No matter how long my family lives in Cornwall there's always a new and unusual place to discover. Famously unusual places in the county include the Minack Theater and Veryan's round houses however this week we discovered one of the more unusual places within a 20 minute drive of the 19th Acre.
Carn Brea Castle on Carn Brea is a 14th-century grade II listed granite stone building which was extensively remodelled in the 18th century as a hunting lodge in the style of a castle. Now a restaurant, the Castle was originally built as a chapel, in 1379, thought to be dedicated to St Michael . It has been extensively rebuilt in different periods since, primarily in the 18th century where it was refurbished as a hunting lodge. It is considered a Folly castle, due to the huge uncut boulders that make up part of its foundations, giving the impression of the building melting into the land.
We visited it for dinner. It serves really good Middle Eastern food. With no electric in the dining room, candle lit tables and small windows and alcoves, those who love Harry Potter might find themselves thinking of a very small Hogwart Hall. Apparently Ron Weasely’s Ford Anglia was found at Carn Brea. Hardly a surprise. Our children joined us and our 15 year old and 12 year old sons thought they’d discovered an ‘other world'. It’s not every day you step back 700 years. The proprietor of the restaurant invites you to the roof for the view over north and south Cornish coasts so mini -ramparts are included.
We arrived in the mist and a number of our party did not know where we were going for dinner. We recommend making a booking here if you want to eat and perhaps, not telling the kids where they're going in advance. I promise you they'll be surprised.
Imagine, the Knights Templar, explore views and granite outcrops and discover great Baklava and Baba Ganoush. This peculiar and exotic place it helps us remember that Cornwall, with its tin, was part of some of the great trading routes going way back in time. Back to the Egyptians and perhaps even to the Phoenicians.