Category Archives: Food

A Perfect Day

Staring down the barrel of another winter, there’s nothing for it but to wrap ourselves in chunky knits and warm memories.

Before summer left us, I had a magical day of the absolutely perfect variety, that will no doubt haunt me for years to come in deep sleep and desktop daydreams.

It was a perfect day in a perfect week spent at Menabilly with my family. And it started very early – before the night had even left us. Armed with a torch and binoculars, I raced morning up the cliff path to watch the sun rise over the sea in a symphony of pink and orange. The silence was so complete that I could hear the fishermen talking from their boats on the waves below.

Menabilly sunrise1

Menabilly sunrise2

Menabilly sunrise3

If I’d had my paints with me I probably would have caught pneumonia on that hillside desperately trying to capture the wash of colour and the explosive moment the sun breached the horizon in a blaze of gold. Thankfully for my physical and mental health I made do with just my camera, and I arrived back at the cottage in time to catch the rest of my family finishing the last crumbs of breakfast. Some more hungry than others, we jumped in the car and headed into a fairytale – otherwise known as Tintagel. The legendary seat of King Arthur is perched on a Cornish cliff top on the north coast, and its rugged beauty had me immediately head over heels. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and there were ruins, rocks, waterfalls, caves and beaches to bounce around. It was my idea of absolute heaven.

Tintagel 1

Tintagel 2

Tintagel 3

Tintagel 4

Tintagel 5

Waterfall at Tintagel

Cave at Tintagel

Me on the rocks at Tintagel

When I was done clambering upon all that there was to clamber upon, and had finished imagining round tables, swords in stones, ladies in lakes, and all things Arthurian, we headed to Polkerris for dinner at my favourite restaurant – Sam’s on the Beach.

That night Sam’s outdid themselves: my huge bowl of white wine soaked spaghetti was so delicious that dignity went utterly out the window and I ended up wearing more sauce than makeup; they seemed to be exclusively playing a list of my favourite songs; and as we laughed, chatted, and enjoyed each other’s company we had the best seat in the house to watch the sun sink into the harbour.

Sam's on the Beach

Sunset at Polkerris

Chlo at Sam's on the Beach

Mum and Dad

Olives at Sam's on the Beach

Best pasta of my life

Sunset at Polkerris

So the perfect day ended as all perfect days should – with full tummies and full memory cards. And when winter bites, and you catch me with a glazed expression on my face, this is where I’ll really be.

Advertisements

Picnicking Perfection

Picnic is my favourite word. I’m also a big fan of Akimbo, Wiggle, Kerfuffle, Whimsical, Pyjamas, and Sausages when you say it whilst moving your mouth as little as possible. Soshergis. But picnic is my favourite. Say it as fast as you can: picnicpicnicpicnic. Or as slowly as possible: pic-ker-nic. Whatever the speed you choose to utter it, it’s the best thing in my vocabulary (which includes gems like Sycophancy, Loquaciousness,  and obviously Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious) because as well as being easy on the ears, it combines two of my greatest loves: food, and the outdoors.

And you rarely say Picnic unless a picnic is on the cards. It would be a little bit superfluous (another classic) and more than a little bit mean. So in the spirit of sharing, I’m inviting you to be a sneaky fly on the wall at the very best picnic I’ve ever been on.

Gem and hamper

Once you’ve packed yourself up a hamper full of deliciousness, there are just a few more ingredients you require if you wish to achieve picnicking perfection. In the Gemma book of picnicking, these are as follows: a view (preferably of the breath-taking variety); a tree (the more romantically shaped the better); and a rug (must be featuring a checked pattern otherwise it’s scientific fact that the food won’t taste as good).

Coombe Hill view

Picnic tree

Picnic view

Picnic spot
Let’s just all take a moment to bow down before the utter perfection of this picnic spot. Coombe Hill, ladies and gentleman, was unbeatable on a sunny Tuesday afternoon at the end of July.

Gem on picnic rug

Picnic view

Harebells

With the sun beaming, the harebells dancing in the breeze, the hillside awash with the sound of leaves rustling, the swaying sea of rosebay willowherb resplendent in all its purple hazey glory, and the vale spread out below us, we unpacked our treats. In my beautiful hamper – thank you so much Lucy! – and an extra canvas bag I’d squeezed: a mini bottle of Champagne; tea cakes and strawberry jam; the mother of all sausage sandwiches for my decidedly non-vegetarian picnic partner (comprised of caramelised onion and pork sausages in a cooked baguette with fried mushrooms, caramelised onions, and barbecue sauce, with cheddar melted over the top – salivate away, meat-eaters); roasted pistachio nuts; and last but by no means least, wafer cones, raspberries and Chantilly cream to create picnic-proof ice cream cones (patent pending).

