Tastes of Cornwall

I love spending time in Cornwall every year and last week I was once again spoilt by the beautiful coastal surroundings and indulged in many a Cornish delight.  I never tire of strolling along the beaches of Polzeath and Daymer Bay or mooching, eating and, earlier this year, honeymooning in Padstow.

Whenever I’m in Cornwall I’m always on a mission to sample a traditional pasty or find the perfect cream tea!  Back in June Mr Tearoom and I discovered the Rest A While Tea Garden as we took a walk along the coastal path out of Padstow harbour towards Hawkers Cove.  This is a charming little back garden (literally), with friendly hosts who serve up freshly baked homemade scones with traditional clotted cream, jam and a good pot of Cornish tea from their kitchen window, along with other lunch and cake items.  This is a perfect stop off with stunning views over the Camel Estuary and away from the hustle and bustle of the harbour.  If you don’t want to venture afar then The Basement Restaurant in Padstow provides deliciously buttery scones with all the trimmings and is a must visit for an evening meal to.

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Upon visiting the ‘Stow early doors last week, we dropped into Cherry Trees Cafe on the harbour front for breakfast where we enjoyed the Honey Muesli Trifle.   Continue reading

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15 Minute Meals?

Mr Tea Room says that I love moaning about stuff, and sometimes you can’t beat a good old whinge about the little things, so what better way to vent than over a steaming brew in My Little Online Tea Room.

First up – 15 minute meals (yeah right).  Last night I decided to try out Jamie Olivers’ sea bass with pea, mint and asparagus mash.  This isn’t claimed to be a 15 minute meal BUT was deemed a super-quick dinner as I watched it come together on This Morning just the other day.  Well, let the rant begin.  15 minute meals only take 15 minutes to cook after you’ve spent a good 45 minutes preparing everything and using every pot, pan and utensil in sight.  Furthermore why do Jamie Oliver’s recipes nearly always involve a food processor?  It surely can’t be to save time as it takes more time to get the thing out of the cupboard and then wash up and put back together all the parts, than it does to whizz up a few ingredients.

Then comes the multi-tasking.  Admittedly this is not one of my strong points.  My Mum always says you must read through a recipe before you start to cook.  I got half way through cooking, didn’t follow my Mum’s advice and was suddenly confronted with frying fish whilst zesting a lemon, overly whizzing the mash and scrunching some greaseproof paper under running water all at the same time.  Cue stress.

So after at least an hour I served up said recipe which was very tasty (don’t get me wrong this isn’t a rant about the naked chef himself, although I do have his 15 minute meals recipe book and haven’t managed to make a meal in 15 minutes yet).  However, what was left in the wake of this ‘super quick and easy meal’ was a mountain of washing up and house smelling of fish.  Aaaargh!

Lavender & Mint Shortbread Rounds

I’m a big fan of the shortbread biscuit and I always remember my Nan’s buttery, yummy homemade delights with a sugary top, that just melted in the mouth!  Having watched many a GBBO I’ve also wondered if lavender really works in baking or should this be left in the top drawer where it belongs keeping our smalls smelling aromatic.

On the Cath Kidston blog last week I discovered a recipe by Liv Purvis for lavender shortbread rounds.  Having researched a few similar recipes, I snipped a few sprigs of lavender from our neighbours garden, grabbed some mint from our own and had a go at the below…

You Will Need:

  • 350g butter (softened)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp of Icing sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh lavender (reduce by 1/2 tbsp for a less fragrant result)
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp of grated lemon zest
  • 325g plain flour
  • 65g cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

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Coffee Scene Gone Manc!

It’s a rarity these days that I get to spend a Saturday mooching around the city of Manchester but just this last weekend the sun shone and it was a beautifully fresh day for strolling the streets and appreciating the city in all its glory.  Manchester has so much to offer, not to mention the amazing architectural surroundings, so when it came to stopping for coffee I literally was spoilt for choice.  New coffee shops and eateries are constantly popping up around the city with many joining the growing cafe culture of the Norther Quarter.  Away from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping area the NQ is a laid back retreat by day.  By night its another story but right now we’re talking coffee not cocktails!

With coffee comes brunch so Mr Tea Room and I decided to check out the New Zealand and Australian inspired Federal Cafe and Bar on the corner of High Street and Back Turner Street.  We were lucky to get a table since the cafe was already in full swing and filling up with hungry ‘brunchers’.

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