Cornwall has extremes. Often so beautiful, on clement days and in sunshine, that she steals all words that might adequately describe her as a welcoming marvel, leaving the spectator speechless and in awe.
In contrast, this southwestern extremity, with craggy toe posturing towards the Atlantic, can turn overnight into a salty wet, ill-tempered, moody bitch especially on exposed coasts. Bleak and blustering, she screams at low-grown thorny trees who bend cowering under the banshee’s onslaught. Grabbing loose hair, she tosses it into bird’s nest mangles, whips up a foam of green-grey scum off the ocean and throws buckets of sea mixed with rain relentlessly upon us. There is not much to do. Either dress for it and face the weather and be exhilarated by it, or stay indoors, batten down the hatches, and comfort eat.
Pondering both options, wet or dry, there’s few better locations, than a mid-week lunch on Watergate Bay at Fifteen Cornwall, to enjoy both. I chose comfort over thrill, but with a great ringside view to see the kite-surfers zip up and down the shoreline, sometimes taken airborne above the waves, most of my food bites were accompanied by gasps of wonder.
Personally, I find it impossible not to love the food at Fifteen Cornwall, and a three course mid-week lunch for £21 makes the off-season experience well worth while. Currently running Monday to Friday until 20th December, this makes it a local’s special treat and, the Autumn into Winter menus feature richer, earthier food that’s full of flavour.
Not every plate of food is as pretty or refined as each other, but it doesn’t matter one jot unless you only measure taste through your eyes! The thick Tuscan soup – resembling something I might have concocted from everything I found in my cupboard in fridge in my University days – was actually a flavour marvel. Rich, warming and spicy. Perfect comfort food on the cold, windswept November day I chose it. Mullet with its fine flavour and flakey texture, I have to declare is now my favourite fish.
Where my partner chose the opposite dishes, starting light and building towards his Sticky toffee apple pudding; I worked in reverse and finished with a light creamy panna cotta with spicy plums. Delicious!
I only have one teeny-weeny gripe, that on that day the service was slow and we were itching for a beach blast that would give our dog a good run before the tide came in. On the upside, slow is a good if you want to stay unhurried, watch the surf action and savour every Fifteen moment warm in doors.
Try the delicious Lemongrass and Ginger or Fifteen’s home-made Cola for a non-alcoholic treat.
- Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall – Watergate Bay (thecooktwit.wordpress.com)