Rachel Hammond reviewed our recent Chat and Eat evening – a delicious and informal cream tea hosted at The Waymarker near Constantine.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Potluck Cornwall evening. I’d heard good things about the Cornwall foodie club and was inspired to attend a Persian evening after reading Taor’s blog back in January. That turned out to be one of my best 5 minutes online – it led to a really memorable evening with delicious food and new friends made.
And that is the ethos of Potluck Cornwall: people making new connections and a room humming with glorious tastes and lively chatter. And all of it born from a shared love of food. As a self-confessed cream tea connoisseur I was delighted to be invited to the event at The Waymarker. This is a lovely restaurant in a stunning location with a strong reputation for good food – and a top-notch cream tea. I was not at all disappointed... but more of that later!
The Waymarker situated outside Constantine, between Penryn and Gweek, The Waymarker is set in one of Cornwall’s secret rural locations. Wildlife thrives and Rhiannon has done a fantastic job of making nature welcome. The birdsong was loud and a heady backdrop to a warm spring night and we were lucky enough to be treated to the sight of a red woodpecker soon after our arrival.
Potluck Cornwall Nights offer a chance to sample lovely food, but Taor also arranges for a guest speaker to join the group. Often with a foodie focus, the talk lends an additional dimension to the evenings and are great conversation starters themselves!
Our food on this night was a Cream Tea, and the guest speaker was Neil from Bordh Tables, who makes bespoke tables using surfboard technology. This was a hugely entertaining interlude and my own take-away from the night was simple. JFDI*: a mantra for anyone with a bright idea. Especially if it comes after a night with friends on a beach and fueled with beer. And yes, I have had a couple of those over the years…
No cream tea in Cornwall is complete without an assembly discussion. And, having spent many of my early years in Devon, I sometimes forget to fly the flag for team Jam First. And it turns out Neil is Plymothian so our table talk gave way to some lively debate about the merits of jam first – or otherwise.
Whichever way they were eaten, the scones were met with universal approval – and I can see why The Waymarker has won awards! As you can see from the photographs, portions are generous and the cinnamon version delicious beyond belief. Boddingtons Jam and Roddas cream are, for me, the very best toppings for a scone and so I was delighted to see both of these on the menu.
With teacups refilled and drained and with the night drawing in, our evening was coming to a close. Friendships were formed, the chatter was light-hearted and it seemed a shame for the night to pass. I spoke with several people who were regulars at events and others, like myself, who were first- timers. We all agreed that it was a fantastic night and a lovely way to informally meet people.
Taor’s enthusiasm for shared food experiences and Rhiannon’s pride in her cosy restaurant were infectious. The evening was a treat from start to finish and very well organised, it ran without a hitch. And now that The Waymarker is on my map, I will certainly be making return visits, for bird watching, for cakes or cream teas – and most likely for a roast with visiting friends!
This was my first taste of a Potluck Cornwall foodie evening – but it certainly won’t be the last.
*JFDI: a mantra to live by. Just ****** Do It!
Rachel is a freelance writer for MumsNet Local and writes lifestyle blogs for local businesses
Contact her at email@example.com
Thoroughly enjoyable evening at Arjomandi Kitchen supper club in Truro.
My first experience of a Persian supper and what an amazing taste-bud explosion of flavours. Highly recommend. Lovely to see some familiar faces and make some great connections for Leopard Print Ltd and Potluck Cornwall.
Who knew a supper club night would be a great place to network!
(Served as canapés)
- Persian herb omelette -
with lemon marinated cucumber and seasoned yoghurt
Strained, set yoghurt balls on homemade naan with a Persian inspired Salsa Verde
Khoresh -e- Fesenjan
A revered Persian stew of chicken, walnuts and pomegranate
Khoresh -e- Bademjan
Aubergine and tomato stew with lentils
Iran’s most popular salad - Cucumber, tomato and onion with lemon and mint dressing
Traditional Persian bread, glazed and topped with Nigella seeds
Lime and rosewater infused cake served with yoghurt
A traditional Persian sweet - Yoghurt fritters soaked in rosewater and saffron infused syrup
Coffee & tea
Since my move to Cornwall end of 2012 and then starting up Potluck Cornwall in 2014 I knew I needed to start doing some exercise to counter balance all the good food I have been consuming. Since the move down and all the food I am eating I have gone up 3 dress sizes and have to wear high waisted jeans now to hide the bits I'm unhappy with.
