called Gromit Unleashed.  Two years ago we had Wow! Gorillas! to help raise money for gorillas in the wild.  Perhaps Gromit is more personable than a gorilla, because I don't remember the city going absolutely crazy back then... We've actually had to queue up to take photographs of a Gromit!!  It's so nice to see everyone walking around, maps (or apps) in hand, looking for their next Gromit and helping each other, especially in this super-sunny weather.

Our first stop was Gromberry, the furthest flung Gromit on the Harbourside Trail.  (The official map handily marks out trails of varying length, so you can either devise your own route, stumble across one by happy accident, or stride purposefully around town crossing them all off in an efficient manner.)

Gromberry was pretty fun.  I think the Monster liked him a lot, judging from the huge cuddle he got.  After we'd all posed for pictures, we took a quick walk along the Floating Harbour and enjoyed the cool breeze and the yachts zooming around on the water.

We then quickly stopped in at the Riverside Garden Centre and met Creature Comforts Gromit.

Next up was the Gromit at Bristol Airport: British Bulldog.  I think this is one of the cleverest designs I've seen so far.  I love the clouds and blue sky on his legs!  My little plane-spotting Monster tells me that the plane is a Swordfish biplane, as used by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy during the war.  He wasn't quite sure which war, but Wikipedia tells me that it was WWII.

Since we were out by the airport, we stopped in at Lye Cross Farm to find the Gromit there (Secret Garden).  It turned out that they were having an Open Day with butter-making demonstrations, tractor rides for kids, and a gorgeous mechanical pipe organ.  I've never been to their farm shop before (and I probably wouldn't have heard of it without Gromit Unleashed) but it was really nice.  As Lye Cross is a working dairy farm, they sold their own milk, butter and cheese.  Naturally I had to sample some, so we picked up a wedge of Double Gloucester...and some bread. And plum chutney.  And cider.  And Welshcakes.  Sometimes healthy eating just has to go out the window! 

After that we zoomed through some back roads--I swear Dave is part pigeon. I have no idea how he navigates around so easily--and ended up at Tyntesfield.  We love Tyntesfield.  Not only is it one of the prettiest National Trust properties around, with amazing tulip displays, but it was also used to film the Eleventh Doctor Who episode 'Hide'.  (And if you're feeling extra-geeky, if also bears a striking resemblance to stately Wayne Manor.)

We didn't have time or energy to stroll around the gardens, so we stopped for a lovely cream tea in the Cow Shed Cafe and then went out into the courtyard to find their Gromit: Oops a Daisy.  This was my favourite Gromit of the day--covered in Astroturf, dotted with daisies and just downright cute and cuddly.  It was designed by Diarmiud Gavin. I used to love watching him on Home Front with Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, he designed such beautiful gardens.

All in all, a lovely afternoon of Gromit hunting.  We've now got 35/80 and I'm pretty optimistic about finding them all before the auction in September!


Saturday 20 July 2013

A bit of everything...

C'mon in...have a coffee and a sit down...

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...I had a blog.  A food blog, to be precise--you may or may not remember A Spoonful of Sugar--and I loved it.  But then, I had a baby and my posts fell by the wayside except for the guilt-ridden drive-by-posts every so often (everyone knows those), so I stopped blogging.

Now, years later, my sweet baby has grown up into a sweet and geeky monster (his mostly affectionate nickname), and I find myself really missing the fun of blogging.  Since I don't just want to talk about food, I thought that a lifestyle blog would work well.  I'm pretty normal, so please don't expect to see wildly aspirational stuff; that's what Pinterest is for!

I hope you'll enjoy the occasional glimpse into my life, whether it's Gromit hunting in and around Bristol, blather about cross stitch or knitting, particularly tasty recipes, and my ever-growing reading pile of comics and Kindle books.

Angela xx
Blogger Template Created by pipdig