Ancient market towns and trading posts are, let’s face it two-a-penny in the U.K. Another blog post about another market town with a past, is that it? Just a rambling text waxing on about some ‘istoric villaarge. No. This is no ordinary little market town! Yeah there’s a disused village well. Yeah the obligatory plaque declaring that one of the Prince Charles’ once reputedly might have spent the night there. In fact plaques-a-plenty all around the place. It’s a nugget readers treasure trove. Factets etched in stone and wood adorn seats and walls throughout the handful of little streets. I’m going to switch between the word village and the exaggeration ‘town’ because although this is a town having been chartered in 12…something it really is the size of a small village and doesn’t have so much as a supermarket or petrol station to satisfy the average townspotter. For those who haven’t yet twigged, I’m in one of my favourite places on the planet; Marazion.
I’m in one of my favourite places on the planet
Marazion is special to me. It’s a place that feeds the soul with epic visuals. Vistas straight from the heyday of The Great Western Railway Poster surprise you everywhere you turn, and although St. Michael’s Mount is a visual cliche that you think you know, no two angles are the same. It’s a view you couldn’t exhaust in ten lifetimes. So no, I’m not yet over it – and never will be.
The wander through the streets of this old trading post is not without purpose. We are following our tummy’s to Ben’s Cornish Kitchen. Ben’s (as I think I can now call it) is a pretty but unassuming cottage fronting the main through road. You’d pass by unless you’d heard. Unless you’d been pulled in by tripbook or Faceadvisor you could be forgiven for driving straight on to KFC in Longrock (who I will review another day but for now about which I have just three words for you; Family Sharing Bucket! I digress). Ben’s Cornish Kitchen is a small and welcoming restaurant serving incredible and thankfully uncomplicated, unpretentious food fashioned from fresh local produce. Fashioned, I think rather than cooked. Cooked doesn’t really do it justice. Cooked implies easy and easy this food is not. I prefer fashioned as a sculptor might fashion a work of art or even conjured as a magician might pull something out of the bag. The menu descriptions sounded simple enough. On the three course lunch deal I ordered a starter of pork cheek lasagne to start and a slow cooked beef blade with truffle mash for my main. Alchemy is the only word I could come up with. How you can take such simple base foodstuffs and produce those tastes and flavours?
I have just three words for you; Family Sharing Bucket!
Alchemy, that’s the only way. I didn’t inspect the kitchen (as I have in the past much to the shame of my compadres) but I think if I did I might find some sort of lab out back producing this incredible fare. Scientists in white lab coats monitoring glass flasks boiling over bunsen burners until sauces bubble to perfection… Claire had Gurnard for her main and smoked trout to start but again, those names mean nothing. The flavours were a delight! (We shared a bit so as not to miss out!)… I’ve had fish a few times before but this was next level stuff! …two courses down we hit the puds and again were amazed. Claire’s chocolate and orange (my mouth just watered remembering it) was intensely flavoured and my fig and almond slice was just right, the warmth offset with ice-cold cremefraiche – fabulous and perfect portion sizes. Washed down with ale for me and NZ Sauvignon for Claire we were in heaven. Lunch was a treat I’d recommend. Next time we won’t drive as their wine list is extensive and the menu suggests wines by the glass matched to each food choice!
We emerged into the warm autumn sunshine with that glow that great food and friendly service gives you. Up the street for a mooch in the boutiques, galleries and gift shops, all the while delighting in the interesting architecture and epic coastal views. Marazion is not just a pretty view!