I can't remember how I came across the rounders summer sessions Cornwall Sports Partnership were running but I started to attend the 6 week stint and haven't looked back.
I loved rounders at school and have always wanted to play again. I bought the whole rounders kit about 9 years ago hoping to start up a rounders networking group in Kent, I had interest but the numbers never stuck so I never got the group off the ground. My kit has collected dust ever since.
I don't like running and haven't stuck to a gym class or anything similar since I left 10 years worth of dancing (Modern Jazz, Ballet and Tap - 5 times a week) at the age of 15.
15 years too late maybe but I have now found something I love doing weekly, so much so that when the free 6 week sessions ended I took to Facebook and Twitter and made a small but on-going group out of some of our Potluck Cornwall members to carry on the sessions. Once the nights drew in we moved inside and once the nights get light again we will head back outside.
It has been amazing to meet new people who also share the love of rounders and to watch how far we have all come in 5 months is incredible. I used to scream when the ball was thrown in my direction, now I can catch some with one hand. It sounds crazy but not putting these practices into action for 15 years had made me fearful. Fearful if anyone ran close to me, fearful of catching in case my glasses broke, fearful of maybe slipping over if the ground is wet. In these 5 months all of who attend have worked on our weaknesses and have really improved on the skills we weren't very good at in the beginning. I also lost 5 pounds which I think is a huge achievement considering this is the only bit of exercise I do.
Yesterday we started back after the Xmas break and I stayed on afterwards to attend a netball session 7:30-8:30pm. Grace our coach has been asking and asking if I would come along and give it ago. I didn't like netball at school at all but I gave netball a go last night and I have to say playing school sports as an adult is so much more fun and you put the fears that you had at school behind you.
If anyone would like to join our rounders group or the netball group through Cornwall Sports Partnership just turn up. It is a great way to meet new people of both sexes, have fun, get fit and let your hair down.
Potluck Cornwall Adult Rounders Group - All abilities welcome, aged 16 +
Professional coaching by Grace Clayton. Kit Provided. All you need is trainers & a bottle of water.
When: Every Monday starting back on 18th Jan
Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Where: Penair School St Clement, Truro Cornwall, TR1 1TN
Also Adult Netball same place at 7:30pm - 8:30pm - £2.50
I can personally recommend her sushi nights as we went to a braised pork belly and garlic sushi roll evening last month and last night I went to her Tuna sushi session. These sessions are a lot more then just making sushi. There is a lot of detail that goes into these evenings, you arrive, you introduce yourselves to the other guests attending (make new friends), you then have at your place seating a menu of what you are going to make and recipe sheets for each dish. Naoko then gives a demonstration and then you get making, once everything is made we dine together eating the items we have made with added extras made by Naoko. Highly highly recommend.
We are really lucky as Naoko has agreed to host her first ever supper club night with us. Totally excited!
Naoko loves cooking and she wants to share her passion with all of us.
Made by Taor for our Japanese Potluck evening. The recipe was taken from the BBC Good Food site and tripled.
1KG trimmed sirloin steaks
1 bottle of Kikkoman Teriyaki marinade sauce
1 whole cucumber
6 Tbsp corinader, chopped
Juice 2 limes
18 Little Gem lettuce leaves
1 red chilli, desseded and thinly sliced
1 red onion thinly sliced
Put the steaks between 2 sheets of cling film, take a rolling pin and beat until half its original thickness. Thinly slice the steak, removing any fat then mix with the teriyaki marinade in a bowl. Leave to marinate for 30mins.
Roughly dice the cucumber and mix with the chopped coriander and lime juice. Season with a little salt.
Heat a frying pan until very hot, then fry the steak slices for 4 mins for medium to well, turning the slices.
Lay the lettuce leaves in a fan of 3, top with beef, the cucumber mixture and add a few finely sliced red onion pieces and chilli slices on top.
Made by Laura Ward at our Vegetarian Potluck Night last year. I finally got my hands on the recipe and have cooked it twice this week for my Vegan sister. It is sooo good I just had to share with you all.
350g Butter Beans (2 tins) so you don't have to soak over night
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
2 tsp dried Oregano
3 tbsp Groundnut oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (the pamperchef garlic slice comes in handy here)
1 red deseeded and sliced chilli (more if you like heat)
400g chopped tomatoes
450ml vegetable stock (I used 2 Kallo gluten free stock cubes and added water)
175g shredded Kale
5 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
juice of 1 lime
sea salt and pepper
Drain the beans put them in to a saucepan and cover with water. Boil on a high heat for 15 mins. Then reduce the heat for 30-45 mins until tender. Drain and set aside.
