Nothing quite beats the thought of getting away on holiday, and this is what July had been building up to all year. No, actually, since the end of last year when we had made plans to get away on a trip to Berlin this summer with some friends. But as things sometimes do, plans fell through and P and I were left mmming and ahhing about where we should go instead. July was fast approaching and we thought why not have a staycation and see some of the beautiful places that home has to offer. And so the road trip began. We had no idea where we were going to end up but had decided to drive to Cornwall and decide on a place once we got there! And this is how St Ives happened..
We had made the unfortunate decision to set off on a Friday, this resulted in it taking 7 hours to make our way down to Cornwall. By the time we arrived there it was fast approaching 8 o’clock and the light was starting to dwindle. After navigating our way around the narrow windy roads down into St Ives and finding somewhere to get parked, we decided to have a potter about and see if we could find some dinner. We made our way down to the water front and took in the smells of the sea and the views of this beautiful seaside town and discovered quite a selection of menu’s which appealed to our hungry bellies. We spotted the Rum and Crab Shack and that was it, dinner was decided!
This little gem was full of atmosphere inside and was clearly very popular. There were a number of seats by the windows which overlooked the harbour and gave fantastic views but having rolled up a little later on into the evening these were all taken. Now I’ve got to confess, I am not normally the biggest fan of seafood, and this was a menu for those who love the fruit of the sea! Crab, lobster, moules mariniere, gumbo, jambalaya, sea bream, shrimp..a full and hearty menu! But I was one happy customer when my fish arrived and you could taste how fresh it was. Light and delicate and super tasty. P opted for the battered soft shell crab burger and got a side of brown shrimp on toast for the table. These were cooked in garlic butter and were absolutely lovely. The service was very quick and friendly and we left wanting to go back, should we ever find ourselves in St Ives again…even if it were just for one of the many cocktails or selections of rum on the menu!
By the time we were done tucking in, night was falling and we took a walk around the streets of this beautiful little town. There were plenty of galleries and independent boutiques to browse aswell as a great selection of bars and pubs to spend the evening in, all the ones in which we passed sharing snippets of live music from their open windows on this hot summer evening, being performed to relaxed punters with cold beers in hand. The narrow cobbled paths were emptied of the daily rush and we got to soak up the atmosphere in relative peace before wandering up to a spot overlooking the harbour where we got to see the town coming to life.
Another day and more exploring to do. It is always nice to see a place when it is thriving with life and with the sun bright in the sky, the bay was brimming with people. Kids were crab catching, seagulls were hunting ice creams to steal out of the hands of unsuspecting souls, fun and laughter were being had. We had decided that while we were here we wanted to get out onto the sea and thought it might be nice to go on a fishing trip. Wandering along the harbour front there were plenty of offers of such trips, fishing, seal spotting, days out on the sea. We spotted some self drive boats for £25 and thought this might be the most fun. So we handed over our money, donned our life vests, removed our shoes and headed down to the sea front to climb aboard our bright red water steed! The sea was beautifully clear and blue and had we have brought the right attire, we would definitely have been taking a dip.
After our water excursion it was once again time for food! This time we opted for burgers at another of the many inviting restaurants on the harbour front so we could enjoy the spectacular views overlooking the bay and do a spot of people watching. The scent of yum coming from the food of the customers already sat tucking in at The Hub lured us in and we were lucky enough to get a table upstairs on the balcony with excellent views. The staff once again were very friendly and we were quickly sorted out with drinks to enjoy with the scenery.
We perused the menu long and hard, trying to decide which burger to go for, not being limited on choice. Being the hot sauce lover that I am I decided to go for the hot chick, a crispy chicken burger smothered in Freddies Hot Sauce. P opted for the big kahuna which was filled with two burgers, pulled pork, bbq sauce, swiss cheese and onion rings. And of course, with my usual case of eyes bigger than belly I decided to order a side of mac and cheese, a mug of smokey beans with burnt ends and a garlic & paprika sauce (which turned out to be perfect for dipping fried in). Everything we had tasted great. My chicken was soft and juicy on the inside of its crispy batter and full of flavour. The mac & cheese was cheesy and rich without being oily and heavy and the beans were lovely with the specks of meat throughout.
With full tums it was time to depart. We had a fantastic time in St Ives. We loved the charm and character and would have loved to have had longer to explore, but I guess that is what next time is for! Plenty more to see and do..