Whilst many countries have been given the green light for international holidays to resume, rising concerns about a second spike of coronavirus and the impending doom of tighter travel restrictions has led to many of us opting for a British staycation instead (myself included!). So, one week after the hospitality industry reopened, me and my partner Josh hopped in the car for a spontaneous trip to the seaside town of Bude, Cornwall (well, as spontaneous as you can be during a global pandemic).
Day 1: After a 5 ½ hour drive (thank you Great British traffic!), we arrived at the picturesque Sandymouth Holiday Resort situated on the idyllic Sandymouth Bay – just 15 minutes from the town of Bude. After a long journey, there was only one thing on both of our minds – Food, and lots of it!
After scouring the trusty TripAdvisor, I booked a table at the highly rated The Bank at Bude, a tapas bar located on the River Neet. Not quite the traditional Cornish cuisine you would expect from a trip to Cornwall, but right up our street nonetheless. In traditional Spanish style, we ordered a selection of small plates including Patatas Bravas, sauteed Chorizo (with local Cornish cheese, of course) and succulent homemade beef meatballs. Our eyes were certainly bigger than our bellies that night as we also ordered a HUGE chicken and chorizo paella that could have fed the five thousand. Let me tell you that after 4 months of restaurants being closed, this was just what the doctor ordered. Fragrant saffron, succulent chicken and crispy, spicy chorizo chefs kiss. It’s safe to say that we left in a tapas-fuelled food coma, with multiple doggy bags in hand.
Day 2: As we drove into the town of Bude for the first time, we were welcomed by blue skies, sunshine, and the unmistakable scent of fish & chips. “Shall we get lunch first?” we both asked each other. The answer of course, is always yes. We followed our noses to the delightful waft of fresh fried fish which led us to The Olive Tree which, judging by the queue out of the door, was clearly a popular choice!
Serving local Cornish produce, The Olive Tree offered a selection of burgers, salads and pasta dishes, with daily specials also on offer. I had my eyes on the prize from the get-go: fish goujouns, skin on fries and a good ol’ dollop of tartare sauce. Sustainably caught white fish cooked in a poppy seed tempura batter. My oh my, this might just be the best fish and chips I have EVER had. So good, that it was devoured before I could even take a picture (sinful, I know).
Meanwhile, Josh chowed down on a juicy Dartmoor beef burger in a homemade sourdough bun, topped with crispy bacon, Cornish cheese and a tangy tomato and onion relish. I may have stolen a bite (or two) and can confirm that it was also delicious. He also declared it as the best burger he has ever had, so it’s safe to say that The Olive Tree ranked highly in our book!
By the time dinner time came around, we weren’t quite hungry enough for another restaurant meal. Instead, we popped to Bude’s traditional Italian pizzeria, La Bocca, and headed down to the beautiful Summerleaze Beach with two pizzas in hand to watch the sunset. Who said romance is dead? One Margherita and one Contadina pizza later, we were ready to head home and collapse into bed after a busy day exploring.
Day 3: Before we hit the road for the long drive home, we had one last thing left on the agenda: cream tea. How could we possibly visit Cornwall without having a cream tea? After eyeing up some scones at The Olive Tree the day before, we headed back to get the goods for ourselves. Two warm scones fresh out of the oven, a generous pot of Cornish clotted cream, along with some sweet strawberry jam. Dreamy. After a shameful Google search of “do you put the jam or cream on the scones first in Cornwall?” we dived into these crumbly delights with audible “mmm’s” and “ahhh’s” (jam first, apparently).
After 4 months of lockdown, Bude offered the perfect calorie-filled long weekend. We left with sunkissed faces, full stomachs and a staycation that we will remember in years to come when we look back on the whirlwind that has been 2020!