Put the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat and fry until fragrant, then add the oregano and fry for a few seconds and set aside.
Heat the groundnut oil over a medium heat in a large flameproof casserole dish or I just used a large saucepan. Add the onions and the cumin and oregano mix, fry for 5 mins until the onions are clear. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a further 2 mins.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, butter beans and veg stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover for 30 mins., stirring occasionally.
Increase the heat and stir in the kale. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins then stir in the coriander and lime juice.
I served this with wild rice and avocados splashed with lime juice.
I would like to take this opportunity to Thank everyone involved in Potluck Cornwall over the last year and a half, that we have been organising events. It is wonderful that our events are getting larger and very well supported. I have loved meeting new fellow foodies and have made some amazing friends along the way too.
It has been fun, exciting, fascinating learning new tips, ideas and facts about the food we enjoy and most enjoyable of all is the variety and excellent quality of food we are tasting along the way.
We started this year with a Chat and Nibble at Mackerel Sky Cafe in Penzance which included a most enjoyable talk by John Strike former owner and award winner of Quayside Fishmongers in Porthleven. We then went onto holding a Seafood Master Class with John at Roselidden (Peter and Jos' beautiful long barn in Helston).
We met the incredible Usha from The Stag Hunt Inn who collaborated with us when we showed the movie 'The Hundred Foot Journey' as it is an Indian movie and Usha cooks the most amazing Indian food in Ponsanooth, her and Garry put a fantastic buffet together for us and served it at Ponsanooth Village Hall for us. We enjoyed her food so much that we ended the year enjoying an Indian summer Roast at The Stag Hunt Inn where we were joined by Ally Watkins from Nature Kitchen Spice Merchants in St Austell.
The Good Friday Children's cookery with Little Kitchen Magicians was another great success including the younger generation to get hands on with food. My Mother was very, very impressed with the professionalism, effort and attention to detail from Lizzie when she attended the event with my nephew, who loves all the events that Lizzie has put on. The standard of excellence in Cornwall regarding food in our experience is Amazing.
We enjoyed a high tea tapas at Bone China in Truro where we enjoyed some tiered platters of yummy-ness.
No meal is complete for many without a bit of alcohol so the Rum tasting at The Brig in Falmouth was a fantastic learning experience about the history of it, complimented with some amazing alcohol infused food.
This year saw us collaborate our first 'The Big Lunch' Potluck Picnic event at the Watering Lane Nursery in St Austell hosted by the Amazing Ken, his wife Lorraine and the wonderful team there. Everyone made a huge effort to bring a dish to share and we got to wonder around their beautiful nursery.
This is the reason we all get excited about trying new places and sharing a common love of great food delivered with great love too.
Thanks to all of you for your support and enthusiasm to try new things.
Have an awesome summer. Do not forget to share details of places that you discover so we can share future events.
Love and Happy Tummies
Taor and Peter x
A very refreshing salad I made for The Big Lunch Potluck Picnic.
1 Watermelon, chopped up
Half a cucumber chopped up without the skin
A drizzle of olive oil
A splash of apple cider vinegar (was supposed to be red wine vinegar)
Finely chopped mint
Salt and Pepper
April 15th 2015 written by My Mother Chief Leopard
The moving story of today was at quite an unexpected place – People and Gardens, The Watering Lane Nursery.
Taor asked me to accompany her to meet the folk at People and Gardens C.I.C to discuss collaboration with the Eden Projects “The Big Lunch”. I had no idea about the project within the project. So here it is;
We drive past St Austell and turn off at Polpean Road and proceed down a delightful spring lane that is bursting its banks with yellows, whites, pinks and purple flowers of various species. We eventually turn into the grounds of Watering Lane Nursery: The drive looked like any farm type drive – a wooden cabin with a reception sign and a few scattered wooden sheds and a few massive glass greenhouse type buildings that greet the eye on first impression.
Then the smiley faces appear as people move between the buildings and poly tunnels as we seek out Ken, and are introduced to his lovely wife Lorraine who offers us tea and exchanges cheerful shouts to other staff on the lookout for Ken. Ken appears and also offers us tea but as it is still early and breakfast not quite digested we gratefully decline and Ken immediately gives us a tour.
One of the best tours I have ever had around a “nursery”.
