Professional writer and press manager

Bank holiday weekend foodie fun in Cornwall

I have basically been skiddling about this week, ridiculously busy meeting new clients, and working on an amazing press campaign for a client and through all of it, I can’t stop hearing about cool stuff happening!

I have compiled some of it in a list on Tasting Britain, but since then I have heard so much more that I thought (having not posted anything for a while, that now is the right time to impart my food & restaurant in Cornwall knowledge and let others know about the amazing variety of events in Cornwall this weekend.

I had the fortune to go to a forage and feast event at the Gurnard’s Head last Friday, with Caroline Davey from the Fat Hen Cookery School. These events happen a couple of times a year, with Caroline also doing her own incredible courses throughout the year. Anyway, enough of my rambling about that, the full review will be coming up on Tasting Britain.

Events in Cornwall food and drink

West Cornwall

I did hear a lot about Don’t Wake the Fish, which is an event happening in the wonderful gardens of the Gurnard’s Head this weekend. It is a folky collection of amazing craft ales from various brweries around the county; a BBQ and lots of lovely music!

Now in its fourth year it has already gathered quite a following as being the antithesis of larger commercial festivals. Food will be provided by James Strawbridge in collaboration with The Gurnard’s Head and there will also be a barbecue (the restaurant will be open as normal).
There will be activities for the all the family including face painting, pot throwing, a Pucket tent and traditional garden games. The music schedule is as follows:
Saturday
2pm- Pensans Morris Dancers
4pm- Frankie Davies
6pm- Johanna Graham Quartet
8pm- Cahooty
10pm- Black Friday
Sunday
2pm- Abi Jade
4pm- Stone Roots
6pm- The Hoodle
8pm- The Odd Folk
10pm- The Sandy Acre 7

South Coast Mid Cornwall

On Sunday, in Penryn is I Fought the Lawn. This is another small and very localised festival, which is aligned with the Penryn Arts festival; wherein some excellent local bands will be playing to a predominantly Penryn-ian crowd. But those in Falmouth should hop along too, in support of the amazing arts scene in the area. There will be a bar and music, and as such the event caters to the whole family. Perfect for a bank holiday.
Penryn food and drink festival
Speaking of Falmouth, the Quayside pub is reopening this weekend after a massive refurb, and as such has loads of new ales and beers sourced locally on tap. With some of the best views in Falmouth, this relaunch will also see a new menu of locally sourced food at the Quayside.
Food and drink in Cornwall

Locally sourced food in Cornwall

A Beer and cider festival in Mullion is also happening over the bank holiday weekend. Mounts Bay Inn will host their annual whitsun holiday event, where many local ales and ciders will be on sale, and there will be local live music too. Plus I have read that they have got fresh local lobster on the menu! Woo hoo!
A truly amazing sounding event is happening over at Carlyon Bay; A pop up fine dining event, serving oysters and a variety of lovely drinks. Right next to the divine Sams on the Beach, this event will be on Crinnis Beach, and actually runs from tomorrow 22nd – 29th May. Reservations can be made for indoor tables, but people can also choose to rock up and eat, drink and have fun out on the beach.
food and drink in Cornwall

Oysters from Cornwall

It’s also the beginning of the Fal River Fest, which promises to be an excellent host too foods and craft beers, drama arts and much more. Activities include all sorts of water based activities from sailing to swimming. With lots of delicious eating at the food and craft market at Falmouth’s events square, and a wild food walk in St. Mawes on the 28th with expert Rachel Lambert.

North Coast Mid Cornwall

Tonight Retallack Resort and Spa are hosting the FREE! launch of their new Wake Park. To celebrate opening a further action and adventure attraction, Retallack are hosting a launch night with all sorts of exciting prizes and promotions. There will also be pro wakeboarding demonstrations with DJs and bands performing and a fish and chip feast by former Master Chef winner and revered chef James Nathan. Such a friendly man!

Fun for all, they have created a children’s sand play area plus a farm shop supplying everything from buckets and spades for playing in the faux beach to DIY BBQs and burgers to cook on them!

To keep the beachy vibe, there will be loads of other activiteis at Retallack beach, such as volleyball, outdoor table tennis, fishing lessons and extreme beach fitness classes.

From 6pm tonight!

North Cornwall

The 9th Bude and Stratton folk festival is taking place this weekend too. My old stomping ground, this will be an excellent place to enjoy food, drink and folk! Accompanied by my brotherfromanothermother, Jim Causley will be playing at the folk festival in Bude as part of the line up. Running from the whole bank holiday weekend: 22nd-25th May. Incredible food and hospitality, and some of the best sunsets can be seen from Beach House Hotel at Widemouth Bay, which we think is well worth a visit.

May Bank Holiday Cornwall food and drink

North Cornwall sunset

 

There’s almost certainly more to be getting on with this weekend and the weather does look as if it will be a little on the cool side, but without too much rain, generally speaking.

