The debate over the best pasties in Cornwall is as lively on Facebook as it is on Falmouth High Street on a Saturday morning. The foodie scene here is growing fast, but food snobbery doesn’t really stand its ground among the locals. Having grown up in Falmouth, and as a frequent visitor, my top tip is always where the pasty holy grail is to be found.
For me, and most of Falmouth (to which I am related), the source is W.C. Rowe. Rowe’s has several outlets – including one at either end of Falmouth High Street – and is the favourite with locals, even though its started “mass producing” in recent years.
It’s mostly down to the perfect blend of spices, light pastry and nice, lean chunks of steak. They also stick to tradition, so no chocolate and banana pasties here, thanks.
Get there nice and early to avoid disappointment and as the tourists run the length of the high street looking for Greggs, snigger knowingly as you wander down to the quayside with your delicacy in hand. And if you want to grab pasties and get down the beach without facing the high street at a weekend, or it’s a bit too late to chance it, the Rowes factory is behind Asda on the main route into town and you can get them REALLY fresh there. The locals won’t thank me for telling you that!
Pasty & Savoury Bakery
W.C.Rowe (Falmouth) Ltd
Bickland Industrial Estate
Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 4TA
23 Arwenack Street, Falmouth TR11 3JA 01326 312991
16 Killigrew Street, Falmouth TR11 3PN 01326 316939
2 The Kings Hotel, Market Street, Falmouth TR11 3AB 01326 316552
Old Hill Falmouth TR11 2PR 01326 316935
Jamon is the delicious air-dried ham, pata negra, of the Iberic pig which is fed on acorns before its fate and then the whole hams are air- dried in the special micro climate of the Sierra de Montanchez for up to four years.
Any of the tapas bars in the main plaza of Montanchez village serve platters of jamon, cheese and bread with the strong local wine pitarra, delicious!
Montanchez 40kms from Caceres,Trujillo or Merida
A locally produced, high-quality rum sold almost everywhere in Nicaragua.
It's more like whiskey in taste and comes aged up to 21 years or directly from the still.
Definitely worth buying at Duty Free as it's still hard to find outside Nicaragua and much more expensive.
Any large shop or supermarket in Nicaragua.
The Alde Zaharra is the oldest part of town by the harbour, where there's almost as many tabernak as there are people! In them you can savour all sorts of PINTXOs (pronounced PEEN-CHAW), think of dimsum and replace Chinese food with the amazing Basque gastronomy. You can also visit old churches, the nice Constitution Square and little shops. Most of the tabernak or bars are open till late into the morning, so don't get there too early or you'll be alone.
Check the following url for more on pintxos:
Essentially this is a bread stick sandwich with the typical Spanish potato omelette. The aspect that makes it different in Valencia is that the bread is liberally spread/loaded with alioli - a garlic mayonnaise which is just perfect for the aforementioned sandwich.
Anywhere in the city of Valencia. My favourite was a bar down one of the side streets near the train station. It was called Bar Turia. Well worthwhile - a good beer with the sandwich dripping garlic at a decent price.
This is the artichoke growing heartland of Sicily. The season starts in December - so if you're after summer sun, watch out for huge mounds of them in the market - and eat them in the restaurants while the season lasts.
Cefalu - anywhere!
The restaurant seems like a simple family ‘trattoria’ and the owner, Giorgio Soave, was waiting to give us a warm welcome when we arrived. But it is far from being the simple place we had imagined. The food and service were magic, the waiters have just the right mix of helpful presence and discretion, and every detail of our evening was perfect.
After a glass of sparkling Prosecco, we started the meal with a delicious soup made with green asparagus and the smallest fresh peas you can imagine, truly wonderful. Giorgio makes his own salame, ‘pancetta’ and ‘lardo’ and although I was a bit dubious about the fat at first I was amazed at how delicious it all was, served with toasted bread with an exceptionally smooth olive oil and small green peppers, then fresh goat's cheese with chives, and an excellent Valpolicella classico to accompany it.
I suspect Giorgio knows more about food than anyone I’ve ever met. He can explain the difference between the green and white asparagus which comes fresh from the field and is served with egg and the finest slices of black truffle. He knows just where and when to pick the best mountain mushrooms, where to find the finest truffles, how to prepare the most delicious strawberry sauce to accompany his home-made tortelli with ricotta and nettles (magic!), how to choose the most delicate baby spinach leaves as a base for the tenderest ‘maltagliata’ (a rare beef fillet roughly chopped and served with fennel and Amarone sauce)…
He serves the local Monte Veronese cheese with a preserve known as ‘mostarda di mele’, which is made with apples and the essence of mustard and makes a perfect combination.
We had no room for dessert, but when he brought out a plate of icecream topped with chestnuts in honey, with home-made pastries, we couldn’t resist.
Each course was served with the right wine – and the Amarone we drank with the ‘maltagliata’ was exceptional – then coffee and grappa, or rose liqueur for the ladies.
We enjoyed our meal so much that I felt I had to write about it! It wasn’t cheap, but we sometimes like to treat ourselves, so if you would like to do the same, just drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch, or have a look at Giorgio’s site – we hope you will enjoy your evening as much as we did.
GROTO DE CORGNAN
Di Giorgio Soave
Via Corgnan, 41
37010 SANT’AMBROGIO VALPOLICELLA
e-mail : email@example.com
Bassano del Grappa is situated on the River Brenta, at the foot of Monte Grappa, thirty five kilometres north east of Vicenza. It is best known for it's Palladian Bridge, white asparagus and Grappa liquer. The location is quite stunning with the fast flowing river and fresh mountain air.