Best picnic ever

Raspberries

Teacake

Picnic

Make-do ice cream cone
Sat up there, with good food, and good company, I felt like I was in some kind of strawberry jam and Chantilly cream flavoured dream. A few families were making the most of the school holidays, and dog walkers with various charming four-legged friends were enjoying the beautiful weather too, but up on the hill away from the world the murmered noise of play and far away conversations only added to the atmosphere. It’s by far the most peaceful I’ve felt for months.

Gem and teacake
With tranquillity seeping into my soul with every breath, it was easy to see why the commanding structure of Coombe Hill was erected here. Perched at the end of the ridge, where the view stretches to both sides of the horizon, is a memorial to the 157 men of Buckinghamshire who gave their lives in the Second Boer War. Overlooking the land for which they fought, and the homes where they lived, loved, and tragically never returned; I can’t think of a better place for their memories to linger.

Coombe Hill momument
The stone reminder that our existence is a fleeting one possibly explains why, of all the people with whom we shared our afternoon on the hill, my inner romantic was most drawn to a pair of elderly gentlemen who were sat on a bench quietly gazing over the vale with the manner of two people who have perfected the art of contentment. I hope that I’ll still spend afternoons sitting in sunshine watching the world go by when my hair is grey and my face is lined with a lifetime of memories.

Old friends
That’s a long way away though, and for now, I’m happy. I don’t remember a day that better matches my favourite Oogway quote so perfectly: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift – that is why it is called the present.”

Us

Us
Operation pull-funny-faces-at-the-last-minute-and-sneakily-ruin-Gemma’s-attempts-at-a-‘nice’-photo may well have been a roaring success, but I think that second one might be my favourite picture of us, ever.

Eventually, with much less stored in the hamper and much more stored in our tummies and on my camera’s memory card, we decided to head home into the cooling afternoon. And then, as if there wasn’t already enough happiness in the world on this sun-soaked English Tuesday, the breeze and my dress conspired to decide that this was the perfect moment to show Coombe Hill my knickers, and I very nearly have photographic evidence.

Breezy
Happy ‘today’, everyone!

Kensington’s Flamingos

On Monday, a project I’d helped to work on won an Institute of Fundraising Award. This came as a rather large shock to me, as those in the know had knowingly and humbly informed me that we most definitely would not win. We were up against baby tigers and Christmas crises. I don’t know very much about, well, anything really, but I’d already mentally picked the baby tigers as the winner. Because they’re tigers. And they’re babies. Baby tigers. Not even the scientifically correct ‘tiger cubs’. No. These are baby tigers. Bonus points for the tugging-at-the-heart-strings factor.

So our lovely little team had graciously – and, as it turns out, rather prematurely – accepted our defeat and gone out to lunch to celebrate our nomination. (It’s an honour to even be nominated, and I’d like to thank my mum, my dad, my mouse mat…)

Kensington Roof Gardens was a highly enjoyable but rather surreal experience.

First off, as the name helpfully suggests, the venue is several storeys above Kensington, so the view’s a bit of alright.

View from Kensington Roof Gardens

It was a trainer-and-jeans-free zone inside.

Sofa Kensington Roof Gardens

Seafood bar at Kensington Roof Gardens

Centrepiece at Kensington Roof Gardnes

Spot the Gemma.

I then had a lovely time stuffing my tummy full of yummyness, and snapping Suze and Hannah’s food as well as my own.

Food at Kensington Roof Gardens

Food at Kensington Roof Gardens

Risotto at Kensington Roof Gardens

Food at Kensington Roof Gardens

Dessert at Kensington Roof Gardens

Dessert at Kensington Roof Gardens

Petit fours at Kensington Roof Gardens

It was only after the Alice in Wonderland inspired petit fours box that things started to get curiouser and curiouser.

I discovered that there’s a fish tank built into the wall where you’d normally expect to find a mirror behind the sinks in the ladies’.

And the garden – presumably due to it being a party venue – made me feel a little bit like Samuel Taylor Coleridge having some sort of laudanum induced hallucination. The best way I could describe it would be as English country meets a kind of watered down vision of Xanadu.

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

I really liked this strange little garden. There was something very British about the faux exoticness of it all. We Brits do love our pastiche.

But then we walked around a corner and it got really, really odd.

