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Our search for the best coffee in Cornwall

1 January 2014

Cornwall, England’s dangly toe, is a stunning county with a surprisingly strong speciality coffee scene.

We took our first ever visit to the region last summer, and have been meaning to sum up our trip ever since. Finally, we’ve got round to it. So, here we are – our search for the very best coffee shops in Cornwall, with a few things in between.

For photos and reviews of coffee shops, follow the links. For a map of coffee shops in Cornwall, see our UK coffee shop map.

Coffee and camels

There are no camels in Cornwall, or at least none that we saw. But we did cycle along the Camel Trail, named not after the desert beasts but the Camel river.

Beer garden at the Gurnard's Head pub, Zennor

Cornwall Vintage 1

It’s a fantastic route, with good coffee along the way. In Wadebridge, one of the stalwarts of the UK coffee scene – Relish, run by former UK Barista Champion Hugo.

At the west end of the trail is Padstow, or ‘Padstein’, after Rick Stein, the chef with a cafe around every corner. More lovely coffee here, from binTwo.

Breakfast (and coffee) by the beach

After a couple of fabulous days in and around Wadebridge, we hopped in the maroon cocoon, our glorious 14-year old Vauxhall Astra, since – unsurprisingly – deceased. We headed south and popped in to Truro, the county’s capital, where we visited the excellent 108 Coffee House.

Then south again, this time to the HQ of Origin Coffee, the roastery which supplies so many of Cornwall’s best coffee shops. Not open to the public, we were delighted to be invited by Tom and the team. Read about our visit to Origin at our blog.

Cows near the Gurnard's Head pub, Zennor

Campsite near St Ives

We camped that night in a beautiful spot near St. Ives, and headed in to the famous arty town for breakfast at the Porthminster Beach Cafe, a wonderful location by the beach.

For coffee, the Vintage Store is a good spot.

Porthminster Beach Cafe, St Ives

Mevagissey

Eastward…

For our final few days, we headed east, first to Falmouth, where we visited the brilliant Espressini.

Sadly, we were too early to visit Origin Coffee’s new Brew House in Porthleven, which opened just a few weeks after we left the area. It looks brilliant.

We crossed the Fal on the King Harry ferry and stayed near the lovely village of Mevagissey. No good coffee to be found there, but we didn’t care. Then further east to Lansallos and Looe, where Abi (Mrs Cosy) slipped on some seaweed and badly sprained her ankle… and sadly that was that for Cornwall.

Our top 5 Cornwall memories

    1. The Camel Trail bike ride, bathed in glorious sunshine
    2. The view from the Fern Pit Cafe in Newquay, and the adjacent beach
    3. Fabulous beer gardens, like the Gurnard’s Head in Zennor
    4. Dinner at the Hub, breakfast in the Porthminster Beach Cafe and wandering the streets of St. Ives
    5. And, of course, brilliant coffee and lovely people, particularly at Relish, 108, Espressini

and the Origin Coffee roastery.

We had a wonderful week. We met some lovely people, drank some delicious coffee, swam in clear blue waters, relaxed on gorgeous beaches and saw plenty of beautiful sights. We loved Cornwall from beginning to end.

See the Cornwall coffee shops we visited on our UK coffee shop map.

A big thanks to Cornwall-born barista Dan Fellows for his suggestions.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Kate Snell 2 July 2015 at 5:03 am

    Lovely blog! But…i had to tell you, I discovered camels in Cornwall only last weekend! I went to a lovely organic farm near the Lizard and they own 20 camels….a bizarre sight in Cornwall, but lovely. So there you have it!

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