A glorious weekend in Cornwall

For someone who considers anything below Sheffield as the deep South, Cornwall was so far off my radar I was never quite sure if it was a mythical place or not. I spent a good portion of my life thinking it was a separate country, you know, in a Wales-way, before one day looking at a map.

Geographical ineptitude aside, when your boyfriend thinks he’s Cornish, you will end up being dragged onto a five hour train pootling it’s way out west at some point. So off we pootled.


We stayed in a family friends’ place, a gorgeous place with a view of a creek, completed with a croquet garden, and spent most of my time (you guessed it!) eating and Instagramming.

We walked along the Lizard and the surrounding areas. Well, I walked, stopping for photo opportunities every few yards, while the Frost family, who are from/been coming to these parts since they were knee-high pointed out secret coves and told me stories only the locals would know.



At the end of the walk we settled in for a spot of afternoon tea, Cornish style (i.e. with copious amounts of cream).


Fresh crab sandwiches.


Enormous doughnut with cream and jam.



Before heading for a post-pasty nap and swim at Looe Beach.

Saturday was spent exploring Truro, a little city centre that’s about five streets large. We were entertained by the Truro Male Choir, a collection of cute grandads with belting voices that melted my little heart.

The Truro Male Choir, killing it.

A video posted by Farrah Kelly (@farrahkelly) on

8And spent the rest of the afternoon playing cards, croquet, and admiring the trinkets and vintage-style travel posters we’d picked up from tourist information boards and a spot of kayaking. Well, Jonathan kayaked, I just barked instructions and took a snooze while he paddled away.

Sunday morning, up and at ‘em, we sped off to Saint Michael’s Mount in time for the tide. The Mount, one of Cornwall’s classics, is accessible only at low tide, when the path from Marazion to the Mount is slowly revealed by the waning sea. It’s pretty cool.

The Mount is home to gardens, a traditional castle, and a really lovely exhibition on the life and history of Islanders. Mosying around the castle (with the legions of other tourists) took up a good part of the afternoon, and is definitely worth exploring. Of course, there were the obligatory idiots, and it was sometimes difficult to get a nice snap because some school trip were in the way, but we were there at peak time, so it’s all to be expected.




Jonathan’s family really know their way around a kitchen, so all weekend we feasted like queens on scones with freshly made jam, duck and good solid red wine, a trio of fresh fish with capers, roasted poussin and hearty cheese boards. I spent the entire weekend in a food-induced haze, stunned by the scenery, and losing card games. It all came crashing down on the way back to reliable London- with the five hour train having no food cart, and all District lines cancelled from Paddington- but this cosy weekend of National Trust walks and Cornish Cream was absolutely worth it.


Pop Brixton

Feeling restless one Sunday afternoon, having spent the entire week killing aliens on PS4 games, Jonathan suggested going to Pop Brixton.

I’d seen it mentioned in the usual places, Time Out, every hipster I follow on Twitter, and had concluded that it was probably going to be an over-hyped shipping container crammed with top-knotted men and girls in fedoras where I’d pay a tenner for the honour of having a slightly undercooked burger by a brand with a Helvetica logo. Unusually for me, I told him I’d rather give this one a miss, and can’t we just get a takeaway instead?

Well apparently killing aliens is tough business and he needed to stretch his legs, so two sweaty bus rides later we were swanning through the streets of Brixton with low expectations and a plan B (go get drunk at Kaff Bar) firmly in place.


I was really pleasantly surprised. The area feels roomy, colourful, and there is a lot happening. Shipping containers crammed with ramen bars, vintage shops, and wood-smoking burger joints flogged their wares to a pleasantly tipsy crowd, with a pared-back vibe and the occasional Justin Timberlake booming from a tinny speaker. I mean, it was as hipster as a bearded architect ordering a soya single-shot latte , but it didn’t feel pretentious.


