For our final day at the tipi before the long journey north to Manchester we decided to bike from Wadebridge to Padstow along the Camel Trail.  This is something I have happy memories doing as a child with my family, so it was lovely to go back.

We got up quite early and headed into Wadebridge, not having had any breakfast and not hopeful we’d find anywhere open on a Sunday so early.  It turns out there was a bakery open, and selling one of my favourite things (also from my childhood) – saffron buns.

I ate a pack of them with thick slabs of butter and Mr Rigg munched on a bacon bap.

We hired our bikes from the shop right at the start of the trail, I had spotted the bike I wanted to spend the day riding on – it was cream coloured with a big basket on the front.  It was an old-fashioned style, the sort of bike I lust after having, so I was excited to be riding on it – despite feeling like I was perched very high to begin with.

The trail follows the Camel estuary and it is just so beautiful – and really quiet at this time of day.

Looking across to the beaches at Rock…

I quite fancied living in one of those white houses on this secluded bay…

In Padstow we chained our bikes up and wandered through the crowds – it was so incredibly busy.  I had come to Cornwall for pasties and cream teas, and we hadn’t yet eaten a pasty.  So rather than having a pasty each from the same place, we decided to have a bit of a pasty taste off to sample a selection.

The first pasty we tried was from Rick Stein’s place – last time we came to Padstow the queue was so long we didn’t bother waiting.  So when we saw no queue this time we grabbed the opportunity.  The pasty was certainly tasty, beautiful pastry, but it just didn’t taste of the pasties I was familiar with, the pasties of childhood memories.

The second pasty we tried came from The Chough Bakery on the quayside – now this was how I remember pasties tasting.  Flavoured with lots of black pepper, larger chunks of vegetables and much more prominent swede.  Our conclusion was that The Chough Bakery pasties are more traditional, whereas the Rick Stein pasty was a bit fancier and lacking in ruggedness.

After eating our pasties and a disappointing milkshake (the moment they reached for a bottle of dodgy chocolate syrup my heart sunk) we sat on a bench overlooking the harbour…

And wandered around the quaint but heaving streets…

…before getting back on our bikes and cycling back to Wadebridge.

The bike ride back was much less pleasant, as by now it was early afternoon and tons of people were cycling along.  I don’t mean to come across old and farty, but there were some utterly mindless children on bikes, cycling kamikaze style towards me – there was a few near misses!

I was so sad to part with my bike, I would have loved to take it home with me.  One day.

Next we went in search of a Cornish cream tea – we were hopeful that the farm shop we’d found would be open, but sadly it wasn’t.  The next best thing was spotted – a sign telling us cream teas were being served in a local village church.

We followed the signs along twisting lanes to a sweet little village and headed into the church.  It was one of those moments that’s a bit scary for some silly reason – entering the church there was just a group of local ladies gathered around their homemade cakes and creams teas.  It can be a bit intimidating, even when you feel you do these things a lot.

In those situations I find the best thing is just to be open and bouncy and chatty and cheerful.  So I went over gushing how lovely it all looked – and it was lovely.  If you can get past the apprehension of walking into a local place where you are ‘foreign’ you can find some of the best food and the best experiences.

We ate three cream teas in all (at my insistence!) – they had a choice of homemade scones or splits, so we had both.  It was lovely to find Cornish splits, as I think they are almost better than scones, and you so rarely come across them.

Everything was homemade by the local ladies, all of the cakes, the scones, the splits, the jams that went on top of them.  I was so pleased we hadn’t settled for a cream tea in Padstow, I know it wouldn’t have compared.  This is a split below, it’s more like a soft bun…

There were vases of scented sweetpeas everywhere, which I imagined had been cut from their gardens.  It reminded me of summer holidays at my granny’s in Devon, she always had sweetpeas all around her house that she’d grown herself.  These cream teas can be found at St Mabyn village church on Sunday’s in August (if I’ve remember rightly!) from 3-5pm.

Back at Cornish Tipi Holidays Mr Rigg went for a cool dip in the lake and I did more floating lazily around in a canoe before we went out for another pub dinner at the St Kew Inn.

Mr Rigg had mussels and chips, and I had their charcuterie board with olives and pickles.  Scrummy.

This was my idea of eating lightly after the past few days…hmm…

My final installment of our weekend in Cornwall will be about the fantastic farm shop we found and the delicious food we stocked up on before our journey home to Manchester.  Oh, and the best lemon drizzle cake – for breakfast.

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