Cornwall, exploring the South Coast

Nadia Ismail | 16th April 2018

Cornwall has long been a favourite destination for us Britons, but it holds a particularly special place in my heart as I called it home for many years before leaving the cry of gulls behind for the lure of bright lights, over crowded trains and lots of noise! And so it always brings me great pleasure to shout about the beauty of this unique corner of the country. Our Cornish adventures took us to the picture perfect and undeniably Cornish village of Mousehole, nestled between Penzance and a stone’s throw from Land’s End the quaint waterfront village is a haven for foodies and escapists alike. For those that don’t know Mousehole you will want to become acquainted with it, and quickly, for the rest of you I don’t need to tell you of its attraction, because you already love it. Wander the winding labyrinthine streets admiring the cottages that look as if they’ve been plucked straight from the Shire, it really is a living postcard.

Our retreat for three nights was a far cry from your average Cornish cottage, Fallen Angel is as unique a location as Mousehole itself so you can only imagine how delighted we were to call it home for a while. Ensconced in the winding passages is a haven of contemporary design, comfort and tranquility. Once a disheveled corner of this picturesque village owners Jane and Mark have transformed the space into an idyllic hideaway that has settled so sympathetically into the stone clad landscape that surrounds it. The spacious open plan layout has been meticulously crafted both in decor and architecture, from every corner of this romantic den is a breathtaking view across the harbour, the impressive panoramic glass walls and artfully placed full length windows accentuate every angle of this property and the ever changing scene beyond it. The owners have gone to great lengths to ensure you can indulge in all the comforts of a luxury resort but in the privacy of your own decadent dwelling. The roll top bath that pans that incredible view just a few steps from your bed, which may I add you might not want to leave… unbelievably soft sheets. Fill the place with your favourite ambient tunes on the Sonos system that you can access throughout the house while you enjoy a thoughtful glass of locally produced sparkling wine laid on by your generous hosts. You may well feel very inclined not to stray too far from this peaceful sanctuary, you can enjoy a number of services from the comfort of the Fallen Angel, relax with a full body massage, truly unwind with guided meditation or indulge with incredible in house dining experiences. Fallen Angel offers an exclusive experience that you won’t find elsewhere, if you’re looking for a romantic getaway, honeymoon destination or simply to completely unwind in a truly majestic setting you won’t be disappointed.

For those looking for a little more adventure and to experience the beautifully rugged coastline of Southern Cornwall, Rachel Lambert’s Wild Walks are a unique way to discover the very best of Cornwall’s natural bounty. Throughout the year Rachel’s foraging courses guide you through different Cornish landscapes, the varying plant life that can be found throughout the seasons and how most importantly to safely identify it. The image of foraged foods has become somewhat elevated in recent years, seeing wild delicacies appearing on the menus of top billing restaurants and perhaps mistakenly giving it some level of exclusivity, the newest trend on the high end dining scene. But, Rachel’s approach is pretty far removed from the theatre of swanky restaurants which can prove daunting to home cooks and food enthusiasts. Along your Wild Walk you learn to appreciate the environment these plants come from, the importance of seasonality, how to identify edibles from poisonous look-a-likes, the holistic benefits of the plant life and of course how to enjoy preparing, cooking and eating from the land. Rachel is the author of two books on foraging and has been hosting these walks for over ten years, her knowledge of wild foods is vast but her enthusiasm for sharing her experience and using foraged plants in everyday cooking is particularly compelling. At the beginning of our walk together Rachel said she would be happy if we each came away with two or three plants that we could confidently identify on our own, but I found that during the 3 hour amble along the rugged Cornish coast that I had retained far more information than I had anticipated. We’d highly recommend booking your place on one of Rachel’s Wild Walks, course subject and duration varying during the season, for something truly encompassing of the Cornish landscape look no further than the seaweed walks.

Many of us still believe that the most exciting dining experiences remain in our major cities, with innovation and culinary expertise reserved for the cosmopolitan city dwellers, Cornwall well and truly debunks this myth. Within the seemingly traditional town of Marazion, perhaps best known for its proximity to the ancient site of St Michael’s Mount lies a hidden gem, the Mount Haven hotel is a stand out destination along your travels of the Cornish coast. We stopped in on a particularly grey day but the weather was long forgotten when sat in the newly refurbished lounge of the Mount Haven Hotel. The informal lounge dining room has a warm relaxed mood with classic mid century style furnishings that set the tone for the extremely well polished but unpretentious fare.  The menu is well balanced, offering light lunch options or a la carte for something a little more extravagant. The slow roasted beetroot with smoked goats cheese and damson jelly was so artfully presented, the sweet, salty and smoky notes were delicately balanced with each element adding a different texture. The mains were equally as graceful both in flavour and plating, the contrast of the perfectly cooked white hake flesh with the squid ink tempura mussels told a beautiful story on the plate and the palate. For all vegetarian diners you’ll be equally well looked after, the pumpkin gnocchi was creamy and light, the sweet roasted carrots and lovely crunch of the malt rounded it off completely. It came as no surprise that desert would also paint as beautiful a picture as the courses that came before it, a creamy baked lemon custard, tiny pops of crisp white meringue and the tart hit of raspberry sorbet, it was an all together fantastic end to a fantastic lunch. The restaurant is open throughout the day to the public, guests of the hotel can enjoy a number of beauty and wellness treatments, some rooms cater to guests travelling with their dogs and all rooms benefit from a wonderful sea view.

If you enjoy walking or feel like taking a  jaunt in the car the fishing village of Newlyn just a few miles from Mousehole is probably best known for being the largest fish market in Cornwall, which of course means fantastic places to grab a fresh fish lunch but it is also home to a strong artist community. Make sure you stop by the Newlyn art gallery, their calendar of exhibitions celebrates local, national and international arts, their cafe also boasts a fantastic view of the sea. Mackerel Sky cafe is a lovely little spot for lunch or dinner, they don’t take bookings so just turn up, grab a table and order a number of dishes from their sharing menu, and yes it’s all fish and it’s all local. Pick up groceries from Newlyn’s local greengrocer, wonderful cheeses from just across the street and don’t drive off until you’ve sampled the best of the day’s catch from a number of local fishmongers. For first rate relaxed dining The Old Coastguard in Mousehole is a short amble down the hill from the Fallen Angel, the food is fantastic, fresh, seasonal and creative. Do make sure you book ahead, even on a Monday evening in March every table was spoken for.

To book your stay at the Fallen Angel you can visit the Cool Stays website, specialising in unique accommodation across the UK and worldwide they have over 1000 extraordinary destinations from luxury tree houses for the ultimate glamping adventure or relax in a choice of boutique hotels. For a closer look at The Fallen Angel and the wonderful services they offer you can find them here.