100 reasons to visit Cornwall #5: Cornish booze, Frenchman’s Creek and Mexico a go go

Loving the sunshine: enjoying Cornish brewed lager Korev and Cornish gin Tarquin’s http://www.southwesterndistillery.com/ at The Pandora Inn this weekend. Looking forward to trying this Wadebridge based distillery’s version of French anis next, Pastis its called!

Do you know who Ben Ainslee is? 2012, the year Britain hosted the Olympics, saw Ainslee win four gold medals for the country. He is ‘the most successful Olympic sailor of all time’ and he began sailing in Restronguet, here in Cornwall, just ten minutes drive, or a short sail away from us here in Falmouth. We visited the celebrated pub at Restronguet Passage, The Pandora Inn this weekend.http://www.pandorainn.com/ The gold post box that signifies Ainslee’s success, is built into its wall and is forever a reminder of his accomplishments. After an invigorating hour long creek side walk, we stopped by for refreshments. Food’s good there, although we didn’t eat this time, but the pub is remarkable for its fabulous water side setting and the historic building itself, beautifully restored with quirkiness and charm that can only be found in ancient structures like The Pandora.

Beach news.Shhh, it’s a secret

We have a favourite beach we go to – not in Falmouth itself, just a little way along the south coast here. We can’t tell you where it is. We can’t tell you where it is because its main attraction is its seclusion. If you come to visit, we may reveal its location, but to be perfectly honest, the fewer that know, the better, if you know what I mean.

Let’s hear it for The Ferryman

Walking. Yes, we do seem to do a lot of it round these ‘ere parts. But that’s because Cornwall provides so much opportunity for wonderful walks: for a start, it is the county with proportionately, the greatest length of coastline in the country – over four hundred miles, so that’s a lot of walking and exploring opportunities to be had on some fantastic stretches of coastline. There’s a great website that fills you in with all the info you could possibly need for planning your exploration of the coastline here in Cornwall: http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/ Whether you are looking for a relatively short circular walk, taking in part of the coast path, or longer walks over several days with information about where to stay en-route, you’ll find it all on this well organised and easy to follow website. And, let’s face it, Cornwall needs to be explored in this way: on foot, from a sail boat, in a kayak, on a Stand Up Paddle Board or from up on a bicycle. These are the ways its awesomeness can be fully appreciated.

To that end, this weekend, we ventured forth, as we often do, to enjoy Cornwall’s beauty on foot. Our journey began at Helford Passage, where we were to catch the ferry over the river to Helford. Helford Passage is in itself a great place to go: there’s a fine foodie and family friendly pub The Ferryboat Inn 

http://www.thewrightbrothers.co.uk/restaurants/the_ferryboat_inn/  and a modest sized fun packed beach: rock-pools, boats, kayaks, families all featuring some or all of the time.

The tiny information kiosk doubles up as a well-stocked shop for all those beach essentials: ice-cream, spades, buckets and all other paraphernalia for fun. We waited while two teens purchased loaded ice-creams and then made our enquiries with the friendly ferry man behind the window. The tide being on the turn, we had to wait half an hour for it to come back in far enough to take the ferry from the floating pontoon, just enough time to enjoy some lunch. We found a spot on the warm rocks and tucked in. When the time came, the ferryman gave us a wave and we made our way over to embark.

The ferry zigzagged skilfully through boats galore anchored in the river and we reached the far side within minutes, the ferryman instructing us to un-clip the orange signal on the tiny quay when we wanted the return ferry so that he could see the signal from the other side.

Following the path away from the river and up into the village, we were drawn by the sound of live music. It was coming from Helford’s one and only public house The Shipwrights: http://www.shipwrightshelford.co.uk/ Lingering by the creek-side , we listened for a while to the wonderful music, wondering if we’d be fortunate enough to enjoy it further once we’d finished our ramble, but we resisted temptation and moved on.

Our route took us through woodland, past a tiny cove with charming houses nestled into the banks; along quiet and peaceful Frenchman’s Creek, made famous by Daphne DuMaurier’s book of the same name; alongside an orchard with apple blossom galore and chickens of all breeds roaming free; through the grounds of Kestle Barton with its converted barns and restored farm buildings – a wonderful, serene space with an Art Gallery and beautifully landscaped gardens; through meadows and again, through quiet woods before finally returning to the village of Helford with its traditional cottages and wonderful views.

Of course, it goes without saying that we stopped to wet our whistles at The Shipwrights. We took a seat outside on the bottom terrace at one of the benches, right at the water’s edge and took the time to reflect on our lovely walk. The jazz band were still in full swing believe it or not and we made the most of the music and the atmosphere before beckoning the ferryman for the final ferry back to Helford Passage.

Mexico makes it to Cornwall

We were invited out by friends for dinner this weekend and opted for Falmouth’s 3 Amigos: http://www.threeamigosrestaurant.co.uk/restaurantmenu.html For years we’d avoided this place simply because it was self-titled 3 Amigos Steak House and we’re not, as you may have guessed, massive fans of steak, simply steak, with nothing else, which the name suggests. However, we gave it go some months ago having been persuaded by the same friends, and we were pleasantly surprised: friendly staff, lively atmosphere, Mexican inspired menu and food which doesn’t disappoint – bags of flavour and lovely fresh ingredients. Hence why we went again this weekend. You might like to try it out when you come down.