Our first breakfast at Cornish Tipi Holidays consisted of a Cornish cream tea. I know, it sounds sinful, but really how different is it to eating bread with butter and jam? Not too different in my mind. Anyway, all that matters is that we were on holiday and it was delicious. Gone too quickly for a photo though.
After breakfast we headed down to the lake in search of a canoe or boat. Unfortunately all of them were out in the lake, but a lovely kid called Dillon handed Nick a rod and some bread and encouraged him to have a go at fishing. Although neither of us are into fishing, it was quite fun to have a go.
Another family was fishing next to us, and they caught a beautiful trout.
I’m not a vegetarian, I eat both meat and fish, but I can’t help but feel a bit sad when one minute you see a gorgeous fish swimming around in the lake and then next minute it’s hooked and out on the bank.
Lunch was hunks of sourdough bread studded with nuts, salty butter, and some of the best salami we’ve ever eaten on.
We had a mixture of fennel salami and garlic salami, all handmade in nearby Delabole. It was so different to the salami you find in a supermarket, or even good deli’s for that matter, it was strong, meaty, packed with flavour and spots of white fat that melted on your tongue.
We struggled to eat a brownie each, considering the amount of food we’d eaten over the previous days. But this brownie was up there with the best, also from the same farm shop as the salami that I promise I will share full details on soon.
At about 4pm we headed back to the lake, having heard it go quiet from our tipi perched above the lake. We found a lovely green canoe and just enjoyed paddling and floating around the lake.
As you will see from the photos, the lake is only accessible from one small point, otherwise its sides are steep rockfaces.
Dotted around the lake are small wooden pontoons, so you can get in a little boat, paddle over to one, get out and sit all day fishing or reading a book from a quiet location around the lake.
On our way back to our tipi, our new friend Dillon appeared with this tiny toad in his hands. We spotted lots of these tiny creatures, but one night in the dark we nearly trod on a much larger version. Frogs are pretty neat, but there is something about toads that I think is fascinating. The one we saw in the torch beam had a body the size and shape of a hockey puck.
Despite the drizzle we decided to attempt a campfire dinner – it took us about two hours to get and keep the fire going and hot enough to cook over.
We had wet weather and damp logs against us. Poor Mr Rigg felt quite ill later on after spending so long crouched down next to the smoking embers blowing to try and get it going.
We did succeed in cooking our dinner in the end. With some wedding gift vouchers we had bought this fab cooking tripod and grill (from Wiggly Wigglers). It also came with a Kotlich, a traditional enamel pan from the Balkans, but we haven’t tried that out yet.
So we grilled some sausages, which cooked a treat on the grill, and in no time at all. We had to cook quickly as we were worried the fire would go out again and we would be left starving, so the flames were quite high, normally we would let them die down much more before cooking.
I also roasted a long pointed red pepper, blackening it on all sides before removing it to a board.
I used some left over plastic packaging placed over the pepper to create the steam which I know is good to help remove the skin. It sounds silly, but I like times like that when you improvise with something that is otherwise rubbish.
Next, I sliced up those green and yellow courgettes I’d picked up from the farm gate stand in Somerset, and put them in a pan with a couple of sliced tomatoes and torn up shitake mushrooms, which were locally grown.
Covered with a generous drizzle of olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper, I cooked them in a frying pan on the grill – I didn’t want to lose all the juices through the holes in the grill.
They took barely anytime at all to cook up. We ate them onto of a good slice of the sourdough bread, drizzled with more olive oil, and the skinned and sliced red peppers on top. And of course those nicely charred sausages.
Food cooked like this just tastes so different to meals cooked conventionally on your stovetop or in your oven at home. Perhaps it’s knowing how long it took to build the fire, perhaps your senses are heightened from being outside in the fresh air.
I think it must be a combination of all those things and the added flavours that cooking over fire imparts to the food. It was just pretty special food for something so simple.
Day three coming soon – saffron buns, biking the Camel Trail, a pasty taste off in Padstow, and cream teas in a village church.