Tom and I decided we were in need of a nice relaxing break, so we booked a last minute trip to Polperro in Cornwall and headed off on Friday afternoon.
Polperro has been named as Cornwall’s prettiest village, and at just under a four hour drive was a great choice for a long weekend.
We booked into one of their B&B’s – a place called Perryn House Hotel (which is definitely a B&B, not a hotel), which was just at the top of the village (one of the few B&Bs in the village that has parking, so was a good find!). We were welcomed by the lovely Anna, who checked us in and told us a bit about the village, where we should go for drinks and dinner and what kind of activities we could do during our stay.
The first night we went for a wander round the village and ended up in Polperro’s most popular pub – The Blue Peter. The original plan was to eat in here, but there were no tables downstairs, and the upstairs area was lacking in atmosphere (unlike the downstairs which was absolutely brimming!).
So we had a quick drink said goodbye to the extremely friendly barman (a pair of Brummies) and headed back out into the rather chilli night. Now The Blue Peter is so popular, that it unfortunately leaves every other place pretty empty! But we decided we’d rather go for a proper restaurant meal rather than pub grub, so wandered on through the village until we came to a little place called ‘Somewhere’. There was only one other couple in this place, but it looked nice and cosy, and it had started to rain, so we headed in!
‘Somewhere’ was run by a family of northerners (we were yet to actually meet a proper Cornish person), who were lovely. We both opted to a homemade chilli, accompanied with garlic bread AND chips. Carb heaven! I can’t actually remember if we ordered desert…. I’ll have to ask Tom. I would have thought we would, but since I can’t remember eating it, maybe we didn’t?! We have been trying to cut out carbs recently, so I do remember feeling really stuffed and bloated after the double whammy of garlic bread and chips. So maybe we just didn’t have room.
Anyway, so we headed back to the B&B for a nightcap and a quick game of Jenga (I lost).
The next day we woke up and had a delicious homemade full English (although when we asked for a full English without mushrooms, our host laughed at us and said “Well that’s not a full English then!” and proceeded to write down the items included in the normal full English, but just without the mushrooms. Although mine arrived without beans, which in my mind should be included. Anyway, it tasted great and set us up for a nice long day of exploring!
The weather was looking good, so we headed off back out through Polperro and off onto its cliff walk.
We headed East towards a little village called Talland Bay. The walk was absolutely amazing. The sun was shining bright, making the sea look a tropical greeny/blue colour. It was almost like being in the carribean!
The walk to Talland Bay took about an hour (due to a bit of a diversion from a landslide, meaning we had to walk on a little road for a short while), and was extremely steep in parts. But it was so worth it – one of the best walks I’ve done in a long time.
Because it was March, it was also really quiet. We bumped into a couple of people along the way, but mostly we had it all to ourselves. All along the path were benches where you could rest up and take in the view.
Once in Talland Bay, we headed off to its main hotel, the Talland Bay Hotel (obviously!), where we stopped for a little bite to eat (we’d earned it!). Since we were in Cornwall I thought it would be rude not to go for a scrumptious Cornish Cream Tea. I bloody love cream tea’s! As expected, it was delicious.
We ended up staying in this little hotel for almost two hours as it started to rain on and off. But eventually the skies cleared and we decided to head on back to Polperro. The walk back was just as lovely as the way there (although a bit harder due to the extremely steep hills we had walked down on the way… what comes down, must go back up again – unless you decide to get a taxi, but that’s cheating!).
By the time we had got back to Polperro, the tide had gone out, leaving the caves that were previously full of water free for exploring! Who doesn’t love a smugglers cove?! So we headed on down to the beach to see what treasures we could find.
At the end of the cave were some fishing nets and other bits that had been washed up, but unfortunately no treasure. So out and onto the next cave….
No treasure in this one either. So we headed off round to the West of Polperro to see get a bettter view of this amazing old house.
This house is still used now by fishermen to repair their nets. It’s a beautiful old building, made from rocks and fantastically weathered by the Cornish elements. I love the above picture – I’m going to get it printed and hung in our house somewhere. It just sums up the raw beauty of this place.
The Best Restaurant in the World
That evening we went to Polperro’s number one restaurant for dinner – The Kitchen. This is a tiny little restaurant, where you are immediately greeted by the owner, Harry (by first name no less – he makes sure he takes the first names of all guest when you make the booking). He then introduces you to his wife, Karen who is also the chef.
I have to say that this was one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. The food was amazing. We started off with a complimentary slice of Karen’s homemade bread. That day it was lemon and poppyseed – delicious. Then skipped starters (to save room for desert). We both opted for the fillet steak with dauphinoise potatoes and a selection of vegetables.
All the food is locally sourced – they have a blackboard at one end which tells you exactly where it all comes from. The steak was amazing – cooked to perfection. We then followed it off with a cheeseboard for Tom (all local Cornish cheeses) and a flourless chocolate slice for me. It was so, so tasty.
But the best bit wasn’t even the food, it was the atmosphere and the fantastic hosting. Harry and Karen just make you feel like you’re at home. That’s why there are no photos – I felt like it would almost be rude. It was like they’d invited us into their home for the evening.
By the end of the night, it was just Tom and I and another couple left. Even though we had finished eating we all stayed and chatted to Harry and Karen for hours. Harry is from East London originally, but after a lads holiday to New Quay when he was 20, he fell in love with Cornwall. Three weeks later he had up sticks and moved to South Cornwall where he got a job on a farm (having never even seen a real life cow before he got stuck straight into milking, lambing and all the other jobs thrown at him!). He then met Karen, got married, had kids and now grandkids and they now run this fantastic restaurant together.
Even as we left, Harry gave me a huge hug and wished us well. I would recommend you head on down to Polperro just so you can visit The Kitchen for dinner. But you’ll need to book in advance – I think we were lucky that we got in. By all accounts they get booked up months in advance.
So that was our amazing weekend. I’ve come home feeling refreshed and invigorated. It was just what we needed.