Portscatho Holidays Blog

Time in Tregony

Wednesday, 18 April, 2018

Arriving at the Roseland Peninsular by road you'll probably go through Tregony, known as the Gateway to the Roseland. (And if that gives you a Peter Sellers flashback - you're thinking 'Bal-ham, gateway to the South', right? - you're not alone.) Anyway, Tregony is well worth a stop. You'll also find a convenience store and post office there, handy for self-catering and the fine holiday tradition of sending postcards.

The village has several historic buildings, notably the 17th century almshouses which were originally a 'hospital for decayed housekeepers', as the wonderful team who look after our holiday cottages like to remind us! The building you see today has been beautifully restored and has a distinctive balcony.

In early medieval times Tregony was a busy port on the Fal, exporting local wool, leather and tin - hence its wide main street. Ironically, it may have been run-off from tin mining that caused the port to silt up so by the 17th century trade had dwindled, but you can still stroll along the pretty river frontage. (This puts me in mind of Rye in Sussex, another once-important port, where our sister company Amberley House has beautiful holiday cottages.) My favourite Tregony fact is that the clock tower was almost sold to Australia but a last-minute rescue was organised - our own version of the London Bridge story.

One myth that I love concerns the giant whose 11-foot coffin was allegedly dug up in 1761. Of course the skeleton disintegrated almost immediately, leaving just one intact tooth that was a whopping two-and-a-half inches long. Strangely enough it wasn't preserved for posterity, but every historic town benefits from a legend like this, don't you think? I wonder where the giant lived. He'd have had to stoop into many of the snug country cottages and would surely have hit his head on the wooden beams. Poor chap - we'd have found him the perfect cottage with a nice high ceiling!

 

The Perfect Pasty

The Perfect Pasty

Wednesday, 4 April, 2018

Previously on this blog I've tried to tempt you with Cornish cream teas, so now for something savoury: the Cornish Pasty. Have you tried one? I mean, a real one? If your experience of a Cornish Pasty so far is something you bought in a hurry at a petrol station, please keep an open mind.

Stuart Lee wrote about this in The Observer recently, and he had a point. I think he was on tour and had been stranded in the West Country by that Beast from the East, so no wonder he was hungry. The pasty is great comfort food, but also perfect picnic fare as it's portable, light (definitely not stodgy or greasy) and nutritious. When I'm walking the South West Coast Path or the Roseland countryside I love to stop at a bakery in St Mawes to buy a pasty for lunch; and when you're hungry after watersports or swimming in the sea, what better snack is there?

Think shortcrust pastry. Think a nice chunky but tender filling of beef, swede (or turnip), onion and potato, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Do not think carrots, because there shouldn't be any. Now this is the original version; vegetarian options are available, and very good they are too. And a true Cornish pasty is D-shaped and crimped in all the right places - that is, along one side, but definitely not on top. No way.

As to whether a pasty should be eaten hot or cold, I was told long ago that cold was correct, but if you reheat your pasty do it in the oven (not the microwave) so the pastry stays crisp. The same person also assured me that the A in pasty is pronounced long, like past, rather than pasta or paste. I didn't get it then, but now I'm familiar with Cornish dialects.

Hungry yet? You know, there's every chance of finding a local bakery near your Roseland holiday cottage where you can try this Cornish speciality. I'll probably be in the queue with you!

Easter on the Roseland

Easter on the Roseland

Wednesday, 28 March, 2018

We love the Easter holidays in Cornwall. Here on the Roseland we welcome visitors all year round, but Easter is when you start to feel that little buzz of excitement.

Around Easter is when cafes and holiday activity centres open up for the season, or those that have been ticking over through the winter fling open their doors for longer hours. The lighter evenings bring more choice of things to do and with any luck there will be sunshine, tempting us all onto the water. It's a little early to go in the sea for most of us, but many of our visitors love wild swimming. The other option is a wetsuit, of course. Right now I'm keeping quiet about the weather given how very British it's been lately, but it's always beautiful here.

