Time in the waves is a sure-fire appetite builder. But where and what to eat?
As far as surfing in the UK goes, it doesn’t get much better than Cornwall. With Atlantic low pressure systems on 400 miles of coastline that provide a whole range of breaks, it’s no wonder people call it the UK’s surf Mecca.
Whether you’re paddling out for the first time or hunting for powerful barrelling waves, one thing’s certain – you’ll be hungry afterwards.
With that in mind, we spoke with three local chefs to find out their top spots for post-surf food. And if you’d rather get back to your beach retreat to prep something yourself, they’ve also shared some tasty – but easy to make – recipes.
“If you’re looking for the best food after a surf on the north coast, look no further than Porthmeor beach in St Ives,” says Jude Kereama, chef-owner of Kota in Porthleven – a Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant that serves Asian-inspired food using the freshest local produce.
“St Ives is full of brilliant eateries, and there always seems to be a wave at Porthmeor, with its north-facing beach and offshore winds. On the beach itself, I really enjoy Porthmeor Beach Cafe, Fish Shed and the West Beach Bakery.” And if you’re heading into town? Jude recommends a visit to Porthgwidden Beach Cafe, Porthminster Kitchen and Porthminster Beach Cafe.
Image credit: James Ram
If you’re after delicious post-surf food that not only tastes good but helps with physical recovery, Jude’s go-to is a Hawaiian poke bowl. “You can put whatever you fancy in it,” he says. “Raw fish, cooked meats, any vegetables and a mixture of rices. You can also change the dressings to be as spicy as you like.”
Jude’s Poke Bowl Recipe
1 cup cooked rice (brown/sushi mix is the best)
1/2 diced avocado
1/4 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup edamame beans
1/4 cup diced mango
1/4 cup julienne of carrot
1/4 cup of shredded red and green cabbage
Sliced red chilli
Diced sashimi grade mackerel or any other fish that’s super fresh. You could also do it with cooked meats if you like.
For the dressing
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tsp honey
Mix all together and add to the mackerel
Sriracha chilli sauce
Toasted julienne nori
Toasted mixed sesame seeds
Diced spring onions
Place the rice in the bottom of a bowl.
Add each ingredient in a clockwork pattern.
Garnish with a squiggle of Sriracha sauce, a squiggle of Japanese mayo, and a sprinkle of Furikake spice, nori, sesame seeds and spring onion.
For surfing in St Ives, stay here.
THE FISH HOUSE FISTRAL, NEWQUAY
Learning on gentle rollers or expertly taking on The Cribbar big wave, Fistral has it all. Looking out over the beach is The Fish House – a Michelin Plate-awarded bistro serving the freshest seafood landed in Newquay harbour.
For Paul Harwood, chef-owner of The Fish House and an avid surfer himself, there’s only one place to go after a surf at Fistral: The Fish House. “I’m being a bit biased here for obvious reasons!” he says. “Our fish finger sandwich is a firm favourite with the lifeguards – home-made bread and tartar sauce with succulent cod fingers coated in a crisp panko crumb. It’s a real tasty post-surf filler.”
Image credit: Alix Donnelly
For food other than his own, there’s Sea Spray on South Fistral. “It’s a great breakfast spot after dawn patrol. The breakfast burrito really hits the spot, with great produce all wrapped up.
“Further up the coast you could surf Constantine or Harlyn, both high quality surf breaks,” he continues. “Head to Paul Ainsworth’s Caffe Rojano (in Padstow) – there’s a very well-delivered menu with an Italian twist.”
Paul’s Prawn Taco Recipe
6 tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined
For the salsa
1 large tomato
1/2 red onion
Pinch flake chilli
Juice from 1 lime
1 baby gem salad
For the Piri-piri mayonnaise
1 red chilli
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lime
Prepare the salsa by thinly chopping all the ingredients, mixing in a bowl.
Slice the lettuce but keep separate.
For the Piri-piri mayonnaise, blend all the ingredients before mixing with two tablespoons of mayonnaise.
Pan-fry the prawns in olive oil for 2 minutes each side.
Dress the tacos with lettuce topped with salsa.
Add the mayonnaise before topping with the prawns.
Some of the best surf in Cornwall can be found along the three miles of Gwithian beach in Hayle, and west of the harbour in Porthleven. (Porthleven boasts Cornwall’s best reef break, with short, shallow right-hander barrels for experts only.)
Image credit: J.Ph Baudey
With a restaurant in each location, chef Sam Sheffield-Dunstan is no stranger to satiating the appetite of a hungry surfer. “The ultimate surf hangout is our shack LULA, overlooking Hayle beach just yards from the surf,” she says. “Enjoy a creamy chowder washed down with a pint of Offshore, followed by one of our legendary LULA Sundaes.”
If you’re looking for some post-surf food in Porthleven, she recommends LULA’s sister restaurant, Amélie, for pizza and a glass of red. Elsewhere, “Nauti But Ice do an amazing breakfast,” she says. “Enjoy sitting and watching the waves as they crash in the harbour.” And if you’re willing to venture a little further, she recommends The Hidden Hut on the Roseland Peninsula, for its “amazing views and memorable Cornish dining”.
Image credit: J.Ph Baudey
LULA’S Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe
75g cooked lobster meat, roughly chopped into chunks
300g macaroni pasta
30g plain flour
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Dijon mustard
100g grated mozzarella
100g grated parmesan
50g grated mature cheddar
50g panko breadcrumbs
Pinch dried thyme
Ground white pepper
Glug of olive oil
Preheat oven to 220c / 200c fan or light grill on medium setting.
Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for about two minutes less than you would usually. Reserve a ladle-full of the cooking water.
In a pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat then add the dried thyme and panko breadcrumbs, stirring constantly until golden brown, for about five minutes. Leave to cool then add 25g of parmesan and mix well (save the rest for the sauce, below).
Place milk, bay and cloves in a pan over a gentle heat until steaming – be careful not to boil.
At the same time, melt the butter in a pan (big enough to hold the amount of pasta once cooked with room to stir!) and cook until a light golden colour. Sprinkle the flour in and mix into a paste that should thicken as the flour cooks out. Add the milk very slowly, bit by bit, and incorporate fully in between each addition to avoid a lumpy sauce, warming the milk beforehand makes this step much easier. The bay and cloves can be discarded at this point.
Once all the milk has been added, mix in the Dijon mustard and all the cheese. Mix until cheese has melted then remove from the heat, season with salt and ground white pepper.
Tip the pasta into the cheese sauce with about a tablespoon of the reserved cooking water and 50g of the lobster meat, mix well. Split into two ovenproof bowls and sprinkle the panko mixture over the top, then the remaining lobster meat. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or under the grill for three – until golden and bubbly.