Flamingo reflection at Kensington Roof Gardens

Guess who…

Flamingo at Kensington Roof Gardens

Nope, that isn’t an ornament. That’s an honest-to-god flamingo. Living in Kensington. On a roof.

Flamingo at Kensington Roof Gardens

There’s something sad about how beautiful they are. And something extremely unnerving about how much they look like artwork rather than living creatures.

Don’t get me wrong, I was very, very excited about the fact that I was going to be able to see flamingos. I was excited about the fact that I was going to work in London, and then popping out for a spot of lunch, and then seeing flamingos. It was the wildlife equivalent of going to a supermarket rather than an independent grocers: a little bit cheat-y but ever so convenient.

And then, when I was done trying to take a photo where the poor creature didn’t look like it had been purchased at a garden centre, came the worry. Then came thoughts of logistics: of space, or lack thereof; of pollution; of loneliness; and – worst of all – of clipped wings and what it would mean to fly and then to never fly again. I felt physically sick when Suze told me the disgusting rumour of a drunken party-goer having thrown one of the flamingos from the roof, to its death presumably, its ornamental life extinguished in a puff of pink feathers and pain on the pavement below.

I hope this isn’t true. I hope they have a lovely existence in their little urban oasis, on their rooftop corner of Kensington. I hope they have as much joy in their lives as they bring to those of the people taking photos of them for their Instagram accounts and their personal blogs.

Positive thinking is quite the power tool in the fundraising world. And you can take it from me. As of Monday, I’m award-winning.

 

 

 

Hanging Basket Case

The girls and I had a sunny London rendezvous last weekend. I was desperate to see the hanging baskets at the Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street, and the girls – with much teasing about my horticultural enthusiasm and joking about how much of an anticlimax these flowers would be after listening to me go on and on about them – humoured me.

We walked around the corner and as Sam and Lu saw the pub for the first time I got to enjoy one of my very favourite things: the intense satisfaction of being right. Their previously sceptical faces were lit up like two Christmas trees.

Here’s why.

The Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms
We decided it was too sunny to spend our afternoon indoors drinking (not something that happens often in England) but what we could see of the interior through the open door was pretty awesome. We’ll have to come back when summer’s over (probably some time next week, god damn it England) and explore properly.

The Churchill Arms interior

Sam and Lu outside The Churchill Arms

When the girls were done ogling they turned back to me and asked “How did you know?!”, clearly mystified by my London pub knowledge. I sort of guiltily mumbled something about something something and looked the other way, before eventually admitting that I’d seen the pub on Gardener’s World. That’s right, boys and girls. I watch Gardener’s World.

It started innocently enough: I was channel hopping and suddenly this gorgeous Golden Retriever appeared, and was wandering around being adorable while the gardening happened, but then before I knew it I was enjoying the plants just as much as the dog. Yeah I might as well just say it: I like to spend my Friday nights curled up with a cup of tea, something chocolate-y, and Monty Don. (On the TV, I mean. Monty doesn’t sit and watch Gardener’s World with me. That would be weird.)

So now that I’ve admitted that I’m a big ol’ loser, I think it’s time for some food.

Prior to the floral fun, we’d been for some raw vegan lunch at Nama. Now I might be a vegetarian (and sometimes a vege-scare-ian) but I bloomin’ love cheese. And eggs. And all the dairy. So I was expecting good things from an artisan raw food restaurant, but my booking for lunch for three at 1pm wasn’t my only reservation.

But as soon as the starter arrived my doubts disappeared.

Guacamole at Nama
Holy guacamole was this stuff good. Guacamole is one of my very favourite foods, and I have eaten a lot of it. I mean A LOT of it. But the guac at Nama. Oh. My. God. How good was it? Let’s just say if I fell into a vat of it, and had to eat my way out, I wouldn’t be sad.

Guacamole at Nama
The girls are just as snap happy as me, so while Sammy was checking she’d got the shot I was shovelling guac into my mouth like a woman possessed. 

Sammy
Thankfully there was enough for everyone and fighting to the death wasn’t necessary. (Just as well, cos who’d want to fight this face?)

Lulu
When we’d finished eating forkfuls of guacamole (which by the way is totally acceptable restaurant behaviour when the guacamole in question is that good) the main attractions arrived. We’d ordered tactically so we could share everything. 

Lasagne verdure (layers of Pomodoro sauce, herbed nut, seed and yellow pepper cheese, pesto and marinated spinach served between courgette ‘pasta’ strips) which was sort of like chewing your way through heaven.