Visitors love short breaks on the Roseland year-round and coastal cottages are ideal for couples looking for a quiet break, or even writers and artists looking for a snug hideaway to work without distractions. Being on the eastern side of Cornwall makes the Roseland easily accessible for short breaks as well as longer holidays, and most of our cottages can be booked for a few days as well as full weeks or longer.

But the Easter vacation signals the arrival of families, and I love to watch kids (of all ages) having fun outdoors and discovering all the Roseland has to offer. Rockpooling is just as much fun in wellies as barefoot! For indoor activities, why not start with the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, at Falmouth? As well as the permanent exhibits I think the Pirate School (until 15th April) is a must, don't you?

Before long we'll have the May bank holiday too, and then we know summer is really starting to take shape. Our holiday cottages are deservedly popular so I do advise booking well ahead, although we always try to have some late-availability cottages and special offers for you. Come try us!

Things to do

Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

When we're on holiday we do it the democratic way - we each choose something we'd like to do or see and then let the weather decide when's best to do it. The Roseland weather is great though, as it rarely scuppers any plans. One of the most popular choices is to pack a picnic and swimming gear and explore a small area near our holiday cottage on foot or by bicycle, without researching in advance. We love the element of surprise and always find something interesting.

Families with small children will adore the Roseland, I'm sure, as you can spend most of your time on the beach - we taught ours to build sandcastles on Pendower beach, and they quickly learned to swim in the sea in the Roseland's sheltered coves. It's also a great place for chilling out.

But if you want to learn something new, or half your group wants to do different things and you need to know the kids are supervised, there are organised activities too. Watersports are the obvious ones and you can have a go at everything from dinghy sailing to surfing and kayaking on this coast. You'll find all sorts of non-water activities too, from an hour or two to a full day, in things as diverse as fishing, falconry and carriage-driving. There's also a fab cookery school at Philleigh where you might even find yourself cooking on a sunny cliff-top - don't worry, the cliffs are gentle around here! The excellent information centre at St Mawes can help you discover and book a range of experiences.

And if, shock horror, it should rain - or even if it doesn't - I recommend the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, just a short hop on the ferry. It's a brilliant place that appeals to all ages. When I say there's something for everyone on the Roseland I really mean it, so do come and see for yourself. If you haven't already booked your Cornish holiday cottage do browse our website, and if you have any questions we're here to help

So much to do

Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

When we're on holiday we do it the democratic way - we each choose something we'd like to do or see and then let the weather decide when's best to do it. The Roseland weather is great though, as it rarely scuppers any plans. One of the most popular choices is to pack a picnic and swimming gear and explore a small area near our holiday cottage on foot or by bicycle, without researching in advance. We love the element of surprise and always find something interesting.

Families with small children will adore the Roseland, I'm sure, as you can spend most of your time on the beach - we taught ours to build sandcastles on Pendower beach, and they quickly learned to swim in the sea in the Roseland's sheltered coves. It's also a great place for chilling out.

But if you want to learn something new, or half your group wants to do different things and you need to know the kids are supervised, there are organised activities too. Watersports are the obvious ones and you can have a go at everything from dinghy sailing to surfing and kayaking on this coast. You'll find all sorts of non-water activities too, from an hour or two to a full day, in things as diverse as fishing, falconry and carriage-driving. There's also a fab cookery school at Philleigh where you might even find yourself cooking on a sunny cliff-top - don't worry, the cliffs are gentle around here! The excellent information centre at St Mawes can help you discover and book a range of experiences.

And if, shock horror, it should rain - or even if it doesn't - I recommend the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, just a short hop on the ferry. It's a brilliant place that appeals to all ages. When I say there's something for everyone on the Roseland I really mean it, so do come and see for yourself. If you haven't already booked your Cornish holiday cottage do browse our website, and if you have any questions we're here to help

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