There are few indulgences more enjoyable than a sizzling beach barbecue on a warm summer’s evening. This is outdoor dining at its best, with sand between your toes, waves lapping at the shore and Cornwall’s rugged scenery as a backdrop. Simply pick a Cornish beach, pack some fine local ingredients and invite some friends along and you have the recipe for the ultimate beach barbecue. Here are our tips for planning a beach barbecue to remember in five easy steps.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to scenic beaches near Padstow. It’s said around here that there are seven bays for seven days, but we count many more than that. Some of our favourite beach barbecue venues include Hawker’s Cove, with its fine, white sand and estuarine views, and Trevone Bay, with its rock pools and rugged cliffs. But don’t stop there. Also consider Harlyn, Treyarnon, Porthcothan and Daymer bays, which feature majestic coastal scenery for a night on the coals.
Beach barbecues are at their blazing best when the weather is warm and the skies are clear. This is when you can be sure of sensational sunsets and good times. Keep an eye on the forecast and pick an evening when sunshine and light winds are expected. But don’t let a drop of rain spoil your fun. Simply pack a poncho and embrace the unique atmospherics of the Cornish ‘mizzle’.
There is no shortage of delis, farm shops, butchers and fishmongers in and around Padstow where you can stock up on supplies for your beach barbecue. Head to Padstow Farm Shop at Trethillick Farm for quality meat and vegetables. For fish and seafood, pop into Stein’s Fisheries on South Quay or Prawn on the Lawn on Duke Street. Wash it all down with ales from Padstow Brewing Company or celebrate with a bottle of fizz from BinTwo on the Drang.
When you arrive at the beach, mark out your plot away from other beachgoers and make a base for your barbecue gathering. Lay down a few rugs or beach blankets. If you’ve come away on holiday without one, don’t fret. Pop into Ocean Blue on Broad Street where they have a selection of lovely coverings from Cornwall’s Atlantic Blankets.
In our experience beach barbecues are best prepared on sturdy portable barbecues. Forget the cheap, disposable BBQs you can pick up at garages and supermarkets – they burn hot and fast, so you inevitably end up burning your food. If you left home without a quality portable BBQ, pick up an affordable replacement from Camel Camping & Housewares in Padstow.
What’s next? Well you could spice up your evening with some beach activities. A game of frisbee is a firm favourite for beach get togethers, but you could substitute a flying disc for a football or rugby ball to pass around. And you can’t visit the beach without a dip in the sea for a quick swim or to surf the waves. If you have musical friends, ask them to bring along a guitar for a sundowner singsong.
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