Lasagne Verdure at Nama

Lasagne Verdure at Nama
Zucchini pasta (spiralised Zucchini noodles served with Pomodoro sauce, sundried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, caramelised onions and olives) which you might think would be less tasty and less filling than normal pasta but you would be oh so very wrong.

Zucchina Pasta at Nama
… Which came with zucchini pasta paparazzi.

Zucchini Pasta Paps at Nama
And Thai coconut curry (cauliflower, courgette, red pepper and leek marinated in sweet chilli sauce, served with a coconut curry, kohlrabi rice and pickled fennel) which as well as being delicious was also the best looking curry I’ve ever seen.

Thai Coconut Curry at Nama
Having chewed our way through all of this deliciousness we were stuffed like three turkeys at Christmas time (albeit artisan raw vegan turkeys), but when the waitress asked if we wanted to look at the dessert menu, who were we to say no? And when that dessert menu had something called a ‘sweet treat selection’ we basically had no choice but to order it. 

Sweet Treat selection at Nama

Sweet Treats at Nama
Even the bill (incredibly reasonable by the way) was presented nicely inside this cute wicker box thing.

Bill at Nama

So yes, I would highly recommend Nama to anyone, whether they be vegan, vegetarian, or an avid meat eater. Having paid up and sipped our last sips of the never ending supply of cucumber water, we skipped off into the sunshine (or perhaps more accurately, limped and groaned into the sunshine, clutching our tummies) and headed to the park via the Churchill Arms, for more gossip and some ice cream in the sunshine.

Gem with ice cream

I have missed my daily fix of these two wonderful women more than I can say in the last year. More adventures soon please, ladies!

Me, Sam, Lu

 

Buttercups and Butterscotch

If you know me but at all, then you’ll be aware that I have a teensy tiny bit of a sweet tooth. And when I say  “sweet tooth”, what I really mean is, don’t be so foolish as to leave any kind of sugary treat within pouncing distance of me unless you want it to end up in my tummy. My ‘guilty’ face is so well worn that it’s starting to fray around the edges a little.

You’ll probably also know how I feel about wild flower meadows. (Hint: I love them almost as much as chocolate.)

So when my parents decided to go hunting for orchids near to my favourite pub in all the world, I was ready and waiting by the front door before they could say “Would you like to come?”. If I’d been a dog I’d have been holding my lead in my mouth and wagging my tail into a blur.

Mum works for the Berks, Bucks, and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), which means the rest of us regularly have to come home from our less magical jobs to hear about her day spent cuddling fox cubs, or perhaps dissecting owl pellets, and generally having a lovely time. She’s based at College Lake – an old chalk quarry turned nature reserve and haven for wetland birds – but lately we’ve been exploring BBOWT’s smaller and further afield reserves.

We arrived at Bernwood Meadows in glorious sunshine, just before my tummy started to growl for its mid afternoon snack.

Bernwood Meadows
I wandered off into the yellow haze in a daze. Mum and Dad were very happy to see so many of these bad boys…

Early marsh orchid by Colin Sturges at Okewood Imagery

… (early marsh orchid photo courtesy of Dad, check out more of his stuff here) but although I really do like orchids, there’s something about yellow flowers that really gets to me. Rape, buttercups, sunflowers, daffodils – I’m not fussy, so long as it’s all yellow.

Buttercups at Bernwood Meadows

Gem

Gem
But there was also some green to entertain us. As well as enough buttercups and early marsh orchids to shake a stick at, there was a rather eccentric looking fellow wandering around, nose to the ground, clutching a net, looking for Forester moths.

Moth enthusiast at Bernwood Meadows

He was pleased as punch to have seen seven of the little creatures that day. I’d never seen a Forester before, so tripped back to the gate to look at the information sign again, so that I would have an idea what to look out for. Just on the off chance, y’know?

It proved pretty helpful.

Forester moth at Bernwood Meadows

In reality, the little fellow was probably just using the sign as a windbreak, but Mum and I were in absolute hysterics at the notion of this moth model (mothel?) posing patiently next to their own bill board, faux-nonchalantly, waiting for the appearance of its hoards of screaming fans. (The official term for such a phenomenon is, obviously, Beetlemania.)

When we were done laughing, we decided we were definitely hungry. We found Dad (a harder task than you might think, as he was lying flat on his stomach trying to get the orchid shot he wanted) and persuaded him that there was nothing for it but to head to Murcott to find something yummy at The Nut Tree Inn.