With wide-eyes, Jonathan and I resolved to eat all the food, and set about our little task with frankly inappropriate levels of dedication. For starters, jerk coated sweet potato chips from Mama’s Jerk. For second starters, hot pork gyoza from Kai Ramen Bar. For third starters, gin.


A little frazzled from sitting upstairs in the Greenhouse (true to it’s name, it was properly mafting in there), we pottered into real Brixton to give the market a once over. We stopped off for a few rounds of Connect Four and cocktails at Seven.


Jonathan and I are far too competitive to stay friends around boardgames for too long, so we shuffled back to Pop Brixton for round two after a good telling off about the rules of Connect Four.

The main event of the food, for me, was this bad boy. The geniuses behind Bhangra Burgers, an Indian fusion streetfood joint also known as Baba G’s, have reinvented the humble nacho cheese dish with poppadoms and tikka chicken pieces.


Imagine every good nacho dish you’ve ever had. Now imagine every good tikka dish. Now imagine they’re all the same thing. You’re getting close to how good this was.

For dessert, we picked up some Pimms Cider and a Yumi-Tub (weird Thai ice-cream, with brownie chunks all crushed up in) and felt proud of our decisions, but also awfully, awfully full.


On we rolled back to the tube station, as the sun set, the Brixton market traders were packing up and the Pop Brixton hipsters were filing in for an evening of (presumably) house music, feeling smug, happy and a little Pimms-headed.


We been drinkin'

A photo posted by Farrah Kelly (@farrahkelly) on


STK, London Review

I may be a million years late to noticing this, but there really is something to be said for a restaurant that does one thing, and does it well. Industry bods might call it a ‘hero menu’, but little old me simply calls it a ‘good idea’.

I mean, I’ve been let down before. Shoddy ramen at ramen restaurant Tonkotsu left me running back to ramen gods Bone Daddies weeping a promise to never leave them again. So it really sucks when you go into a place, scan the three item menu, and they manage to somehow cock it up.

I feel like that’s what happens when tourists go to (shudder) Angus Steakhouse and the ilk for their meat fix. Which brings me to, gloriously, my new favourite steak restaurant, STK.

STK London

They do other things- range of starters, few bits for the vegetarians in house- but, as you can well imagine, the main event here is the meat. I popped down to their last blogger evening with some foodie friends for a cocktail masterclass and a steak step-by-step chef experience. Forks at the ready.

             STK Cocktails STK Cocktails


After knocking back a lovely, sweet and light Vanilla and Goji cocktail, we headed behind the bar to make our own STK Martini.

Needless to say I was better at drinking them than I was at making them. Though Mary might’ve pipped me to the post on the martini-o-meter, I still think I did pretty well.

STK Cocktails

STK Cocktails

Thanks Mary for the photos and for the shake off!

We then snuck past the waiters to go into the STK kitchens. I’ve worked in restaurants before, so I know I shouldn’t still be wowed by them, but they do look impressive. And they’re hotter than the centre of the sun, so half the wow-factor comes from sheer disbelief that anyone could work in there.

 STK London

Head chef Jared took us through the differences between USDA and wagyu meat, gave us a quick lesson in knife skills and a tour of the kitchen, and spent the rest of his time fielding aggressive questions from us bloggers on why we couldn’t make our Tesco value steaks taste as good as his. He was gracious, funny, and had a corking accent. Nice guy!


Wagyu vs USDA #meatmeatbaby #steak #STKLondon

A photo posted by Farrah Kelly (@farrahkelly) on

We’d worked up an appetite watching the orders come and go, so after poking around, chopping, a bit of frying, and bribing the chefs to give me the best cut of meat, we went back upstairs for our dinner.

STK Steak

The steak. It was about four times as much as I would have expected. This is SO much food, and it took a good me a good long while to get through it. Obviously, I ordered rare. I don’t usually like ordering rare because I’ve been burned before by bad steak, but having seen the chefs in action, I felt as though I could trust’em, and they delivered. It tasted exactly how a rare steak should, and the sides were all fab (I didn’t get a look in on the mac n cheese, but the speed the sharing dish went down with speaks volumes)

STK desserts

And finally for dessert, a deconstrcuted STK snickers bar. This was weird and wonderful and I wish I’d ordered about seven of them- not because they weren’t filling (the beef had seen to that), but because if there was any way I could’ve snuck them into my pocket to have one a day for the rest of the week, I would have found it.