I have to admit that when I read that Restaurant Kawaleria, “Cavalry” (I believe in Polish), was equine themed, I was worried that I would be sharing a rustic space with a display of horseshoes, horse brasses, horse paintings and, worst of all, cartoons of robust girls on small ponies. I’m afraid I tend to view equine pursuits with ambivalence or bewilderment. However, Kawaleria proved to be an elegant, attractive restaurant specialising in contemporary Polish cuisine.
The first two rooms – a bar and dining room - are quite intimate with cream walls, sepia photos, wooden furniture and subdued lighting.
The room we were seated in is more of a banqueting space, very pleasant - perfect for large groups and parties but a little empty with just the two of us at 6 in the evening. Towards the end of the room is a wonderful old stove and, yes, there are equine themed black and white photographs but actually this gallery, well displayed on the pale blue walls, was both decorative and interesting.
The menu is traditional Polish with a modern slant, starters include crab terrine, Polish sour rye soup, battered sardines and the intriguing but a little gruesome (at least for a non-meat eater like me) piglet in jelly. Main courses take in a selection of meats in sauces and casserole including wild boar, duck and turkey. For non meaties there are fish and vegetarian options, the latter including pancakes and pierogi. The food was extremely well presented and service throughout the evening was excellent. The standard of cooking was good but I am not sure that the main courses we had exactly worked, the carp was tasty but a little overpowered by the strong taste of the mushrooms, the Turkey could have done with a little more garlic and a little more sauce. However it was still a very nice meal and I would certainly eat there again, not least because of the lovely ambience and attentive staff.
Golebia 4 - a short walk from the Rynek Glowny
Try some Béarnaise cuisine as well as wines from Iroleguy or Béarn, the home region of Fred Vargas’s detective hero Adamsberg. Another local speciality is Ossau Iraty - sheep’s milk cheese eaten with dark cherry jam. If you can genuinely claim to be Welsh, you’ll be even more warmly welcomed here.
Away from the well-known coastal resorts, the already pretty half timbered buildings of Espelette are decorated with strings or bas-reliefs of dried peppers for the Fête du Piment at the end of October, a favourite design is the swirls of the Basque flag. You can buy bottles of jelly or hot dried pimento to remind you of its spiciness.
Situated along the walk from the Rynek Glowny to Wawel Hill the restaurant Balaton at ul Grodzka 37 provides excellent value Hungarian and Polish cuisine.
The surroundings are simple but pleasant, white walls, wooden chairs and benches, black and white photos on the wall and an array of hanging wooden fishes. The menu comprises a variety of soup - brought to your table in a metal dish suspended over an open flame from which you ladle it into your bowl – herrings, salmon and salami for starters followed by main courses of meat - including veal and wild boar goulash - poultry and fish dishes many incorporating potato cakes and dumplings. There is, however, only one vegetarian dish, potato cakes with mushroom sauce.
Service was understated but friendly and with a touch of flourish, for instance, when a main course of chicken Hungarian style was brought out sizzling from the kitchen and served ceremoniously from a platter onto the plate. As for the food itself it was great, tasty, filling, well cooked and well spiced. The main course of trout was perfectly cooked, crisp skin with melt in your mouth flesh underneath. Each main course also came with a side order of refreshing carrot, red and white cabbage salad.
And the price for two people for two courses, beer and vodka each – 99 zloty including a tip (approx. £17.00/$33.00). Excellent.
ul. Grodzka 37
Tel. (012) 422 04 69
Down at the harbour a modern stainless steel and glass building sells freshly caught fish (hake, plaice, sole, turbot, John Dory, etc) at a third of the price in supermarkets. They also serve fish and chips from five o’clock every evening.
A Sunday market flourishes on the foreshore, selling mainly crafts, plants and food. Breads of every kind fill baskets beside cheeses of every flavour. Especially good are the local blue cheeses made from goats’ milk. And of course the famous Durrus cheese from the town of the same name a few miles up the road.
All visitors must try a hot dog whilst in Sweden as they are amazing. Get a 'grillad korv med brod med ketchup och senap och rostad lok' (grilled in a bun with ketchup, mustard and dry roasted onion). One of the best places in Stockholm is Ostermalm’s Grillen on Ostermalms Torg.
What do you want when you go on holiday? Great scenery, things to do, excellent restaurants... oh hang on, let's throw in some world class adventure sports and free wine, and not just some cheap plonk but some of the high-end stuff, too.
Despite its rather sedate sounding name, Margaret River, three hours drive south of Perth, has all of these.
It's the home of world-class surfing competitions with frighteningly large waves which break against the rugged coastline with awesome power and regularity.
It's the home of Moss Wood, Leeuwin Estates and a hundred other world-class wineries, many of which have cellar door tastings and attached restaurants.
The local produce is so fresh and tasty that most of the restaurants deliver something a little special. Vasse Felix is particularly good for a smart dinner, but most of them are interesting.
Margaret River Cheese Co. (yummy cheddar), Chocolate Factory, Simmo's Ice Cream and Bootleg Brewery are all good stops between wine-tastings.
And that's just inland. The coastline of this area is one of the most beautiful on this side of the continent - or any side of any continent to be frank.
And the coastline offers up plenty of places to stay: north to south you've got Dunsborough, Yallingup, Gracetown and Prevelly/Gnarabup, where you'll often get stunning sea views from your deck, as you sip your day's purchases.
Some of the comments on Perth are pretty critical - but they also miss one of the great advantages: when you've got an area this beautiful, you don't want it to get too over-crowded. Margs gets pretty busy around Christmas, but the rest of the year you can normal find a corner of it - a beach-break, a vineyard, a restaurant - to keep to yourself.
Margaret River is three hours south of Perth. We like staying at Bavu Beach House www.bayubeachhouse.com
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