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Porthleven Food Festival Leads The Way

Written by Simon Tolson on

Food has become a very important part of attracting visitors to Cornwall

Saturday the 26th of April is the date for the 6th Porthleven food & music festival.  It’s grown into a really big event and attracts thousands of people to the town.  Sadly we don’t get to enjoy it so much ourselves as it’s also one of our busiest days of the year organising our stall and meeting many of our owners who make a special effort to use their holiday homes that weekend.

There are now many food based festivals through the year- Falmouth Oyster Festival, Newlyn Fish Festival are two of my favourites and Fowey, Looe, Rock, Newquay, Boscastle and Truro all holding food events this year.

The combination of great ingredients, great lifestyle and perhaps reasonable rents has brought many enthusiastic and ambitious chefs to Cornwall.  They are often living above the shop and cooking with love from locally sourced products and the knock on effect has been a huge improvement in the quality of food available in virtually every pub in the county.  I would suggest that Cornish residents now enjoy a choice of food to cook or eat out that is as goos as anywhere in the country.

I’m not sure if foodcation is a real word but it’s apparent that many visitors are planning holidays around food, choosing accommodation based on restaurants in the town or area.  Being within walking distance of a decent pub with food is one of the most important criteria for selling cottages away from a town and we are often asked for our opinions by guests planning their break.

So what does this all mean for holiday cottage owners and agencies?

Kitchens need to be properly equipped with good quality equipment- thos cheap saucepans and blunt knives will simply not do any more.  Self catering has moved on immeasurably from heating up a pasty and a tin of beans.  Many of our guests are enthusiastic home chefs but have busy lives and a holiday gives them the chance to really enjoy some cooking.  I frequently have long conversations about a day planned shopping for ingredients in different locations and the best way to cook that fresh mackerel (straight on the barbecue with sea salt and nothing else).

These conversations are often with fellow enthusiastic male cooks whilst their wife and mine roll their eyes and exchange knowing looks- the food will be ok but the kitchen will be devastated!  It’s also important to supply cleaning stuff and a decent dishwasher!

To summarise think about your property’s food assets and flaunt them.  put your own reviews of pubs and restaurants nearby into the visitors’ information book, point out hidden places to buy fresh produce, towns to go to for fish, farm shops selling their own meat and times for farmers markets.

A bit of decent kitchen equipment is one of the best ways to get across the message that this is a quality holiday cottage- invest in a Global knife block or Dualit toaster and your place will be automatically upgraded in people’s minds.

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Making great holidays happen in Cornwall