A nursery is a nursery by my account, but the magic of Ken showing us around and explaining each section, patch or area had a story within a story within a story. The first space with cute deckchairs and garden umbrellas offer a welcome area in the massive greenhouse with information boards that quickly inform that Ken has met Prince Charles, a newspaper cutting of an OBE and other activities and photos of the staff and the project within the project. The main project is with Eden who works alongside the project at People and Gardens where we are presently walking around. It is the project within this project that moved me mostly. Quite unexpectedly.
On the surface it would appear that Ken is merely showing us greenhouses and poly tunnels and fields with various plants, but Ken is a marvel. The information board comes alive when he tells a story about another person in the photo with him and how they had to go to M&S and find clothing for the occasion of meeting Prince Charles. The intimacy and care and friendship of the people in the photo and the jokes they share with each other become more interesting to me than meeting Prince Charles.
Ken then shares his reason for being at the heart of this project – Watering Lane Nursery. He lost 14 family members and friends in a very short period of time when he was younger and as he struggled to come to terms with his grief he found himself inside a psychiatric unit. Ken tells us the story as we move between plants and vegetables and explains why security is necessary due to the cost of some of the more exotic plants they house for the Eden Project.
As we move up into the fields Ken continues with his own story of coming out of the psychiatric unit and not fitting in and having a label. The doors shut on him in the unit and on coming out society shut him out. Ironic in many ways. An invisible door of discrimination can be more damaging than a visible solid door. Ken explains that the people the project helps are the very people society neglects and is quite clear that the space at Watering Lane Nursery provides an important function on many many levels. It is a safe place for those who cannot thrive nor be accepted in Day Care Centres or other areas of learning. Here amongst the extremely clean greenhouses and poly tunnels and fields – are people that are flourishing and making for others to eat, enjoy and provide excellent care for specialist plants.
The stories are varied from Aspergers, Down syndrome, Depression, mental health issues etc. Ken also speaks about the sadness of lives lost over the years. This is a concern for vulnerable people. This is Ken’s concern. He cares – he cares with a passion. A passion that makes this man who can swear and joke as a true art form, also project his vulnerable side. A huge responsibility to care for the vulnerable. A huge task. Enormous.
As we walked I eventually could not stop the tears. I was crying, crying for the pain in the beauty that surrounded me – The beautiful Happy Souls we were introduced to whilst they worked. Toiling that dry earth in the heat, is hard work. Maybe it is that very hard work that sows those souls. There can be no energy left after a hard day’s work on the land to be a menace to yourself or society. Your frustration, anger, bitterness, shyness, loneliness, exclusions from the “norm” can be physically exhausted out of you and in its place you can find peace in just being one with the land and that relationship with the earth as she yields her special powers right back and your hard work is rewarded by the new shoots, new growth, new plants, new day, new life.
I was watching a young gentleman hoe out the weeds on the dry hard soil. It can be like life – It looked barren, unyielding, a down period – a hard period. But like all periods they have an end and a beginning for something new. If life has a dealt you blows you will understand what I mean. Here I was witnessing a new beginning – a new space being created for new seeds to be planted. A fresh harvest to look forward to. As I write this I am ill and maybe I recognised my life in between the hilarious tales Ken shared with us and the sombre tales he shared too. I did not feel a sense of sadness although there were many sad tales told. Instead I was overwhelmed by a sense of victory. Victory to those who stick up 2 fingers to the establishments of life and show us all that there is another way to care. There is another way of doing things and making it a darn side better if you have a passion to make a difference. Just Do.
There is still lots to be done there are many, many more stories to be told and the establishments do not learn lessons. Funding is pulled from important human resources. That is maybe why I cry. I cry at stupidity and lack of change. However a small group of people are making these changes – Important changes. Enough to move me to come home and immediately write about them.
If there is a project you would like to fund, this one is worth our effort to be a part of.
I feel that this is a story for an excellent movie – To make you laugh, cry, scream, feel angry, feel sad, but come out feeling empowered and alive. Ken’s sense of humour would have to take centre stage. His brilliant no nonsense, matter of fact, and humorous way of looking at the world as bullshit as it is but using the bullshit for manure and making good.
I loved my one hour walk and talk. Therapy – who would have thought an hour could move you to tears quite unexpectedly. I am glad and thankful I met Ken today.
If you would like to experience this place, please join my daughters 'The Big Lunch' event on Sunday 7th June, 1pm-5pm at Watering Lane Nursery, Pentewan, St Austell. PL25 6BE.