I'm a city girl. Always have been and probably always will be. Chaos energises me and the frenetic metropolitan lifestyle is my element. Even so, when it's time for a getaway, the charm of seaside towns never fails to appeal to me. Anything beachy is always a welcome treat, especially when it's a brand new place that is yet to be seen, experienced, discovered.
Since David and I first moved to the UK a year and a half ago, we've seen shamefully little of our new home country: having been to London and Brighton barely counts as visiting the UK, does it? So when time came to choose a destination for Easter Bank Holiday weekend, we chose to forgo the usual dilemma of "do we visit your parents or mine?" and instead escaped to a place where we'd never been: Newquay, selected mainly because of the cheap B&B, cheap National Express tickets and the fact that it's known as a surfer's paradise (David is a keen surfer). I couldn't wait: pretty much every person I'd met since moving to England has spoken exceptionally well of Cornwall. So I knew it couldn't disappoint.
Please don't be fooled by the immense blue skies and tranquil scenery: the truth behind these photos is that it was FREEZING from the moment we got off the bus to the second we shuffled back onto it, throats sore and noses running (all while several seasoned surfers were making their way onto the beach in the rain). But as I think back on this weekend in Newquay, the absolutely last thing I'll remember is that I had a sore throat. I'll remember the greenish blue of the water, the endless sky, the grass that somehow seemed much greener than in other places...and my first-ever vegan Cornish pasty!
The tiny, storybook-pretty town of Newquay is endlessly windy, which doesn't faze its fearless inhabitants: the locals calmly stroll about in shorts and flip-flops as if it were July. My brave fiancé decided that when in Rome...and sported his summer shorts, whereas I clung on to my scarf (see above) with one hand and a tissue for my red nose with the other. We strolled about on the seaside, went into pretty much every surfer-themed, hippie-ish shop we could find and had lots and lots of snacks, photos, coffees and laughs.
Note for vegans: some shops have vegan-friendly Cornish pasties and I highly recommend them! For the rest, pubs offer veggie burgers and most places have salads and other dishes that can be easily veganised. If you're trying to get into the Maharajah and are told there will be a half-hour wait, grab a glass of Pinot and hang out: the delicious food is worth the wait for a table. And there's lots of veggie-friendly goodness on the menu.
We stayed at the lovely Pencrebar B&B - cosy, pretty and super clean, this very central little hotel offers a great location and the owners Mike and Gill are very kind and helpful - the passion they put into their lovely B&B shines through and makes your stay even more pleasurable. And the breakfast is simply the most amazing thing ever - in the evening, you can fill out your requests in a folder next to your room number (I was super-stoked to see another couple request "vegetarian English, no eggs" - other vegans on site!) and your choice will await you in the morning. Very impressive.
Things I loved about Newquay:
The vast, vast sky
The smell of the sea
The little surf shops full of wetsuits, Superdry hoodies and hippie-chic accessories
That deep green grass
The carefree attitude that seems to run through the town
That even little kids wear wetsuits
An ad in an estate agent's for a "studio flat, £100 a week, no deposit" (the envy)
The fact that David kept repeating "and when we move here..."
And seagulls. Seagulls everywhere.