When books become real at the Hidden Hut, Cornwall...

Part of my holiday planning always includes the reading material. I try where possible to find novels set in the places that I'll be visiting so I can fully immerse myself in the atmosphere of my surroundings.

So a few weeks ago I set about finding Cornish novelists other than Daphne Du Maurier, as I fancied something light and frivolous. I finally came across the non Cornish Lucy Diamond, whose new romantic novel 'The Beach Cafe' is however set on the North Coast. The covers screams chick lit which is just perfect for an engaging easy holiday read. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the writing which transported me immediately to that little cafe in the bay. I felt the heroine's heartache, worries and joy. The novel tells the story of Evie Flynn, the black sheep of her family who has spent her life trying to match up to her perfect sisters and mother. She inherits her beloved Aunt's cafe when she unexpectedly passes away in a road traffic accident, this is her chance to prove herself to her seemingly doubting family. The novel describes the soul searching Evie endures regarding the cafe, her family and her long term boyfriend, as she takes over the running of the cafe. She eventually follows her heart whilst discovering new friendships and love. It's a heart warming story that leaves you wanting more when it ends. If you're reading this Lucy please do write a sequel - we'd love to know what happens next!

So imagine my joy when we were recommended the Hidden Hut in Porthcurnick by Arran of Ruby Farmhouse Cottages, which really could have been the cafe in the book! It was just perfect. The cafe lies at the top of some steep steps overlooking the glorious beach. A green wooden hut produces delicious, fresh local food and drinks. These are consumed at little metallic tables and chairs or long wooden benches whilst others prefer to sit on the grassy cliff around the cafe, all the while gazing at the perfect blue sea and white sand beneath. I was half expecting a flustered Evie Flynn to pop out from the kitchen!

The cakes were very tempting but I'm afraid a hot day calls for some Cornish clotted cream ice cream.

The menu is very simple and that day there were only three main course choices of which the husband and I went for the Fresh barbecued Mackerel with salad. Matilda had divine homemade humous and pitta with salad which she devoured. We were given little cardboard boxes with our green and potato salad by the waitress which we then had to take over to the Chef on the BBQ who then gave us our fish. The Mackerel was impossibly fresh and beautifully cooked with a hint of an enhancing lemon sauce. It was gorgeous, I could have eaten a second lunch it was that good. The Hidden Hut is obviously very popular as we shared our visit with Lennie Henry and his entourage that day, nothing like eating fish by the sea in the presence of a celebrity!

Yummy Mackerel

Here's Matilda loving her juice and hummous

The Hidden Hut is open all day well into the evening, with special nights advertised it is the one of the most idyllic places we came across on our travels in Cornwall. It is relaxed place, the staff are friendly and chatty and despite being run off their feet they were more than happy share a joke and a smile. One to definitely try if you're in the St Mawes area, though I would say it's even worth a special trip!