Let's move to a Cornish village battered by storms and inundated with fancy restaurants! This week: Porthleven

What’s it about? 

Tucked away in south-western Cornwall, Porthleven is heaving with tourists all summer and in winter populated by locals who resent anyone who hasn’t lived here for 400 years and/or comes from further north than Truro.

Built in the 1800s to cash in on a pilchard fishing industry that died on its arse when it was discovered how pilchards taste, it’s a jumble of quaint old fishermen’s cottages, stunning scenery and restaurants selling fancy shit no native would touch even if they could afford it.

The April food festival has reinvented the town as a centre for foodies and is when tens of thousands descend on the town, all the roads are blocked and no-one can get the car off the fucking drive to do the Tesco big shop. In case there wasn’t enough of that in summer.

Any good points?

Being on the coast’s never bad. The crashing surf around the West Beach and harbour pier makes it an exhilarating and dangerous place to be in rough weather, and draws surfers from around the world. The locals hate them too.

The winter storms are spectacular and local photographers merrily cash in on a half-hour’s snapping one afternoon with enough postcards, calendars and prints in tourist shops to live off for the rest of the year.

The ball-achingly expensive restaurants have specialities from Malaysian seafood at Kota to Asian fusion at Kota Kai to fussy fish dishes swamped with unnecessary foam and emulsions at The Harbourside Refuge. The food’s good. The prices aren’t.

Even Rick Stein opened a restaurant here once, but pissed off the easily-pissed-off locals by refusing to buy their fish, the food was shit and he predictably pulled the plug during the pandemic. The best place to eat remains the chippy next to the public toilets.

Beautiful landscape?

Undeniably. Which is why it’s chock full of Emmets, as the Cornish call them. The exact definition of the term Emmet remains uncertain, but is thought to be Cornish for ‘rich arseholes from London walking round in shorts, white socks and sandals in the pissing rain’.

The Beckford Smith Institute building is the village’s landmark, sitting proudly near the harbour entrance and providing entertainment for villagers when visitors mistake it for a fucking church.

The two eye-catching cannons sat either side of the harbour entrance were salvaged, probably illegally, from the wreck of the HMC Anson. They’ve never fired a shot in anger, much to the disappointment of residents who dream of taking aim at hordes of squealing middle-class families on paddleboards all bastard summer.

Hang out at…

The Ship Inn, a 17th century pub overlooking the surf, has good food, local real ales and ciders and a welcoming atmosphere. Nick a local’s seat and the next time anyone sees you will be at low tide, at the bottom of the harbour, tied to a concrete block.

The Harbour Inn across the water is a St Austell Brewery chain pub serving shit microwaved chain pub food but at least it’s spacious, whereas there’s no room in the Ship to swing a fucking cat.

Where to buy?

Looking at purchasing in Porthleven itself? Everyone will hate you, especially if you’re thick enough to think a Kernow car sticker will win them over, and any hint of a sea view – even if you have to stand on tiptoe on the toilet seat and lean out of the window – is another £100k on the price.

More affordable, though not more welcoming, is Helston two miles inland. It’s a bit of a shithole in fairness, but at least you’ll be relatively Emmet-free.

From the streets: 

Roy Hobbs, 63, native: “Aye, it’s proper ansum ‘ere my luvver, as least dreckly after all the bluddy Emmets’ve gone back up country.”

Helen Archer, 34, holidaymaker: “We love it here, it’s like our spiritual home. Granted, you get ripped off in the cafes and restaurants, it rains non-stop for weeks, and everyone hates us. But still.”

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Your astrological week ahead, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

You missed the two-minute silence this morning, so now you’re going to have to wait a whole extra year to reflect upon the service of our heroes.

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

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Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

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Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

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Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

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Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

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Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

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Scorpio, October 23rd–November 22nd

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Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

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Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

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Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

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Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

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