Posted by: Team McSlade | July 4, 2010

Cornish Coronary

Prior to leaving Sweden we decided to partake in an unknown Swedish delicacy that we came across by chance – their interpretation of the Balfour’s Frog Cake! 
However, the BFC’s of Adelaide are nice happy little frogs (think Kermit’s nephew Robin) where as these Swedish frogs were more Queensland cane toads. We should have whacked these with golf clubs rather than devour them but decadence overtook our violent tendencies for these ugly amphibians.
Little did we know that this was the pre-amble to an over-indulgence of many British treats we would devour in the coming 24 hours.

Before our gastronomic adventure began we made a couple of stops on our way to Cornwall. 
First port of call was Hertfordshire, the house Jo’s mum grew up in before migrating to Australia.  We all stood out the front while Zach informed us that the most mischief she caused was in the bedroom at the top right of the house.  Part two in Chiswell Green was the Three Hammers pub – still standing and serving ales – where feeding deers in the 1950’s was a pastime, now it has a car park out the back.

Stonehenge was next on the McSlade map – no family lived there – but druids and shepherds did a good job of making a boring field an interesting place to visit. Stones were dragged from Cardiff (a lazy 345 clicks away from the site) and then stacked fairly well. People have used the stones to re-lay roads and build houses; others have wondered why the site was used for 1500 years then jettison the keys to the city leaving several question marks over the site. 


Trowbridge was the former home of GD Slade and thus a point of interest for the McSlade bandwagon. We found the home (and birthplace) of Geoff, with Jo asking a lad out the front if she could photograph it. He said ‘Not my house’, so she knocked on the door only to be told, ‘Go away!’
The lady of the house, once realising Jo was not one of her sons, said sure you can take a few snaps and we were on our way to St James’ church where Geoff was a choirboy. 

The Beastie Boys’ Heart Attack Man had the lyrics:
“Heart Attack, Heart Attack Man
Goin’ nowhere, and that’s the master plan…”

It appears that was written with Cornwall, the pasties and cakes in mind. As we love pies and pasties and have not been able to eat them in Spain (they don’t have any), we have gone a little crazy in heading into the home of pasties.
Jess informs us that the crimped pastry at the top was used as a handle by miners with dirty hands to eat the pastie and then they’d throw that bit away. We aren’t miners, thus that piece is eaten and with approximately half a pound of butter per pastie, you can see where the coronary starts to kick in. Adding to this abomination was the ‘new wave’ of pastie fillings – bangers ‘n’ mash, steak and ale and spicy chicken, delicious yet a decent kick in the calorie counter.
We also hit up a cream tea (read two scones, jam and a bucket of clotted cream), chips and gravy with the glorious chip forks, Pringles for a pound and finger buns all added to the artery congestion. 

Home of the Cornish Pastie

As for Cornwall itself, the little hamlet of Mousehole was a cracker; St Ives is an artisan’s paradise (but only a few degrees of tourist chaos away from Amalfi) and Penzance was quite ordinary and Jon English was nowhere to be seen. Land’s End is the end of land for the UK on the south side, it looked like a cliff with a fancy sign, but a ticked was placed in that box anyhow.
The country lanes are amazing to drive on, you can’t see over the 6-8 ft hedges that overhang onto the roads, it’s usually down to single lane with cars travelling in both directions. A few close calls with other cars causing the brakes to be tested out; the cars and hedges becoming friends for a brief moment or two (perhaps I shouldn’t have been eating a ham sandwich while driving these roads). 
The surprise packet was Looe, a seaside town with a central harbour and houses built up into the hillside. We had dinner at the Harbour Moon pub, where we also joined in with the pub quiz. Alas we came in 6th, but we beat the Welsh team and had a few Poms give us a helping hand with some of the more ‘English’ questions.

The Inn-keep at our accommodation, The Sportsman’s Arms, put us on to Looe and the pub was a belter. No beer was drunk, but the room we stayed in was one of the best we have had.

A nice way to see the southernmost county of England and off to Wales we go.

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  1. Clotted cream is the BEST! I get hungry just thinking about it with scones.

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