The Nut Tree Inn, otherwise known as my favourite pub in all the land, is charming in every way possible.

Nut Tree Inn
Nut Tree Inn

Nut Tree Inn
Fish at Nut Tree Inn

Inside, the charm offensive doesn’t let up.

Sticky toffee at Nut Tree

The interior is pretty special. The low rafters are decorated with bank notes from different currencies, and comfy sofas sprawl across the place in all their leathery loveliness. (Bad vegetarian.) But let’s not pretend that the décor is the main attraction. The Nut Tree has a Michelin Star and it’s not afraid to use it.

This, my friends, is a sticky toffee pudding with a caramelised apple tart, praline ice cream, and butterscotch sauce. Otherwise known as one of the best things my taste buds have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Nut Tree
At one point, to savour the wonder for as long as possible, I was sipping contentedly on my green tea, and one of the staff asked me if I had finished. I just laughed. There was no way I was going to be finished until my plate looked as licked clean as this…

Licked clean plates at The Nut Tree

Full of sugary sweetness, we headed back to the car, but were waylaid by a blonde bombshell. She had curly hair, a beaming smile, and her name was Honey. She was just my type.

Gem and Honey
Cockapoos are, in my humble opinion, second in cuteness only to labradoodles. It was very upsetting to have to say goodbye, after falling in love at first sight. But we took our tummies full of toffee and our hearts full of Honey, and we said goodbye to the Nut Tree.

Nut Tree Inn

But, like a sticky toffee terminator, I promise I will be back.

 

Piccadilly Dinner Date

There’s something about London on a summer’s evening; something magical. It’s the perfect time for romance.

So I took my favourite blonde out to dinner.

Chloe
My gorgeous little sister works at The Cavendish Hotel and I (predictably) love the food. I’m also a
big fan of her staff discount. 

I met her after work, and feeling dog tired and starving hungry we settled down in the Petrichor restaurant and dived into the pre theatre menu. (Not that we were planning on going to the theatre. We just wanted to be in bed by 9pm. Because we’re super-duper cool.)

I was so happy when the waiter appeared with the bread basket and a selection of flavoured rape-seed oils that I think there may have been tears in my eyes. (I have an unhealthy obsession with their olive bread, and a [possibly quite foolish] rule of eating minimally before a meal I’m really excited about which has the unfortunate but unsurprising side-effect of making me a bit hysterical while waiting for the food to arrive. Poor Chlo.)

Bread and rape seed oil
Chlo’s a big fan of vegetarian food, so we decided to order to share so we could try double the dishes. I was drawn to the asparagus tips with quails egg and truffle hollandaise sauce like a hungry little hollandaise-loving moth to a flame. Just. Look. At. It.

Asparagus with hollandaise sauce
I can’t find the words to explain to you how good it was. I’ve been trying to put my food critic hat on and describe the subtlety of the taste, the creamy richness of the truffle hollandaise mixed with the sweetness of the “dehydrated grapes” (raisins, surely?), the cooked-to-perfection asparagus – but I’m salivating to the point of being tongue-tied.

And Chlo’s choice was just as delicious. Beetroot cannelloni, with creamed goat’s cheese, honey roasted walnuts, mascarpone cream, and an edible pansy flower to boot.

Beetroot cannelloni
Looking at that beetroot cannelloni without being able to eat it is making me whimper. If you ever need to torture me for information without breaking the law, then I highly recommend you withhold snacks for a few hours and then show me food photography at dinner time.

After the starters our sharing plan temporarily failed, because we both wanted the spinach and goat’s cheese bake too much to entertain the idea of only eating half of one.

Spinach poached egg and goats cheese
It arrived in all its glory, on a wooden board, accompanied with a breaded mushroom, and with a poached egg perched on top. There was smiling. 

Chlo
Like a kid unwrapping  a Christmas present I could barely contain my excitement as I gently cut into my egg…

Poached egg and spinach
… And was unsurprised to find it golden, runny, and perfect. (Excuse me for a moment while I stare at my screen with an enraptured expression I normally reserve for Ryan Gosling.)

The money shot
After thoroughly enjoying the first half I started to think that it was perhaps a tad too rich, and a smidge too salty. But I like rich. And I like salt. So it wasn’t in any way a deal breaker for me.

