Pandora, adore her :-)

Much to the delight of regulars, the 13th century Pandora Inn has reopened its doors just under a year since it was destroyed by fire, on March 24th last year.

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The historic and much-loved Pandora Inn is once again a replica of its former self. Officially opened to the public on Friday March 9th. The Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, joined the pubs’ tenants and St Austell Brewery directors to officially mark the inn’s opening on the evening of 8th March.

I was not a regular. In fact, its many a year  since I last stepped inside the Pandora.

It doesn’t mean that I didn’t adore her. Ok, so it’s not quite on the scale of ‘remembering the exact moment and where I was when I first learned the news’ – I was most likely at my computer…however, I do remember feeling quite sick when I saw the images of the fire that had taken hold of the thatch.

My dad owned a sailing boat and I’ve many happy memories as a teenager sailing over to the Pandora at the weekend for lunch. Approaching the long, boat pontoon, my sisters and I nimbly leaping off as we drew alongside with a rope to secure us tight. I fancied myself a bit then. We were 3 girls with long blonde hair and brown legs in skimpy shorts and it was a thrill to know we made the heads of drinkers and diners turn.

Although masquerading as the ‘deck totty’ off a sleek white sloop,  all we could afford to buy for lunch was  a pasty or a sandwich. I’d tiptoe the intimate dinning rooms upstairs on my way to the loo and promise myself that one day, as a grown up, I return to sample the evening fare. For the Pandora has always had a great reputation as a place to dine in style.

But I never have and the thought of the Pandora no more felt like a dream never to be fulfilled.

Former head chef, Tom Milby, is back at the helm, cooking up many of the favourite dishes regulars will remember. As ever, with its location on the edge of the creek, fresh fish will feature prominently on the menu.

John Milan and Steve Bellman, who have been tenants at the Pandora Inn for more than 12 years, said: “It is a great feeling to be back behind the bar of the Pandora and officially marking the reopening was a very special day. After so much interest in the Pandora’s return it’s wonderful that we can now welcome regulars and visitors alike.”

Adam Luck, Estate Director for St Austell Brewery, said:”After the trauma of the fire nearly a year ago it is amazing to see the Pandora restored to its former glory.  I am sure customers are going to be delighted to see their pub back and appreciate some of the improvements we have taken the opportunity to make during the painstaking rebuild of this historic pub.

Adam added: “We would like to thank all those involved and in particular our architect Steve Peacock, builders Cummins and Pope, master thatcher Guy Moore and of course John & Steve and all the staff at the Pandora who have been so supportive during the last year. We look forward to seeing you there soon”

To contact the Pandora call 01326 372678 or visit www.pandorainn.com for more information.

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A Brew more Cornish.

It was sent this piece of news today. Apparently, Warminster Maltings will to be supplying Skinners with their own local barley and ensuring that their beer remains truly Cornish?!?

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Why does a maltster in Wiltshire need to buy Cornish barley to supply a Cornish brewery? I have to assume there is no malting facility in Cornwall, is that the reason. Had I spent less time staring into my glass to see if it was half full or half empty, I might have gleaned more about the brewery process?

Anyhow, it was the accompanying image, taken by my friend Mary Neale that took my interest. Not the press release that’s supposed to tell the story.

You can you decipher and get back to me if you are any the wiser.

Truro-based Skinners Brewery has linked up with Britain’s oldest working maltster in a boost for Cornish barley growers.

Skinners and Warminster Maltings have concluded a deal that will see the Wiltshire firm act as sole supplier of malt, initially for a year, for the Cornish company’s prizewinning range of ales.

On behalf of Skinners, Warminster will buy spring barley from a selection of Cornish farms to ensure they meet the increased demand of approximately 12 tonnes of malt per week.  

“We have been exclusively committed to Cornish barley for most of the company’s 14 years,” said brewery chief executive Steve Skinner.   “This arrangement with such a long-established specialist in the field will further strengthen that commitment and is good news for Cornish farmers.

“We are looking at increasing our capacity again over the next two years or so and anticipate demand rising to around 15 tonnes of malt per week, and possibly more, in that period.”

Skinners’ weekly malt usage eight years ago was just two tonnes.  It rose to six tonnes by 2006 and has since doubled to its present level.

“Our rapid growth and sales success have been due in no small measure to the high quality of Cornish barley,” said Mr Skinner.

