50 Ways to Leave Your 40s: #24 Rick Stein’s Cafe

Rick Stein's Cafe

In the five or six years I’ve been visiting Cornwall, and especially Padstow, I’ve never quite managed to indulge in fish and chips from Rick Stein’s Cafe. I’ve walked past many times and raised an eyebrow at the queue, stretching out of the door and spilling onto the harbor car park. I’ve sniffed the air appreciatively and inhaled the salt, vinegar and unique chip smell, that no matter how much you’ve already eaten, always without fail, gets you craving chip shop chips in an instant.

Fish and ChipsBut tonight, at about 8p.m., I finally enjoyed (very much enjoyed!) my first taste of the famous chef’s trademark culinary delights and oh boy, was it worth the wait! As I write I can still taste the cod goujons; the fish was light, fluffy and succulent, the batter was crisp, golden and simply bloody delicious. As for the chips, wow. None of these greasy, stick to the paper and make you feel sick after a few mouthfuls rubbish. Oh no. They were perfectly cooked, thick, laden with vinegar and not in the slightest bit greasy. They were, quite simply, perfect.

Due to the somewhat rather odd weather we’ve had today (more of that in a moment!), we sat in the car and ate our supper; enjoying every single mouthful. Harley and Milo on the back seat had every right to drool as we dipped hot salty chips into the most delicious tartar sauce and savored the fresh fish. And you know what? When we’d finished we felt full for sure, but not that horrible full when chips lie heavy, the grease swirling around your stomach long after the last mouthful. We felt content, satisfied and somewhat rather pleased we’d made the effort to come into Padstow on a bank holiday.

And really, I could end my blog right here. Mission was well and truly accomplished.

But funnily enough there has been another ‘first’ today and one that has been amusing, surprising and somewhat a little out of character.

It’s not unusual to experience a little sea fret rolling in when you’re by the coast. And it’s not unusual for it to last a few hours before the sun burns it away. But what is unusual is thick fog swirling in from the sea, covering the beach and make it impossible to see two feet in front of you – all while it’s still relatively warm enough to catch some color on our cheeks. Odd is an understatement. If you’ve ever seen the movie ’The Fog’ you’ll get some idea how creepy this was on a lovely Sunday in May!

We didn’t let it stop us of course; the dogs rollicked around the beach, we read our books and only when we thought the sea sounded as if it was getting closer, did we decide to pack up and head back to the caravan. We had no idea if the tide was actually coming in but better to pack up early than be trapped on a foggy beach like some extras in a horror movie.

Fog, sea fret, mist, call it what you will – it hasn’t stopped us doing anything today. We’ve embraced the day; we’ve eaten fresh onion bread for breakfast (with dippy eggs), we’ve snoozed, we’ve read, we’ve laughed, and we’ve had the best supper anyone could ask for.

Cornwall and Rick – you never disappoint me!

To read more of 50 Ways to Leave Your 40s, click here.


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