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Food lovers

a mix of images showing local produce including wood-fired pizza, scotch eggs, pastries and produce

Shop like a local

a mix of images showing local produce including wood-fired pizza, scotch eggs, pastries and produce

Shop local for sustainable tourism

We all know planning for a holiday can be a pretty fraught, from packing to directions and organising others. So food can often be a little forgotten.

A self-catering holiday does make many think of having to order bags of supermarket food, drink to ensure you can eat well and save a little on the essentials.

I am definitely a last minute merchant. I think of all the amazing things I should organise weeks ahead, and then let it all slip into an abyss, procrastination winning over getting it done.

Now, I know that will fill many with dread.  But I can honestly say that it has on many occasion led to better holidays with more rich experiences especially when it comes to food.

Food and drink are one of life's pleasures. I know I get stuck in a rut when it comes making meals for the household, and I definitely don't love the supermarket shop.

So when on my holibobs, I indulge a little, allow shopping for food to become a little more exciting and let myself be led by what is available, because holidays don't have the same pressure of routines and structure that everyday life imposes on us.

So this little journal is all about some of the most gorgeous little haunts to find ingredients, enjoy local produce and indulge in some eating out.

Visit Ledbury for brilliant Indie shopping

We've had the tough job of doing the research to find the best bakery, or amazing deli, where to go for the best morning coffee and breakfasts or tea time treats, so you don't have to.

These are our recommendations of where to buy local ingredients from farm shops to markets. We'll recommend some of the best places to shop for food, ingredients, gifts and hand crafted items as keepsakes from your stay.

Ledbury's got a wonderful array of shops for picking up everyday ingredients there are super markets - Tesco's, Lidl, and Co-Op.  If you are looking for a few local treats then head for Ceci Paolo - with amazing cheeses, deli salads, quiche, local sourdough breads and cakes. Its where we pick up our goodies for grazing platters for Elsies cottage.

Handley Organics has some wonderful locally grown produce as well as cakes, salads and whole foods - perfect if you are looking for a vegan or wheat free treat. They have a cafe too!

If you adventure about 5 miles out of Ledbury on the Hereford road you will discover The Nest, so called as it is the home of the Scotch egg company. With a little deli, cafe and nursery as well as wildlife walks and orchards,  all styled with rustic charm, well worth a mooch.

Staying in Ledbury there are plenty of lovely shops for inspiration. If it is a little gift for yourself, try Juice Collection for jewellery and leather goods or maybe something for your home, try Tinsmiths for fabrics, pottery and soft furnishings - tucked down the alleys are Roger Oats - wonderful rugs and worth a visit of the architecture. If its more scandi-design you are after then Hus and Hem will be right up your street.

Therer is so much more in the town, that it is difficult to mention everything here, so just enjoy a wander, and don't forget to wander the alleyways, they are full of great little shops and cafe's.

We particularly recommend The Malthouse - with a cute little courtyard and great produce. but beware it gets very booked up.

Shop Local on the Cornish coast

You'll always arrive to the basics at one of our cottages - everything to make a brew, eggs and toast for morning breakfast as well as a few treats.  When we land in Porthleven its usually with very little in hand. So our first stop is at the local shop Pengellys.

Whilst it carries co-op items it also has lots of  locally grown farm produce, Cornish milk and cream, cheeses and hams as well as pretty much anything you might have left behind. Plus it stays open really late!

If you are looking for a few treats for your stay head for The Corner Deli. It carries some great Cornish produce as well its own produced cakes, deli salads and cheese and you could pre-order your wood-fired pizza for later.

Porthleven Markets  Run throughout the week. There are stalls in the harbour, as well as in the Shipyard market.  Perfect for picking up a gorgeous gift, or keepsake, as well as delicious treats with a huge variety of products including Poke bowls, bubble tea, smoothies and delicious bakery items. I love a lazy wander around the markets, chat with young local  producers learn a little local history and catch the Cornish vibe.

Tourism offers great opportunities for enterprising young entrepreneurs but only if they are supported. So rather than ramming your car full of super market bags, your holiday is a wonderful opportunity to support sustainable tourism by shopping local.

Foody weekend in Cornwall

Easy peasy foody weekend

The journey down to the Lizard peninsula can be a bit of a trek. Always worth it, but you may have a bit of a rumbly tum by the time you arrive.

