Last week D and I had a relaxing holiday to Newquay in Cornwall. Not wanting to miss a chance to enjoy a cool glass of cider in the sun and with a certain amount of curiousity about how on of our favourite tipples is made we pootled along to the outskirts of Truro to Healey’s Cyder Farm. Healey’s is most famous for making Cornish Rattler (which is now becoming available countrywide) but they also make more locally available things such as Elderflower wine, Strawberry wine, delicious jams and a range of juices. Unfortunately for me I was designated driver that day so I had to be more selective with my sampling than D, but I still had opportunity to try quite a lot of different things.
Despite being primarily a place where cider is made, this is a highly family friendly day out; with a cider and jam making tour, farm animals and tractor rides. There are several tour options available including the Classic tour and a more extensive tour. We opted for the Classic tour primarily because D’s stepfather is a farmer and we have ample opportunity to ride tractors back at home, but this option is perfect for those visiting with smaller children. The staff at Healey’s are friendly and enthusiastic and full of interesting facts. I had a basic knowledge of how my favourite apple based drink was made but a lot of blanks were filled in during the tour.
The tour concluded with an opportunity to sample nearly the whole range of ciders, juices and wines made on the premises. Being a responsible sort of person when it comes to drinking and driving (don’t drink and drive kids!) I had a few tastes before moving onto the apples juices (juice made from Katy apples is a winner). We stayed a while after the tour to visit the farm animals; making friends with the horses and goats. The restaurant is also lovely, it is clear that nearly everything is made on the premises and the food tastes all the better for it. I indulged in an apple themed cream tea (D had a pasty to mop up the cider). To finish we spent a small fortune in the gift shop (the best holiday sovenirs are cider themed it would seem). The music we listened to on the way home was accompanied by a rather exciting clink of bottles.
If you’re in the area and fancy a visit to Healey’s details of their location can be found here. Or alternatively contact them on their twitter page.
I like to think an intellectual discussion went on between these two
The happiest little glasses ever
Sometimes you have a perfect weekend away planned with guidebooks scoured, itineraries mapped out and places to eat set in stone. Well, maybe, D and I tend to google places to go with a vague notion of how to get there. We planned a weekend visit to London at the beginning of the month which would end with us travelling to Norwich to watch D’s best friend from university get married. Unfortunately the night before we left we got burgled which was the most stressful situation which could happen without either of us sustaining any sort of injury. Seriously guys; lock your doors, the feeling of having someone rifling through your stuff while you sleep is the worst and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Anyway, this led to arriving in London exhausted and pretty stressed.
Now, before I make everyone too miserable the ending of this story is far happier than you would expect. It includes magic burgers. Seriously; possibly the best burgers, made all the better by us stumbling into the restaurant by chance. The menu at Grillshack isn’t extensive by any means but I am starting to realise that often a shorter menu means that everything on it is cooked really well and the staff really know what they are serving. The restaurant is simply furnished and it the staff were friendly and welcoming, asking us how we were enjoying our food without pressing us too much – sometimes you can eat somewhere and feel like you’re being interrogated.
We shared some buttermilk chicken nuggets to start. Basically chicken nuggets for adults in the best possible sense. Tender tasty chicken with chipotle mayonnaise.
To follow we both had burgers. I had a blue cheese burger while D had normal cheese. The meat was perfectly cooked, just pink enough in the middle and we both agreed the burgers were made from good quality meat. Wonderfully simple and cooked with a great deal of care.
Our true “Northerness” shone through though as we got the bill and both commented how reasonably priced everything was for London. So I think we probably belong in Yorkshire. Anyway to summarise we had a lovely meal out after one of the most disappointing starts to a weekend away. As soon as we arrived at Grillshack we were made to feel welcome and we left feeling much better and more relaxed. Then we went to play with the toys in Hamleys. As you do.
For more information about Grillshack in Soho visit their website or twitter page.