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Polzeath, Cornwall

12 August 2013 2,432 views One Comment

I’m a lucky lucky girl and I got a very last minute offer to go to Cornwall with some lovely friends. Chucked some kit in my backpack, jumped on my bike and pounded to Paddington, making the train with a full three minutes to spare. Sweet. And sweat.

train journey

photo 2There are sections of the train ride that are terrific, really hugging the coastline, lots of good countryside and waterfront views, and my timing was really fortunate because the sun was setting making the clouds a rosy pink. Very lucky as well that Sara picked me up from the station – it was absolutely pitch black dark and the route to the house was little country lanes. We were welcomed in with open arms and opened beers, and to complete the trifecta of luckiness I’d been saved some lobster for dinner. Woo, let the games begin.

Cornish coastline

Waking up was really exciting because I hadn’t yet seen where we actually were and where we were was on the top of a cliff, overlooking a bay of non stop rolling blue blue waves. I didn’t know at the time but I was in Polzeath, which is just north of Padstow. The bay is deep so the movement of the tide makes a real difference to the whole beach: at 7am the water is high and the beach is a small blob, by 11am there is an enormous, flat sandy arena to play in, with the cliffs fully exposed and the surf stretching widely as it meets the ocean. It was reasonably early, the super keen surfers were out – it’s a good time because the waves have a really long run in, catch one and you’ve gotphoto 1 a three minute ride ahead of you. There were also a few people running the coastal path. I opted for yoga in the garden and it was an excellent choice.

When the children woke up it was Coco Pop heaven and then we all wet-suited up and trooped to the beach, which took less than five minutes. Polzeath is a classic little surf town with a bunch of ice cream parlours, places that sell and hire surf kit, souvenir shops and the best stocked Spar I have ever been in.


I hired a good condition soft board and found the others on the beach. The children were having a surf lesson and they looked dead cute in their matching surf school rashies. Sara and I had a swim to start, the current was really strong and the surf was powerful, it was very obvious why this is a hotspot for boarding.
Got my board and walked out (no need to paddle). Last time I was on a board was in Newquay, November 2011, it had been wicked, but could I still surf?
I fluffed my first wave; just didn’t commit, but after that managed to stand and ride every wave that I wanted to. I had a lot of fun. And I was soon mega hungry because at the end of the day Coco Pops don’t cut it do they. So I wolfed a vego pasty and then sat on my board taking in the beach action.

mussel picking

Bit more marvellous surfing then back up to the house for showers and hot dog lunch. Sara had a brilliant idea for the afternoon – we drove to another tiny bay, (total insider information to know it’s there) clambered down the coastal path, across the rocks and picked mussels. I don’t remember ever seeing mussel rocks before. There was just a carpet of crunchy, shiny shells, and we rooted around to find the biggest ones until we’d filled up two beer boxes. On the way home we had a Great Debate about what flavours we should cook and what ingredients we needed. Conclusion, Thai, and we needed garlic, ginger, lemongrass, coriander, chillies and coconut milk. Now you know what I mean about that Spar being good eh…

mussel cooking

First up we cleaned and de-bearded the mussels. Was dead good, we had it all set up outside, the sun was out, we had white wine and hummus on the go, the chat was hilarious, and we had some tunes playing. We didn’t manage to finish cleaning all the mussels through – it was taking ages, and we guessed that we had enough. Yes, there were definitely enough – we had a big paella pan full of them. Was cool actually, I’ve not seen one of those gas paella cookers before, what an ace contraption.
The food was terrific – the mussels tasted great, Al made some lovely garlic & chilli broccoli, the straight-from-microwave rice was fluffy and the rosé was flowing. In fact the food was so good that we didn’t notice when it started to rain, and next thing we were photo 2getting really wet.
The party carried on until late, we met the neighbours, we played air guitar, we made cocktails, we passed out on the sofa.

taking it easy

Such a shame to greet such a beautifully sunny day with a monstrous hangover but that is the reality of the work hard, train hard, play hard crowd :) I had a non wet-suited swim. It was cold. Then I had a quick sleep on my board, and then more surfing. I was doing alright but I didn’t really feel in control enough and decided it was time for the sofa. We all had a lazy afternoon, reading, drinking juice, wandering down to the beach, napping and pottering around the house.

It was a shame to leave – the evening was sunny and glorious – but I was so so happy to have been down and so nicely looked after and such a giggle. Thank you peeps xxx

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One Comment »

  • Michelle said:

    Love Polzeath! Lots of tween surfing attempts with a polystyrene Fat Willys surf board.


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