Tuesday, August 19, 2003

During our little trip to Cornwall we had a couple of very interesting but wildly contrasting meals. Just before leaving for our trip, our friend Jane told us about an old castle, which was located on the one of the hills overlooking Redruth. She started to tell us about the tricky route which you have to follow to find it and the amazing views from the hilltop, but then she mentioned that the castle was home to a Lebanese restaurant. This sounded like an interesting combination, so following an afternoon spent poking around in the 2nd hand shops that Redruth offers, we set off in search of the castle. I should just add that this included one fantastic Art Deco store, which was more like a small museum than a shop. Also found a great record shop, where Orynthia managed to pick up a vinyl copy of the first Monochrome Set album for only £5. We also wished that we had access to a van, as we kept coming across great pieces of furniture from the 1930's and 1940's at half the price you would pay in Bristol.

Eventually the shops started to close, an we decided that it was time to head to hills, in search of fine views and food. After spotting the castle on the skyline, we drove off and eventually found ourselves in the village of Carn Brea. Now Jane had mentioned that last bit of the route was on a pretty dodgy track, so we parked and after checking with one of the locals, set off on the "easy" path. 30 minutes later we emerged at the crown of the hill. The castle was indeed a strange thing, partially built on boulders, it really did have amazing views and it really was a Lebanese restaurant! Now before taking the long walk up the hill, we should have stopped to consider the fact that there had to some sort of road access, otherwise how on earth we the supplies get to the restaurant?

Sure enough a bumpy, rocky track did exist and several cars were proudly sitting in the small car parking area. We decided that rather than wait the 15 minutes or so for the place to open, we would walk back down the hill, pick up the car and come back via the bumpy road.

All went to plan and around 25 minutes later, we once again found ourselves on the threshold of the castle. The interior of the castle was as spartan as the food was tasty. Stone floors and walls and simple wooden furniture, combined with the candle light to produce a suitably rustic atmosphere. The food was a delight and we emerged just in time to watch a fantastic sunset as the sun dipped into the sea off the north Cornwall coast.

The next day we went to the Lost Gardens Of Heligan. Here we spent some time walking around the lovely grounds, sitting and reading, and enjoying a cream tea, whilst fielding calls from friends in Bristol who were having problems with their travel plans, for their trip to Cornwall for the wedding on Saturday. We decided to head off to the coast for some sitting by the sea reading time. Whilst heading coastward, we saw a sign advertising "Mambo, American 50's diner". We skidded quickly to the right and found ourselves eating some of the most cholesterol heavy food you can imagine. To add to the classy tone of the place the Cornish Elvis was giving a performance later that evening. We had left before he started his act, but were fortunate enough to see him waddling around (definitely late period Elvis!) without a care, as his pencil thin female partner lugged all his gear around. We drove round to Polkerris, parked at the top of the village and walked down the hill to the small bay, along the single car width road. Here we sat and read for a while whilst waiting the sunset.

The wedding was great, but I'll write more about that later.

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