It’s almost that time of year when Team Minted decamps to north Cornwall, with friends, for a short summer break. We go to the same large, but scruffy, house every year near Padstow and squeeze in us, another family and Grandpa. It’s hectic and messy and as close to that Enid Blyton endless summer as you could hope for. And here’s another 10 reasons to do it.
1. Surfing (in the rain): You’re in a wetsuit, it doesn’t matter. The waves are generally better in unfavourable weather too. Constantine Bay has lots of space and lots of breaks.
2. Children mucking about on the beach: You won’t see the kids they’ll be so busy digging, exploring the rock pools or swimming. Your trashy novel will get read.
3. Playing cards with your best friends: It’s a week-long sleepover with your mates. You never get this much time with them normally. That world will be fully put to rights by the end of it.
4. Quality time with your partner: Take turns to go out at night leaving the others to babysit. This is where grandparents come in really handy …. If you want to have a meal for the whole group together, do lunch.
5. Top-notch regional food and wine: You’ve saved loads by holidaying in the UK so you can make the most of the local food (try Padstow Farm Stores, Rick Stein’s seafood and cakes, and Cornish pasties from just about anywhere). Camel Valley does a decent fizzy and Tarquin’s award-winning Cornish Navy Seadog Gin is made just across the estuary in Wadebridge. For beer drinkers, Doom Bar (cask beer made in Rock) is the local tipple of choice. Or check out craft offerings from newbies Padstow Brewing Company.
6. BBQ, BBQ, BBQ: I’m no fan of burnt burgers but even I can’t turn down an evening barbecue on the beach. Keep it simple: sausages, buns, salad and beer. Maybe a few marshmallows on skewers later. Everyone’s gone home so you’ll have the place to yourself. Magical.
7. Great meals out: Try Rick Stein in Padstow, Nathan Outlaw in Rock and even Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen at Watergate Bay (this has the most spectacular sunset views from its cliff-top position).
8. Shop and shop again: Padstow is nick-nack heaven. You can buy surfer gear, art, housewares, Rick Stein souvenirs, beach kit and even hoodies for the kids with ‘Life Guard’ printed across the back. All this stuff you never knew you needed!
9. Crabbing: Arm yourself with a pack of cheap sausages and crab lines and you are king of the harbour. Small green crabs go mad for Spar bangers and you can collect a bucketload of them. Totally inedible (the crabs that is). Make sure you put them back in the water afterwards.
10. Walk + cream tea: Pretend you're in an episode of Poldark (thanks BBC for the pic) by tramping over cliffs of gorgeous countryside to Lellizzick Farm (www.lellizzick.co.uk). It's an Elizabethan house set above the little-visited Tregirls Beach where you can stuff your face with fruit scones laden with clotted cream and jam – you’ve earned it.
You might still need travel insurance in UK! See here for the SMM guide.