On Sunday we spent our day at Newquay Fish Festival! Newquay Fish Festival is an annual three-day event down on the Harbour, running from Friday-Sunday in September each year. The days are filled with chef demonstrations, talks about fishing and live music from local musicians. The harbour is filled with stalls of delicious food, local businesses and art. Every year we head down for something good to eat and to have a look around!
Saturday was super sunny so we decided to spend it on the beach and head down on the Sunday instead. We were a bit confused, as we’d seen a couple of different timetables across their website and other sites, so we weren’t entirely sure who was on at what time. We were gonna walk in but were running late so decided to drive instead. Parking was a bit of a nightmare! Newquay doesn’t have a huge amount of parking, and a lot of the smaller more central carparks were full. We managed to finally find a space in Manor Rd Carpark then walked through town and down to the harbour. I’d have loved to have taken the dog but this was definitely the kinda thing she would be a nightmare for! She gets very overexcited and barks a lot with crowds of people so we left her at home. There were so many cute dogs there though – it’s definitely a dog-friendly event if your dog is well behaved!
When we got there we were handed a programme with the schedule and found out they were running a bit behind schedule. This was a welcome surprise to us though, as it meant we hadn’t actually missed a chef demo from Fergus Coyle from Rick Steins (originally in the programme for 10.35am, actually was more like midday!). We made our way into the main marquee to watch a performance from Oll An Gwella – unfortunately I got no photos, but they were great! If you want a proper Cornish day out full of Cornish culture, this is the place. Once they were finished and Mum had chatted away, we went to get seats in front of the cookery stage for Fergus Coyle’s demo. We were handed out flyers with recipes on both sides for what Fergus was cooking – Amritsari Fish and Mackerel Rechado.
I think the demo was about half an hour? Whilst talking us through the method we also found out facts about the fishing and culinary industry and his history as a chef. After the demo was over, we then were offered the chance to try what he’d cooked! Luckily my Mum was super quick at getting to the front, meaning she was one of the first in the queue. I’m not sure how the portions he cooked would feed the other 40 people now queuing to try some! We all shared the little bit Mum had got, which was delicious. The Amritsari Fish batter was delicious and I tried Mackerel for the first time and actually liked it! It was two fillets tied together and stuffed with a really tasty curry paste, something I’ll definitely have a go at making.
Having tasted this, we then decided we wanted food. First, we watched a couple of songs performed by Fiddle Me Timbers – this had me reminiscing on my old Violin playing days… pretty sure I never sounded anything like that though (pretty sure I was rubbish!). We headed out the main marquee and down the pier to grab something for lunch. This was a harder feat than we’d imagined – there was so much choice.
James went for Mackerel Tacos and I went for my trusty favourite, Pad Thai. I felt like I had to get something with fish in, but the Pad Thai looked so good I couldn’t resist. It definitely didn’t disappoint!
We also had a look around some of the non-food stalls. I got totally freaked out by a Stick Insect that literally looked like it was made of leaves but apparently pretends to be a Scorpion(?!) at the Newquay Zoo stall, then was a brave girl and stroked a crab at the Blue Reef Aquarium Stall. Think this was meant to be an activity for children, but I was proud of myself. We bought ourselves a cookery book from a Book Stall – all books were 50p in aid of the Old Newquay Society. In another tent we taught ourselves a little bit of the Cornish language – what did I say earlier about culture?!
Although James made the point it sounded a bit like Simlish, and then I couldn’t take it seriously at all. This stall also had old photos of how Newquay used to look, which was really cool to see! There were also gin stalls, wine stalls, chutney and jam stalls… At the end of the Harbour was a tent by artist Ian Fox, full of originals, prints, cards and bookmarks with his work on. He was also there chatting to those interested in his work.
After having a wander we sat down on a bench to eat the food we’d been carrying around – it was really busy on the pier so we found some space with benches around the back of the tents overlooking the harbour. Once we’d finished our food we made our way back into the main marquee to meet Mum and watch Porky on the music stage.
Porky had fixed my old car for me once and I often see him walking his *incredible* white, fluffy dog in the morning, but I had no idea that he could sing! We had a little singalong and dance to this then decided it was time to head home. We felt bad for leaving Beau at home whilst watching all the other dogs running around on the beach…
I wish I’d got some more photos of some of the incredible food people were walking around with! I could’ve probably written a whole post on the dogs I’d seen there if I’d started taking photos of them too. We had a great day out and Newquay Fish Festival is definitely worth visiting – especially as it’s free! If you want a day of Cornish culture, yummy food, good music & are interested in cooking this is a day out for you!