 

Whatever you’re doing in Cornwall, enjoy the amazing food and drink Cornwall has to offer!

Professional writer and press manager

Cornwall food and drink write-up

As a peninsula, Cornwall is rife with a proliferation of amazing seafood; from Falmouth’s world famous oysters, to London’s favourite Mylor prawns, and the fat mussels lining the rocks of the Helford and other estuaries across the county. Within the catchment of St. Ives, Hayle brags salt flats laden with  marsh sampihre and razor clams, and rock samphire and sea spinach act almost as weeds around the coast.

Copywriter in Cornwall specialising in food and drink

Cornwall is prized for its food and drink provenance

Following the success of my last list of Cornwall food and drink related companies, I have so much more to add to this list, which I am uncovering as I wend my around the beautiful peninsula I call home. 30 years ago when I was a child in Boscastle, fish and chips was the height of British food, and the nation suffered from this stigma of sufferable food since.

Until recent years.

Throughout the nineties, as I, like many other teenagers in Cornwall, made my first independent money as a KP in a local cafe, Cornwall became a more recognised foodie destination. Seafood chef Rick Stein rose to popularity, and Cornwall saw many other independent chefs choosing provenance.

These days Cornwall boasts thousands of top class eateries and Michelin star chefs, making it a highly sought after foodie destination. Working as a freelance writer in food and drink has allowed me to meet people from all over the county who are doing great things with food. It’s just so transpired that all of these companies fit with the sustainability ethos we love to communicate here.

Harbour Lights Falmouth

So much more than just a chip shop, my work with Tasting Britain has introduced me to the wonderfully motivating and inspirational Pete Fraser, who manages my local chippie! With a wellbalanced combination of rapeseed oil and a small amount of sustainably sourced palm, these chips are delicious and healthier than most too. Ricky ‘Kaiser Chiefs’ Wilson told the Guardian how great it is, and we were invited down to a relaunch recently. Pete, like Mary Quicke, is a local hero; prioritising sustainability and good, honest food. He has some exciting plans for furthering his commitment to sustainability, hoping to deploy an anaerobic digester to reduce waste.

The Rebel Brewing Co.

Tucked away in an industrial estate in Penryn, these guys are doing exciting things with beer. Having been microbrewers for some years now, they are constantly pushing out new beers and ideas, such as their Penryn Pale Ale and the incredible Mexi-Cocoa, which uses the by-products from ethical, sustainable company Chocolarder cacao husks. Independent and award winning, these brewers use renewables to ensure their business looks to the future.

Food and drink in Cornwall is exceptional

A stout with a chocolate heart

Inkie’s BBQ

I’ve written about them before, and have seen them pop up across different places in Cornwall over the last few months. One thing I am pleased to say, after meeting Karen and Debs for a Tasting Britain review is that everything they use to make their incredible low and slow meats is sourced locally. Add to that sustainable packaging, wooden knives and forks and a hand refurbished horse box, and you’ve got the ethos of Inkie’s right there: simple, sustainable and local good food. They have two regular slots a week in Bodmin and Liskeard, but you’ll see them popping up at food festivals and events as the season opens up.

Southwestern Distilleries

Infusing wheat based alcohol with aromatic botanicals is something that distilleries across the country have been doing for centuries. Southwestern Distilleries use their own blend of these botanicals to make small batch Cornish gin, near to Wadebridge. Clear and crisp, this is a gin with a light and yet exotic flavour. A visit to the place where the magic happens is something I’m really looking forward to, on behalf of Tasting Britain next month.

Sean Gee photography

Cornish creativity at its best

Sean’s work in action, photographing Inkie’s Smokehouse on a winter’s night

 

Great things happen in great places, and one of the things I love the most about Cornwall is the community of foodies who contribute to #cornishfoodhour on a Sunday night. From bloggers to food label owners, and foodies to photographers, we all get together to tweet about events, discoveries, recipes and all things food. Through this, I met Sean Gee, a food photographer who has a rather large hand in the Boscastle Food Festival. Maybe it’s because he’s from my home town, or maybe because he relentlessly pops up everywhere ;) I love Sean’s thoughtful and mouthwatering photography.

 

 

Food and drink in Cornwall is one of its biggest exports, as the brand of Cornwall begins to grow internationally. As such, this is a list and subject my food journalism and natural curiosity seeks to expand upon over the summer.

Professional writer and press manager

Food writers making sushi

Shades of pastel layered over the horizon speak of calm, and yet inside me is a fire. Having lived in Japan for a year in 2012, I’ve already been down to Falmouth’s best kept secret restaurant and reviewed their incredible sake and sushi evening.