Sis and I knocked back some water to compensate (party animals!) and ordered something rather promisingly named a ‘chocolate avalanche’. And at this point, I need to apologise. Because the chocolate avalanche arrived in a perfect sphere of chocolate-y ganache-y wonderfulness. It was a thing of absolute beauty. It was perfect. And then the waiter asked if we’d like white chocolate sauce with it. This was obviously a mad question, and of course we would. And I should have taken a photo as he poured the sauce. Because the white sauce flowing over the chocolate sphere was exquisite. But mainly because, seconds later, this happened.

Chocolate avalanche
Which is exactly what was supposed to happen, from a taste perspective. The sauce softened the ganache enough for it to melt a little so we could more easily access the pistachio ice cream and honeycomb pieces nestled inside. The word ‘avalanche’ should have been a clue! But from a photography perspective, this was all a bit of a disaster.

Chlo however was not at all traumatised by my photography-based-failings, and was rolling up her sleeves and raring to go.

Chlo
So we stuck our spoons in. 

Chocolate avalanche
And it was good. It was so good. It was say-it-in-your-best-Jim-Carrey-voice ghuuuuudddd

Chocolate avalanche
And in a twinkling of an eye, it was gone.

Clean plate!
Clutching our stomachs and groaning under our breath, we went home, and were in bed by 9pm. Success.

 

Cornish Calories

As well as my (highly dubious) theory that calories don’t count when you’re on holiday, I also have an inkling that everything tastes better. Maybe it’s because you’re happy and relaxed (maybe it’s because you’re in denial about not gaining weight) but whatever the reason, I always enjoy food more when I’m away.

And the food in my favourite holiday spot never disappoints.

First off, let me take you to Fowey. The little town is a few miles from our slice-of-heaven cottage on the beach, and it oozes charm at such a rate that even short visits have the dangerous potential to melt your heart into a little puddle of gloop. My favourite place for brunch is no exception.

Welcome to Pinky Murphy’s.

Pinky Murphy's
You can bring your dogs inside, but you must leave your grumpiness at the door.

Pinky Murphy's
Once inside you would be forgiven for wondering if some kind of retro bomb had recently detonated. The telly might be showing surf videos, or old Tom and Jerry cartoons. The sofas are a hotchpotch of different shapes and colours, and the tables are named after musicians rather than numbered. And there is stuff everywhere. It’s a beautiful mess.

Pinky Murphy's

Pinky Murphy's
We plonked ourselves down at Bob Marley and ordered our elevenses. You can just glimpse the little galley kitchen behind my dad’s smile (it’s hard not to smile in Pinky’s!) which was expelling a steady stream of mouth-watering-ness.

Dad in Pinky Murphy's

The tea arrived…

Mum in Pinky Murphy's

And then the teacakes!

Toasted teacake and jam

Sis and I were two happy bunnies at this point!

Gem and Chlo at Pinky Murphy's

Toasted teacake and jam

In fact, I may have enjoyed myself just a tiny bit too much…

Gem the jam fiend
That’s my not-even-a-little-bit-embarrassed smile.

Still feeling a little bit peckish after that huge pot of jam? A dinner visit to  Sam’s on the Beach over in Polkerris will soon fix that, if you can bear to drag yourself away from Fowey. (If not, Sam’s have a restaurant in the middle of Fowey too.)

Stop to stroke this handsome chap if you see him on your way in…

Ginger Cat
…And then come on inside. My dad’s even holding the door open for you, look!

Sam's on the Beach
Sam’s was the Polkerris lifeboat station from 1859-1922, so the back wall is a huge window showing a fantastic panorama of the harbour, and the ceilings are high enough to fit the old Fowey lifeboat inside – and to make me with my love of space and light very content indeed.  

Sam's on the Beach

Mum at Sam's on the Beach
The décor’s pretty lovely, too.

Sam's on the Beach

Sam's on the Beach
Sam’s is a seafood restaurant but they do a damn good pizza, so no matter what floats your boat or tickles your fancy, perusing the menu is bound to make you smile – as demonstrated nicely by my mum who was positively beaming at this point…

Mum at Sam's on the Beach
We ordered bread and marinated olives to share for our starter (and my family forgave me for eating more than my fair share of the green ones)…

Olives at Sam's on the Beach
… And then I got down to business with this bad boy.

Pizza at Sam's on the Beach
The artichoke hearts, aubergines, olives, onions, tomatoes and rocket topped pizza went down a treat, until I was feeling decidedly stuffed. But it’s a well known fact that human beings have a separate stomach for dessert…

Beachboker Glory at Sam's on the Beach
That, my friend, is magical mixture of ice cream, chocolate sauce, cherry sauce, and marshmallows, named a Beachboker Glory. Calories? Never heard of ’em.