Surf’s up in Newquay, UK

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In retrospect it was probably a bad idea to have stayed out till one in the morning, especially since we had to be up at the ungodly hour of half past three to catch our morning flight to Newquay. The airport was heaving – the school holidays had just begun and families were leaving ol’ Blighty for sunnier summer shores.

Newquay is spread across the cliffs, sprawled over the small peninsula in the very southwest corner of England. We never made it into town, so I can’t tell you what it was like, but the locals assure us we didn’t miss much.

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The dawn was bright and sunny and optimistically we headed down to the beach. The surfers were out already in force to catch the early waves. Fistral Beach is a wide, generous expanse of sand and gentle waves, bordered on both sides by cafes. Our favourite of the two is definitely The Windswept Café, where we spent most of our weekend hiding out.

The wind was far too cold for tanning, and the sun too weak, so we simply enjoyed the crashing of the waves and the blue, blue sky for most of the day. We took lots of naps then when the sun started to set we headed off along the beach in the golden, magic hour light. There were plenty of families out and about. I kept a lookout on the black silhouettes of surfers catching waves, their wetsuits gleaming in the lowlight like seal hides.

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The seafood in this part of the world is divine – fried mackerel, crab sandwiches, cod fish and chips – we had most of our meals at the Windswept, which was our second home. Perched on the cliffside, the café commands a birds eye view across Fistral Beach. There are worn white wooden chairs, sandy floors and turquoise blue walls. On Sunday, with the rain coming down in a neverending drizzle the entire day. Jo and I whiled away the hours with endless cups of tea and coffee as well as the weekend Times.

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The recipe for bliss is a beautiful beach, a book, good food, good company and a weekend with absolutely nothing to do.

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