“Despite an ever more competitive market place and intensifying cost pressures, we still insist on using Cornish barley; Cornish farms have made a terrific contribution towards our policy of brewing only the highest-quality ales.”

Warminster Maltings, with its roots stretching back to the mid 19th Century, is Britain’s oldest surviving working maltings.

It was owned by Guinness from 1941 to 1994, when it narrowly escaped closure through a management buyout led by Mr Garratt, the head maltster.  Hampshire-based grain merchant Robin Appel purchased the business ten years ago.

St. Austell Brewery takes Glastonbury by storm

A staggering 30,000 pints were sold in  St Austell Brewery‘s ‘pop-up’ pub – the ‘Cornish Arms’ in the heart of Glastonbury Festival.

For the second year running the ‘Cornish Arms’ was a massive success – despite the mud – with the bar crowded from 10am until the early hours with festival goers enjoying a pint or two of St Austell Brewery beer. It was the only bar at Glastonbury serving cooled cask ale.

The Brewery’s mission was to meet Michael Eavis’ request to recreate a proper Cornish pub in the middle of Glastonbury festival.

Jeremy Mitchell, Marketing Director at St Austell Brewery, said: “We’ve had excellent feedback, with many people saying it was the best bar at the festival – no small compliment considering there were more than 100 bars to choose from. Continue reading

The Driftwood Spars, Trevaunance Cove, St. Agnes

Lou’s Brew…  

Louise Treseder

“It’s a bit random,” says Louise Treseder of her own establishment. She’s part publican, guesthouse host, brewery owner, events organiser and restaurateur. A miss-match, hotchpotch of varying types of establishments and roles all rolled up into one.

Entrance to the Driftwood Spars

So, that’s the Driftwood: a 17th century building, with a name that hints at its history, that’s been a public house and B&B for many years. Spars from wrecked ships turned ceiling beams in the bar, other bits of flotsam off the beach and a modern twist of contemporary styling have turned the present Driftwood Spars into a genius piece of arty-craft and mistress of all things to all folk.

To try to market the Driftwood as a ‘bit of everything’ can be a bit of a problem. “We’re a friendly, traditional, local pub with cosy bars, wood burning stoves and have been playing host to an eclectic mix of live music since the 1960s,” Louise explains. The Driftwood can even boost that the band ‘Queen’, before they were famous, once played in the bar when local Truro School boy, Roger Taylor, came to visit with the rest of his band mates. “But from the point of view of marketing ourselves the pub and live music is only one feature of many our parts.” Continue reading

The Flavour Weekly: Clouded Yellow and Nettle Brew

This is evidently not a commercial blog or I would not be waxing lyrical about my favourite beer as winter is almost upon us. Clouded Yellow from St. Austell Brewery is my absolute favourite beer in summer time. I love it chilled and poured into a long glass. It’s a real girl’s beer, refined, delicate, refreshing and gorgeous. I’ve still been drinking it on finer days this autumn; especially after hard graft in the garden…it touches the spot, rewarding and delicious.  I can get quite carried sometimes, waxing lyrical about the delicious flavour: a light, vanilla citrus something to this drink. It is ale but not in a man’s way, for it’s also sophisticated enough to match with food and a supper with pals kind of way. I want to drink it all year round, when only really get a craving for it on days when the sun shines.

What the experts say:

Clouded Yellow – 4.80% abv – An award winning, quite unique wheat beer, Clouded Yellow derives its name from a migrant butterfly found visiting the UK during the summer months. Pale yellow in colour and naturally (bottle) conditioned, the beer may be poured cloudy by gently swirling the last few inches to rouse the natural yeast sediment. Alternatively, clear beer can be decanted carefully leaving the yeast behind.

Serve cool in a long glass to experience the true citrus overtones that have been delicately flavoured with whole spices and vanilla. The combination of flavours is brought alive by gently sweetening with pure organic maple syrup.

In contrast, I tried a stinging nettle brew last weekend called “Cornish Stingers”, made by a forager called Miles Lavers, at £2.50 a pint. Although it comes in a beer bottle and calls itself a beer it is nothing like one. I had to caution my husband as he reached for a pint glass to pour it into.

“Best try it first, a few sips in a wine glass would be better,” I cautioned him. “It might blow your socks off if you try to quaff as per your normal tin of Boddingtons.”

It definitely, reminded us of ‘home brew’ but curiously tasted of apples and elderflowers. Odd because neither of these ingredients have touched it.