Nanban is the ramen restaurant from former Masterchef UK 2011 champion Tim Anderson. When it comes to ramen he really knows his stuff having lived for a time in Fukuoka aka the Japanese home of ramen. I’d been wanting to check out his place for a while, so as soon as lockdown restrictions on restaurant lifted I headed straight down to Brixton. I went for the Lazy goat ragù-men ramen. This is one of Nanban’s signature dishes and is inspired by Brixton’s West Indian history and culture. Several years ago now it won the Evening Standard dish of the year, so I was keen to try it out and my expectations were high. The ramen consists of slow-cooked boneless goat leg and noodles in a spicy Indo-Caribbean curry sauce, topped with seafood sawdust, fried shallots, scotch bonnet bamboo shoots and a tea pickled egg. An innovate twist on the traditional ramen, but it worked. The goat was beautifully tender and tasty. It sat in what was definitely more of a sauce than a broth and had a good spicy heat to it, without being blow your head off hot.
Sunday was our final day and another hungover late start (starting to spot a pattern here!) we wanted to go visit the coast and what with us being in Cornwall there was several different options to choose from but in the end we decided to head to Polzeath. The bay there is incredible. We had a lovely walk along the beach, over the rocks and then along the coast. Afterwards we headed to a local pub for a late lunch. I had a delicious bowl of local Cornish mussels cooked in cider with bacon washed down with some local beer. We all then back to the house before heading back to Newquay airport and getting the Sunday night flight back to London. I hugely fun few days, I had such a good time. Thank you to my lovely friends Craig and Rob who hosted us so well.
On the Saturday we made our way to the Eden Project. I’d been wanting to visit this place ever since it opened at the turn of the millennium, so I was super excited to check it out. I’d heard reports that it can get incredibly busy, but what with the COVID pandemic it wasn’t actually too bad at all went we visited. It’s a really impressive site, with the domes looking almost otherworldly set in the old chalk quarry. The outside area is actually almost as impressive as inside the domes. The planting is incredible and you really do feel like you could be in the rainforest.
Afterwards we drove to the nearby town of Fowey for a look around.. This is a beautiful little town situated right on the mouth of its namesake the River Fowey. At its centre is a lovely warren of narrow streets lined with beautiful traditional brightly coloured Cornish cottages, many of which are now rented out as holiday lets. We found a lovely little pub right on the waterfront and enjoyed a few pints while admiring the view. Before we headed back to the house we stopped at a local bakery and picked up some Cornish pasties and some scones with local clotted cream for a late lunch.
On Friday after a bit of a late start due to quite a boozy first night we made our way to the nearby Camel Valley Vineyard to do a tour of the estate and most excitingly do some wine tasting. We sat on a beautiful terrace overlooking the vineyard. We started with a selection of five sparkling wines and before moving onto five of their white wines. Each selection came with details of the particular wines and tasting notes. It was really interesting seeing and tasting the differences between them all. Collectively as a group our favourites were almost all the same. Our favourites were the Sparking Brut Rose and our favourite white wine was the Atlantic Dry.
Just as I was getting back from my Sicily holiday I got a text from my friend Craig inviting me down to his boyfriend Rob’s house in Cornwall for a long weekend. I didn’t really need or frankly deserve another holiday, but a lovely group of my friends were going and I couldn’t resist. Due to the fact that it was quite late notice the trains down to Cornwall were ridiculously expensive, so we ended up flying from Heathrow down to Newquay with British Airways. It was half the price of the train, much quicker, even with the the dreaded airport security and I even managed to use some of my many Avios to pay for some of the cost. We flew down Thursday evening and Craig picked us from Newquay airport and then drove us all back to the house. Rob’s house is a gorgeous country house that he bought a few years ago and has stunningly renovated into a luxury holiday rental and wedding venue. If you want to rent it out or hold a wedding/ event there you can find more information here: https://www.boconnion.co.uk/