The Boathouse – Newquay

Last weekend I ventured down to Cornwall with the girls I lived with at Uni for a mini break away! We stayed about 10 minutes inland from Newquay, and luckily my friends like eating out as much as I do, so we were on the search for a nice fish restaurant to go to on our last night.

On one of the days it rained (typical English weather!) so we hit up the spa, and one of the beauticians recommended a seafood restaurant called The Boathouse to us, which we were informed is great for a nice evening meal, so after perusing the mouth-watering menu online we booked a table for our last night.

The restaurant is in a great setting overlooking the harbour, and the only route to it is down some stone steps. Once you reach the bottom you are greeted by pools of the biggest fresh lobsters I’ve ever seen! 😀

Once inside, the restaurant has a great atmosphere, with a lovely homely, country feel. With a warm wooden interior and large candles on every table, the atmosphere is immediately relaxing and friendly. There is also a restaurant black lab, who when we were there happily trotted up and down the beach before curling up in a warm corner for a nap. The restaurant has a decking area where you can admire the view (roofed overhead with open sides) – they have thought ahead here and the decking is provided with multiple heaters to keep you warm, as well as plastic covers that roll down and fasten shut along the open sides to protect you from the typical English weather, which came in handy as even though it was glorious when we arrived, it was long before the rain and wind started to howl!

View from the decking

View from the decking at low tide

The only gripe I have is that the service was quite slow. We were all seated for quite a while before even our drinks orders were taken. By the time a waitress came to take our drinks order we were ready to order our food, but were informed she had to check to see if the kitchen was ready before we ordered?! This seemed a bit odd, and meant we had to wait even longer before ordering. Despite this, it didn’t affect our evening too much, and I think this tends to be a more laid back approach that many places adopt, which can come across as slow when comparing to London’s fast hustle and bustle!

We decided to just go for mains, and they were all delicious! I had one of the dishes from the specials, which was poached turbot in white wine and cream sauce, with asparagus and saffron infused rice. A few of my friends had the fish pie, another had the dressed crab and the last had the lobster pasta. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals, definitely one for the seafood lovers to try!

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Wahaca

As mentioned in various places on this blog, Will and I love Mexican food, and Wahaca is by far our favourite Mexican restaurant. Created by a past MasterChef winner, Thomasina Miers, this was always going to be a winner!

Currently Wahaca only exists in London, but as Will lives in London I get the chance to go quite regularly. We’ve now visited about half of the locations, most recently going to the new Islington location, conveniently just down the road from Will, it’s as if they knew 🙂

Encompassing a Mexican street food vibe, you are not able to book a table, however I don’t see this as an issue. Even though it does get very busy, the staff are always more than happy to help you set up camp at the bar, with some nachos and salsa/guacamole and one of their famous tequila cocktails, until a table becomes free. In most of the locations there are also a few table football tables to play a few games on to work up an appetite!

All of the restaurants have an exciting and colourful interior that transports you to Mexico. You can get a taste of what you are to expect by visiting the website, which is set up in the same style, accompanied by the kind of music you are likely to hear as you deliberate between the hundreds of dishes on the menu: http://www.wahaca.co.uk

Wahaca interiors

Another great thing is that if the bar is located away from the main eating area, such as with the tropical downstairs bar in the Soho location, then you are given a buzzer to alert you when you table is ready, which works really well.

There is nothing on the menu I haven’t liked when I’ve tried it, but my favourites have to be the Pork pibil tacos, Chipotle chicken quesadillas and the sweet potato side with caramelised mojo de ajo, so good!

wahaca

There are always a couple of street food specials on, which we seem to always have, and they never fail to please! A recent one is pictured below – spinach, spelt, feta and sweet potato salad, garnished with a light dressing and pumpkin seeds, delicious!

wahaca2

In terms of pudding, the salted caramel ice-cream is to die for, infused with shavings of Valrhona chocolate this is by far one of the best ice-creams I have tasted anyway, ever!

Check out all that’s on offer here: http://www.wahaca.co.uk/html/ASSETS/Downloads/Wahaca_menu.pdf

One location that is a must is the South Bank Experiment, which is a relatively new temporary restaurant designed specifically for trialling new dish ideas and recipes, of which are successful are introduced to the main menus across the locations. And by experimental, I mean dishes like ‘Chapulines fundido’, commonly known as grasshoppers! You may cringe at the thought, but fried with shallots, garlic and smoky chipotle chillies, they’re pretty appetising 😛

The service is always good and friendly; it’s the perfect place for both a quick working lunch as well as a longer more relaxed dinner with family, friends, or your partner. I highly recommend it!

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The Perfect Cheesecake Recipe

Cheesecake is most definitely my guilty pleasure, so when I saw a post on Twitter from Delicious magazine a couple of days ago about it being national cheesecake day, with a link to their cheesecake library, I couldn’t resist!

I tend to always make no bake cheesecakes, but when I saw this recipe I desperately wanted to make it, especially being called the perfect cheesecake recipe, how could I pick something else?! Of course, another factor that swayed my decision was that we had hundreds of beautiful big blueberries ready to pick! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g stem ginger biscuits, crushed
  • 1 vanilla pod (I used 2 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 400g mascarpone
  • 350g cream cheese (I used full fat philadelphia)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 free-range eggs (freshly laid from my chickens!)
  • Grated zest of 1 small orange (I used a very large orange, for extra fruitiness)
  • 300g blueberries (fresh from our blueberry bush)

Method:

Firstly, preheat your oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and grease a 25cm spring form cake tin generously with butter. Then crush the biscuits and melt the butter. I always put the biscuits in two or three plastic bags to allow for spillage, before hammering away! Very good for stress relief 🙂 Once nicely crushed, mix with the melted butter, and spoon into the cake tin, pushing down evenly across the entire base. Then put in the fridge to cool whilst you make the filling.

One thing I really loved about this recipe is how quick and easy is it do to the filling! Simply put everything (vanilla, mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, cornflour, eggs and orange zest) in a big bowl and mix using a hand held electric whisk. A tip here is to break up the cream cheese and mascarpone with a wooden spoon first, otherwise you may end up with it in your hair if you go straight in with the electric whisk with too much vigour…

Once whisked together and everything is evenly combined, I gave a final beat with a wooden spoon, before stirring in all but a handful of the blueberries. Get your cake tin out of the fridge, and carefully spoon in the filling, flattening evenly across the tin with a spatula. Lastly, scatter the remaining blueberries on top, pushing gently into the mixture. Then it is all ready to go into the oven!

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake for about 45-60 minutes, until golden brown but still slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave to cool before refrigerating – the cheesecake will firm up as it cools and is best eaten after being left overnight in the fridge. In Delicious Magazine’s recipe it suggests taking out of the tin once cool, but personally I like to leave in the tin whilst refrigerating also, and only taking out just before serving. Here’s my finished result:

Perfect cheesecake

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