Food is as important as the beaches when it comes to buying Cornish homes

Cornwall has been “the center of the vacation” this summer, driving real estate sales and enjoying more than a bit of stardust.

This year alone, chef and restaurateur Rick Stein presented a BBC series on the county while Julia Bradbury took walks along the coastal path.

Breakfast TV star Kate Garraway was spotted on vacation, as was David Beckham’s son Romeo, while Peter Andre was crabbing on one of Cornwall’s best beaches .

Booming: the village of Porthleven on the Lizard Peninsula

“Crossing the Tamar for our Cornwall vacation from Devon was like going to another country… we were driving through an enchanted land.

Today, after so many years living here, it’s still different, ”says Rick Stein, who owns more than ten restaurants and cafes, six of which are in Cornwall.

Unsurprisingly, realtors are reporting an increase in vacation home purchases this year, despite occasional protests from local residents.

Second homes make up a third of homes in Fowey and a quarter in Mevagissey, but in most other coastal areas about one in ten are vacation properties.

There are many reasons to visit Cornwall, and the country’s culinary heritage is often at the top of the list. Here are five places where food and beautiful homes meet to serve the essence of Cornwall.

PRETTY PORTHLEVEN

It has a lower profile than Padstow, but many believe this beautiful fishing village on the Lizard Peninsula is the next hotspot for foodies.

Celebrity chef Michael Caines is setting up a restaurant and his goal will be to compete with Kota, a spectacular local place that won a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019.

The average house price here is £ 300,200, up 17% in five years, but waterfront homes cost a lot more.

The most desirable properties overlook the Inner and Outer Harbor and Loe Pool, Cornwall’s largest natural lake.

“In normal years, Porthleven has an extremely popular annual food festival and the port is about to be redeveloped, which will undoubtedly drive up house prices,” says Clare Coode, purchasing agent for Stacks Property Search.

TERRIFIC TRURO

Just southwest of the town of Cornwall is the farm that produces Yarg, the crumbly, nettle-wrapped cheese that is sold around the world.

The cheese was created in the 1980s and marked the start of the artisanal food renaissance, although few understood its title to be the creator’s name, Gray, spelled backwards.

Cornish Town: Truro boasts some of Cornwall's highest property prices and is also home to world-famous cheese, Yarg, which started the revival of artisan cooking

Cornish Town: Truro boasts some of Cornwall’s highest property prices and is also home to world-famous cheese, Yarg, which started the revival of artisan cooking

Truro itself has long been one of the top profitable places in the county with an average price of £ 397,250, according to Zoopla, up 17% since 2016.

The city is pocket-sized with only 20,000 inhabitants and lots of green spaces.

“It’s always attractive to buyers moving to Cornwall, as it offers a central location within ten to 15 minutes of the south or north coast,” says Duncan Ley of Humberts real estate agency.

BODMIN ON A BUDGET

Not many can agree on where to find the best Cornish pâté, but everyone agrees that it became famous as a meal for pewter miners in the 19th century. Tin mines were littered across the county, but many were in an area bordered by Bodmin, Wadebridge, Callington and St Austell.

In this central and north Cornish belt, mostly inland, average house prices range from £ 250,000 to £ 425,000 – areas closest to the trendy north coast and close to the Newquay Airport are the most expensive.

PADSTOW AND ROCK

Fal oysters come from the south coast of Cornwall, but on the north coast the Porthilly Rock oyster loves the clear waters of the Camel Estuary – and it is the official oyster of seafood events in the UK – Uni, including London Oyster Week.

Tasty: Fal oysters come from the south coast of Cornwall, but on the north coast, the Porthilly Rock oyster loves the clear waters of the Camel Estuary.

Tasty: Fal oysters come from the south coast of Cornwall, but on the north coast, the Porthilly Rock oyster loves the clear waters of the Camel Estuary.

“The prospect of more UK holidays and stays has drawn attention to this part of Cornwall. The demand before Covid was high, but now we also have the crowds from St Tropez and Ibiza looking for properties, ”says Josephine Ashby of real estate agency John Bray in Rock.

This part of Cornwall is incredibly expensive – an average of £ 1.2million for Rock and £ 620,000 for Padstow.

GOOD VALUE NEWLYN

It is England’s busiest fishing port, just a mile from Penzance; with craft cafes, art galleries and a cinema, but its property market is good value for money – just £ 280,700 on average. Older granite houses with sea views cost £ 500,000 and up.

And Mousehole, the charming fishing village, is just three miles from Newlyn. Fish is plentiful in local restaurants, but it’s not the only gastronomic tradition.

“Some people claim there is only one season to experience in Newlyn – Jelbert Ice Cream, made by the family of Olympic gold medalist Helen Glover.

People drive for miles for his vanilla ice cream, topped with curdled cream, ”says Stacks’ Clare Coode.

Food is as important as the beaches when it comes to buying homes in Cornwall

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