Celebrate a Cornish New Year in style

Published: Saturday 28th Nov 2015

Written by: Charlie

The excitement and build-up of celebrating the New Year is a part of the year we all look forward to – and in nowhere do they celebrate more than in Cornwall.

For all its natural beauty and rich history, the celebration of New Year’s Eve is special and unique in Cornwall. Maybe you are lucky enough to have booked an exciting cottage holiday New Year celebration in St Ives, or are just trying to get ideas for your own celebrations wherever you may be.

Whatever your plans, here is our primer for enjoying New Year’s Eve – Cornish Style. First of, it’s going to be a long 24 hours. Here in Cornwall, your New Year’s Eve begins with some cooking.

A Foodie’s New Year

Possibly the county’s most famous chef and restauranteur, Rick Stein, is helping locals and visitors alike ring in the New Year with a number of culinary events. Although the exclusive holiday event is usually completely booked before the summer is even out, you can take some inspiration from the well-known master of seafood in creating your own New Year’s meal.

At the The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, dinner will be served, and the evening, of course, begins with Champagne. There will be canapés of Spanish ham, oysters and even a bit of sushi. The dinner includes a langoustine salad, Maryland crab cakes and a main of Lobster Thermidor.

For your main, although lobster does sound amazing, we suggest the local delicacy of Stargazy Pie. This traditional Cornish dish traced back to nautical story from Mousehole will make an excellent last meal for 2015.

Although his restaurant guests may be enjoying a Mandarin souffle with fresh cinnamon cream for pudding, we thought you might want to wow your New Year’s crowd by fixing Stein’s own recipe for Damson Cobbler. Yum.

Fancy Dress and Fireworks

Fancy dress in St Ives on New Year’s Eve is an annual event and a cultural force. For years, people have been making their way towards the southwestern tip of the UK to celebrate in all manner of costume and dress. The fact there is no unifying or organising team for the event means that the atmosphere is a bit electric and always exciting. The pubs and restaurants in St Ives are ready to welcome all kinds of revellers and are usually jammed full. 

Much of the same partying takes place in Looe and Newquay as well.

In talking about last year’s events, Visit Newquay manager, Susan Deakin said the town was famous for its New Year enthusiasm.

“I know I’m biased, but it’s always an absolute brilliant atmosphere,” she said. “The charity shops have all been raided: everyone makes a huge effort when it comes to dressing up.”

In Looe, a fireworks display culminates the evening right on the seafront. Right up until the stroke of midnight, celebrations in fancy dress take over the streets of Looe as well. Clearly, thanks to the region’s notorious nautical history, the fancy dress of choice is the pirate costume. To help prepare for your night out, here is Martha Stewart herself offering tips on creating the perfect pirate garb.

Followed up with a brisk swim

Maybe it is because the sea is so close. When the fancy dress is over, and the New Year has started, the cloudy heads of partiers seek a brisk dip in the sea.

Still in Looe, organisers are planning for the 150th version of the New Year’s Dip. For this year’s event, there will be a prize for the best period-style swimming costume. Like Looe, Newquay also holds a New Year’s Day swim in Newquay Harbour. The Dip for CLIC event sees hundreds of people turn out to raise money for charity.

If you are not the strongest swimmer, there is always next year. As you know, new fitness regimes are very popular New Year’s resolutions. In fact, vows to being healthier and to lose weight are number one on the list of New Year’s Resolutions in the UK. After enjoying the perfect Cornish New Year’s Eve, we can see why!



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