Food writer writes about sushi

Chef’s selection of fresh Cornish fish sushi

Being a Cornish food writer and amateur photographer, I jumped at the chance to make California Rolls a few weeks ago. This weekend, however, I went with another Cornwall food blogger Claire Hambly from Aboe Designs and tried my hand at Nigiri making.

Food and drink PR experts

Getting fresh food, writing fresh words

 

The difference between making the California rolls and nigiri was that for nigiri, we had to learn skewering the King prawn to keep it straight. This way, when it’s butterflied to sit atop the ‘log’ of rice, it won’t bend the rice. Fortunately, Paul, a fellow attendee, had previously worked in a Japanese restaurant when he’d lived in Tokyo in the seventies. He explained that in Tokyo his boss would have gone to Tsukiji – the incredible fish market in Tokyo, where trading begins at around 4 in the morning – and bought live king prawns. When he skewered these, they’d use a spine embedded in their fan tail to try and fight back.

 

 

 

 

Luckily, these were already de-headed, and so skewering them was less a battle and pretty straightforward. Watching their colour become bright pink from grey has always given me joy; growing up in Cornwall and being surrounded by fishermen and amazing chefs. Already Kacho was permeated with the amazing smell of seafood.

Professional creative food writing

Plump, juicy and colourful seafood

Actually making the nigiri shape was much easier than I’d anticipated, but from memory of previous sushi making, getting the rice right is the hardest part. One of my funniest memories of culinary cock-ups happened when I was about 22. I was getting hammered on vodka when I’d invited some friends over for dinner. This resulted in burnt sushi rice and much hilarity. Anyway, thankfully Naoko had pre-cooked the rice expertly, flavouring it with sushi vinegar.

We started off with avocado, which I love, and Claire has a funny phobia of! After the slippery customers finally sat on the rice, I was started to share some of her dislike for it, but to be fair the rest of the sushi seemed pretty easy comparatively. There was delicious thinly sliced radish, cucumber, the king prawn, scallop and teriyaki salmon.

As is customary in Japan, the food was arranged to be visually appealing. Naoko added a variety of delicious toppings for us to decorate and flavour with. One of which was Cornish Sea Salt’s Porcini mushroom mix. The Seaweed Sea Salt would make a lovely addition here too.

Sitting down to eat a lunch of the sushi Naoko made whilst making it ourselves, we were also given a bowl of steaming miso and daikon soup, flavoured with a mushroom dashi. Sven Hannson-Britt created a delicious dashi recipe using The Cornish Seaweed Co’s Kombu. I’m looking forward to interviewing him later in the week for a Tasting Britain profile.

Food copywriter Cornwall makes sushi

Eating with the eyes

Feeling replete from the wonderful meal, we got to take our makes home, in a traditional cherry blossom print plastic box.

Cornwall has such a thriving food scene, and meeting other foodies at events such as this is testament to the incredible things that happen when people get together. This week I have also been excited to hear from the folks at Bude for Food, who are getting ready to prepare for an even more epic year this year. These guys, and particularly Beth from Widemouth’s Beach House Bay, are the sort of awe inspiring social foodies who are using food to empower communities, and I’m proud to be involved in everything they do.

food writer and photographer take colourful photos

Professional writer and press manager

Best food and drink related companies in Cornwall

It’s been a busy week. Which is definitely a relief, as it means we are climbing out of dull January and looking up and out at the exciting, spring shoots of February. In my role as writer for Tasting Britain, I have arranged some wonderful reviews for hotels and restaurants in Cornwall and Devon, as we prepare for the season of busier roads, ice cream and swathes more people on the coast path.

I’ve enjoyed visiting clients in various parts of the county this week, whilst completing tasks from adept press campaigns about food and drink in Cornwall to creating content for sustainable companies, and it’s got me thinking about the amazing talent we have here in Cornwall.

With several clients in the food and drink industry, Cornwall is a place of seasons. The on-season and the off; as opposed to any dramatically defined weather related distinction. As the sea thrashes against Bude’s jagged cliffs, meeting the Devon border, and right round and down across treacherous paths and craggy cliffs; it’s a place of durability over winter. Although we have seen some delightful skies with shades of pastel layered over the horizon.

So, this week’s news relies on a good old fashioned list. Whilst I make no secret of the fact that I write for Cornish Food & Drink businesses, and therefore support them, I only choose to work with those who have an ethical and sustainable ethos.

Branding & Design

Kingdom and Sparrow

With offices in Falmouth named The Old Lemonade Factory, there is an amazing design company, who specialise in Branding of Food and Drink packaging just around the corner from me! With clients such as The Rebel Brewery, Cornish Cider and The Cornish Seaweed Company, these guys have some incredible projects on their portfolio, and have been recognised the world over as packaging design specialists.

