A cup of coffee tastes better when you can look around you and be inspired, fish and chips always taste better outside on a harbour wall, with some salty sea air for extra seasoning. Ice cream is improved in its flavour by a shimmer of sun tingling your skin and my visits to Cornwall’s beach hut cafes always leave me feeling like i’ve had a mug of tea with a dash of satisfaction thrown in with the sugar cubes. Some things are more than just the food you are eating, they are about the bigger picture – the view.
One of my favourite things to do is walk and visit a beach cafe, Cornwall is full of views and alongside these views the air is charged with salt leaving tingling skins alongside a sky populated by seagulls, curlews and choughs.
March 1870 – March 1913” Thomas hardy who met his wife – emma in boscastle
O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,
And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free—
The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.
The pale mews plained below us, and the waves seemed far away
In a nether sky, engrossed in saying their ceaseless babbling say,
As we laughed light-heartedly aloft on that clear-sunned March day.
A little cloud then cloaked us, and there flew an irised rain,
And the Atlantic dyed its levels with a dull misfeatured stain,
And then the sun burst out again, and purples prinked the main.
—Still in all its chasmal beauty bulks old Beeny to the sky,
And shall she and I not go there once again now March is nigh,
And the sweet things said in that March say anew there by and by?
Nay. Though still in chasmal beauty looms that wild weird western shore,
The woman now is—elsewhere—whom the ambling pony bore,
And nor knows nor cares for Beeny, and will see it nevermore.
I’m going to share with you some of my favourite beachside cafes. First lets start with where i live…just outside falmouth…we have several places you can visit. If you want your beach cafe with a side salad of swankiness head to Gylly Beach Cafe. Gylly beach cafe is quite different to many of my other haunts, it has frequent music nights, barbecues, evening meals.
Just around the corner and home of the quirky ice creams is Swanpool beach cafe. This is more your typical beach hut cafe, you sit outside whatever the weather, ponchos and hot water bottles are provided, the ice creams are huge and you get simple food like homemade soup and goats cheese ciabattas.
A great tip is that they now sell Tea grown in cornwall from the Tregothnan estate, it’s very expensive to buy, but is about the same price as the other teas here.
At New Year I stumbled upon the Hidden Hut Cafe at Portcurnick Beach – wow! How had i not been here before. It combines my love of simplicity is just a hut- with outside seating but with fantastic food – great coffee and cakes. These guys have taken the beach hut idea to the next level and regularly do special feast nights, which you have to book for, but for the rest of the time just turn up, sit down, eat drink and soak in the view. Feast nights have included special paella nights, slow roasted pork belly, lobster and handcut chips (yum yum).
Another popular walk and munch is the two cafes above Perranuthnoe. We are in this area a lot as we stay at the wonderful Prussia Cove when seeking creative inspirations and they have a great car boot sale nearby on Wednesdays. Overlooking the beach,is the Cabin Beach Cafe with a great view and serving Origin organic coffee, panini’s, huge salads and home-made cakes.
Just up along the hill is one of my favourite cafes – Peppercorn Kitchen Cafe..serving some of the best rosewater meringues in Cornwall as well as a really healthy, street food orientated menu, they have a few seats inside for those rainy days but the majority of seats are outside, with that view alongside the south coast. I’ll just let the following menus speak for themself!
One of my first beach hut cafe experiences was at the wonderfully located Polpeor Cafe at the most southerly point of Cornwall – the Lizard Point. It really does have the most spectacular views!
Its all about the view here, but don’t miss the hearty menu and the huge desserts. I couldn’t find a website for Polpeor but just go onto the lizard and head south until you can’t go any further. There’s a great walk along the coast to my next beach cafe at Kynance Cove.
Kynance Cove is just beautiful though can get a little busy in the tourist season. I like to visit out of the main season on a windy day so that you get to hear and feel the sea as well as view it. I dream of moving here, i like the simple wooden building and then you have that view…..
You can eat ploughman’s, and fisherman’s and pasties and scones and imagine stories about pirates and smugglers and lost seals.
And finally lets move to the North Coast and check out two more beach huts cafes (though there are so many more) . First to Godrevy Point and the Godrevy Cafe, nestled in the dunes at one end of the never-ending Gwithian Beach. There’s seal cove around the corner and surf if you head the other way. There’s plenty of inside seating as well as a deck with a view, healthy eats and naughty cakes. A great place to stock up your belly before catching a great sunset…
“The Lighthouse was then a silvery, misty-looking tower with a yellow eye, that opened suddenly, and softly in the evening. Now—
James looked at the Lighthouse. He could see the white-washed rocks; the tower, stark and straight; he could see that it was barred with black and white; he could see windows in it; he could even see washing spread on the rocks to dry. So that was the Lighthouse, was it?
No, the other was also the Lighthouse. For nothing was simply one thing. The other Lighthouse was true too”
Just a few miles along the coast and we arrive at Chapel Porth Beach Cafe, the beach is relatively small that at low tide a whole expanse of secret beach is revealed. Walkers and surfer flock here, through the cragged beach road, west of St Agnes. The cafe serves up lots of delights such as hedgehog ice creams and toasted rosemary sandwiches, but the treat here is soaking in that feeling of finding hidden places.
If you around on the 2nd September, Chapel Porth Beach hosts the annual World Bellyboard Championship. Organised and hosted by the National Trust the event brings together people with an enthusiasm, fascination and curiosity in this deep rooted tradition of riding ply and prone wooden surfboards. It also has its fair share of those who simply love being by the sea, eating cake and sipping tea with nothing better to do. I’ll see you there!
Hope you have enjoyed this post by Humble Cottage. Please share any Beach cafe recommendations! keri xx