Now, I’ve eaten plenty of pasties in my time but honestly beyond grabbing a quick bite on the go, I’ve never really given them much thought. I did have basic preferences I guess – warmed and not cold, meat-filled instead of cheese. But that’s kind of where my pasty knowledge (or interest for that matter) ended.
That is of course until one unassuming Thursday afternoon on a road trip to Cornwall, when EVERYTHING changed. Picture it; a blue-sky spring afternoon. We were on a work-related excursion that had started with a tour around Gwithian and Hayle, and now a couple of hours in, Emily and I were starting to feel peckish (after gulping in all that fresh sea air I presume).
Our colleague and intrepid guide Tavis (a Cornishman through and through) could hear the silent protests of two rumbling bellies, so in true, laid-back fashion, told us to hang in there as he had already made plans for our lunch. We must’ve passed at least 5 cafes between him telling us that, and our eventual stop. I’d been thinking ‘I’ll be happy with a bag of Wotsits and a Whispa’; I’m very glad I waited.
We meandered our way down St Ives’ narrow streets then pulled up outside Harvey Brothers Butchers where Tav abandoned us with the reassurance that he’d soon return…which he did, accompanied with three brown paper bags wafting an aroma that was, quite frankly, out of this world. It was the first time I’d ever eaten a proper Cornish pasty and both Emily and I agreed (and still do) that it was one of the best things we’d ever tasted.
Now that I see what all the fuss is about, it gives me tremendous pleasure to share some of our recommendations for the finest of pasties in Cornwall, some of which I have no doubt you’ve already tried. And if not, you’re in for a real treat.
These pasties are famous for a reason. Handmade in Penzance from a traditional recipe you can expect golden, crumbly shortcrust pastry which is stuffed to maximum capacity with a beautifully seasoned beef and diced potato filling. Simply superb. Enjoy while strolling down to St Ives’ harbour or wandering the seafront in Newlyn and Penzance.Visit them online
Ok I know I said a meat pasty is my go-to, but if you like your veg, or if you follow a vegan diet you’ll love Lavender’s Cheese and mushroom, cauliflower curry and cheese and vegetables pasties which are made completely by hand, with rich shortcrust pastry, fresh ingredients and a pinch of salt and pepper. Their traditional meat pasties are a thing of beauty too with a filling of perfectly flaked potato, onion, swede and the finest local skirt steak from a red tractor accredited butcher – delish!Visit them online
With shops peppering the county, Philps pasties are popular, and with good reason too. A Cornish family-owned and run business with family values at their heart, love is the ingredient most prevalent in their gorgeous pies which are freshly baked every morning, generously sized, heartily filled and utterly delicious to eat. Testimony to their quality, Philps has been making their meaty delights since 1958 and have quite a global following too.Visit them online
We’re fans of small, independent businesses and this fab little bakery which nestles on Street An pol in St Ives is a gem. Freshly baked gateaux, buns and scones grace the shop window, along with savoury treats including their pasties (which according to our local sources) are very, very good. Expect flaky, golden pastry and beautifully seasoned, fresh fillings – crimped and baked to perfection.Visit them online
General consensus is that Ann’s pasties are not only incredibly tasty, but some of the best that customers have ever eaten! With shops in Helston, Porthleven, Mullion and The Lizard, you’re likely to stumble across one during your travels to Cornwall and if you do, pop in for their famous steak, cheese and leek, or vegan offerings – all made with super flaky pastry and fresh, locally sourced ingredients. For the VERY hungry there’s the Gurt Licker, a super-sized crescent with double the filling of a regular pasty.Visit them online
Blog written by:
Hi I’m Larah. I was born in South Africa but have lived in beautiful Devon for the last 12 years. Being part the LC team means that not only do I get to hang out with some pretty cool people, but I also get to write about what makes this part of the world so special.
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