cider, hot water bottles and eating al fresco in cornwall – the hidden hut

The day after midsummers we had a truly British (Cornish?) summer experience. Quintessential to the tee.

I snapped up a few rare return tickets for one of the hugely popular Hidden Hut feast nights. The weather forecast was pretty shocking to be honest, which could explain the returns, but the food and experience sounded delicious so I put on a bit of the proverbial British stiff lip with a sheer determination that ‘we would have a good time!’

Hidden Hut opened a couple of years ago, tucked away on the coast path, just above the pretty Porthcurnik Beach on the Roseland. It’s an old wooden shed that’s been given a fresh lick of (no doubt Farrow and Ball Folly Green) paint and opened up as a rather jolly beach side shack with some benches and tables, which serves up a very tasty selection of home made snacks, cakes, soups and hot lunches – ranging from huge paellas cooked outside on the fire, through to fresh lobster served with chips. During the day you can just rock up and pay as you go. The feast nights are a slightly more organised affair with tickets purchased in advance and a set menu, but unfortunately no weather guarantee.

We were lucky enough in that, living in Cornwall, we all own a vast array of waterproof clothing and accessories. And there was the occasional break in the rain, when we could take our hoods down and peer out into the distance to admire our surroundings properly – probably one of the biggest selling points of the occasion, along with the menu of course.

But it was lovely – regardless of the weather. And in a way, sitting out in the rain and wind with delicious food – huge steaming plates of slow roast belly of pork, cooked with apples and sage and served with big shards of crackling, cute dwarf carrots and tiny little potatoes – and some hot water bottles very thoughtfully provided by Hidden Hut, meant we fought the British summertime head on, and won!

I can just imagine what it would be like on a nice day – a little dip in the calm waters of the bay before drying off in the late afternoon sun and then climbing just a few steps up to the grassy ledge and a platter of delectable food, a cider or two and perhaps some pudding to boot. And dogs are welcome too so the black dog would be right at home!

The menus vary throughout the season, including slow roast belly of pork, lobster, paella, Thai curries, mackerel salads, chicken fajitas and crab feast. All the remaining feast nights are fully booked, but if you follow them on Facebook or Twitter, you might be lucky enough to pick up some returns like me.

For more info: http://www.hiddenhut.co.uk

The view from Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach

Feast night at Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach, Cornwall

Cider, hotwater bottles and the view from Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach

Slow roast belly of pork, Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach

Feast night at Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach, Cornwall

Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach, Cornwall

above: the view of the hut and the beach, courtesy of Hidden Hut and a sunny day ;)

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