So we've put together a guide to the simplest of foody weekends in Cornwall, which mean you can ditch the car and indulge.

Porthleven village has plenty to fill you up after a long journey. Famous for its food festival held in spring, but there's plenty to tempt your taste buds all year round.

We've put together an easy peasy weekend woody weekend in Cornwall that will mean you can ditch the car, and the apron, so you can properly indulge from long brunches to seafood feasts on beach, scrumptious fast food treats and fine dining. That's before you start on the pubs and coffee houses.

So after a blast of sea air to blow away the frustrations of the A30 you'll be ready to get stuck in.

Fish suppers and wood-fired pizzas

To ensure you get the biggest choice, head out before 8, especially out of season. Our favourite is fish and chips which we either dig into back at Anchor cottage to enjoy the view or eat straight out the packet from the harbour wall with a pint from the Shoal.

Wood-fired pizzas from the Corner Deli are a great quick fix, especially if you have hungry mouths to feed. - you can order in advance and pick them up on the way. Or drop in and order in person. We leave a voucher to use in the Deli, so whether it goes towards your dinner or a treat for your stay it's up to you.

Now the weekend is off to a flying start, you could sit and enjoy the wave action on the terrace or get in amongst the locals at the pubs, our go to is the shoal or Ship Inn where there's always a great welcome.

Brekkie blowout

Waking to the sound of the sea and the Cornish hustle and bustle, you'll be drawn outside to go and get in amongst the seaside vibes.

Our hamper provides all you need to start the day well, from a fresh brew to a poached egg on toast.

But you are on your holibibs, so you might want a proper blow out breakfast. And in Porthleven you have plenty to choose from. Our choice is the Twisted Current cafe. Their breakfasts are proper. If it's a full English or a vegan cook up, they cover it. From pancakes and maple syrup to avovado toast and mushrooms.  Grab yourself a sweet treat for later too, because this cafe bake all their own cakes

In their cosy tea rooms, you get a view of the bustling high street, or there's a garden at the rear if you want to eat al fresco. Dog friendly too!

Fresh Mussels with harbour views

Nothing says Cornwall than a fresh bowl of Mussels. But don't be fooled by the name, the Mussel Shoal cooks up much more than just its namesake.

From hake burgers to sticky squid, and haddock chowders to warm you after a day messing about on the water.

The vibe is always laid back, with great tunes piped out over the outdoor bar and huddle by a wood burner or bask in the sunniest spot on the harbour.

Share a table and get chatting to all, sup on a pint or cocktail, the only danger is that you'll still be sitting there as the sun dips and you start thinking of dinner!

Fine dining with Cornish simplicity

The home of Kota is one of the oldest buildings in Porthleven.

Acclaimed chef Jude Kereama, owns and runs Kota and its sister restaurant on the harbour front Kota Kai.

For the tasting menu and fine dining book Kota, it is up there for the best of Cornwall and beyond- with many a rosette, awards and a slice of TV acclaim.  But this place isn't formal or stuffy. An unpretentious dining space, with friendly service works perfectly with the stunning Cornish inspired dishes.

Head for Kota Kai for even more informality, and lovely views over the harbour. The food is a wonderful fusion of oriental flavours and British favourites using fresh seafood.

Whichever you choose - book ahead!

Of the beaten track for a traditional roast

We British love a Sunday roasts. Whatever the weather!

In Porthleven you could choose from a number of spots, including a paired back option from The Ship Inn, to the real deal at the Corner Deli and Harbour.

Our choice is to head out of town to The Victoria Inn in Perranuthno. A little known cove off the Penzance road with a great Sunday roast. It's about a 15 minute drive, and you can enjoy a paddle on the sandy beach wander around a few crafty shops before digging into a great Sunday lunch with a good pint or a hefty red.

Once back in your cosy cottage you may need a rest from eating, but you probably won't resist a last pint in the Ship to finish off your foody weekend in real Cornish style.

Room for more? Dig in at a bistro with a view

If you are more of a light lunch type, or maybe you still have room for more.

Why not try Amelie's

Amelie's is more of a mixed menu with fresh fish, and pizzas on the menu - so great for families.  The glazed extension is perfect for summer dining, but the main restaurant is lovely with bar area and a  light airy feel.

Once back in your cosy cottage you may need a rest from eating, but you probably won't resist a last pint in the Ship to finish off your foody weekend in real Cornish style.

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