I love a new year. Hunkering down, making resolutions, prepping meals, and all that good stuff. But change is good and for the first time ever, we were on holiday over new year. When France stopped letting people in and our skiing holiday got cancelled, it was time for a spontaneous holiday to Cornwall to find ourselves a new adventure.
It turns out, that adventure would be a journey of incredible dining and drink throughout the week, with a little bit of cycling and walking thrown in. Padstow is a small place but it’s packed with foodiness, and not just from Mr Stein. Our first noteworthy discovery was the local wine bar, Bin Two, which has snug outdoor seating and some really interesting wines on offer.
There are loads of independent bakeries around Padstow, but we settled on The Cornish Bakery as our preference. Freshly baked Almond Croissants every day, and a fantastic flat white. The fuel we needed for our coastal walks and cycling trips.
On New Year’s Eve, we visited Stein’s Deli for fresh seafood to cook, and brought in the new year with champagne and white wine. As the clock approached midnight, we headed down to the harbour to soak up the dancing and celebrating.
I’m on a constant search for canned cocktails, and unfortunately this one was the damp squib of the holiday. This Moth Mojito was really floral and synthetic tasting, probably from the citrus flavourings that are so hard to get right. Won’t buy again!
It’s now the first of January and we’re just getting warmed up. Another unplanned day resulted in a visit to Caffè Rojano; a little Italian restaurant that is laid back in a classy way, simple in an elegant way and delectable in all the best ways. I enjoyed their signature martini, which was so classic I hardly have anything to say about it, in a good way.
Arancini, martini, linguine. My happy placini.
Probably the world’s largest red wine glass.
Pushing the boat out on our final day in Padstow, undeterred by the 150 metre walk from our holiday home, we headed to Paul Ainsworth at No 6. A beautiful four course menu with snacks and surprises throughout – I won’t ruin it but in conclusion, every meal out should include at least two scone courses with fresh homemade butter.
Another day, another signature martini for me. Even the single twist of lemon delivered the most perfect pinch of citrus, clearly freshly and carefully prepared. White, red and dessert wine saw us through the three hours it took to have lunch – so naturally by that point, it was time for a pre-dinner drink!
Upstairs there’s an opulent bar where we parked in a cosy corner for a rum-based signature cocktail called the Black and Gold. Doorly’s rum, Pedro Ximenex, ginger syrup and orange bitters made a sweet but complex drink.
I had no idea Padstow had so many diverse restaurants and bars to explore – as it turns out, I need to go back and continue our boozy tour. But we gave it our best shot in terms of exploring all it had to offer, concluding our final day with pints and a Boozy Bee (gin, honey syrup, lemon juice and Pilsner lager) at Padstow Brewery Tasting Room, a Vanilla Vodka hot chocolate and tangy Bloody Mary at 17 Duke Street, plus a bottle of red for the road.
In terms of cocktail inspo, I kept things simple this holiday, sticking to classics and obsessing over martinis, as usual. I have a fresh wave of gifted booze to play with and thank goodness I’m not doing Dry January – so more cocktail experiments coming soon!