CORNWALL is the place to be for food and drink this Autumn according to tourism chiefs.
There’s Newquay Fish Festival from September 14 to 16 celebrating its 10th birthday with the chance to try fish dishes and watch local chefs cook using local produce.
And the iconic Cornish pasty will be celebrated in Redruth from September 21 to 23, meanwhile at the end of the month there’s the Cornwall Food and Drink Festival from September 28 to 30 which has around 60 exhibitors, chef demos and foodie talks and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.
October 6 and 7 sees the Boscastle Food, Arts and Crafts Festival while from October 11 to 14 is the Falmouth Oyster Festival.
And a new initiative, Cornwall Food and Drink Live!, hits the road in November with the first stop being Brunel’s old Station in Bristol on November 3 and 4.
Malcolm Bell, head of VisitCornwall, the tourism service for Cornwall Development Company, said: “Cornwall boasts a full menu of quality food and drink festivals which demonstrate why we have one of the finest reputations for food and drink in the whole of the UK
“With a superb range of local produce and samples to taste you’re bound to discover some new Cornish treasures to set your taste buds tingling.”
But as well as tantalising the tastebuds of visitors, there’s plenty of other activities to keep everyone entertained this Autumn. We’ve picked out ten.
1. Cornish Pasty Festival – the pasty is iconic and part of the region’s heritage. The Cornish Pasty Association says: “By the end of the 18th century it was the staple diet of working men across Cornwall. Miners and farm workers took this portable and easy to eat convenience food with them to work because it was so well suited to the purpose. Its size and shape made it easy to carry, its pastry case insulated the contents and was durable enough to survive, while its wholesome ingredients provided enough sustenance to see the workers through their long and arduous working days.” According to the Association a genuine Cornish pasty is a D shape, crimped on one side and the texture of the filling is chunky with chunks of beef, swede, potato, onion and a light peppery seasoning. The UK’s first Cornish Pasty Festival takes place September 21 to 23 in Redruth and will be ‘celebrating the history and heritage of the geographically protected food and its links to Cornish Mining and the World Heritage Site”. The main event is Pasty Day on September 22 with stalls throughout Redruth town centre.
Redruth Visitor Centre, The Cornwall Centre, Alma Place, Redruth, TR15 2AT
2. Honey Honey: Callington Honey Fair is on October 3 at 10am with a free car park opening at 9.30am. It’s the 33rd anniversary of the Lions Club of Callington taking over the running of the fair and the central part is honey and honey product competitions in the town hall. There’s also a cooking competition using honey plus a children’s art competition. Since 2008, the event has seen a Town Criers Competition.
3. Beer Festival – finishing off the Autumn food and drink celebrations is Falmouth Beer Festival organised by the Cornwall branch of CAMRA on October 21 and 22. Held in the Princess Pavilion on Melvill Road, it features 200 different ales plus ciders and perries. Entry is £3.50 including a limited edition souvenir glass (£2 for CAMRA members).
Princess Pavilion, 41 Melvill Road, Falmouth, TR11 4AR T: 01326 211222
4. Those boots are made for walking – head for the South East Cornwall Walking Festival which has a range of walks from September 15 to 23. Walks include exploring Duloe, searching for seaweeds, walking from Liskeard to Looe, Tamar Valley Walk and an earth walk aimed at families with children with the focus on reawakening individual senses.
Looe Tourist Information CentreLooe Tourist Information Centre, The Guildhall, Fore Street, East Looe, PL13 1AA T: 01503 262072
5. The Far and The Near – St Ives and International Art is explored with a new exhibition running from October 6 and January 13. Cost is £6.50 with concessions available. It is described as: “Examining the changing legacies of British and international modernism, with a particular emphasis on artists associated with the colony in St Ives, the exhibition will present new perspectives on St Ives as a space for art, locating them within a contemporary culture that is still profoundly influenced by many of the innovations and ideologies of the time”.
Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, TR26 1TG T: 01736 796226
6. Paddle Championship – the British Stand Up Paddle Championships take place in Watergate Bay in October and in fact stand up paddle surfing is an ancient form of surfing. Visitors can watch the paddle surfers compete in a five mile long distance race and a performance surfing round over October 13 and 14.
Watergate Bay, Newquay, TR8 4AA
7. Celebrating heritage – Lowender Peran Festival is a five-day event in October. Lowender Peran is a registered charity ‘set up to encourage recognition of Cornwall’s heritage and Celtic links as a vibrant, living tradition that people of all ages and backgrounds can participate in and enjoy”. Performers include Barrule, Bolingey Troyl Band and Dancers, The Brim, Caracana, Crowns, Gwerinwyr Gwent, Hegarty School of Dance, Hevva, Highly Flung, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Kemysk, Kescana, Meskajou, Mike O’Connor, Perraners, Ros Keltek, Tan ha Dowr and Tros an Treys. It takes place at the Ponsmere Hotel from October 17 to 21.
Ponsmere Hotel, Ponsmere Road, Perranporth, TR6 0BW T: 01872 572225
For the Festival contact T: 01872 553413
8. All that jazz – The first Calstock Jazz and Blues Festival gets underway on October 26. Among those appearing are Clare Teal, Nicolas Meier, Dave O’Higgins and Clark Tracey plus the Roger Marks’ Armada Jazz Band and Blues Bottles. There are free and ticketed events.
Calstock Jazz and Blues Festival, Link textThe Old Chapel, Sand Lane, Calstock, PL18 9QX T: 01822 833183
9. Creepy crafts – Time Travellers Go….. ghosts and ghouls at Pendennis Castle on October 27 and 28. Visitors are invited to get ready for Halloween with creepy crafts, spooky activities and ghost hunting. It’s open from 10am to 4pm. Tickets will be available on the day and includes entry to the event and Pendennis Castle. Pendennis Castle was built by Henry VIII to defend the country from invasion.
Link textPendennis Castle, Castle Close, Falmouth, TR11 4LP T: 01326 316594
10. Pan for gold – head for Geevor Tin Mine Museum and the children can try panning for gold. Geevor is one of the largest preserved mine sites in the country and there are guided underground tips as well as surface tours. It is open Sunday to Friday – closed Saturdays – from 9am to 5pm April to October and 9am to 4pm November to March. Family ticket £31. Various individual tickets also available.
Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen, Penzance, TR19 7EW T: 01736 788662