I spent my last day in Penzance—and, indeed, the last day of my English Dream Trip—chatting with the good folks of Estoril, packing my things (yet again), and watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones (during lunch—six seasons in, and I’ve yet to learn the dangers of that particular food pairing). I have my priorities.
Since the three nights I’ve spent in Estoril was the longest of my English Dream Trip, I got to know the owners quite well. Eddie and Nong have been running the place for the last six or so years, and the hotel room itself has been one of my favourites so far. Crucially, the memory foam mattress is pure magic—my bad back/shoulders/hip flexors/everything were appeased when in bed, and I’ve honestly never slept so well in a foreign bed.
The breakfasts were also wonderful, with my two favourite items being the fresh fruit salad and the daily homemade croissants Nong bakes every morning. I missed out on the croissant yesterday, so I made sure I was down at breakfast in time for my fair share today.
Nong also told me her incredibly inspiring life story, and about how she finds happiness and contentment in every moment. It was just such an immense pleasure getting to know her, and if you’re ever in Penzance, I’d definitely recommend staying at Estoril (if there are vacancies)!
My plan for the rest of the day was to walk to a village called Mousehole (pronounced Meow-zul), passing by an ice-cream shop in Newlyn along the way. It had been raining in the morning, and by the time I set out, it was still drizzling, but starting to clear.
The ice-cream I wanted was from Jelbert’s, a Penzance institution where they make fresh ice-cream everyday, only have the one flavour (vanilla), and two extra options (with a flake, or with clotted cream). I think I paid £1.55 for a small cone with a flake, but I was so excited I’d forgotten everything except the ice-cream…
About forty-five minutes later, I was in Mousehole, which was tiny but hilly.
I then (accidentally) caused trouble by asking some locals where they thought served the best cream tea. The ensuing debate was interesting (to say the least), and I ended up at Jessie’s Dairy. But instead of the cream tea, I got a “Thunder and Lightning” (£4.95), which is a Cornish version of the cream tea, with a “split” (sweet roll), Cornish clotted cream, and golden syrup. I don’t know why I’ve not tried the combination before, but golly, I will now.
Before I left Mousehole, I was tempted into buying some more local ice-cream. When in Cornwall… I got a delicious salted caramel scoop from Webb’s (£1.60).
The walk back to Penzance was lovely, albeit a little cloudy. What I loved most was going along the coast to the sights, sounds, and smells of the ocean. That’s something I miss about Sydney, and I’ll probably find myself gravitating towards the ocean when I return next month.
Not soon after, it was time for dinner at The Navy Inn! Yes, my holiday has basically consisted of walking and eating. Both the Cornish crab soup (£6) and turbot (£19) were lovely, as was my accompanying elderflower presse (£2.50).
Unfortunately, I didn’t have room for dessert (I’m not surprised, given how much I ate throughout the day), but I got chatting with a wonderful couple from the north I’d met last night, as well as some American hotel buddies who also happened to be at The Navy Inn. I’d been a massive hermit (and workaholic) during my three years in Belfast, and I’ve felt much more like “myself” over the past three-ish weeks: chatty, physically active, adventurous, and interacting with human beings in a non-work capacity. Perhaps I should find a way to be permanently travelling…
Walking to the train station for the last time, I took two farewell photos of Penzance.
And then I boarded my sleeper train! Which is super awesome! Since my first sleeper train never happened due to the London Paddington debacle, this was all kinds of exciting! I paid £71.60 for my base return ticket, and then a £60 supplement for the sleeper berth (all to myself this time!)—it’s almost like a travelling hotel!
In fact, I’ve changed into my pjs, sipping some complimentary tea and typing this in the communal lounge-ish area for Sleeper car passengers.
But it is getting late, I’ve a long day of travel tomorrow from London onwards, and my bed (!!) beckons, so I shall bid you, Cornwall, and England farewell—until tomorrow (in Finland)!
Accommodation & transport: £95.80