Cornwall's branding soecialists

Expert branding has been recognised worlwide

Brewing

Black Rock Brewing

When I lived in Bristol I was surrounded by craft ale micro-batch breweries; some of which were hidden away in dungeon-esque vaults, rather like the incredible restaurant I used to work in. Anyway, these days, down in Cornwall a brand new craft ale specialist have started appearing in bars in Falmouth. Such as Black Rock Brewing. Black rock is the famous landmark helping guide enormous vessels into Falmouth’s deep, natural harbour. Their clean, IPA has been a year in the making and tastes wondrous.

Firebrand

Having gone to school in Launceston, my memories of the place tend to involve hiding at the castle and slipping through secret alleyways in order to not get caught ‘skiving’. Well, I wasn’t the perfect student back then, I’m afraid. Anyway, I visited Firebrand’s Bar and Restaurant last month, and the food was really something to write home about. My review for Tasting Britain goes live next month. But on to their brewing. With an experimental eyes these guys like to play with different brews, hop varieties and flavours.

Sustainable brands

See the disclosure above. Whilst I may work with some of these companies, I have chosen them for their similar ethics to ours, and as such wholeheartedly believe everything I write on them.

Yallah Coffee

Having spent some of my twenties on coffee farms in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Ecuador, I love the stuff Yallah are doing. They prioritise picking their own coffee overseas and roasting, packaging and selling it sustainably here in Falmouth. No messing, just straight up good coffee.

freelance writer in Cornwall fights ninja style!

One of my lesser know professional skills: machete wielding in Ecuador

The Cornish Seaweed Company

Clambering across rocks and sifting sand from seaweed is all in a day’s work for this local sustainable food company who, yes, I work for! Thee fact that seaweed is full of vitamins and a sustainable food source makes this one of the best health foods to eat, and it’s abundant right here on our beautiful coast. This year has started on a great trajectory for seaweed, and I love anything that puts Cornwall on the map.

The Posh Pasty Co

Despite having ambled around temperate biomes munching on these more than once, The Posh Pasty Co have only recently come to my attention, as a company in their own right. Like others in this section, these guys have the hat trick of being ethical, sustainable food suppliers in Cornwall.

Chocolarder

Again, yes a  company I consider friends too, Chocolarder source ethical beans, which are brought in by sail where possible. All added ingredients are 100% ethically sourced to produce Cornwall’s only bean to bar chocolate. Foraging in hedgerows for floral additions, or boosting beekeeping by using clover fed honey, Chocolarder is so much more than a chocolate producer.

 

 

 

Professional writer and press manager

How content changes can help you get noticed

Whoosh! How on earth did it get to be November? And an unseasonably mild mid November at that?

It’s not you: it’s me

Content has really changed over the last few years.

What used to be a mandatory part of a website; reserved for keyword stuffing and announcing tidbits of company news, has suddenly become the game changer that can propel your company forward into the homes of the masses. Better yet, like a garden, a relationship and, theoretically a bank account; the more you put in, the more you will get out.

Content is a sure-fire way to grow. And the way that it’s changed means there has never been a better time to release bits of content throughout the many digital channels; building your brand’s online presence. The most exciting by-product of this is engaging with people who have a genuine interest in your product, service or company.

I recently posted about the ubiquity of content. It is everywhere and in everything your brand creates and sends out. From a photo of the prototype, or the methods and processes used along the way; to the finished product and everything you communicate about it afterwards.

Making waves via social media make content accessible

Effective content marketing starts with ripples

Testing the waters

As you intrepidly dip your toes into the creative waters, beginning to experiment with what’s out there and what works; you might make mistakes. The same way that rockpools can hide tiny crabs, the internet can hide theses pitfalls. But it never stops rockpooling from being fun! Advice columns throughout the business and entrepreneurship communities implore you to be specific with content, but this takes time, and experimentation, and a little bit of magic. Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms have their own in-built analytics, which allow you to track response and engagement with followers.

This way you can identify trends in popularity and respond with more of the same. This post by B2B explains what to look for and how to look for it in greater detail; but, put simply, whatever generates the most engagement and the most sales, leads and meetings is your bread and butter.

When ripples become waves

Honing this down to a strategy for getting noticed involves tenacity, sagacity and diversity in digital methods. It involves being open. It involves being social. The power of twitter is demonstrable by the recent successes we have seen with client work. As Christmas approaches, sales have increased at an astonishing rate for two of our most treasured clients: authentic artisan bean-to-bar chocolatiers from Penryn, Chocolarder and sustainable, ethical seaweed harvesters The Cornish Seaweed company. Where having articles in certain publications may have created ripples; passing these around through social media will make waves.

creating waves in the social media indusrty

After the storm comes focus and strategy

The way content has changed recently only serves to make it easier for brands to produce and distribute it; building relationships, building trust and building impact.

If you’d like to discuss how a strategy could be implemented  to help raise your exposure, and therefore sales, please get in touch to discuss your needs. From general copy to press releases and bespoke packages: no undertaking is too big or small and you are under no obligation.