Kernow Life’s a Beach; Pasties, Pirates & Proper Job
Updated: Sep 27, 2020
I know I have been extremely privileged to have spent my adolescence through to adulthood in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Nothing beats the summers spent barefoot on the soft sands, the amber sun on your face and the salty sea air whipping through your hair as you splash through the azure Cornish waters. Although what does it really mean to grow up in a land where you’re never further than 10 metres away from a pasty at all times, and “wasson shag?” is a standard greeting? Here are 10 reasons why growing up as a Cornish maid is bleddy ‘ansome.
1. Pasties. Steak and stilton. Lamb and mint. Cheese and onion. Or even chorizo, tomato and chicken for the more adventurous types; the list of possibilities is endless. As long as it’s crimped at the side (only heathens crimp pasties at the top) and made in Cornwall (Ginsters definitely does not count) then it’s “right on”. Notable pasty shops include: Philps in Hayle, Lavenders in Penzance (who now deliver country-wide, absolute game changer ) and Pengenna Pasties in St Ives.
2. The beaches. If you haven’t had a campout experience on Gwenver beach that is tainted with memories of guzzling Frosty Jack’s cider and then proceeding to spew up said cider all over the tent, or a similar incident to that effect, then have you really had an authentic Cornish childhood..? Shout out to Pedn Vounder in Porthcurno, Porthmeor in St Ives and Portherus Cove near Pendeen for being absolutely beautiful sons of beaches.
3. The day festivals. Whether you’re joining in with the lantern procession for Lafrowda Day in St. Just, having a boogie to Sir Vinyl (double pint of Proper Job in hand, of course) outside the Lugger pub on Mazey Day in Penzance or just getting generally shitfaced watching the Furry Dance at Flora Day in Helston, the little festivals hosted in each individual town (well most of them anyway) make up the fabric of a proper Cornish upbringing.
4. The party festivals. The Southern folk certainly know how to host a soiree; if you’re seeking a night of debauched revelry ft. costumes and theme park rides then the Halloween Masked Ball is for you. Frendzy, described simply as a ‘party in the woods’ (it does what it says on the tin) is also one to check out if you like to exercise your dancing shoes ‘til 6am and beyond…
5. The pubs. There is nothing finer than that first tantalising sip of draft Rattler cider at The Packet after a hot summer’s day spent cliff jumping off of Pixie’s Cove. Nothing. Honourable mentions include the Dolphin pub in Penzance (my old work and self-proclaimed happy place), The Ship Inn in Porthleven and the Gurnard’s Head in Zennor.
6. The clubs/bars. There was a time where Zone was home and we were bound for Sound, but unfortunately the club era has come to an end so we have had to make the most of the bars instead (devastating I know). My partying days usually consisted of multiple ‘squashed frogs’ and ‘brain damage’ mixed shots in the Star pub in Penzance, followed by slut dropping like the basic bitch I am in Up Bar, and then eventually on to Barn Club (RIP) for extremely inebriated DMCs in the toilets. If we were feeling fancy we’d venture further afield to St Ives to inevitably drunkenly fall down the stairs of the Hub, or up the stairs of Balcony (these were both generally a given, why must there be so many stairs..?).
7. Rugby. Whether you’re a Cornish Pirates fan or support Redruth R.F.C (boo) rugby is a pretty big deal for Kernow lads & lasses. Slander a Cornishman’s rugby team and you will live to regret it…
8. Seafood. I’m not a huge fan of our fishy friends myself but I can appreciate a proper fish supper when I ‘sea’ one, especially from Mackerel Sky in Newlyn, or The Rum & Crab Shack in St Ives (who also do banging cocktails). If you’re feeling particularly bold you could even try Mousehole’s local delicacy of Stargazy Pie (essentially fish heads on top of pastry, each to their own I suppose).
9. The Meadery. If the idea of eating chicken ‘in the rough’ with your hands in low, ambient lighting in a medieval-type setting whilst sipping on traditional 17% ABV blackberry mead wine sounds like your idea of heaven, then you wouldn’t be wrong. Newlyn Meadery in particular is the bee’s knees.
10. The people. They may be blunt in nature and get things done ‘dreckly’ but you wouldn’t have them any other way. Operating on ‘Cornwall time’ allows for a special, slower pace of life which is a blessing in itself and is something that can be truly appreciated after leaving for a city venture. So geddon, y'buggers and get your butts down to Pasty Land, stat (although forgive us for calling you an emmet if you do…).