Padstow Christmas Festival 2016

Photo callLast year I did a demo at the Padstow Christmas Festival courtesy of a guest spot with local legend Adrian Oliver, my first time at the event. We were down in Cornwall for a few days and, as many people do, we had the dates in our diary for this year before we left.

The festival is quite phenomenal; if I counted correctly there were the holders of thirteen Michelin stars on the demo stage on the Sunday. The line up of chefs, sommeliers, beer experts, producers and so on is mind-boggling, even to me when I am lucky enough to class some of these people as friends.

Simon Hulstone   Sat Bains and Tom Kerridge getting into the festival spirit   Sat Bains and John Freeman  Nieves Barragan Mohacho Barrafina

Neil Borthwick and Angela Hartnett   L to R Adrian Oliver, Rick Stein, Sat Bains, Mark Sargeant and Paul Ainsworth   Brian Turner and Nigel Howarth   Food forum
Queues for tickets to the demos are inevitably long but they are free, as is entry to the festival itself, and there are worse ways to spend time queuing than looking out over the harbour while munching on something delicious from one of the food stalls.

Wild Bake PizzaCornish Duck truck on the jubilee QueenWild Bake wood fired pizza, burgers from the Cornish Duck Truck and a dirty Mexican from El Loco Burrito all went down well with us. Of course, you need something to wash the food down with and the find of the festival for me was the Sharp’s brewery new release, Camel Valley Pilsner. The result of a collaboration with the Camel Valley vineyard, the pilsner is seeded with Camel Valley’s Brut yeast for a final bottle fermentation.

Food and drink are at the centre of the festival but the Christmas market, music and a harbour side firework display all add to the atmosphere and it is really that atmosphere that makes the event.

A fine flat white   Duck, Simon Hulstone   Pigeon, Anton Piotrowski
Padstow has a justifiable reputation for its food scene and there is real quality on offer, from a Cornish pasty or fish and chips right through a whole range of pubs, cafés and bistros to the Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at No 6 and the iconic Seafood Restaurant.

The Seafood Restaurant

A weekend in or around Padstow at any time of year is going to be good but a visit for the Christmas Festival is certainly special. And yes, next year’s dates are in my diary!

Padstow Christmas Festival

Sharps Brewery

Paul Ainsworth

Rick Stein’s Seafood Café

The Old Mill Bistro

Bin Two

Wild Bake

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