After my visit to STK, I feel like charging into the Leicester Square Angus Steakhouse and Pied-Pipering them all the way to Holborn, so they can actually experience London’s best steak, and not just an unmet promise.

 STK London, 336 Strand
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How to eat cheap in London

It’s way too easy to be mugged off when it comes to restaurants in London, and you could by all means resort to only eating from Maccy Dees in order to save your pennies. You could, but you’d be miserable (and probably unhealthily fat).

Instead, over the last year or two, I’ve figured out how to eat cheap in London, while not missing out on London’s hottest restaurants. Being skint in London does not mean you have to miss out on the best foodie spots. Listen up and take notes, hombres!

Subscribe to newsletters

Newsletters are an absolute goldmine of cheap restaurant deals in London, and probably where I hear about most offers. Restaurants approach these newsletters to get the word out about their newest menu, opening, or events, and they often sweeten the deal with exclusives. We’re talking free drinks, half off food, or cheeky complimentary courses. I’m signed up to these guys: Sauce Communications ~ London on the Inside ~ The Nudge ~ Hot Dinners ~ Londonist ~ Dojo ~ BarChick~ Hardens ~

Midweek offers

If you want the best of London’s foodie scene, avoid Friday and Saturday. The queues are shorter, and the offers are plentiful. Bog standard Happy Hours are rife, and you can dig out some skint London gems if you know where to look. Try beer and buns at Flesh & Buns on Mondays (£15), the All American Sharing Board at Dirty Bones every Thursday (£15), Sunday brunch at LIMA Floral (£18/£30), and Wings Wednesdays at The Rum Kitchen (£19.50).

Meat Market London

Know the dishes

We’re all guilty of food envy, and there’s nothing lamer than departing with your hard earned cash for a substandard meal at a place you were psyched about. Most restaurants have icon dishes- order this. They’re the best sellers for a reason, so do a little food blogger research to find out what everyone’s loving. I rarely eat out without checking recommendations from Clerkenwell Boy, Heroine in Heels, Angie Silverspoon, Hugh Wright, Hollow Legs or We Love Food. Never have food envy again.

Discount cards

Sign yourself up to the right discount cards. If you’re a student, there are surprising (independent) places that offer discount, so check it out. I’ve got a Tastecard (ta, Natwest!) and I also have a Bankside Buzz card. If you work in a big building (like the Shard, Bluefin, or one of the fancy bank buildings) there’s usually a corporate discount card for the local places. If you’re keen on a particular restaurant, check their site for loyalty schemes, like the Dirty Bones Friends With Benefits, or the Meat Liquor FREE SHIT. You may have to schmooze to get the good stuff, but it’s worth it!

Burger me


Go to networking events

Stop auto-deleting those emails that are inviting you for ‘the chance to network (which means what exactly? Everything is a ‘chance’ to network. I have the ‘chance’ to  network with the kids kicking a ball at my window right now. I have the ‘chance’ to network with the bus driver every day. You mean ‘this will be a general social occasion’.) Badly worded though they might be, before you mark as spam, check where it’s hosted. They often have newly opened, cool, or up and coming restaurants as their venue- with nibbles provided.

Launching softly

Keep your ear to the ground for soft launches. This is the trial period before official launch, and is usually 50% off food (or off everything!). You have to remember that many dishes will change, staff aren’t fully trained yet, and there may be a few hiccups along the way. To me, it makes it all the more charming! To find out about them, follow foodie tweeters (like the blogs above!), and follow your favourite restaurants for expansion plans.


Phew! You’re welcome my loves. Go ahead now and tuck in.