Saturday, 22 August 2015

Explore: Perranporth, Cornwall | The Small Desk

On Friday of last week I headed off on the train to the seaside town of Perranporth. We caught the train down from London Paddington to Newquay and then picked up a taxi to Perranporth. It took us about six hours in total. It may actually be quicker to go to Truro, as the lady in the cream tea shop told us on our last day once we had our pre-booked tickets... Probably worth checking that route out if you're planning to go via train from London! 

This was my first friends holiday in just under ten years! Myself and the boyf were staying in a massive house with seven of our friends. I was looking forward to it, but was a bit sceptical thinking there were bound to be arguments about house work, however to my surprise there were none! I think it is because everyone has now moved out and lives by themselves, so know how to keep a place tidy. I'll explain the house in more detail later on in this post under the 'Stay' section. 

This blog post is separated under the same headings I have used for all my other 'Explore' posts; the only heading I haven't put it in the 'Avoid' one, as I really didn't come across anything I would avoid in Perranporth. It is a down to earth town, not pretentious or hipster, and has everything you need. We were planning some day trips out to Padstow and Rock, but we were too pre-occupied with what Perranporth had to offer! Without further chit chat, here is what I would recommend in Perranporth...

1. EAT

On the first night we were desperate to get our hands on some fish and chips, and we chose the highest rated fish and chip place in Perranporth: Pickwicks! It took a while as we chose Haddock from the menu, and not Cod, so if you are in a rush I would recommend choosing Cod. It was exactly what you want from a chippy!

We also tried the local Indian takeaway: Jaipur. We ordered it from Just Eat online and opted to pay cash. It took a while to arrive and they missed one of the meals from the order, but it arrived about 15 minutes later when we alerted them to the error. The food was delicious and there was a good array of veggie dishes.

I was eager to find a healthy veggie place after having curry and enough chips to last me a lifetime, so I had a quick Google and Good2Go came out as the highest rated place. It is a self-contained van right next to the Ice Box ice-cream shop on the main high street. There are lots of options for vegans, veggies and gluten free diets. I had the veggie chilli for dinner one night and went back for the falafel box the next day for lunch! It was that good!

Willow Bistro
On our final night we went to the Willow Bistro. It comes up on Trip Advisor as Perranporth's best restaurant. They were slightly delayed in getting our pre-booked table ready, however there were nine of us, so I'm not blaming anyone! I had cod loin with crushed new potatoes, leeks and peas, it was absolutely scrumptious. Then for dessert I had profiteroles. Slightly regret not having the salted caramel torte... sorry to have let all the bloggers down!



Willow Bistro

The main high street is the place to go if you want to get a bit of shopping done, but it is only really beach equipment and fudge for sale! We only ever went shopping for food, so I am not the best person to advise on this subject.

We did hit a local craft fair at the Memorial Hall on the Thursday – not sure if that is on every Thursday – but the Memorial Hall looks like the best place to find a fair or market in Perranporth.

From the holiday I came home wanting to buy the game: Werewolf. We played it almost every night, it is completely addictive and I strongly urge you to check out the link! Only problem is, is that you need minimum seven people to play.

We booked our accommodation through Cornish Horizons. It is the house shown above. It has five bedrooms, all apart from one (with bunks) can fit double beds and there are two en-suites and one shared bathroom. 

It is only a two minute stroll down a hill to the beach, which was perfect when we were coming back from the sea in our wetsuits. I highly advise renting a house near the beach just for the convenience of being able to go straight into a shower in private after being in a tight uncomfortable wetsuit! It is also really close to the centre of town and just round the corner from a coastal path. 

The best thing about Perranporth is it's vast beach. At two miles long, when the tide is out you can run four miles up and back down the beach, which I did! Well... I ran/walked! The other end of the beach away from the town is incredibly peaceful and you can look out onto the sea without the distraction of a million surfers!

Talking of surfing, this is one of the best things to do in Perranporth. There are numerous shops offering wetsuits, bodyboards, and surf boards for rent. The ones in the town are a lot cheaper than the ones by the beach. However the ones by the beach allow you to leave your valuables with them, which was a massive draw for us. I think we rented a wetsuit and bodyboard for a half-day for around £15 from Ticket to Ride. I went bodyboarding as I wasn't brave enough to surf, but a lot of my friends went surfing and absolutely loved it. Even when it was raining people were still hitting the waves.

As I was saying earlier we were staying just around the corner from a coastal path. One day we decided to do the walk from Perranporth to St Agnes. It is seven miles there and back. We set off at 10.30am and didn't get back until 6.30pm. Some people didn't do the walk back and got in a taxi, so there is always that option if you don't feel like doing seven miles. We also had a break during the day when we had lunch at 'The Driftwood Spars' pub, bought some beer from their brewery and played volleyball on the beach.

The coastal path has so many different things to see along it, including some local mining history. I would definitely advise doing this walk and stopping off at the pub for lunch.

I was debating whether or not to have the 'weird' heading, as I wasn't sure Chrissy's tearoom 100% deserved to be here, but then I remembered the teddy bears and felt it worthy of this slot.

It is the highest rated 'restaurant' on Trip Advisor for Perranporth, so we decided to check it out on our last morning. The cream tea was delicious and I wouldn't criticise the food one bit, it was just the hostess, who I assume may have been Chrissy. She was quite pushy, and then I saw her sewing and making teddy bears on one of the tables in the corner. The decor is extremely kitsch and you can only pay in cash. It felt very dated, but I'm glad we went as I think she is probably seen as pretty much a legend in the town.

That's all I've got on Perranporth for you! I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know if you've been before, or if you're thinking you might just take a trip there.


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