Ah autumn days and the days grow shorter as the breezes start to stir the autumn leaves. My thoughts recently have begun to turn towards brisk walks along the tide line with the white balls of foam drifting past, only to scud away across the sands and supper in a cosy pub for a special treat in the gathering dusk.
So far the temperature has been remarkably high this year, even for sub tropically inclined west Cornwall but the first misty days of autumn finally came and then cleared with the racing evening breeze to give us to give the late afternoons a glowing golden light sometimes followed by a wonderful sunset.
This week too I’ve gathered an armful of rich russet bracken and drying seed heads from the Cornish banks to bring into the house to celebrate the autumn season and Spud-Cat snoozed on in a cosy window seat.
I often think of autumn as the season of sunsets and rainbows, of the tightly packed flocks of starlings defying the winter days to come, as they group to shelter in Marazion marshes finishing the day with fabulous murmurations. For the bird watchers, now is the time that the first migrating birds will start to arrive – surprisingly the humble robin, blackbird and blue tit in the garden may have flown in from the continent to spend their winter in the British gardens. One of the first places that migrating birds would have made landfall in West Cornwall is in the subtropical Cot valley to rest and feast after their long flight.
And supper in a cosy pub?
We visited the Victoria Inn in Perranuthnoe the other evening – autumn and winter are just the time for atmospheric old pubs in the heart of the village don’t you think? I love the old beams, log burning stoves in granite inglenooks and flickering candles and I must admit, the special offer of two courses for £15 or three for £20 were all the extra encouragement we needed!
We settled on a beautifully presented Cornish fish and shellfish bisque with harissa mayonnaise parmesan crouton and I have to say that Charles in now officially addicted to its rich intense flavour and the harissa mayonnaise was for me to die for. We unashamedly stayed with fish for the second course, as the fish is wonderful fresh so close to the harbours in Cornwall, with a lovely moist flat fish – South Coast megrim Sole with Leeks, chump potatoes and cucumber and dill beurre blanc. We just had to try a pudding of course, so chose a very British toffee and ginger pudding that was whisper light to finish our evening as we watched a young couple play scrabble in a cosy corner, gently content in the candle light.
The night felt like velvet as we made our way back up through the fields to our home – so strange how your feet automatically find the trodden path even in the dark and our final ritual of the evening is always to look back down over Mounts Bay with the ring of lights stretching from Penzance to Mousehole