* Cornwall really is a haven for food lovers. There is great local produce, as well as a number of internationally renowned restaurants. You can enjoy everything from pasties from the local corner shop to Michelin starred restaurants and of course fish and chips. In recent years there has been a renaissance in North Coast dining. Rick Stein and his legendary trio of restaurants in Padstow no longer have the place to themselves. There are chefs with Michelin stars appearing everywhere. Do not always look out for the big names though - you will find really good food, created with wonderful local, fresh produce in beachside restaurants and village pubs all along the coast.
* We had booked a self-catering cottage in the centre of Padstow, and although we did have a few meals out, the majority of the time we had a barbeque and dined in the beautiful walled garden of our cottage. There is a Tesco supermarket just on the outskirts of Padstow - this is the closest supermarket to the town. We went there on our first evening at about 5pm to stock up on provisions. It was an utter nightmare. The shop was so busy you could barely move, food was disappearing from the shelves as soon as they were stacking them and it felt frenzied, as if food was in short supply. We got the basics, left and then did our shopping early in the morning. Apparently this supermarket is like this every day between 3pm and 6pm. My advice would be to avoid it at all costs at these times.
* If you are in Padstow, you cannot escape the influence of the famous chef Rick Stein - sometimes Padstow is actually called Padstein! The Rick Stein empire in Padstow includes a posh restaurant - the Seafood Restaurant, a deli, a cafe, gift shop, patisserie and fish and chip shop. Many of these overlook the harbour, so you really can't miss them. We had fish and chips one evening from his place. There is a restaurant, as well as a takeaway - we opted for the takeaway. There was a queue, but it moved quickly along. Fish and chips here is slightly more expensive than normal - around £7.00, but it is so delicious, it is well worth the extra cost. We had the most wonderful meal of fish with homemade chips, mushy peas and curry sauce in a box, sitting watching the sea.
* It is also worth visiting Rick Stein's other shops to buy food. We bought fresh fish to cook on the barbeque from his fish shop on two separate occasions. The choice is very good - all sorts of local fresh fish, shell fish, lobsters, prawns etc.. They also have a tank at the side where you can see the lobsters - very popular with children. The fish shop overlooks the harbour, so they can see the fish being landed and the choice depends on what has been caught that day.
* Fish and chips anywhere is very good in Cornwall. We tried another establishment for takeaway fish and chips in Padstow which apparently is the local's choice - Chip Ahoy! It is cheaper than Rick's place, but we were disappointed. The food was not nearly so good, and we had to queue for 45 minutes. I would definitely give this place a miss.
* As well as the fish and chips, the Cornish pasties here are mouth wateringly delicious. There are several places in Padstow selling them - my favourite was the Chow Bakery right on the seafront. There was a queue here every lunchtime, but the pasties are excellent.
* Other Cornish delights we enjoyed included the ice-cream - look out for the homemade ice cream places and you will get the best ice cream. Also try the clotted cream - delicious, and last of all the famous Cornish cream tea, a must-have treat.